'Likes' & personal libraries drive Apple Music's 'For You' recommendations

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited July 2015
Apple treats "likes" in Apple Music in a very narrow manner -- mostly as a way of tailoring the "For You" recommendations in the service, along with the help of things like personal library data, a report revealed on Thursday.




Tapping or clicking a heart button when playing content in Apple Music in fact only affects For You, and will not skew the content of the service's built-in radio stations, Apple said to Jim Dalrymple of The Loop. Those stations are noted to be curated entirely by Apple editors.

Significantly, the For You section is also influenced by additions to a listener's personal library, and any time a track is listened to in full. The company is reportedly ignoring skips, since a person might feel like hearing a song one day but not another.

To further refine For You suggestions, the iOS version of the feature lets users tap and hold on an album and pick "I Don't Like This Suggestion."

When a person creates a custom Apple Music Radio station, on iOS, the heart icon turns into a star. Tapping offers the choice of asking for more or less of the same, and will indeed adjust station content, much like Pandora or Apple Music's predecessor, iTunes Radio.

Apple's system is not dissimilar from some other streaming services, but the company's use of personal library data to generate recommendations isn't universal, and some services do take skips into account. Apple Music's chief competition, Spotify, depends mostly on past listening habits and the artists a person chooses to follow.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 267member
    From an audiophile point of view...

    We bought Spotify Premium to test the audio quality vs Apple Music.
    Spotify wins the sound quality test hands down. (On a reference audiophile system).
    On a mediocre system, there was no real discernible difference.
    So unless you have a real nice system, the decision will be more about the interface and ecosystem than sound quality.

    The system:
    27" iMac
    Paradigm MilleniaOne CT
    Arcam irDac
    Audioquest Carbon USB
    Audioquest Sydney interconnects
    Audioquest X-2 speaker cable

    We did a blind test in our studio - flipping back and forth between the 2.
    Delta Spirit - hold my end
    Metric - artificial nocturne
    Zero 7 - somersby
    Miles Davis - kind of blue

    Spotify was the unaminous winner - with a bit more natural and detailed sound. - expected with a higher bitrate.

    AM didn't mess up my library like others - however, I find the way it adds albums and playlists a bit clumsy. I don't want it mixed with my cd rips. I also liked and added some albums... But the next day they were nowhere to be found? Not even in history. More development needed.

    If Apple offered true lossless- it would be a no brainer for me.
  • Reply 2 of 13
    wonkothesanewonkothesane Posts: 1,543member

    Over here in Germany - and as it looks like in other countries as well - without an Apple Music subscription you can only listen to Beats 1 radio. You have neither access to the other stations (except for BBC news, strangely), and you cannot create your own radio station.  Would have been nice, if this would be explained by a sensible message instead of the error message "unable to connect, please try again". Would be even nicer if it would work...

  • Reply 3 of 13
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,262member
    Creating a new playlist from a song that is currently playing is a pain in the butt. You just can't do it from the song itself. You have to go out and create the new list you want and then go back and add the song to the new playlist. Such a pain.
  • Reply 4 of 13
    thewhitefalconthewhitefalcon Posts: 4,453member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bitmod View Post



    From an audiophile point of view...



    We bought Spotify Premium to test the audio quality vs Apple Music.

    Spotify wins the sound quality test hands down. (On a reference audiophile system).

    On a mediocre system, there was no real discernible difference.

    So unless you have a real nice system, the decision will be more about the interface and ecosystem than sound quality.



    The system:

    27" iMac

    Paradigm MilleniaOne CT

    Arcam irDac

    Audioquest Carbon USB

    Audioquest Sydney interconnects

    Audioquest X-2 speaker cable



    We did a blind test in our studio - flipping back and forth between the 2.

    Delta Spirit - hold my end

    Metric - artificial nocturne

    Zero 7 - somersby

    Miles Davis - kind of blue



    Spotify was the unaminous winner - with a bit more natural and detailed sound. - expected with a higher bitrate.



    AM didn't mess up my library like others - however, I find the way it adds albums and playlists a bit clumsy. I don't want it mixed with my cd rips. I also liked and added some albums... But the next day they were nowhere to be found? Not even in history. More development needed.



    If Apple offered true lossless- it would be a no brainer for me.



    Spotify's bitrate is lower than Apple Music. AM is AAC, not MP3.

  • Reply 5 of 13
    bitmodbitmod Posts: 267member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     



    Spotify's bitrate is lower than Apple Music. AM is AAC, not MP3.


    Spotify Premium is 320 kbps mp3

    AM is 256 kbps AAC

    More kbps = more information

     

    While I agree that AAC is a better compression format, it doesn't mean a 256aac sounds better than a 320mp3.

    It is questionable however, that at lower bit rates, a lower bit aac may be better then a higher mp3 - but definitely not at higher bit rates.

    Especially when you throw a DAC in the mix.

     

    That's why I clearly stated that unless you have audiophile gear, you won't hear much of a difference.

  • Reply 6 of 13
    This was great thanks for this ??????????
  • Reply 7 of 13
    danielswdanielsw Posts: 906member

    I like Apple Music a lot.

