Sunday, July 12, 2015

Apple Music: General

Samuel Hulick made a great slideshow called “How Apple Music Onboards New Users” (via Steven Woolgar).

Serenity Caldwell:

Here’s what Apple Music is, what it’s not, how it compares to other services, and what you’ll be able to find on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC.

Nick Heer:

It’s only been a day since Apple launched their newest streaming music service, so the thoughts I have about it are fairly preliminary and would probably comprise several shorter posts. For convenience, they’re here in a bulleted list.

Eli Schiff:

The iOS Music icon again evolves—or devolves? Originally the iPhone music app was called iPod, but that soon went out of fashion and Apple opted for the title “Music,” which remains today. The most impressive shift of course was between iOS 7 and iOS 8 in which Apple designers went to the trouble of reversing the gradient.

David Pogue:

In Apple’s glory years, Steve Jobs turned simplicity into an art form.

“Being focused means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that are out there,” he once said. “You have to pick carefully. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

It’s starting to seem as though Apple no longer abides by that religion. The first two major post-Jobs initiatives from Apple are powerful and important, but they’re also bogged down by too many features and a confusing design. First, there was the Apple Watch — and today, there is Apple Music.

Cezary Wojcik (via Mike Rundle):

Unfortunately, I don’t see myself switching from Spotify anytime soon. I really tried to convince myself to give it a chance, but Apple Music is just simply awful to use. Everything I would want to do would either take forever or is simply not possible.


So, every song I had to delete required 4 taps, most of which had to wait on some kind of animation to finish. Just when I thought that it couldn’t get worse than deleting the songs individually from the playlist, I found something literally twice as bad (4 taps vs 2 taps).

Justin Blanton:

Want to turn off Apple Music Connect and replace its tab with a Playlists tab?

Joe Rosensteel:

I started poking around with Apple Music, and I’ve been particularly interested in how it has functioned offline in comparison to its predecessor. Like, 1 in 5 buttons in the main interface show you a white screen with gray text saying that you are, in fact, offline. It’s a barrel of fun, turn on Airplane Mode and give it a whirl.

Fortunately, you can make tracks, and albums, available for offline listening, but there’s no genius playlist functionality. Finding it in an ellipsis menu (not all ellipsis menus offer the function) yields a modal dialog that you need to be connected to cellular or WiFi to create a genius playlist.

This was not a problem in the previous iteration of the app, because the genius data was updated when you synced your phone, and available offline.

Collin Allen:

Was going to comment on how well Music’s color sampling works, then got this. Thought UI was disabled.

Nick Bradbury:

The fact that Apple usually does a phenomenal job with UX makes things like this such a disappointment.

Dan Moren:

My favorite tidbit, though, is from Mossberg’s piece:

Siri was able to effectively respond to commands like, “Play the top hits from 2007″ or “After this song, play ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’”

I have wanted the ability to easily queue up the next song on my iPod and iPhone since, oh, 2001.

Kirk McElhearn:

You can’t stream everything that in the iTunes Store on Apple Music. There are lots of labels, and artists, who aren’t playing the streaming game. Notable labels that are missing are ECM, the jazz label, and Hyperion Records, the classical label, both important independent labels in their genres.

But there are also individual tracks, or parts of albums, that are unavailable. I came across a few of them yesterday.

Kirk McElhearn:

For starters, many parts of Apple Music are not designed for classical music. The whole playlist aspect of the service is clearly not ideal for this type of music, which doesn’t contain “songs,” but rather works, often of multiple movements. So the For You section of Apple Music, which offers playlists and albums to check out, won’t be of much help.


Apple Music fails as far as presenting metadata about classical music. Looking at a number of albums in the New section, I find that many of them don’t display the names of the composers whose works they feature.

Kirk McElhearn:

I know Apple Music is just getting started, but they can certainly do better than just provide “Classical Music for Elevators.” Maybe Apple needs to hire some classical music “curators.”

Kirk McElhearn:

When you visit the Music app on the Apple TV, there is still a tab for iTunes Match, which is all but invisible in iTunes and on iOS. But nothing about Apple Music. It’s as though Apple forgot about the Apple TV.


It’s clear that video is going to be a part of Apple Music – you can already view music videos, if you can find them – but will Apple try and make a new MTV? I don’t buy the idea of live streams of DJs, but they do already have the iTunes Festival, and could certainly add more.

Adam Jackson:

My only issue that remains with streaming music…It requires a data connection.


The thing is, I don’t see any reviewers mentioning this. I guess everyone but me has 4G / LTE everywhere?

Update (2015-07-14): Kirk McElhearn:

Apple Music Doesn’t Display Your Listening History and This Is a Big Mistake

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