If you’re plugged into the technology circuit at all, you probably know that last Tuesday was the launch of Apple Music, Apple’s new streaming service. Being a lover (sometimes a skeptical lover) of Apple, I decided to give it a try.
Truth is, I’ll probalby stick with it.
Okay, a quick background of my music history. Up until last year, I was a loyal iTunes user, I thought Spotify was strange. Then last summer, I started using Spotify, and with a student discount, I could get unlimited music for $5. I know, I know, people gripe about Spotify not paying artists well, but I’ll be honest. I have the budget of a college student, I’m looking for ways to save.
I took the discount. Spotify isn’t bad at all, a little strange at sometimes, but the premium version gave me the ability to download all the songs to my phone and listen offline. Win, win.
Then in either March or April, Spotify suddenly kicked me off of the student plan with no warning or reason and I was charged $13. Needless to say, I was peeved and made them fix it. No hiccups since, but I’m always wondering when the next one will be.
On top of that Apple Music comes with a three month trial – that’s $15 I’ll save by canceling Spotify. That being said, Apple Music isn’t perfect. The first day was bad. When I first set it up on my phone, I was greeted by songs that 12 year-old Laura had bought for her first iPod that 21 year-old Laura thought, “What the hell was I listening to?” Getting all of those to vanish was kind of tricky.
Then, there’s no easy way to import playlists from Spotify. My two main playlists I listen to are both 200+ songs (I like variety). Importing those on a phone? That was frustrating. I did one and decided I’d wait for the new iTunes update before recreating the second playlist.
Of course, the new iTunes update didn’t come out until 4 or 5 that afternoon, so that killed my whole day of productivity. I was too busy looking for the iTunes update. When it did come out, the two wouldn’t sync and I ended up losing my playlist from my phone.
Frustrating, to say the least. The next day, I tried again, and had much better results. Whatever kinks were there Tuesday were gone Wednesday. Since then, most of the time it’s been pretty decent. There’s still some hesitation on my Mac when it tries to stream over wifi (but that’s not Apple’s problem, that’s my bad router). Once I hit my three month trial mark, I think I’ll stay, partly because it means one less app on my little phone (who knew 16GB would go so fast?), and it’s cheaper than Spotify’s normal price.
A Few Favorites
“For You” – If you set this up correctly, it’s ridiculously accurate. I’ve already discovered several songs that I forgot existed. Playlists of songs I grew up listening to on the radio.
My Music is Already There – Ever try to import songs into Spotify that aren’t there (I’m looking at you Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks). Because I had to rip those CDs into iTunes, all those songs are already there. No more importing!
The iPhone app is pretty – I’m such a sucker for a pretty phone app, and the Apple Music app delivers.
How do I know it’s not playing online? One of my favorite features on Spotify is the ability to turn the app to “offline mode” so IÂ knowÂ for a fact that the app isn’t using data to stream songs. Apple Music offers no such thing, at least as far as I can see.
Can we just kill the iTunes app on Mac? I mean kill it and totally rebuild the music store and Apple Music. It just feels so..ugh. And that icon for the music? It looks awful.
I still want to import playlists. Yes, I rebuilt them in Apple Music, but I gave up halfway through. If I can import my playlist from iTunes to Spotify, why can’t I go back?
Overall, I still think I’ll be sticking to this new music plan, and I’ll really get to dive deep once I get a phone upgrade sometime later this year and have more space on my phone. For ratings purposes, I’d say 3.5 out of 5 stars. If Apple fixes some of the basic things, I’d definitely give it a better score.
Have you tried out Apple Music?