Apple Music is a frustrating mess

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by riverfreak, Mar 13, 2016.

  1. riverfreak macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    Sorry in advance for the rant. I'm just frustrated.

    I had such deep hope for Apple Music. The promise of integrating my personal collection with a streaming service and having all my music available on the road from all my devices was enticing. The reality is something else altogether.

    In fact, I find Apple Music incredibly frustrating to use. I can't find the music I'm looking for. The interface is non-intuitive, overly precious, and hard to use. The performance is slow and unpredictable.

    Here's just a few of my gripes. Death by 1000 cuts.

    1. Sorting by {first name} {last name}

    I don't know who the genius is that thought of this. Have they never been to school or in a library, or for god's sake a record store? Worse yet, music from my library that matched is now under the idiotic sorting, but music that didn't is available under the logical method. That means I need to look in at least two places to try to find albums that should be in one.

    2. Having to toggle between "All Apple Music" and "My Music"

    I understand the rationale for this in some situations. But this toggle is too prominent. You shouldn't have to toggle back and forth all the time as it destroys the perception of integration.

    3. The "feature" that only shows a few songs per album and the extra "show complete album" tap.

    Just show me the full album. What's the point of only listing a few songs when there is enough screen real estate to full the show list?

    4. In general way too many clicks to do routine tasks.

    Example: I'm listening to a playlist. A song comes on that I like. I want to hear more of that artist but from a different album. From the main menu on Spotify you can "show artist" and "show album". Apple Music? Tap the "..." menu. Tap the non-intuitive right arrow. Tap the band name. Three taps for something that should be far more obvious.

    Oh, and if you tap on the band or album name, it toggles the star rating for the song. That's obvious.

    5. Precious interface that's painful to navigate.

    I guess this is just a carry over from the iOS guidelines but the interface is a pain to use, especially if you are walking around and trying to select songs. From the tiny search icon, to navigating from a playing song to other things.

    And take a look at Apple Music on an iPad Pro. Absolutely awful.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1457868804.429850.jpg
    Great use of screen real estate on the iPad Pro. That's a NOT joke for ya.

    6. General UI quirks

    Sometimes the download from iCloud option is available. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes clicking it (for example, for an album) works and the tracks download. Sometimes it does nothing. Sometimes it only downloads one or two songs from the total then disappears.

    Sometimes tapping on an artist tags one to the artist page. Sometimes nothing. Just a blank page. No indication that content is loading.

    7. Syncing personal library simply does not work consistently.

    My complete library is synced. I had 19 albums from Brian Eno. Now here is what I have in "My Music" for Brian Eno:

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1457868724.672537.jpg
    Music. Poof. And only a few songs per album are actually available.

    And take a look at the iPad screenshot above. An album in my collection with only one song. I don't know where the other songs are. They are just gone.

    8. General performance is laggy with high resource use and frequent crashes.

    I listen on Bluetooth headphones. Apple Music magically stops all the time, even in songs I've marked for offline access. Sometimes it crashes. Sometimes it freezes. Really temperamental app and service. Then you get all kinds of informative messages like this:

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1457869143.254396.jpg
    Trying to play songs from the AM library sometimes gives this informative error. This was my music that was matched and uploaded. Now I can't listen to it.

    9. Matching is opaque, inconsistent, incomplete, and error prone

    Some albums have been matched. Some have had their artwork completely replaced with something else. Some are matched and have the correct metadata but now play completely different content. Some albums are just plain missing.

    Matching needs to be done with the hugest of fidelities. If a match is made, ALL metadata should be preserved. If there is the slightest chance that there is no match, leave it alone.

    --

    This is just the top of my head list. Like I said I really want to use Apple Music for its integration. But for me, using it is an exercise in frustration. And I'm not really seeing any progress in fixes to the service, having been using it since the beta days.

    Someone fill me with hope that Apple is doing something -- anything -- about the disaster that is Apple Music. Has anything improved since the public beta days?
     
  2. oodi macrumors regular

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    Sep 26, 2015
    #2
    Are you on ios 9.2.1? There are improvements in 9.3 betas. So expect better app if you are not already on 9.3.
     
  3. LiveM, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016

    LiveM macrumors 6502a

    LiveM

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    #3
    My current favourite: adding a song to a playlist when it's already on it results in a duplication. And no warning.

    Whichever clown has made alpha sorting work by first name should be shot. And no sorting of playlists? FFS.

    I could go on.
     
  4. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    @oodi I am on 9.2.1. Thanks for he heads up that there are improvements coming.

    @LiveM I know. So many aspects just seem really ill-considered with a lack of polish. Some would be easy fixes I imagine. Other problems are deeply systemic (like the difficulties with merging local music into iCloud library)
     
  5. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    And again, I hate to rant, but there are just so many small things that add up to a very poor overall UX. I just find it frustrating.

    I imagine this would all be very different if you were primarily song oriented streamer with no local personal library.

    I am halfway tempted to just recreate my library entirely from AM content. That's just what kind of crazy I am.
     
