Two Hours into my 90 day Trial, I think I'm going back to Spotify Premium right now.

Discussion in 'Apple Music, Apple Pay, iCloud, Apple Services' started by ArtOfWarfare, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. ArtOfWarfare macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #1
    There's one thing that Spotify is a bit weak with that I thought Apple could crush them, and that's music discovery / suggestions.

    I start out by picking a genre. I love Metal. Rock, electronic, alternative, and pop are all okay sometimes.

    It suggests some artists to me. Nothing great. I keep hitting "More Artists" but it's as if iTunes only knows 40 artists or so. I'm looking for the following:

    Insomnium (Melodic Death Metal)
    Ghost Brigade (Sludge Metal)
    The Birthday Massacre (New Wave)
    Trivium (Heavy Metal)
    Amaranthe (Pop Metal)

    Nope. None of that is available. Nothing even close to any of that is available. I end up settling with:
    Slipknot (Shock Rock)
    Metallica (Metal)
    Lady Gaga (Pop)

    Okay... what does Apple Music suggest to me now?

    Slipknot. Just endless Slipknot. The band only has 5 albums but Apple Music is suggesting every song at least twice. Don't get me wrong, Slipknot is fine, but I've known about them forever and I'm looking for something new. Doesn't the fact that I picked them in the artists selection screen indicate to Apple that it's definitely not breaking new grounds for me?

    I search for the artists that I listed previously and go through and mark down that I love 100 or so of their songs (a process that takes around 2 hours). What do I get for my efforts? What is Apple recommending to me now?

    Slipknot. Endless Slipknot.

    So Apple Music's ability to suggest music and help you discover new stuff is just as horrid as, if not worse than, Genius was 10 years ago.

    iTunes used to have a metadata field for lyrics. Metadata appears to have been removed sometime in the 3 years since I swapped to Spotify, so now there's no support for lyrics at all. In contrast, Spotify has lyrics for seemingly ever track in their library, and all of it is synchronized to the song so that it'll automatically scroll as you play the song, and you can skip around in a track by clicking on different lines in the lyrics (so you could, for example, just skip to the chorus.)

    Also, though Apple touts that they have 7M more tracks than Spotify, there are albums which I've found on Spotify which I can't find on Apple Music. To name two which I discovered were missing during my two hours with Apple Music:

    Super Meat Boy Soundtrack
    Metroid Cinematica

    Are they niche? Absolutely. But I want to mix them into my playlists, and I can't because Apple doesn't have them.

    My final assessment of Apple Music is not only is it not a Spotify killer, it's not even a Spotify competitor. It's a useless piece of crap.
     
  2. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #2
    So long - as they say don't let the door (you know what).
     
  3. kerrikins macrumors 65816

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    Sep 22, 2012
    #3
    I'm not entirely sure that two hours is long enough to give a new service a chance...
     
  4. flur macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #4
    FWIW, the best music discovery in AM is in the artist radio. Pick an artist you like and create a station. I've found that Spotify tends to play big hits in their artist radio, but AM plays a mix of known and unknown bands and seems to just do a better matching of songs/styles. AFAIK, you don't need to subscribe to AM to use this feature, so it's worth checking out even if you're not interested in paying for AM.

    I'm fairly new to Spotify. How do you get the lyrics to display?
     
  5. ArtOfWarfare, Jul 27, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015

    ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #5
    In the desktop app, there's a button labeled "Lyrics" right next to the time scrubber at the bottom of the window. AFAIK, the feature isn't available on mobile yet... I assume it'll be coming soon.

    musiXmatch has an iOS app that displays synchronized lyrics (even available in Notification Center) for Apple Music.
     
  6. jsmith189 macrumors 65816

    jsmith189

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #6
    I mean... it can take time to curate tastes. You can't just open the app and expect it to know everything you like and might like within two hours lol. Give it time. Or don't and go back to Spotify. Either way.
     
  7. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #7
    If the suggestions had improved (or changed at all) over the course of my two hours of using it, I would consider trying it more. But it didn't.
     
  8. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    2 hours is not enough time. You can only play a very limited number of tracks in 2 hours. It even takes about 2 hours just to play around with all the features. Learning and understanding your musical likes and dislikes takes hours of use just to get started. It will continue to improve over time.


    [​IMG]

    [
     
  9. ArtOfWarfare thread starter macrumors 604

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #9
    This sounds like a ridiculously pathetic excuse to me. Spotify constantly gives me new suggestions (~a new band per hour). Spotify sometimes gives me good suggestions (like, one new band per week).

    Apple Music gave me a single old band repeatedly over my two hours. It seems like Apple's suggestion algorithm is about as good at discovering hidden gems as the radio is (which is to say, it's abysmal.)

    Having said all this now, I'm looking at Spotify's APIs and wondering if I can write a better hidden gem finding algorithm than anything that exists yet using all of the data that Spotify has.

    I wonder if people would be willing to pay a nominal fee for me to run a program for an hour to spit out 100 bands that they'll love that they've never heard before.
     
  10. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    #10
    I'll say it one more time....... you don't like AM so stick with Spotify. You made your point. End of story.
     
  11. Tech198, Jul 29, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015

    Tech198 macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2011
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #11
    Two hours is not long for anything.... in my experience..

    For me though, the solution was exactly the opposite..... I couldn't find anything good to listen to on Spotify.... All classical with a few good albums or so thrown in...

    Streaming itself it not a problem, it just storage music in the cloud that's all i really care about, since i listen only on Mac anyway.

    Is this enough to keep Apple music? since my local collection is always gonna be better.... its just i need to source the work myself, and add storage, which may come out more extensive than Apple music..

    What's your preference ?
     
