Apple Music offers a peek into the future of Apple Inc, and its stark contrast to Google and Microso

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 2015
Just in its first few days, the launch of Apple Music has demonstrated that Apple can competently execute outside of its core hardware business. That has implications for its future ambitions in TV and automotive, as well as highlighting the vast gulf between it, Google and Microsoft.

Apple Music


Apple Music is not perfect in every way. Some users have complained that it does too much, such as in how it rearranges (or in some cases duplicates) their music library files. Others (including an editorial by Variety) have complained that it doesn't deconstruct everything quite sufficiently and therefore find it too simple. Other critics have worried that its interface is too complex (Variety actually claimed both in the same article).

These complaints have also been leveled upon Apple Watch, which various people--and sometimes even the same person--have called either too masculine or too feminine. Unsurprisingly, much of this criticism is coming from competitors or their mouthpieces, or simply people who like to voice all possible complaints they can theorize, even if those complaints are mutually exclusive, logical contradictions.

In addition to sharing criticisms with Apple Watch, there are also similarities in how the new Apple Music was critically received in comparison to some earlier Apple products, from the 1984 Macintosh to the 2001 iPod, the 2007 iPhone and the 2010 iPad. Critics imagined features that the first generation of those products "should" have incorporated, and didn't like various aspects of their initial implementation. That didn't stop each from going on to achieve incredible multi-billion dollar successes that monumentally changed the technology landscape.

While similarly imperfect in various ways, Apple Music is competent. It gets the right things right. And users are overwhelmingly liking the new service by a landslide in their public comments on Twitter.

A silver lining for Apple's once stormy iCloud

This is quite incredible, because while Apple "failed" repeatedly in the minds of critics while delivering one blockbuster hardware product after the next, cloud services have more honestly actually been a weak spot for the company. From iTools to .Mac to MobileMe to Ping to Maps, it's long been almost universally agreed upon that Apple has struggled to deliver robust, scalable, reliable cloud services when compared against leaders in the industry.

That has been changing however. When Steve Jobs outlined the future of iCloud in 2011, he strategically positioned the revamped internet services at the same level as iOS and OS X. The new vision for iCloud also "demoted" the Mac from the center of the "digital hub" to being just another device getting data from cloud services.

The user-facing iCloud services Apple began deploying worked fairly well, but its iCloud Storage CoreData APIs for developers were poorly received, and for some, basically unusable.



In 2014, Apple completely redesigned its approach and implementation for third party developers with CloudKit, a new internet service for storing and synchronizing app data in the cloud. To demonstrate that it works and is scalable and robust, Apple developed the new CloudKit-based Photos app and its iCloud Photo Library, along with iCloud Drive for iOS 8 and the Mac.

This year, Apple expanded upon its cloud progress with Photos for Mac, and at WWDC introduced CloudKit JS, which offers web client access to iCloud so developers can create cloud-synced apps for not just Macs and iOS devices, but also web clients and mobile apps on other platforms.

Rather quickly, Apple has transitioned to being a serious cloud services provider. That came just in time for the launch of Apple Music, an ambitious package including Beats 1 radio, on-demand streaming, Connect social networking features, and integration with the music users already have.

And while Apple still has to prove that it can retain and develop an audience of paying listeners, its new ability to deploy attractive, functional cloud services on-time, as scheduled--particularly given the exterior contention of having to deal with complex non-technical issues, including winning over the support of artists and their labels--also says something powerful about Apple's potential in video and film related to Apple TV, and its ability to enter new markets including automotive, using the same expert planning, operations, deal-making, engineering and marketing that have made Apple the richest and most successful public company in the world.

How Apple Music escaped the Ping of death

Apple Music could have been a disaster, or at least an embarrassingly sloppy effort by a company with lots of money to confidently expand into a market that it does not really understand. There have been lots of attempts to make comparisons to Ping, a previous social networking feature within iTunes 10 that Apple intended to enable artists to connect with fans back in 2010.

Ping failed (quite spectacularly) primarily because it began as a partnership with Facebook that Facebook pulled the rug on just prior to launch, hoping to get further concessions from Apple. Rather than rebuilding it from scratch, Apple launched it anyway with rudimentary commenting features that devolved into forums of unregulated spam and harassment.

iTunes 10 Ping
iTunes 10 Ping


Ping in iTunes 10 looked like a tech product created in Silicon Valley, far from the music industry. Beats was built in Los Angeles, by people central to the music industry. Apple Music incorporates Beats' streaming product and music industry savvy with Apple's own in-house iTunes features and iCloud services.