  6. tonyr6 macrumors 6502a

    tonyr6

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    #6
    Apple Music is okay not great because of the bugs. I don't match any music I have not attempted it as I have backups in other places. Apple Music otherwise is not that stable. I hate using iTunes it is so bad that I can't believe there still is no web player.

    Also the Android app has been in beta forever and is very unstable, crashes all the time and music stops playing (not buffering). After messing around with it I am not going to auto renew it on May 7th because by now I doubt Apple is every going to fix these issues. The only thing great about Apple Music is the excellent sound quality. Too bad it could be great if only Apple would listen to the complaints.
     
  7. entropyfl, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016

    entropyfl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    #7
    I found that recreating a brand new library is the best way and then import any music that isn't on apple music.

    Once I did that I found it quite a good service.

    The one thing I'm having difficulty with though is that most of music I listen to I already own.. I guess it would be cheaper in the long run to by the tracks I'm missing rather than stay subscribed to apple music?
     
  8. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #8
    Exactly what I did from day one. Saved a copy of my library just in case.
     
  9. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    The more I use AM the more I really dislike it.

    It has completely hosed my library. Yes, I have a backup. But I really don't want artists listed as First Last. I don't search that way.

    As mentioned in the OP, lots of my music simply went missing. It wasn't listed under my music. Some of it was under Apple Music.

    On my iPhone I just turned OFF show Apple Music. And guess what? My music returned.

    AM on: 4 albums in "Eno, Brian"
    AM off: 21 albums

    What? So if I want to view the entirety of content from a given artist I do what exactly? Go to the misleadingly labeled "Apple Music" and add each of the Brian Eno albums that should be in my collection already? And if I'm adding them that way, am I just borrowing them from Apple Music?

    Downloading songs simply sucks. Tap on the icon. It does nothing. At all. Songs don't download. There's no message. Just nothing.

    Like my title said, Apple Music is simply a frustrating mess. It's overly complicated and precious in the wrong places, and simple things are so tedious to do.

    I really hope they fix this mess otherwise I'm just going back to Spotify. The local files option isn't as seamless but at least it works.

    And what's with the distinction between iTunes Match and Apple Music?

    It's just like the whole thing isn't well thought out and it certainly doesn't seem to be very performant or well tested.
     
  10. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Here's another thing. I am apparently following 12739 artists. But tapping through only four are listed. Great.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1458281864.692468.jpg
     
  11. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    And yet another problem, just using Brian Eno as an example.

    "Ambient 1" was matched. Only Apple Music seems to have replaced it with an entirely different artist and album.

    I've encountered this numerous times already.

    I mean, seriously, WTF?

    Why does Apple Music suck so badly? I never had any problems like this on Amazon Prime Music or Spotify.

    I terminated Amazon Music. But they are smart enough to leave your music in place for a year and you can reclaim at any time.

    I'm thinking of just using Amazon Music when I want to browse MY MUSIC and use either Apple Music or Spotify as my streaming option.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1458282296.478259.jpg
     
  12. ledzep1 macrumors member

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    Jan 24, 2016
    #12
    Does anyone get the problem where the Apple music interface artist pictures/album artwork and so on goes blank, everything goes a solid colour, it either all comes back if you switch to another menu or just reappears on its own.

    I'm guessing its an internet thing but it should not do it, anyone else or just me?

    cheers
     
  13. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

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    #13
    I like AM ok and have not had any real issues but I'm going back to Spotify for a totally different reason--Denon has a great sale on their HEOS products which I like, but doesn't support AM. So I'll renew Match so I don't lose my cloud library and move on with Spotify.
     
  14. trifid macrumors 65816

    trifid

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    #14
    I was extremely surprised by the absolute mess Apple Music was on release, it had some ridiculous bugs, and it still has many questionable design decisions which is very surprising to me, coming from Apple, the iPod/music master. The thing is, I really wanted it to work because mixing my local iTunes library with streaming would have been very nice, but it's just so much more inferior to Spotify. And one of the things I love about Spotify is if one stops paying, all your curated playlists are still accessible, you don't lose them.

    I don't expect Apple to fix AM any time soon, so for now I'll be sticking and supporting Spotify, and keep hoping they remain strong and compete with AM, since competition is the only way to keep Apple in check.
     
  15. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I am 100% with you.

    After months of screwing with Apple Music and it simply not being able to deliver what I want -- namely, access to my music collection on the road -- I'm going to bail. I'll keep it around a bit longer to see if they can get their act together but I'm not crossing my fingers.

    But let me gripe a bit more first.

    Here's a screen capture for the artist page for The Cure.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1458449057.284488.jpg

    Look at that huge unreadable block of tiny text on the right. Ever hear of paragraphs or line breaks or optimum number of words per line for readability and retention?

    What about the most important controls, you know, like the actual PLAYER controls? Tiny little fingertip size things sandwiched between other elements that you are just as likely to click on.

