I have decided to try Apple Music, which is the second streaming music service I’ve ever tried. Will I stick with it? I’m not sure, but I’ll give it a shot. My only other experience is with rdio, and I’ll admit I didn’t exactly try it for long. I’ve been using Apple Music for a total of 2 whole days, so my opinions on it may change.
First, Some iTunes Issues
After upgrading to iTunes 12.2, I’ve encountered a minor problem. For some songs that I bought through iTunes, I get a “The computer is not authorized to play…” message, with an option to authorize the computer. I provide my iTunes credentials, which result in a “This computer is already authorized…” message. Trying to play the song starts the problem over (I’ve reported the problem to Apple via their bug reporting system, bug report 21659685).
The only workaround I have is to delete the song and re-download it from iTunes. I have yet to find a pattern to what songs result in this problem (it appears pretty random, where a single song in an album is the culprit, and date purchased doesn’t seem to matter). It’s annoying, but not entirely fatal.
Others have reported iTunes changing their song information when iTunes Cloud is activated on the Mac. Some have seen their entire iTunes library information wiped out (the files are there, but the library info is gone). I haven’t seen those, thankfully. It appears that iTunes 12.2 may not have bee ready for prime time.
Is Apple Music A Good Service?
I’ve spent some time the past couple of days listening to Beats 1, browsing through various playlists and streaming albums that I’ve been interested in but not yet purchased. Finding stuff is pretty easy if you’re already familiar with iTunes, and I’m finding it easier than trying to track down music in rdio (finding music was the only reason I gave up on rdio so quickly).
Where I’ve spent most of my time is on new albums or artists that I’ve heard of but haven’t really listened to. I may stick with the service just for that. I still want to purchase the music and have it with me. Streaming isn’t an option when you are in an area without data coverage (say at 35,000ft or along huge chunks of the Trans Canada Highway in BC), or where the signal is dodgy or when I’m roaming. Having my own copy, installed on my iPhone or other device means I know I can listen to music wherever I happen to be.
But using Apple Music to discover new music is promising, and streaming while I’m at work or at home is very workable. I don’t normally listen to the radio anymore. The one place I did, the car, is now my venue for listening to my music. I haven’t regularly listened to the radio in a car for over 20 years, basically from the time I got a car with a cassette deck. From that moment on, I’ve listened to my own tapes, which became CD’s, which have become my iPhone.
That has meant finding new music is a bit of a challenge. TV shows, movies and even commercials have introduced me to some new bands. Messing about with Rocksmith introduced me to some new artists. But something like Apple Music might help me to broaden my library even more.
Permanent or Temporary?
Will Apple Music be a permanent thing for me? It is too soon to tell. I’ll see how I feel at the end of the 3-month free trial. I do tend to listen to old favourites, but discovering new stuff is always interesting. Whether it is worth $10/month for that remains to be seen.
Will Apple Music even last? Hopefully. I was underwhelmed by iTunes Radio, Apple’s first attempt at some kind of streaming service. Having a live radio station plus music curated by people rather than algorithms might be an improvement. We’ll see how things are in 3 months.