Apple Music is nothing like Ping. Rather than initiating a shaky partnership with an outside firm with conflicting interests, Apple Music is fully owned by Apple. As an integration of Apple's existing iTunes services with the content subscription and artist curation features acquired as part of Beats, Apple Music is a legitimate collaboration of Tech and the Liberal Arts.

Apple Music incorporates Ping-like commenting features, and of course is not perfect in every way. There are feature requests and bug complaints on both the artist and user side. However, such vocal requests are evidence of success, not failure. People are actually using (and loving) Apple Music.

If Apple can continue to address these minor issues, it will not only have a product that keeps users happy with iTunes, but also one that attracts users from other platforms to Apple's, the same way that iTunes hooked millions of Windows users into exploring Apple's Macs after a positive experience with iPods and the iTunes Store.

It has become cliche among Apple's critics to refer to iTunes as a terrible product, but the reality is that Apple has attracted 800 million users to sign up for iTunes Store accounts with their credit cards. Despite a series of flaws, false starts (like Ping) and growing pains, iTunes has become the world's favorite way to spend money on media. And the second place is quite a ways behind it.

Apple makes the effort of building new things look really easy (think Apple Pay or Apple Watch), but to really appreciate the accomplishment involved in efforts like iTunes and Apple Music, take a brief look at its competitors.

Google Music

Back in 2011, Google launched its own Music Beta, with a cloud music locker but no music store because it built and soft-launched the product without the support of the music industry. Google Music is a lot like Google Wallet: years ahead of Apple, but so poorly planned and implemented that it completely squandered its vast head start.

Six months later, it finally sealed deals with three of the top four major music labels and officially launched Google Music, connected to Google+ for music sharing and Artist Hub promotional pages.

In 2012, Google executives were reported to be upset with the lack of interest in Google Music, and particularly dismayed its inability to bring in revenue. One aspect that hurt its adoption was the lack of a mobile app for iOS.

That means Google Music is a lot like Google Wallet: years ahead of Apple, but so poorly planned and implemented that it completely squandered its vast head start.




Google apparently expected its paid on-demand streaming music service to be quite popular among Android users, but instead got a taste of what its Android developers had already been eating: the platform does not attract people who want to pay for things, particularly not anything that can be pirated. Google Music mostly demonstrated the weakness of Android as a platform for supporting commercial apps and services.

Another significant difference in Google's approach was that it shunned modern H.264 AAC codecs to use MP3. Not only did it embrace the older technology, but it transcoded 256 kbps AAC music sources into 320 kbps MP3, a move that looks good on paper but sounds worse. Those antics occurred in conjunction with Google's efforts to derail H.264 video in support of Flash and then its own VP8/WebM.

Google's ideological warfare waged on intellectual property holders might have excited the base, but it resulted in an antagonistic relationship with both content creators and external IP developers, which in the end did not benefit the very demographic of "don't pay, pirate" fans that Android was catering to as an audience.

Google Music (along with WebM and Google+) turned out to be disappointing initiatives that failed to gain traction despite being pushed by the vendor in ostensible control of Android, Chrome OS and the world's most popular web search engine (by a wide margin). Simply having lots of capital and engineering talent wasn't enough for Google to deliver successful products and implement strategies that worked.

If Apple's success with Apple Music can offer some insight into its prospects for successfully launching TV and automotive products, as well as expansions of today's Apple Pay, Apple Watch, home automation, health and ResearchKit initiatives, the same can conversely be said about Google's track record of bungling Google TV, Glass, Google Wallet, Android Wear, [email protected] and its future prospects for Android Pay, self-driving cars and another crop of Glass and Android TV attempts.

Microsoft Windows Media Center

Microsoft's very different approach to music and video also failed, for reasons that are useful to contrast against Apple Music and iTunes. When iTunes first appeared, Windows Media Player had been leveraging Microsoft's near monopoly market position for a decade.