    Finally, and maybe this is overly pedantic and probably true of most streaming services that don't really understand classification, why are singles listed under albums? Guess it doesn't really matter to the single song listener but there are still album oriented dinosaurs like me still alive.

    Oh, and I just renewed my Amazon Prime Music membership. I had cancelled my subscription in December. They have the foresight to preserve your uploaded library for one year. Signed back up and everything magically reappeared. There are some seriously smart cookies over at Amazon.
     
  16. \-V-/ Suspended

    \-V-/

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    #16
    Every single bad reason in here is why I stopped using it.
     
  17. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I truly hope they are working on it. I have been using the Amazon Music player the past day (like I said, I have previous experience with it).

    I have over 60k songs in my library. The library loads quickly, is fast and easy to search, the controls are big and obvious and easy to use. Browsing back and forth between my music and he Amazon streaming library is simple and intuitive. And Amazon didn't completely obliterate my metadata or scramble it with theirs (which in many ways is actually *worse*). If you are listening to a song you can go to the artist or album directly. How could Apple Music have left out such a basic, basic feature?

    The lack of deep integration with iOS isn't a big deal at all it turns out. I simply removed the Music app from my dock on my laptops and iOS devices and dropped in the Amazon Music app. Offline music works exactly the same but without the annoying frustration on AM of knowing if songs are available offline (sometimes the icon is shown, sometimes not) or the complete unresponsiveness when requesting to download songs.

    Frankly, I am seriously disappointed in Apple Music. I'm shocked just how poor the user experience is. So many rudimentary rules of design simply seem to have been ignored. Design matters, especially for an app that I (would have) used throughout my day, every day.

    I wish I knew that there were improvements underway but I fear in typical apple fashion they've decided what's best. All I know is that it is almost completely unusable for me.
     
  18. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Oh I forgot one thing. Amazon Music is 24.99 USD a year. Not $120. And it supports up to 250,000 songs.

    Apple blew it.
     
  19. trifid macrumors 65816

    trifid

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    #19
    To be fair catalog size on Amazon prime music is pretty limited and UI-wise, it does have its issues. I'd agree though, that for the price it's hard to complain.
     
  20. tonyr6 macrumors 6502a

    tonyr6

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    #20
    Too me I went back to Play Music. Amazon music has terrible sound quality 256k mp3 vs Play Music 320k mp3. Spotify has no parental controls at all which is why I never even tried it.

    The only good thing about Apple Music was the 256k aac which sounded great. Otherwise it is a buggy mess. On the computer the POS iTunes freezes and lags all the time. Tracks get grayed out because I uncheck them even though I only clicked on them to play them. I have to recheck them again.

    The Android app is a buggy mess. Sometimes it will just load a spinning circle and when music plays it sometimes decides to pause randomly and when I resume it starts the track over again.

    Now if Play Music would ditch mp3 over aac and stream at 320k aac instead of mp3 then they will blow away Apple Music.
     
  21. yep-sure macrumors 6502

    yep-sure

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    #21
    Agree with everything posted.

    The songs randomly stopping, even offline, non Apple Music songs, used to really annoy me the most, but that doesn't seem to happen to much any more.

    The entire UI on iOS needs a complete redesign. Apart from everything listed in the OP:

    - "For You": useless. Most of the albums listed, I already own.
    - "New", mostly pointless. People generally search for the albums/artists they want.
    - "Radio", serves a purpose, but I don't ever use it.
    - "Connect" an awful/laughable attempt at adding a social media solution. It's a mess and horrible to use. Following an artist means nothing.
    - Trying to remove a song from your "up next" list. You have to swipe left and press remove. However, when swiping left, 9/10 it picks it up as a press and starts playing the song you actually wanted to remove, and removes everything that was in the list prior to it. So annoying,

    The only thing I use Apple Music for is to remove the need for buying albums I want to listen to, and being able to integrate that with my existing library. All of this other crap is pointless to me.

    I wish they completely dropped For You, New, and Connect, and just integrated it with the Apple News app, showing articles from around the Internet for the artists/genres you follow. Have a radio tab. And fix up pretty much everything in the music player.
     
  22. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    #22
    Note sure how Apple messes this one up but they did. Was listening to a play list on Apple Music and the next song started to play. Was about to skip it when it showed the artwork for Pink Floyds the Wall and the song Run Like Hell. Only it wasn't that song. I had to use Shazam to see what was actually playing and it was a band called Skinny Puppy and the song was called Dead Doll.

    IMG_0117.PNG
     
  23. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Fair point.

    My streaming is pretty limited to a handful of artists and the occasional pop song of the moment.
     
  24. riverfreak thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    All really good points.

    I still get the random stops. Happened about ten times today with offline music.

    It seems like you should be able to selectively enable the features you wish to see/use.

    I never used Beats. Is that what it was like? If so, maybe they were thinking, my god, we have to get our $3 billion out of this (or whatever the music service was valued at)
     
  25. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #25
    After all these posts I still don't see any of the issues here. AM works just fine for me.
     

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