     

    I'm an aging original "baby boomer", and my favorite music is from the late '60s through mid '90s. Every band I've searched for so far has come up, and it's great to get access to all that good stuff.

     

    My wife's tastes in music are pretty different than mine, and I could never justify the expense of buying all that old stuff. But now, with Apple Music, the $15/mo is probably going to be easy to handle. So I'm free to add all I want to My Music and have it on all my devices.

  • Reply 8 of 13
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    I'm not really sure how people don't get the interface.

    It literally asks you two questions, then plonks down a load of recommendations in your face.
    Most of which were assembled by people, I'm surprised by how much music there is that I like, but had never heard of.

    I guess every apple launch requires a "-gate" hate, so the media have something to drum up for clicks. Me on the other hand, I like to evaluate many services, and when I do I ignore the brand name behind the service.

    As for Spotify: discovering music before apple music was joyless and highly specific, one way or another it was searching. Meanwhile "For you" is curation, I don't do the work anymore. I much prefer being presented with a lot of songs that I might like rather than pressing the skip button all day through a random Spotify user's playlist, in the hope that I might tumble down a rabbit hole of enjoyable songs.

    Before this there wasn't much point to having access to millions upon millions of songs, since I'd just end up listening to the same bands, the same tracks etc.
  • Reply 9 of 13
    thepixeldocthepixeldoc Posts: 2,257member
    danielsw wrote: »
    I like Apple Music a lot.

    I'm an aging original "baby boomer", and my favorite music is from the late '60s through mid '90s. Every band I've searched for so far has come up, and it's great to get access to all that good stuff.

    My wife's tastes in music are pretty different than mine, and I could never justify the expense of buying all that old stuff. But now, with Apple Music, the $15/mo is probably going to be easy to handle. So I'm free to add all I want to My Music and have it on all my devices.

    Just curious, but do you write ad copy for testimonial commercials by any chance? Yes. I'm serious.
  • Reply 10 of 13

    I really love Apple Music. It's almost like a full circle for me. My first Apple product was an iPod 3G. Now, the past 3 days, I have been using my iPhone mostly to listen to songs. 

     

    I downloaded a lot of playlists for off-line listening when I'm driving. I love that they have playlists by music magazines. 

     

    It is also pretty neat that they address the local market by having music categories and playlists specific to Indian music. 

     

    At the price, the fact that you can download just about any song on the iTunes library and listen to it and keep it for as long as you want is akin to giving a kid the keys to a candy shop. 

     

    It really is nice that the Music App has become the best thing about the iPhone!

  • Reply 11 of 13
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,961member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ECats View Post



    I'm not really sure how people don't get the interface.



    It literally asks you two questions, then plonks down a load of recommendations in your face.

    Most of which were assembled by people, I'm surprised by how much music there is that I like, but had never heard of.



    I guess every apple launch requires a "-gate" hate, so the media have something to drum up for clicks. Me on the other hand, I like to evaluate many services, and when I do I ignore the brand name behind the service.



    As for Spotify: discovering music before apple music was joyless and highly specific, one way or another it was searching. Meanwhile "For you" is curation, I don't do the work anymore. I much prefer being presented with a lot of songs that I might like rather than pressing the skip button all day through a random Spotify user's playlist, in the hope that I might tumble down a rabbit hole of enjoyable songs.



    Before this there wasn't much point to having access to millions upon millions of songs, since I'd just end up listening to the same bands, the same tracks etc.



    Amen! I've never had the chance to use Spotify, so I can't comment about it, but the rest of your post was absolutely spot on. I love the Interface and I find it very easy to use.

     

    Only my 18 month kid is getting frustrated with this. He used to love the landscape mode artwork scrolling to select music he wanted to listen to. Now he can't find it and it really aggravates him!

  • Reply 12 of 13
    lostkiwilostkiwi Posts: 631member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ECats View Post



    I'm not really sure how people don't get the interface.



    It literally asks you two questions, then plonks down a load of recommendations in your face.

    Most of which were assembled by people, I'm surprised by how much music there is that I like, but had never heard of.



    I guess every apple launch requires a "-gate" hate, so the media have something to drum up for clicks. Me on the other hand, I like to evaluate many services, and when I do I ignore the brand name behind the service.



    As for Spotify: discovering music before apple music was joyless and highly specific, one way or another it was searching. Meanwhile "For you" is curation, I don't do the work anymore. I much prefer being presented with a lot of songs that I might like rather than pressing the skip button all day through a random Spotify user's playlist, in the hope that I might tumble down a rabbit hole of enjoyable songs.



    Before this there wasn't much point to having access to millions upon millions of songs, since I'd just end up listening to the same bands, the same tracks etc.



    I think you have nailed it right there.  Pretty much summed up exactly what I felt and experienced. 

     

    Cheers!

  • Reply 13 of 13
    Ok, but how do I get RID of the 'for you' recommendations?
    How do I get RID of unwanted stations and artists?
    The 'for you' grabbed an artist with a similar name as another artist that I picked, but an ENTIRELY different genre (I wanted jazz, and it gave me Christian artists).

    I don't want to keep adding- I want to start REMOVING artists that I don't want.

    Is that too complicated?
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