How Apple Music Finally Became Good

How Apple Music Finally Became Good


Apple Music and Spotify are the top two players
in the music streaming game. But the services have very different histories,
which has influenced everything from their feature sets to their user interfaces, with
most people having a preference for one service or the other. And in this video, I’m going to explain
how Apple Music has evolved to become a serious competitor to Spotify, despite Apple entering
the market seven years later. This is Greg with Apple Explained and I want
to thank NordVPN for sponsoring this video. If you want to help decide which topics I
cover, make sure you’re subscribed, and these voting polls will show up in your mobile
activity feed. So as you probably know, I’m a big Apple
fan. But that doesn’t mean I’m blind to the
shortcomings of their products and services. And when Apple Music was released in 2015,
there were a lot of issues with its navigation and performance. For example, there was no button to simply
shuffle all the music from one artist. Instead, you’d have to create a playlist,
manually add every album from a particular artist, navigate to the playlist you just
created, and then shuffle it. And as you can see here, that was a minimum
14 step process compared to four steps with Spotify. But don’t take it from me, Business Insider
said Apple Music had the worst received product launch since Apple Maps in 2012. Mainly because all of the bugs and technical
issues users were experiencing. One person who expressed their frustrations
with Apple Music was Jim Dalrymple with The Loop. He wrote, “I love Apple. I love them because they take difficult problems
and come up with innovative, simple solutions. The things they make just work and we trust
them. Unfortunately, my experience with Apple Music
has been exactly the opposite. As of today, I’m missing about 4,700 songs
from my library with little hope of getting them back.” He continued on, discussing problems he had
like adding compilations and albums. Many of which were missing songs since those
singles were already in his library, and Apple Music was trying to prevent duplicates. He actually had add the missing songs to fifteen
albums manually, only to discover they had been deleted by Apple Music the following
day. When trying to add a ZZTop album to his library,
Apple Music decided to download the songs from multiple albums. So he was stuck will multiple ZZTop albums,
each with only a few songs. But all of those headaches paled in comparison
to what happened when Dalrymple tried to stop using Apple Music. It turned out that when he turned off the
service, it took 4,700 of his songs with it. Many of which were added from CDs that he
no longer had access to. So although this was only one person’s story,
it’s important to understand that Dalrymple represented thousands of users who experienced
similar bugs with Apple Music. And that’s why Apple Music received so many
critical reviews after it launched back in 2015. I remember reading headlines like this one
from cnet which read, “Apple’s do-it-all music app has big potential (and some problems).” Writers often praised the huge music catalog
and the service’s integration with Siri, but then criticize its confusing navigation
and unreliable features like the iCloud Music Library. And after using Apple Music myself back in
2015, I remember feeling disappointed. The connect feature was simply a reimplementation
of Ping, a failed social network added to iTunes in 2010, and discontinued two years
later. And as it would turn out, Apple Music’s
connect saw the exact same fate. The feature was rarely used and after three
years was discontinued altogether. But one of my biggest problems with Apple
Music was its slow navigation and poor music discovery. The app was simply slower than Spotify. It took longer to launch, took longer to search,
and took longer for a song to buffer. And this is likely due to it being integrated
with iTunes, which was perhaps one of the biggest mistakes Apple made when creating
the service. And when it came to discovering new music,
I was shocked at just how little Apple Music offered. Spotify had a weekly playlist with singles
picked just for me, full of songs that I actually liked. Apple tried something similar with Discovery
Mix, but its algorithm was underdeveloped and rarely suggested songs I was interested
in. Spotify also curated daily mix playlists that
featured songs I already liked with similar new songs that I might like. But Apple Music had nothing like this back
in 2015, and I was stuck listening to artist radios to try and discover new music. Finally, as I mentioned at the beginning of
the video, I found navigating Apple Music to be very unintuitive. Not only did tapping on an artist name in
album view not take me to the artist’s page, but the way Apple organized music was unnecessarily
complicated. They actually separated your music library
from Apple Music itself. So when you searched for a song, you had to