Initially a rough competitor to QuickTime for playback, by the late 90s WMP became part of Microsoft's strategy to deploy global, proprietary DRM that could earn the company licensing revenue not just from PCs but from emerging formats ranging from HD-DVD to streaming content and portable media devices.

Instead of "opening" things up like Google--using inferior formats to sell content from hostile media companies it didn't respect to its Android demographic of customers who don't pay for things--Microsoft developed state of the art media formats with difficult to crack DRM and cozied up to media companies with promises of locking up their content so customers couldn't even rip songs they bought to their own CDs as personal mixtapes.

Microsoft's customers might have paid for this, had it not been so draconian in its restrictions and flatly tone-deaf of the desires of real people. Microsoft also suffered from the fact that Apple was offering a much less restrictive alternative in iTunes.While Microsoft was building solutions for its partners that didn't solve problems for consumers, Apple was building a product for its customers--end users who were premium hardware buyers--that attracted the support of media partners and content creators

Microsoft responded to Apple's iTunes and iPod with an even flashier WMP tied to PlaysForSure DRM devices, then turned around and introduced its own Zune player with inferior, half baked software. It also diddled with terrible Windows Mobile products and pursued an ambitions media strategy around Windows Media Center, a playback hub for distributing audio and video and integrating with cable boxes and televisions.

An article by Extreme Tech recently lamented that Microsoft is now killing off WMC in Windows 10, writing that it originally "was an innovative and necessary product. Nothing did what it did at the time," while also observing that Microsoft's efforts to integrate with third party WMC Extender products "were pretty glitchy and difficult to use."

While the industry consistently demanded that Apple copy Microsoft's DVR and cable-centric approach in WMC, the company instead pursued a much simpler, easier to use living room ecosystem centered around Apple TV, AirPlay and app-like services that surf the trending wave of cord-cutting.

That includes the latest HBO Go service, along with Netflix and a growing array of other TV on-demand services. Apple Music is also integrated with AirPlay for easy playback at home (and CarPlay when driving). You can even see the currently playing Beats 1 track at a Glance on your Apple Watch.

So while Microsoft was building solutions for its partners that didn't solve problems for consumers, Apple was building a product for its customers--end users who were premium hardware buyers--that attracted the support of media partners and content creators.

Apple's enviable position of not needing to make money on Apple Music

Apple's primary profit engine is hardware sales. Commentators have frequently reminded their audiences (and each other) that even if Apple Music were widely successful, it wouldn't really move the needle for Apple's revenues. That is usually presented as a bad thing, but the reality is that selling media is hard, and much easier to pull off if you don't need to immediately make money on it.

Apple originally approached iTunes Music as a break-even effort to make sure that Macs and iPods could access top popular content in a world where Windows Media DRM appeared poised to dominate. Apple later added TV, movies, podcasting and iTunes U, not to generate money, but as additional reasons supporting the purchase of Macs, iPods and iOS devices. The iOS App Store has also been run from the start as a way to facilitate volume markets where small purchases support custom, exclusive content, not simply a way to make short term money.



Apple Music is a continuation of that effort to support a sustainable market for music, while also enticing interest in high quality hardware, where Apple makes virtually all of its money. Even if Apple only ever just broke even on Apple Music, it would still be earning far more money in attracting users to iOS and Macs (and Beats hardware). It's quite a luxury to be able to build a artist-centric business without immediately worrying about the short term Return On Investment. It's quite a luxury to be able to build a artist-centric business without immediately worrying about the short term Return On Investment

Microsoft's primary profit engine has long been software licensing. It was simply too hard to license software at a high enough value to warrant developing a ecosystem behind WMC, WMP, PFS and Zune. Microsoft built software for big media companies with the hope of squeezing end users, but that didn't work out, because few people wanted to buy into such a system. Microsoft's more recent efforts to build a hardware business like Apple's haven't worked out very well, from Zune to Surface. That makes it hard to invest in an ecosystem for an installed base that hasn't really materialized.

Microsoft has to consider the ROI as it contemplates building out new ecosystem initiatives, because there is no longer a licensing monopoly in place to pay for anything the company can dream up. That's why the company is shedding efforts like WMC, and why it gave up on Zune Pass, which had some similarities to today's Apple Music. Without a revenue engine supporting it, those efforts weren't sustainable.

