Apple Music

If you’ve upgraded your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8.4, you may have noticed that the icon for Music (iTunes) changed from basic red background and white note, to white background and a more prismatic note. This is the new Apple Music app.  Open it and you’ll see that it is definitely not iTunes. Rather, it is everything that anyone has thought a music app could be.  It is both beautiful and a mess.

When you first start it up, you’ll be asked to sign up for a free three month trial.  Why not?  Give it a try.  However, you should make sure you don’t forget.  Apple will start charging you in three months.  The easy way to do this is to turn off automatic renewal after you’ve signed up for the trial.  Here’s how:  Tap the red silhouette in the upper left corner -> Select View Apple ID -> Enter your password -> Scroll down and Select Manage -> Under Renewal Options turn off automatic renewal.

With Apple Music, you are first presented with a bunch of floating bubbles where you can select the music you like and don’t like.  The app will continue to learn as you use it. After that, along the bottom of the screen are five choices:  For You, New, Radio, Connect, My Music.

For You presents what seems to be an endless list of music recommendations based on what you like and listen to.

New highlights new releases, top charts, and curated playlists. At the top of the screen there is a drop down menu that starts as All Genres. Tap it and you can narrow down the offering to the type of music you like.

Radio gives you choices of music by genre or artists and works much like Pandora.

My Music is essentially iTunes.  It’s your music library.

And like Spotify, if you tap the search icon in the upper right corner you can search the entire iTunes catalogue for music to listen to.  If you find something you like, just tap the “+” button and it is added to My Music.

I forgot about Connect, and you may too.  It’s supposed to be some sort of social media feature for interacting with musicians (or the people they pay to manage their social media) and other fans. Whatever –

Here is some other reading:

The New York Times guide to music streaming services.

A more detailed look at how to use Apple Music.

How to save music for offline listening.

One last note:  I will not be ditching Spotify anytime soon.  I have a Sonos player at home, and for now, Sonos does not work with Apple Music.  Sonos has stated that they will have this working by the end of the year.

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