playlists Stories April 18, 2016

AAPL: 107.48

-2.37

SongShift is a just-released app that lets Spotify users import playlists directly into Apple Music. In the past, there have been some roundabout ways to accomplish that task, but SongShift is one of the first apps that takes advantage of a new iOS 9.3 provision that makes it possible for third-party apps to access Apple Music.

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playlists Stories March 9, 2016

AAPL: 101.12

0.09

As much as I think the Apple Music user interface is still a total jumbled mess, I do think there are also a few features that Apple should add as it simultaneously cleans up what’s already there. A big one for me is the potential for private, collaborative playlists and streaming radio stations.

What Apple Music currently has, as far as users sharing music goes, is the ability to share a playlist, station, album or song from within the app via email, third-party apps or copying the link to share elsewhere. But once sent to someone, the person only receives a link to open the shared selection in Apple Music. It works, but it’s not exactly taking full advantage of the potential for user collaboration and a truly interactive experience that ties together the various social aspects of the service.

The new sharing features could be twofold. First, the ability to have collaborative playlists that one or more other people could contribute to. That’s a feature that some competitive services, notably Spotify, already have, but I’d like to see Apple take it a step further with the ability to create not just collaborative playlists, but private, custom radio stations that stream in real-time…

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playlists Stories January 19, 2016

AAPL: 96.66

-0.47

For me, coffee at Starbucks is secondary to the great music you discover courtesy of your twenty-something barista’s Spotify DJ skills. The good news is you can now easily save those Spotify playlists for listening later through an update to the Starbucks iPhone app today. expand full story

playlists Stories December 14, 2015

AAPL: 112.48

-0.70

While it undoubtedly drives the rest of my family crazy, I sure love Christmas music and don’t mind one bit that it takes over radio stations on November 1st. FM radio is okay in the car and I’ve used Pandora and iHeartRadio the last few years to find a variety of Christmas music, but ads and skip limits are no good when you’ve got access to a streaming music catalog everywhere you go. This year I’m all in with Apple Music and finding it terrific as my own personal Christmas music station.

Apple Music does a pretty good job of serving up a variety of ad-free Christmas music through stations and playlists … if you know where to look. Here are a few tips to set you in the right direction if you want to feel festive and spread the Christmas mood:

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playlists Stories July 20, 2015

With custom playlists at the center of Apple Music’s discovery experience, Apple’s biggest streaming competitor Spotify is also focusing its efforts on playlists for its latest feature called Discover Weekly. It’s not exactly a “me too” feature, though, as Apple’s and Spotify’s approaches each differ in how playlists are created. While Apple highlights having human editors curating its featured playlists, Spotify is basing its new feature around listening behavior to deliver weekly recommendations… expand full story

playlists Stories July 3, 2015

How likes & other user input work to personalize your Apple Music experience

Apple has talked a lot about how it’s tackling curation better than the other guys by putting a big focus on hand-picked, human curated playlists for Apple Music, but how exactly does a user’s input alter the music the app serves up? The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple spoke directly with Apple to answer that question and put together a guide detailing exactly how likes and other user input work to customize some aspects of Apple Music but not others:

First, let me tell you one of my big problems, or sources of confusion, with likes on streaming services. Let’s say I’m listening to a Metal station and a great song comes on, but I consider it to be Rock. Do I like it? I enjoy the song, but I’m afraid if I like it, more Rock songs will come on the Metal station, diluting it… What if I don’t like it? Will it never show up again, even in Rock? Perhaps I should skip it, but is that equivalent to a “dislike”?

The guide is great if you really want to make the most of the service, but further proof that Apple Music is a complicated mess and not very intuitive for users when it comes to how likes, hearts, and other user input features of the service affect recommendations.

Head over to The Loop for the full guide on how the way you use Apple Music might make for a better, more personalized experience.

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