Conversely, Google's primary profit engine is advertising. It built free software in hopes of creating new surface area for its ads, but that ad revenue can't support good software, let alone quality access to top popular content. Most problematically, Google is finding that it is hard to sell anything to its Android audience, which was drawn in by offers of free software, low cost hardware and cheap or free services supported by ads.

Google is getting lots of media attention for giving away loss leader hardware like its $35 Chromecast dongle and "free" (as in puppies) cloud services like Google Photos. It's interesting to note that nobody worries that these efforts "won't move the needle" for Google's revenues the way so many are wringing their hands about Apple Music failing to rival the iPhone in revenues. Also consider that despite all the applause for its cheap dongles and software services, these products offer no apparent way to even tangentially benefit Google's core ad business.

Everyone else in the streaming business actually needs to figure out how to make money selling access to content, because they all lack a hardware business to fall back on. It's also notable that the only other mobile hardware vendor that makes any money--Samsung--has also seen little success in building an ecosystem, whether for exclusive apps or popular content including music. Building an ecosystem is a lot of work but offers scant prospects for generating real revenue right away, if ever. It's a lot like opening up retail stores.

Ask Google, Microsoft and Samsung how their retail stores are going.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 99
    People don't have issues with iTunes on iOS, it's iTunes for Windows and Mac that they complain about. But now the majority use it on iOS.
  • Reply 2 of 99
    multimediamultimedia Posts: 868member
    Daniel, I love and respect your editorials every time. But I don't understand how you can proclaim Apple Music a success when I almost lost my entire 4TB library and all my 20 years of playlist building just because there was no warning that when you turn ON iCloud Music Library, it may destroy your iTunes Library and all your playlists. Thank God for Time Machine backup.
    brakken
  • Reply 3 of 99

    I remember WMP. I made the mistake of ripping some CDs using Windows Media Player (before I understood what it would do) and it created DRM that was so tightly locked up, the files would only play on the PC that ripped the tracks; copying it to my Windows CE PDA only created unplayable files, and Microsoft Windows was like: please obtain a license from the copyright holder, kind of like how the non-OEM Windows XP and Vista would tell you to go and buy your own license for the DVD MPEG codec when you inserted a DVD into your PC. Pathetic user experience. For anyone who claims Microsoft got better, I offer another example of UX fail: Games for Windows Live. And it didn't end there. Microsoft needs to be smothered until its lifeless, user-hating corpse stops twitching. 

    brakken
  • Reply 4 of 99
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,147member

    Incredible read. 

     

    Apple overall did a fantastic job with Apple Music. But yes, if you go by the internet it is indeed a "disaster" just how every single ultra successful Apple service/product was deemed a disaster by morons, trolls, sort-sighted douchebags, and attention whores. 

  • Reply 5 of 99
    hagarhagar Posts: 110member
    While I agree that the analysis of the iTunes ecosystem is spot on, I cannot agree on the positive take on the technical execution of Apple Music. Just like any previous release of a web service, Apple has managed to make this a complex and unreliable experience. I'm having issues with iCloud Photos, iTunes Match and now with Apple Music.

    I'm surprised at how many bugs and usability issues the new iOS Music has. The attention for details and intuitive has gone out of the window, and there are several obvious bugs. I hope iOS 9 will bring back some software quality.

    Also, a new updated iCloud 2 would be appreciated. More robust data management, version control, speed (iCloud is slow as a turtle in Europe) and a coherent vision for users. Ask 100 people what iCloud is and most still won't know.

    A few years back, iCloud would have been a great mechanism to lock users and developers in. But as it has largely failed as a syncing service because of bugs, all mayor developers have created their own syncing services that are compatible with Android.

    So, no, iCloud is not a positive Apple story. Not yet.
  • Reply 6 of 99
    ... (Apple's) ability to enter new markets including automotive, using the same expert planning, operations, deal-making, engineering and marketing that have made Apple the richest and most successful public company in the world.

    I think, right there, within those words, are expressed how Apple out-performs its rivals. And I would modify the word, "planning", to be "long-term planning." When Apple set out create ?Watch, it wasn't a project for a "calendar year," or a "fiscal year" - few Board of Directors have the foresight or patients to allow a project to span multiple years in development. In addition (and in special contrast to Google) Apple has the discipline to not telegraph it's future plans until it's ready to announce a finished product, with all it's ducks in a row.