  12. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2004
    Location:
    Catskill Mountains
    #12
    I've had an unexpectedly and completely fun experience so far with Apple Music, once I realized the best thing for me to do was start iTunes with the option key held down and create a new blank library, then just put some Apple Music picks into it for openers.

    I don't let iTunes copy media when I add to a library, so I keep my local files wherever I want, usally segregated into folders by where I bought them from or as album rips from my own CDs etc., but sometimes by genre (opera, "classical" works of other sorts, etc.)

    It’s easy that way to just “show” the files to a different iTunes library by dragging them into the music window so iTunes can add them to the new library without duplicating the underlying files. So this seemed like it would be an easy way to expand what’s in my new library meant to be mostly AM picks.

    So after I got comfortable I wasn’t going to destroy my new Apple Music library, I dragged in some stuff that I wanted to mix with AM, trying for now to pick stuff that was already in the cloud as purchases so there wouldn't be uploading going on while I was occasionally downloading AM picks for offline use. It worked like a charm. :)

    To augment what AM came up with from my initial steps through their pickathon or whatever you want to call it, I just used search (and specified search Apple Music) for a couple of specific artists, added some of their stuff to My Music, then also looked over their "similar" or whatever they call the suggestions that show up over at the right hand side. Bumped into the 2nd Ceci Bastida album I hadn't even known existed, so I'm already a happy camper with that find and a few other latin pop picks.

    I grew up immersed in classical music, but now I like a lot of different kinds of music as well, so I wasn't particularly focused on classical music in my initial messing around with AM. However, I was thrilled to bump into a nice performance of a set of Haydn variations. It's one of those things that gets collapsed into one track that's long, like 18 minutes, and usually a record label will specify it as an "album only" buy, which is so annoying if you already have the rest of the works on that album by other artists, or just don't care for the other works. Anyway this one was a 99c track buy! 18 minutes of beautifully performed Haydn keyboard music for 99c is pretty hard to turn down... So I stuck the whole album on my wishlist in the store and later (today) I'll eyeball the rest of the thing but at least I will go buy that track. When I found it in AM though, I just added the AM track to my music and then downloaded it so I could listen offline. I'm in love with it.

    Right around that point, that was when I really got excited about Apple Music. I wasn't looking for that track, yet the only performances of that work that I've ever found as track-buys that I actually like are that one and one other, which I got from emusic as an mp3. But to bump into this much nicer one via Apple Music, wandering around through some recommendations, how fine. I am really psyched now! I decided to pick one iPod touch and one nano to use as iOS devices with AM and the new iTunes library I set up. I manually sync stuff to my iTunes libraries so this will be fine. The rest of my mobiles I’ll not turn on Apple music for now... keep it simple for awhile in this trial period.

    So bottom line, starting out with a blank alternate library for Apple music and tacking in just a few selections of my own music later on is a good solution for me for this trial with AM. It's a little more work initially to show the new library where some of my other stuff is, and I'll probably cave in and allow some uploads of unmatchable material as time goes on, but this turned out to be a smooth kickoff for me and I'm really pleased. Now if they would just get to a few of those fixes (or, unfixes) of iTunes, pure joy. :)
     
  13. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    SE Penna.
    #13
    Just yesterday I used Apple Music offline for my car trip. It is so great to plug in my iPhone and have full iPod control right from the vehicle screen. Can't do that with Spotify.
     
  14. flur macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #14
    What car? I've got a WRX and have all the same on-wheel controls with Spotify as with AM.
     
  15. whsbuss macrumors 68040

    whsbuss

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    SE Penna.
    #15
    Infiniti Q50 - Spotify can advance track but none of the playlists/songs/artists/albums or album art work.
     
  16. JuryDuty macrumors 6502

    JuryDuty

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2014
    Location:
    Texas
    #16
    It's really not. For me, I've been using Apple Music since the day it became available. I listen to it nearly all day, every day. I use it at work, in the car and on the run.

    But still...I found myself going back to Spotify today. And using it is like a breath of fresh air. You realize how messed up Apple Music is. No, it's not horrible. But it is a bit of a mess. Comparatively, Spotify feels intuitive and bug-free, though I'd expect that from a product that's been around a lot longer.

    I'll stick with Apple Music if they can work out the bugs. As of today, I'm still having songs I add to playlists NOT get added to playlists. I still have times when music just stops playing. I still have it prompting me out of no where to sign up for the first time.

    Spotify just works.

    So, I find myself caught between the two. I love controlling Apple Music with Siri. I love the integration with the OS. But until they work out the bugs, I have to go back to what works fro me.
     
  17. jsmith189 macrumors 65816

    jsmith189

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    #17
    Yeah, I think that's the thing to remember. I'm willing to give it time to grow. Spotify has been perfecting itself for seven years, Apple Music didn't even have a beta, so we're literally seeing only the very first iteration of a new service. While it's not acceptable for it to have been as messy as it was (I'll be the first to admit that, I had to rebuild my whole library - even though that's more iCloud Music Library than it is Apple Music), I think the service has promise and I personally am willing to stick around and see what it can do with more fine-tuning and user input.
     
  18. LizKat macrumors 68040

    LizKat

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #18
    ^^ Me too. But I have more backups and extra archives than I've ever assembled before in my long life ;)
     
  19. jsmith189 macrumors 65816

    jsmith189

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    #19
    Definitely! I have about three back ups, just in case lol.
     
  20. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #20
    Two hours? Please. The database hasn't even had time to update in that time. You have to give it a chance to get to know you. Heck, when I added an artist to my favorite Pandora station last year, it completely ruined the station. Even after removing the artist, it took weeks for the station to get back to normal. I realize this is the age of instant gratification, but this is really a little bit over the top...
     
  21. M@C macrumors member

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