HomePod Is HomePod the killer App for Music?

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by hexagenia, Feb 18, 2018.

  1. hexagenia macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Some alternative thinking here. YMMV

    Having played with HomePod for a week now, and checked in occasionally on various forums, here is what I have found.

    1) Beautiful design, very capable sound, NOT a home audio system. Verdict still out on Airplay 2 and pairing.
    2) It is designed for the Apple Music/iTunes ecosystem. This is important. It is meant to perform best within the ecosystem and is designed to ignore making accommodations for non-ecosystem devices. This is not a design oversight. This is a choice.
    3) For those within the ecosystem, it is NOT a competitor to Echo, at all, and only somewhat to Sonos.
    4) For those who use razor blades, HomePod is the razor and monthly Apple Music payments are the blades.
    5) Siri is an utter failure at ordering toilet paper from Amazon. No debate, as I have an Echo. Instead, HomePod does a very good job of managing playback and playlists on my iTunes Library while offering millions of additional tracks through Apple Music.
    6) In this sense, HomePod with Siri and Apple Music and iTunes Match (Total ecosystem play) are an App, maybe even an iTunes successor, where voice control is a darn near brilliant experience of managing a music collection as well as offering a fun, serendipitous, easy relation to music. Not enough of the chatter on the boards have made hay with this. It's a very good experience and why I have come to consider the HomePod an App as much as it is a speaker.
    7) For a music lover in the Apple ecosystem (and this is key), this speaker is v.1, like the original Apple Watch. It will just get better as Apple discovers how people are using them and where--deidentified acoustic maps of millions of HomePod installs--driving future versions and how they are optimized to deliver sound.
    8) AppleTV 4K with free 4K upgrades to already purchased HD movies? Can you say FLAC and AAC optimized Apple Music upgrades for HomePod in your home?

    In short, it's a new product and I'm not sure even Apple knows what it's going to do. But I think there are a lot of people who are going to help them find out.
  2. Benz63amg macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2010
    Just got the homepod today and im quite impressed to say the least, this thing pack a PUNCH! the sub is very powerful and given the size of this little guy its got excellent sound quality. I'd say it with certainty that its the killer app for Apple Music.
  3. karnsculpture macrumors regular

    Feb 19, 2006
    London, UK
    I agree, I bought into Apple via the iPod and iTunes, so the HomePod is fantastic for me.

    My main wish is that you could have a worldwide subscription - it annoys me that music is available in some countries stores and not others. Surely in 2018 this could be overcome?
  4. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    I'm not so sure on this. I'm pretty sure we will see Spotify playback/control via a new SDK by the end of this year (Assuming Spotify implements an "app" for the HomePod.)

    As for being designed for the Apple ecosystem - they are missing a ton. Playing some music on HomePod via Siri and want to see what the song two back was? Good luck with that, unless you told it to play a specific playlist. Want to control music on the HomePod via Apple Watch? Can't do that yet, unless you initiate from the iPhone. Want to control HomePod via the iPhone lock screen? Have to initiate playback via that iPhone.

    A few of these things are coming in 11.3, but that tells me one thing - the software for HomePod was way behind and that is why they delayed the launch. With them missing basic features out of the box (like AirPlay 2, which was announced as being part of the launch last year) there is no way they were going to release a third party development kit and have partners supporting it out of the box. The HomePod will be on a slow hardware update cycle, more like AppleTV - where there are huge software changes but very little in the way of hardware.
  5. Shanesan macrumors 6502


    Jul 29, 2006
    HomePod is a killer for music if and only if you rent your music from Apple Music. If you own your music, subscribe only to iTunes Match or less, HomePod is not for you right now. There are better speakers for you.
  6. Plett macrumors regular


    Feb 16, 2016
    I ended up buying a HomePod after the reviews indicated it was a capable speaker, disregarding the known limitations of Siri. I have been a family Apple Music subscriber since inception. My family uses it much more than I do. So far we are getting more value from Apple Music by having the HomePod playing music easily. However, over time that may wane considering it is a new product at this point. So far so good. I just don't think I would have bought into it if I didn't already use Apple Music. I am an ecosystem loyalist for good or bad and this fits in the ecosystem well.
  7. za9ra22 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2003
    I understand your point, and I certainly think Apple is expecting people that don't have an Apple Music subscription to get one for use with their HomePods, but I use mine with my iTunes library and for streaming radio, all via AirPlay, and I am very happy with the result.
  8. aristobrat, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018

    aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    IMO, Apple Music is a great way to discover new music worthy of purchasing. I don't understand how folks choose what music to buy without a subscription service like this. Hearing 60 second samples from songs (or whatever iTunes does for free) hasn't been the best method for me. I love using Apple Music to listen to a full album for a week or so before pulling the trigger to buy it for my permanent collection.
  9. CharlesShaw, Feb 19, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018

    CharlesShaw macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2015
    AirPlay is my new favorite killer "app" for music. Never played with it much before HomePod.

    Explored Apple Music on the big screen using Apple TV and played an album with HomePod as the source. Opened up iTunes on MacBook and realized I could take full control of the ATV playback. iPhone can also take control of playback. Apple Watch Remote App can pause/play, etc., since ATV is the driver (with cool screensaver). HomePod can pause/Play or go back to what it was playing before this.

    I'm delighted.

    I signed up for Apple Music so I can try iCloud Music Library and also discover some new music using the interface on the ATV or the Mac (where I can tidy up some playlists).

    I could have been using AirPlay before now, but had no idea how useful it was. Thanks HomePod!
  10. Shanesan macrumors 6502


    Jul 29, 2006
    Yes, you've accepted using alternative methods other than Siri so you're fine then. I just have an expectation for Siri to work like it does everywhere else when I want to play music even if I don't have an Apple Music subscription, which doesn't seem to be the case.

    I have iTunes Match and I've had problems getting Siri to play about 70% of the time which makes me think that they focused on Apple Music and not everyone for release, which will make me return the device.

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9 February 18, 2018