    Apple may not announce some of the details of its behind-the-scene related activity when announcing the product... and this has lead to pundits to declaring the product will fail. This has been useful to Apple in not complicating a new product announcement while making for a lot of media chatter (at no cost to Apple) which has inadvertently, through negative comments, caused a BUZZ about the product. Apple steps in with planned news releases, to make further announcements about the new products, tamping down one product concern while leaving enough uncertainty to keep the buzz going in different directions. Apple has a black-belt in marketing. Few companies know how to manipulate the news media like Apple. It even manipulates its competitors into talking about Apple to the press.

    Microsoft: Old-school marketing. Doesn't even have a plan to keep media chatter going.

    Google: Management loves to spill the beans before a product is ready. No marketing strategy.

    Samsung: Still believes product specifications define a product. Uses comparison of pseudo-important specs to show superiority over Apple. Throws money at marketing to buy media for public consumption.

    Amazon: Gives hardware away at low or no profit to sell books and music at thin profits. Still seeing price to being front and center to making a sale. Has spent nearly it's whole corporate life not making money.

    APPLE: Playing its own long-term game. Markets to primarily (a) affluent and/or discriminating users, (b) large corporate and government customers. Skates to where the money is.
  • Reply 7 of 99
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 3,283member

    I think Apple really have a home run with Apple Music. 

     

    I don't understand why people find it so convoluted. I heard a comment that the pop-up menu on the iPhone should only have 3-4 rows and now it is a case of Apple throwing out their own UI guidelines by having so many options there. So the question is, what is better? Would you rather have 3-4 levels of menu options with just 4 rows each? Then you'd complain that it is too complicated.

     

    It really is simple. Apple gives you your music + your playlists on one tab. You can opt to only see what is locally on the iPhone or everything on the Cloud.

    It gives you curated suggestions at "For You". You don't like that, you can ignore it.

    It gives you a tab for all the radio stations that are there. Again, you don't need to like it. You can just ignore it.

    It gives you a tab for what is new, so you can listen to new stuff if you want. 

     

    Pick a song from any of these tabs and play it. It gives you options to skip the song if you don't like it, or add it to a playlist, or save it for off-line listening and other relevant options. 

     

    So I'm still failing to see why it is complicated?

     

    I saw my playlists disappear once, but when I re-enabled iCloud Music, they all came back. 

     

    I know there are people who do have serious issues with it, but those issues are mostly bugs, as opposed to complexity.

     

    Overall, there seems to be a lot of negativity seeping into the AI contributors recently. Almost everyone except for DED is becoming a negative nelly. Apple Watch has issues, iCloud Storage has issues, Apple Music sucks, Beats Radio sucks, the new MacBook sucks, new iPods are not really necessary, Force Touch isn't really great...

     

    Much as I love reading this website and listening to the Podcast, things just seem to be a little negative for my taste.

     

    /RANT

  • Reply 8 of 99
    nicwalmsleynicwalmsley Posts: 117member

    It's not all negative. The automated algorithms driving radio stations seem a lot better. And some of the Apple playlists are good (though buried into obscurity) I'm finding good new music which Spotify wasn't serving up and that's the main thing for me. 

     

    There is a deep, messy problem though, and it's not the UI. Conceptually there's a lot of confusion in Apple about what they are doing. From little things like Heart vs Star vs Play More vs Wish List vs Song Rating, to middling things like iCloud vs Match, or having to manually add liked Apple Music to My Music to ever find it again, all the way to the fundamental relationship between Apple Music and the iTunes Store. There's a lack of clarity, sense or purpose through every layer of the solution.

     

    The conceptual confusion is leading to 1001 bizarre UI behaviours, and to bugs. Check this error on iTunes for Mac. The navigation buttons get confused when you jump a lot between the My Music tabs (My Music, Playlists), the Apple Music tabs (For You, New, Radio, Connect), and the iTune Store tab. 

     

    image

     

    I think Apple should say No for a bit. Stop adding new features and consolidate.

     

    And have a good look at Spotify. Since they added the idea of the + symbol to easily add songs, albums and artists to Your Music, it's been a breeze to use.

  • Reply 9 of 99
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

     

    Incredible read. 