specify whether you were searching your existing music library, or all songs on Apple Music. And tapping one or the other was something
that annoyed me every time I searched for something. It made the experience unnecessarily complicated. Just consider how searching for music worked
on Spotify. You simply typed in a song, album, or artist,
and began playing your choice of music. If that music happened to be in your library,
Spotify would play it from your library. If it wasn’t, then the song was simply played
from the album or artist page that you selected. It was a seamless, straightforward experience
that users didn’t even have to think about. But for some reason Apple couldn’t replicate
that experience on their own platform and it’s a problem that still hasn’t been
fixed today. Another problem that hasn’t been fixed is
Apple Music’s lack of continuity between devices. If I’m listening to a song on my iPhone,
I can’t pick up where I left off on my Mac. Which is odd since app continuity has existed
on Apple’s products since 2014. But the good news is Apple has fixed many
of the issues with their streaming service since its launch in 2015, which has made it
much more competitive with other services like Spotify. First, in 2016, complaints were addressed
about Apple Music’s unintuitive navigation with a user interface refresh in iOS 10. Apple tweaked the look and functionality of
Apple Music which made the platform easier to use. The update featured more white space, larger
and bolder fonts, and a reorganized navigation bar that offered useful functions. For example, the ‘Connect’ social network
feature that very few people used was removed from the navigation bar. In addition to ‘New,’ which featured random
recently released tracks and playlists, and ‘My Music,’ which separated your streaming
library from your playlists in a very confusing way. In place of those tabs, Apple added ‘Library,’
‘Browse,’ and ‘Search.’ Which were much more functional since users
navigated to those pages more often than ‘Connect’ or ‘New.’ I should also mention that in 2018 Apple removed
the ‘Connect’ feature from Apple Music altogether. Which just goes to show that no one is interested
in a social media platform for music. Not in 2010 with Ping, and not in 2015 with
Connect. But one of the best things Apple did to improve
Apple Music came back in June, with the announcement that iTunes would be discontinued. Something that people like me have been looking
forward to for years. And why is that exactly? Well, iTunes has become a bloated, slow, resource-heavy
application that many users avoid opening as much as possible. And Craig Federighi actually joked about this
on stage [clip] So by rebuilding a new application for the
Mac called Music, Apple’s streaming service will finally launch quickly and load pages
faster. But Apple took things to a new level that
many people, myself included, were not expecting. Just last month on September 5th, it was revealed
that Apple Music would be getting a web player. Which means, like Spotify, you’ll be able
to access the service from web browsers like Safari or Chrome without the need for a dedicated
app. And I must admit, even though the player is
still in beta, it performs much better than the dedicated iTunes app ever did. Now although all the updates of Apple Music
over the past four years have definitely improved the service, it’s worth discussing why many
of those changes weren’t made before Apple Music was released in the first place. Just consider how many big names were involved
in its creation: Jimmy Iovine, co-founder of Interscope records and Beats, Dr. Dre,
Trent Reznor, and of course all of the talented executives and engineers at Apple. And despite all of that brainpower, Apple
Music debuted as a streaming service that underdelivered in almost every category. Speed, ease of use, music discovery, and library
management. In fact, I think the service’s shortcomings
were a result of too many big names being involved in its development. Apple Music was simply trying to do too much. It was trying to be a music streaming and
discovery service like Spotify, it was trying to be a traditional radio station by integrating
Beats One, and it was trying to be a social media platform with the Connect feature. By pushing Apple Music is so many directions
at once, its key purpose of simply listening to music sort’ve felt like an afterthought. So despite its rough launch in 2015, Apple
has definitely focused their attention on all the right areas to ensure Apple Music’s
steady improvement year after year. And although Spotify has always been my go-to
music streaming app, that may soon change as Apple Music becomes more appealing. And when it comes to appealing services, you
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see you next time.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I switched back to my trusty Victrola. Nothing like cruising down the strip with the victrola on my seat, playing loud. Although it is hard taking out my media every day. Also, not to mention the ticket from the cop for distracted driving while changing records.

