Apple Music Explained

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by kmj2318, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. kmj2318, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015

    kmj2318 macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    There are so many misconceptions about what Apple Music is, what it does, and why it matters. I thought it would be helpful to give an overview of the service. I subscribe to Beats Music and Apple Music is almost a re-skin of Beats. So much of Apple Music comes directly from Beats.

    Discover, Radio, and Connect are the three main features that are being advertised. These sections live in their respective tabs.

    The "For You" and "New" tabs make up Discover. "For You" is like the "Just For You" tab in Beats. A few times a day it updates with new playlists and albums it thinks you might like. These suggestions are based on what you listened to, saved, and favorited. It is not all hip-hop, all new music, or all mainstream, as I've seen some people suggest. For example, I was listening to a few Swans albums in Beats, and I was recommended The No Wave Movement playlist. It's relevant to what I was listening to. I've found a lot of depth and nuance to all the genres too.

    The "New" tab is not tailored to your tastes. It's just new releases sorted by genre.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    From the Apple website, it lists both "Listen to Apple Music radio stations" and "Listen to Beats 1 radio station" features. These are two separate things. Beats 1 is the live broadcast, and it looks to be the only one available so far. I expect Beats 1 to be very mainstream. If you are not into that, you'll be able to make your own station by just pressing "Start Station" while listening to a song. Much like the stations in other streaming services, or the stations currently in iTunes Radio, for example. People who don't pay can listen to Beats 1 and the non-live stations, but with limited skips. Paid members are given unlimited skips.


    Connect is a live stream of updates by artists that you like. Pretty simple.

    My Music
    This is the place for any music you have added to your collection. Every song, album, or playlist has an ellipsis icon next to it. Pressing it brings up a menu and you can choose to add it to your collection. Choosing "Add to Library" will send it to your My Music. You can also chose "Make Available Offline" so it downloads to your device. This is so you don't have to stream when on cellular. You will clearly know what music is saved for offline thanks to little triangle icons next to titles. There's also a toggle to show only downloaded songs, which helps to prevent accidentally streaming from cellular. "Streaming service" seems to have misled people into thinking that it can only stream. You can stream or download anything you want.


    Paying vs. Not Paying
    If you don't pay, you can still listen to Beats 1, and also the non-live stations but with limited skips, you can not listen to any song you feel like, and you don't get the recommendations feature. If you pay, everything is unlimited. You can skip as much as you want, listen to anything you want, and save to listen offline.
  2. boston04and07 macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2008
    This was very helpful! So in a nutshell, it appears as though my current iTunes Radio stations will live but with unlimited skips if I subscribe? If so, sweet.
  3. batmandan6 macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2014
    Now, what does this mean for my existing library? Can I ditch that, pay for this and save anything I want for offline? (I'm on a family plan with 8gb of shared data.)
  4. kaylerrific macrumors regular

    Dec 26, 2012
    It sounds like you existing library becomes redundant because if you pay then everything in Apple's library becomes your existing library.
  5. slagathor001 macrumors regular

    Nov 2, 2011
    Would definitely show this to a lot of people once its all cleaned up
  6. shenfrey macrumors 68000

    May 23, 2010
    Its crazy to think that the entire iTunes library is going to be available for just $9.99p/m. I mean over 30 million songs, pretty much every song. I mean spotify over here in the UK has so many tracks that I can't listen to because its not available in my country, Apple Music is about to change all that. Kudos for making this happen Apple, couldn't of been easy.
  7. Noble Actual macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2014
    So can you still stream music like Spotify?
  8. kmj2318 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
  9. anshuvorty macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2010
    California, USA
    The problem with music services, at least for me, is that my taste is so specific and limited that it is hard for me to truly appreciate these platforms and apps that are being advertised. It is hard to find new music that pertains to covers of video game music, soundtracks, notable classical performances, and instrumental music. I will give Apple Music a try, but I doubt the new personalization option will actually discover these nuanced taste in music that I have developed over my lifetime.

    Spotify can't do it, Pandora can't do it, and I am left with only option of downloading the music that I love and playing it off locally as nothing like these types of pieces can be discovered simply through "streaming."

    Anyone else have similar issues with music streaming/discoverability or am I the only one?
  10. nebo1ss macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    I think you are assuming that the Apple music Library and the Itunes Library are the same thing. I am not sure they are because I would imagine that Artist can chose not to have their music streamed but only available for sale. Just think Taylor Swift and her reaction to streaming of her music.
  11. Ledgem, Jun 8, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015

    Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    "Just" $9.99 per month? I get that's a deal to some people, but is it really all that great?

    I listen to a lot of music. I was using Pandora, then iTunes Radio (with a Match subscription), then back to Pandora when iTunes Radio became unstable for me. Looking over my financial records, I spent somewhere between $30-80 on music last year (wide range due to Apple bundling software and music purchases into a single receipt). I feel like I buy an album (or at least a few songs) every other month, but based on the records, it's less frequent.

    Now Apple wants me to pay $120 per year - which is somewhere between 1.5-4x as much as I normally spend on music - and I completely lose access once I stop paying? There isn't even a perk like "download an album for free to keep once every three months"?