     

    Apple overall did a fantastic job with Apple Music. But yes, if you go by the internet it is indeed a "disaster" just how every single ultra successful Apple service/product was deemed a disaster by morons, trolls, sort-sighted douchebags, and attention whores. 


    I've already read an article or two after AppleMusic was launched was how Wall Street was fully behind Amazon and Tesla, but Apple was a question mark.  Apple is still seen as a company without much of a future and definitely not worth putting money into.  Those articles pretty much mirrored Apple's five month share movement.  Q2 results showed much better than expected iPhone sales.  Apple share price down.  Apple introduces AppleWatch and to somewhat mixed results.  Apple share price down.  Apple introduces AppleMusic to somewhat mixed results.  Apple share price down.  Basically, no matter what Apple product or service is introduced or how well the company performs, the share price will go down.  That has to pretty much indicate Wall Street's lack of confidence in Apple's future.  Analysts don't believe Apple can compete with Spotify for reasons not fully specified.  That's a rather sad predicament for recent investors.  Let's see what Q3 has to offer.  I'm only guessing that even if there are good quarterly results, the share price will again drop.

  • Reply 10 of 99
    croprcropr Posts: 936member

    Content wise Apple Music seems rather OK.  The offer is price competitive and Apple understood that it will need an Android client if it really wants to dominate the music streaming market.

    But I am much less impressed with the features and the UI of the Music app, Apple has a long way to go before the app wil reach a maturity level comparable to Spotify or even Google Play Music.  If the app does not improve, I'll stay with the easy of use of Spotify 

  • Reply 11 of 99
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Did I just read that DED thinks that Apple Maps is uncompetitive? That's an incredible U-turn.

     

    For me, the best thing about Apple Music isn't the technology. The thing that sets it apart from the likes of Spotify is Beats 1 and the playlist curation. The human touch works well.

  • Reply 12 of 99
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 718member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post



    Daniel, I love and respect your editorials every time. But I don't understand how you can proclaim Apple Music a success when I almost lost my entire 4TB library and all my 20 years of playlist building just because there was no warning that when you turn ON iCloud Music Library, it may destroy your iTunes Library and all your playlists. Thank God for Time Machine backup.



    Too bad some people who are avid music lovers don't back up their music collections in case of disaster.  It is easy to do with large hard drives we have today.  

     

    If one had only a single copy of a large 4 TB music collection, what would happen if the hard drive failed???  That is horrible.  But if one had a backup it would be no big deal.

  • Reply 13 of 99
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Apple Music is not perfect in every way. Some users have complained that it does too much, such as in how it rearranges (or in some cases duplicates) their music library files. Others (including an editorial by Variety) have complained that it doesn't deconstruct everything quite sufficiently and therefore find it too simple. Other critics have worried that its interface is too complex (Variety actually claimed both in the same article).



    These complaints have also been leveled upon Apple Watch, which various people--and sometimes even the same person--have called either too masculine or too feminine. Unsurprisingly, much of this criticism is coming from competitors or their mouthpieces, or simply people who like to voice all possible complaints they can theorize, even if those complaints are mutually exclusive, logical contradictions.



    In addition to sharing criticisms with Apple Watch, there are also similarities in how the new Apple Music was critically received in comparison to some earlier Apple products, from the 1984 Macintosh to the 2001 iPod, the 2006 iPhone and the 2010 iPad. Critics imagined features that the first generation of those products "should" have incorporated, and didn't like various aspects of their initial implementation. That didn't stop each from going on to achieve incredible multi-billion dollar successes that monumentally changed the technology landscape.



    While similarly imperfect in various ways, Apple Music is competent. It gets the right things right. And users are overwhelmingly liking the new service by a landslide in their public comments on Twitter.

     

     

    Being complacent is not going to be very helpful, is it? This is Apple we are talking about.



    While I do agree that comments on the ? watch have been very harsh - to say the least - despite being it a first generation product, I do disagree about your take on Apple Music.



    Apple is not a newbie in the world of Music: iTunes on OSX is 10+ years old, their music app on iOS is 5+ years old. So, I am mystified at their half baked attempt to break new grounds in Music:


    • The UX of the iOS app is below par. Why you are glossing over the obvious shortcomings of Apple Music in iOS is beyond me.

