Apple has finally launched Apple Music with the latest OS update iOS 8.4. The tech giant that has come in pretty late in the game has high hopes for its newest music streaming service. But how does it fare?
Here are the wins and fails of Apple Music, with a few 'meh's in between.
Nothing feels more personal than your music player asking you what music you like, and that's the beauty of the 'For You' feature. Though the genres available were limited to popular genres in Singapore like K-pop, Mandopop, and R&B amongst many others, the process slowly evolves to find out your favourite artists and artists that you don't like.
The bubbles brought over from Beats Music were unnecessary, but made the process more fun as they bobbed around and grew as you selected a favourite artist.
I thought Alternative and International Pop were pretty broad spectrums to choose, but it still managed to pinpoint my love for sad sappy indie-folk songs by suggesting a playlist called "I Know It's Over: Indie Breakup Songs".
Integration to iTunes
This may be a bit 'duh', but its a move that other music streaming services can't provide. I'm the kind of person who likes to support my favourite artists by buying their album off iTunes, and it makes sense to me to put those songs and my streamed playlists in the same place.
You've already followed your favourite artists and musicians on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It makes sense to follow them on your music streaming service, right?
The Connect feature allows you to follow your favourite artists, where they will share tour dates, merchandise, and photographs from their concerts or rehearsals. Following a format eerily similar to Instagram, you can like and comment on photographs, or share it through message, social media, or email. It's perfect for hardcore fans, or people who prefer to keep their favourite acts' updates off their Facebook and in with the rest of their music.
This could be a win, especially over some competitors, but Apple Music seems very keen to show that they've got Swifties on board.
Mood and Genre Based Playlists
If you're a truly lazy listener, Apple Music's mood and genre-based playlists are perfect for you. But this isn't anything new - in fact, it looks pretty similar to what other music streaming services provide, and you probably won't even bat an eyelash when you see it.
The "New" feature allows you to explore new music in genres you enjoy - but limited to a small set of genres. It's frustrating, especially if you used to go on 8tracks and write "indie pop folk bored study" and get exactly the kind of music you want. It's not a bad feature, in fact it's designed in a way to make discovery quite enjoyable, but it would be so much better with some targeting.
We're not sure if this is an isolated incident, but we won't be surprised if it wasn't. A member from the Vulcan Post team updated his OS, but received a crashing Apple Music app in return. And if you're thinking that the Apple support would help…
Word is out that if you were a Beats music subscriber, all the music that you've basically collected over the years is now unaccessible, despite Beats Music supposedly being rebuilt to become Apple Music.
Beats Music users are not happy, and it doesn't seem like Apple's loyal subscribers are going to stay very long (they have to rebuild their music library anyway, why not elsewhere).