    I don't care about human-curated lists, and I don't care about radio with a DJ. We got into the "algorithm-based music services" that Iovine trashed at the WWDC because they offered better music discovery than your average radio station, and customization. I like to dip into those streaming services, discover new songs and artists, and then make purchases based on that. I know the industry would just love to take us back to the days when they had better control over what we were going to listen to, but it seems like a step backward from the consumer's perspective.

    $10 a month... those users coming from Spotify are used to this pricing, but Pandora is $5 per month, and iTunes Match was $25 per year (a little over $2 per month, if you want to break it down that way). I know Apple wanted to price it at $7.99 and the industry forced them higher, but even that would have seemed a bit steep to me.

    Maybe it'll be the future, but I'm not convinced that it's better. I'm willing to give it a try, but I'm not sold - especially at that price.

    But thank you @kmj2318 for this write-up. There were a surprising number of gaps in the features in the WWDC keynote (and they didn't mention any compelling reason to go with this over competing services), and this went a long way toward clearing those up.
  12. Frankied22 macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2010
    If I subscribe to Apple Music will my current library be uploaded into the cloud? I use iTunes Match right now but I don't want to pay for both.
  13. Sharkey311 Suspended

    Jan 11, 2013
    I get Spotify with a student discount for $4.99 a month. If Apple offers that price to me and I am able to use Apple Music through Google Chrome at work, then I'll do it no question.
  14. Hanterdro macrumors regular


    Nov 23, 2014
    Are the the new "Apple Music" Streaming App on the old Music App (iTunes Sync/iTunes Match) two different Apps?
  15. Sharkey311 Suspended

    Jan 11, 2013
    I don't think they will be once its released...which is a shame because the iOS 8.4 beta Music app had a lot of the new features that will be the future one that I didn't care for. Navigation is not easy and you can no longer tap the album art in the Now Playing to see the list of tracks in the song's album.
  16. Hanterdro macrumors regular


    Nov 23, 2014
    I hope for two different apps, because I don't need the streaming stuff. The music which I hear is rarely at iTunes. I just need iTunes Match and don't want and need tabs like "for you", "connect", "new" :)
  17. iamangeln macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2013
    I keep thinking about it as(minus the social aspect of Apple Music) as an iTunes Store with full "previews" of any song on the iTunes Store, which is pretty awesome considering spotify doesn't have music as fast as iTunes does. This definitely gives Apple leverage, plus it's classy and clean looking, opposed to spotify which needs a UI make over, It's a nightmare lol. BTW thanks for the sum up, very well put together
  18. kmj2318 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Aug 22, 2007
    Naples, FL
    I'm expecting that your existing library will live in My Music on the new app.
  19. devinthomas macrumors regular

    Mar 16, 2013
    Is there a way to share or subscribe to someone else's playlists like in Spotify? That's a big deal for me and I don't remember that being addressed.
  20. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    Thanks for the explanation. I thought the keynote was very unclear on this.

    I can't see myself using it, personally. I have no desire for either a live radio station with a DJ (more music and less talking, please) or to "connect" with artists. Just totally uninteresting to me.

    The custom "stations" sound basically like pandora or iTunes Radio. Except that pandora is way, way better at delivering on-target new music than iTunes Radio is, so there'd have to be a massive improvement in Apple Music for me to trade in pandora.

    That leaves the streaming and offline playlists. At $10/month, I'll pass, as I spend a lot less than that on music and get to permanently keep whatever I do buy.

    I'm not trashing the service generally, but it doesn't sound like it's for me.
  21. Paulshaqz macrumors 6502a

    Sep 10, 2009
    it seems interesting i mean can't hurt to try out for the 3 month free trial.
  22. rritterson macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2008
    DC USA
    Has anyone seen what happens to your existing iTunes Match uploads if you sign up for Apple Music? Do they migrate automatically, or do you have to upload them again?
  23. sziehr macrumors 6502a

    Jun 11, 2009
    Thanks for the write up. I think they let the wrong person present what this app could do and what it was all about. I heard very little about the streaming service and playlist AKA the spotify portion of the application. I was like what are they doing making a new ping with no streaming. I see now it is beats skinned with a little more added but no much. I am an avid spotify user. I also have almost 600 gig of lossless content for my stereo. I was hoping more for a tidal and spotify baby. The lossless at home and lower quality on the go since it knows your not on a trusted home network. So much for wanting apple to really plus something. This connect jazz feels like ping with a twist and will most assuredly be a miserable mess no one uses I expect it to be stripped or minimized in the future. This is just my humble thoughts on something i can not even use yet. I just kinda think it could have killed spotify dead and it came up short of this music lover.
  24. myrtlebee macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2011
    Not interested in this. What I am interested in is keeping the tabs at the bottom for my playlists, albums, artists, etc. This just makes navigation harder for those of us who won't use the streaming service, unless I'm missing something.
  25. batting1000 macrumors 604

    Sep 4, 2011
    Not interested in spending $10 a month for music, but looks like a really nice doubt about that. The presentation of it at the keynote was nice. Will definitely do the trial

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