    • The UX of iTunes 12.2 on OSX is a disaster. It is a bloated mess, clearly lacking focus and vision on all levels. I am talking Design, Engineering and Marketing here. 

     

    For the love of Apple, you should be more critical of them in a constructive way. They employ some of the best talents in Design and Engineering. Apple can do much much better. Your article sets the bar far too low*.



    (*) I do not care if the miserable attempts of Google, Microsoft and Samsung make Apple look good.

  • Reply 14 of 99
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,066member

    I am a legendary tightass and I had no intention of even trying streaming music, well I did try Spotify for a day and trashed it. Much less would I have thought I'd sign up to Apple Music, but after one week I've already decided that I'll be signing up when the free trial ends as I'm home all day at my computer writing with unlimited wifi and I am super impressed with what it dishes up. It is clear that if this is Apple Music just starting then Apple Music is going to be frikken huuuge.

     

     

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Multimedia View Post



    Daniel, I love and respect your editorials every time. But I don't understand how you can proclaim Apple Music a success when I almost lost my entire 4TB library and all my 20 years of playlist building just because there was no warning that when you turn ON iCloud Music Library, it may destroy your iTunes Library and all your playlists. Thank God for Time Machine backup.

     

    No, not 'thank god for backups', than yourself for having half a brain. I'll never understand people who post in forums looking for answers to how to recover their 'absolutely priceless' photos. If people haven't understood in this day and age that they need to have everything backed up, then really how can anyone have any pity for that. In other words you are fabricating a bitch, it's not lucky you were backed up, it's frikken normal.

  • Reply 15 of 99
    lwiolwio Posts: 87member
    Apple music is great. I enjoy the playlist recommendations and I think it will be a huge success. Apple did however drop the ball badly when it removed home sharing to iOS devices. Many people including myself used this and are madder than hell we were given no notice.
  • Reply 16 of 99
    john_l_ukjohn_l_uk Posts: 59member

    As a UK user I can see no justification for charging us £9.99 when U.S. subscribers get the same service for $9.99 which translates as £6.50. We're used to being penalised when buying hardware, which is always more expensive here because of 'shipping costs', but this isn't the case for electronic services and it feels like we always get taken advantage of. I really wish Apple would live up to my mental image of them being the good guys.

  • Reply 17 of 99
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by john_l_uk View Post

     

    As a UK user I can see no justification for charging us £9.99 when U.S. subscribers get the same service for $9.99 which translates as £6.50. We're used to being penalised when buying hardware, which is always more expensive here because of 'shipping costs', but this isn't the case for electronic services and it feels like we always get taken advantage of. I really wish Apple would live up to my mental image of them being the good guys.


     

    All of the major streaming services follow the same oddball exchange rate. I wonder if it's something that the record labels have mandated?

  • Reply 18 of 99
    lwiolwio Posts: 87member

    Remember the US price doesn't include tax, the UK one does include Vat. It's still a bit skewed however.

  • Reply 19 of 99
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm glad I have very little purchased music via iTunes. One it means I rarely have to use iTunes on the PC as that is a steaming pile that need to be re-written from the ground up. And two I don't really have to worry about libraries or playlists being f'd up. Having said that the purchased music I do have from iTunes (The Beatles Boc Set) is showing up with the wrong album art and I've been unsuccessful in fixing it. Same with the Beatles Anthology that I ripped from CDs. Some came in fine, others have no album art and one is using from a cover band. Again I've not been successful using iTunes to get the correct album art. Of course these are minor things but it seems like the kind of things Apple should nail, especially if the music was purchased from iTunes.
  • Reply 20 of 99
    thrangthrang Posts: 765member
    The forced requirement of iCloud Music Library and the non existent implementation of synchronized downloads of Offline content to all devices you own is a deal breaker for me. I like a lot of other things about Apple Music, though they did make it more complicated than it needed to be. So for now, I've disabled renewal for a family plan and auto renew for two Match accounts.

    Don't force me and my family to spend a lot more money per month for cellular data to constantly re-stream my own content over and over. It's also ignorant of Apple to think that even if you wanted to spend the money that you would have everywhere all the time access, especially when driving, commuting, flying, in many buildings...

    It should be an option for those that want to live in the cloud. It shouldn't be mandatory, which Apple sort of makes it if you want to use a large feature of Apple Music, Offline downloads.
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