Updated June 12, 2023
What is Apple Music?
Apple Inc announced its music streaming service, Apple Music, at WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) 2015 keynote at Moscone Center West in San Francisco in June 2015. It allows users to select music to stream to their devices on demand.
This service includes Beats 1, an Internet radio station available worldwide, and Connect, a blog platform for artists and music fans (shown in screenshot 3). Hip-hop artist Drake appeared onstage at the announcement WWDC 2015 event to explain more about the Apple Music Connect platform (shown in screenshot 2).
Beats 1 is the first station that plays continuously in 100 countries, including India too! It has been handled by DJ Zane Low (who worked for BBC Radio 1), DJ Ebro Darden (who is a prominent hip-hop star), and Julie Adenuga (who is a British radio presenter).
This service would be available from June 2015 in 100 countries, and it would be free for the first three months and then paid subscription. It also provides an apple music family plan option that allows up to six users to share service at a reduced rate. These music services are such that trial users will turn to paid users and thus increase the list of users. This model of try-before-you-buy is a great way to target the audience.
Apple Music provides users to select music on a device. This music then plays on the device using Internet Streaming. Internet Streaming is a service provided over the internet continuously, such as watching videos on youtube.
It can be saved to your device and can be played when you are in Apple Music offline mode. This service would cost US $9.99 monthly and seems affordable for music lovers! This Apple music cost and library facility is more than equivalent to other music streaming services such as Spotify and Tidal. However, this music service aims to distinguish itself with newly added features and exclusive content.
One such distinguished feature is that it provides music recommendations to users based on their tastes. E.g., Pop music lovers will always get recommendations for music related to pop and their artists.
Apple Music also works using Siri voice commands. You can request specific songs or make more generalized selections, such as requesting all-time top-rated songs using Siri in iOS 9. For Eg. Open Siri and say, “Hey Siri, play today’s top rock songs“. This will start playing today’s top rock song, as shown in screenshot 4.
This type of music distinguishes itself from other music services by adding a new “For You” tab. This section list all the music recommended for the user (shown in screenshot 5). This music service will be along with iOS 9 release.
Facts about Apple Music
1. This music service will be available from June 30, 2015, in over 100 countries, including India.
2. This service will be available across all Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. It will also be released for Android devices and Apple TV in the fall of 2015. It is uncertain whether Apple Music will release for Windows 10 phones. Let’s wait and watch!
3. It is compatible with all iOS devices with four versions and above. It works with iTunes version 12.2 and above. For PCs, it supports OS X Mavericks and above (in case of Apple PCs) and apple music Windows 7 and above (in case of Microsoft PCs).
4. You can use this music service for free during three month trial period, which will end on September 30, 2015. After the Apple Music trial period, you can use the service for US $9.99 monthly for the individual user. There is a Family pack provision allowing six members to use the service for US $14.99. Screenshot 6 shows the Apple Music membership plan for users in Apple Music India.
5. You can only use this music service for a trial period of three months only when your account is linked with a credit card, thus allowing chances of getting charged accidentally after the trial period even if you don’t continue with the service.
6. Beats One radio stream service is completely free and can only be useful on the iOS Apple Music app and Apple Music iTunes with a valid Apple account. Hence, Android users won’t be able to listen to Beats 1 radio.
7. Beats One radio station will be handled by DJ Zane Lowe in Los Angeles, popular hip-hop star Ebro Darden in New York, and Julie Adenuga in London. This service will be available on a 24-hour basis, and listeners across the continent will hear the same broadcast at the same time.
8. Earlier, Apple announced not to pay any royalty to Apple music artists during a user’s three-month free trial period. This policy was later changed after Taylor Swift (a popular American singer, songwriter, and actress) wrote an open letter to Apple criticizing Apple’s approach. Taylor Swift has put her album 1989 on Apple Music service.
9. Although Apple announced paying royalties to Apple music artists, it didn’t mention how it’ll handle it. Tidal, already in music service for quite a long time, said it offers four times the royalties of Spotify. Screenshot 7 shows the logo of Tidal and Spotify music streaming service provider.
10. This music service is fully-licensed and will come with 30 million tracks on day one of launch.
11. Also, it doesn’t work with Home Sharing. To be more elaborate, you cannot play songs from your favorite collection over WiFi on your iPhone or iPad device.
12. Apple has not mentioned anything about the streaming quality of music. iTunes uses 256 Kbps AAC files per Apple’s music standards, so our first assumption would be the same. On the other hand, Beats Music (acquired by Apple in 2014) offers downloads at 320 Kbps using a kinda-dated MP3 format and uses HE-AAC at 64 Kbps by default for mobile streams. This would be our second assumption for the streaming quality of music.
13. Apple announced at WWDC 2015 keynote that playlists in Apple Music would be assembled by the most talented music experts from across the continent, creating perfect playlists based on users’ preferences.
14. Apple has left one element to be in the future exclusive content. Questions regarding Apple music service keep Apple fans pondering, such as, will there be any exclusives? Or Will there be any live bonus sessions?
15. Apple has provided a separate section called “For You” that offers albums, new releases, and playlists that are recommended for users (shown in screenshot 5). This feature distinguishes Apple Music from other music services providers such as Spotify and Tidal.
16. Apple Music is much more complicated to use as compared to other music service providers such as Spotify, Tidal, and Google music play which are much simpler.
17. Along with Beats 1 and Apple Music player, the third prominent alternative for the service is Apple Music Connect (in screenshot 3). This service allows artists to share Apple Music lyrics, backstage photos, and videos. Artists can also directly release their albums or song to fans from their Apple Music iPhone. This service allows fans to comment, like, or share it using social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Messages, etc.
18. iOS 9 allows Siri to fulfill your request for Apple Music. You can ask questions Siri such as “Play me best songs from 2014” or “Play song that I marked favourite yesterday”.
19. Users are complaining that their collections are duplicates, spoiling them. This may be due to complications between iTunes Music’s locally-stored collections (i.e., on local devices such as iPhones), iTunes Match, and iCloud Music Library. Screenshot 8 shows iTunes Match released by Apple.
20. If you are facing a financial crisis, such as a job loss, and can’t afford to pay Apple Music, then you will lose total access to your collection, whereas Spotify allows you to keep your collection but lose certain perks.
21. It’s wondering how Apple Music will be implemented for Apple Watch!
22. This music service allows you to follow artists, but it doesn’t allow you to follow your friends. This seems to be a lagging point of Apple Music. Hope this feature will be in a future release!
23. It doesn’t support music videos and is focused particularly on audio tracks. This can be considered a major problem because the world’s largest and most powerful music service is all music videos!
24. Apple has not provided any provision for porting from the Spotify collection to Apple Music, thus keeping music lovers in the lurch who wish to switch to Apple Music service!
25. Users complain that song star ratings are getting erased while porting to this music service. This may be due to new entry into Music service. Hopping these serious issues resolve in future updates of this service.
First Image Source: apple.com
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