  2. You all can keep pretending it’s better than Spotify… but it’s not. Not even close. The ONLY thing it has that I love is the iOS integration. The curated playlists on Spotify are worlds better than on AM.

  3. I simply cant use Spotify because i have over 25000 songs that I’ve bought. Most of them are from ITunes. And since Spotify isn’t able to deliver something similar like ICloud Music, im sticking with Apple Music. There is simply nothing like ICloud & Apple Music. I searched and tried a lot, but reverted back to Apple just because of this. I love my Music and want to keep it.

  4. If Apple Music discovery worked as well as Spotify I’d switch. It seems to be good when it comes to mainstream music but as it cant do simple things like create a playlist related to the music I’m actually listening to instead of what it thinks I should be listening to, its a pain to use, last I checked it (few months ago).

  5. I've used both Apple Music and Spotify and I prefer Apple Music over Spotify. My music collection is in iTunes and Spotify makes me stream everything. With Apple Music, I can play the music I have on my device already which is great when I'm on the subway and have no cell service in the tunnels.

  6. Google play music is the only one worth it. all these other services suck compared to zune social centric streaming service.

  7. Apple Music was always my go to. Sure Spotify has cool features. Apple Music jus feels like the main go to music app and always has

  8. There's still many things Apple music didn't improve over Spotify. The discovery mix is still as awful as ever and I found AP to be hard for discovering new music. Also it lacks personal statistic like your top tunes for the year etc. Also, the interaction with your friends is not as good as Spotify, your listening history doesn't always update and you can't see what your friends listen right now. I'm only still with Apple music because it is well integrated with my previous iTunes library and all of my Apple devices.

  9. My only real complaint with Apple Music is I wish it was easy to find brand new/old music, curated to your tastes, on the service. It’s so easy to find new and old music alike on Spotify through their various curated playlists. Whereas, it feels like a whole mission to find music in the same way on Apple Music. Otherwise, I prefer Apple Music > Spotify.

  10. I usually just listen to songs I've purchased but when i want to stream, I use YouTube music. Other apps like Spotify are definitely better for discovery, but i usually have a particular song or artist I'm looking for anyway, and i love not having ads on YouTube

  11. I’ve used both services for more than 3 years and here are my thoughts:

    – Apple Music has a much more organized and easier to manage personal library, but the total opposite is true for playlists. If you’re a big playlist guy, Spotify is much better

    – Sound quality is similar in both services. However, Spotify gives you more flexibility by providing a 6-band equalizer and crossfade option. Apple Music only provides presets (such as rock, pop, etc.) and lacks crossfade.

    – Spotify offers you much better and easier ways to discover new music. The daily mix playlists and discover weekly playlists are still unmatched discovery tools to date

    – Apple Music offers a much more simplistic and minimalistic UI than Spotify. With iOS 13, Apple Music has a much more polished and clean feel than Spotify, with almost no sharp edges present in their UI (thus making it feel much smoother and pleasant to the eye)

    – Apple Music has a lyrics feature (now modernized with iOS 13) that is in my opinion, still unmatched up to this date. The lyrics synchronize with the song and together with the beautiful background colors, makes Apple Music a must for people who enjoy karaoke or trying to understand lyrics that are hard to hear (black metal fans out there?).

    Overall, I think both services have something equally good to offer. However, I think Apple Music is still seriously lacking intuitive and efficient ways to discover new music. Spotify’s discovery features are still best in class.
    If you know what you’re looking for however, or use other methods such as music magazines or music review sites (such as pitchfork) to discover new music, then it’s really up to you to choose. If you have an iPhone, an Apple Watch (into the Apple ecosystem in general) or if you really like Beats1, Apple Music may be the best one for you

  12. Apple stopped caring about me.
    I miss the old school iTunes (BEFORE Apple Music)

    I have 160GB of music that I can’t just stream. What I miss is the simplicity of iPod Classic. There just isn’t a way to go back…

    I prefer to control my own music… on the ground not in the cloud.

