Apple Inc. is planning sweeping changes to its year-old music streaming service after the first iteration of the product was met with tepid reviews and several executives brought in to revive the company’s music strategy departed.
Hey Apple, fuck Apple Music. How about fixing iTunes?
Oh, also fix the Music app on iOS.
An obituary for iTunes by Adam Clark Estes at Gizmodo:
It was swift and relatively painless. On June 30, 2015, iTunes gave birth to Apple Music, a much-awaited and disappointing pay-to-play streaming service. By this time, iTunes was in poor health, due to the viral popularity of streaming music services. Apple Music, I thought, would bring new life to the tired program. I was wrong.
At first, I welcomed Apple Music’s arrival to the world, realizing that it could make or break iTunes. I hoped iTunes would feel young again, fun again. But the opposite proved true. A few weeks after Apple Music was born, it was apparent that it couldn’t save the addled iTunes.
When you combine iTunes and the Music app on iOS, the situation is almost to the point of being untenable for me.
Does Apple decouple iTunes from Apple Music? Make separate apps for audio and video? I don’t know. All I know is on it’s current trajectory, iTunes (and Music app) is not working.
Things didn’t go well for Jim Dalrymple with Apple Music:
I love Apple. I love them because they take difficult problems and come up with innovative, simple solutions. The things they make just work and we trust them. Unfortunately, my experience with Apple Music has been exactly the opposite. As of today, I’m missing about 4,700 songs from my library with little hope of getting them back.
I had high hopes for Apple Music. I really wanted it to work and become my default music streaming service, but after the problems I’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks, I’m disabling it altogether.
When I first started using Apple Music a few weeks ago I enabled “iCloud Music Library” when iTunes first asked me. Then I noticed duplicate tracks for some of my albums. Then I started reading horror stories of other people experiencing the same thing. THEN I turned iCloud Music Library the fuck OFF.
Luckily for me it had only messed up around 100 tracks and I was able to fixed most of the errors by restoring my previous iTunes Library file (iTunes Library.itl).
I also have backups of my music.
I feel bad for Jim, but he should have had backups of his music too.
I’ve been using Apple Music since it launched yesterday. It’s interesting. I’m not sure if I’ll be signing up after the 3-month trial is over, but so far I like the recommendations it gives me.
The playlists under “For You” are good, but I’ve been playing around with the ability to create a “station” based on a track I’m listening too. I want recommendations based on my music library. So far, the stations Apple has been creating are good. I noticed it will play me a combination of songs already in my library and songs from iTunes.
The user interface on my iPhone is on the complex side. I can figure it out without too much trouble, but I’m not sure non-nerds will be able to. Part of this is due to the density of functionality Apple has packed into the Music app. There’s a lot going on.
I used to be able to double-tap on the album artwork to display the album track list, but that doesn’t work anymore. I have to hit the 3 dots in the bottom right of my iPhone and then tap on the track/album/artist at the top of the modal menu. Weird. Confusing.
When I go to My Music and switch to ‘Songs’ I no longer have a ‘Shuffle’ button at the top of the list. I miss that button. I’ll probably get over it.
I also no longer have the ability to reorganize the bottom menu. Right now ‘My Music’ is the last button. Apple is assuming I’m always going to want their streaming service to be my first priority. I’d like ‘My Music’ to be the first menu item. Please.
iTunes is a whole other story. It continues the long tradition of being a labyrinthine, confusing desktop application. As with the iOS Music app, I can figure it out, I just wonder how many regular people can. Since iOS is where all the money and consumer eyes are these days, it’s not the end of the world.
Now back to my music.
The Telegraph, reporting on the reaction of indie UK record labels on Apple Music’s terms:
Apple is accused of attempting to launch its new Spotify rival, Apple Music, in a way that would leave Britain’s independent record labels “completely screwed” and struggling to survive.
The Silicon Valley giant is demanding that record labels such as XL Recordings, the home of Adele, and Domino, the label behind the Arctic Monkeys, agree to a free three-month trial of Apple Music, during which they will receive no payment.
The plan, only disclosed since the service was unveiled in at a glitzy event in San Francisco last week, has caused dismay among British labels, according to Andy Heath, the chairman of UK Music, the industry lobby group.
Doesn’t seem fair to me. Three months is a long time to not get paid and time is money.