  13. I'm an android phone user and still use Apple Music over Spotify for
    1) it's clean and minimalist look
    2) Apple Music recommendation works better for me than spotify.

  14. Wish they would fix "create station" this feature is horrible. Spotify does this way better an I miss it. I found so many good tracks that way

  15. Your voice sounds different now. Did you change mics, Greg???
    Good documentary sir. I am enjoying your format a lot and look forward to the next one.

  16. The lyrics is amazing it’s so great how I can just click on a lyric and it skips immediately. Like those long intros sometimes I just wana skip it I can easily do that now instead of memorising what time in the song to skip to

  17. I'd only use Apple Music if there was a Free Version ( Of Course with Ads ) and allowing me to download my songs on maybe 3 devices at a lower quality, and being able to pick any song instead of just an album like on Spotify. I'd also like to get access to my iTunes library on Android. I've got an Android phone but the others in my family use iPhone, so I'm kinda angry that I can't access my iTunes library on my Android phone, instead of bringing my old iPhone 4 with me everywhere.

  18. I refused to use Apple Music for the longest time because my first attempt with it was an awful experience. I found that the app was not intuitive at all. However this past year I decided to give it another shot because I wanted my music to be better integrated with all my Apple devices. Though it still took a while to get used to, Apple Music really has improved a lot and I use it exclusively now. The only things I miss from Spotify are the personalized playlists

  19. i want to use apple music soo bad. but the awful discoverability, artist radio, and lack of continuity just doesn't work for me. spotify is years ahead.

  20. Me: Pandora hacked on an android phone and download all the songs I like and keep them.
    Spotify: you can't keep music
    Apple Music: lol

  21. The thing that makes me prefer Apple Music is the fact that I don’t have to use the online service and I can just download music through a YouTube converter an put them on my phone without being limited to 6 skips an hour or locked behind a paywall.

  22. I use neither. Never liked the idea of needing Internet just to listen to music. I store my music offline in my phone since I don't listen to hundreds of songs just a few dozen ones

  23. I am liking Apple Music more because of the lyrics and beautiful UI. Spotify also has a beautiful and sleek UI. However, it is very hard to organize my music without iTunes. I want Spotify and Apple to be able sync playlists and keep their exact order intact whether or not the song is available. Spotify has been my main streaming service and I want to enjoy the same songs I listen to in Spotify on Apple Music for the lyrics. Soundizz isn’t able to sync or delete songs with Apple Music.

  24. No it’s still bad 30% of the music is not available in my country and the iTunes app is still laggy and slow

  25. Apple Still doesn't correct spell errors.and doesn't have interface compared to spotify.has a better library though.

  26. Apple Music doesn't keep me up with new popular songs and that's something I hate. I get to know about new songs through YouTube.

  27. Apple music don't have all music's in it and the regular problem this item is not in your region that's why I switched to YOUTUBE MUSIC and it's great
    Sorry APPLE

  28. spotify used to have a built in filter on my android galaxy s9 but then they got rid of it then i had to go to edit>filter>type in artist name whereas on the spotify with my new iphone 11 its built into the app

  29. I've tried Apple music many times, but i always switched back to Spotify. I think Spotify’s app is much better, i miss many things from Apple music. Apple music on iOS 13 is much better, but Spotify is still better in my opinion.
    On Apple music i can’t search specific songs from my own playlists, because it has no search bar (?!)
    And on Apple music i can’t order my songs in my playlists to A-Z, recently added and etc.
    When i delete a song from my library on Apple music it will be deleted from my playlists too.

  30. I feel like the only person who prefers youtube music over any other music service

    Not only do I get any song I could possibly want I also get no ads but still help the creators who get demonized all the time.

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