: I'm testing the new Apple Music... and well... Apple is so behind the curve that it's painful to watch. Let me explain:
First of all, I do love the way Apple Music works from the business perspective. This is exactly what the music industry needs, and it's no surprise that Taylor Swift thinks so too.
However, Apple has so far yet to go in terms of learning how to do things smarter. Everything about Apple music feels 'disconnected' and 'distant'.
First of all, when you click on the "For You" section, Apple greets you with a welcome screen where you have to choose between a series of very generalized genres. This is only a good idea if you have no idea who people are, nor have you any insight into who matters and who doesn't
It's as clueless as when media companies create a news app and asks people to choose between "politics, crime or sport". After this you are presented with a second screen of which you have to choose three artists that you might like. I had a hard time doing this, because neither of them would be my preferred choices.
But the main problem here is why the heck do they even ask me this? Don't they know? I have thousands of songs in my iTunes library, and years of album/song purchases over the years. Why doesn't Apple already know exactly what type of music I like, by whom, at what time of day.
Compare that to Spotify, for instance, that will give me recommendations matching my person, or a specific artists I'm listening to right now.
It's the same about playlists. Apple is offering the most clueless forms of playlists possible. Like Classical Music, recently played, 90s music. What the frack? On Spotify, we hundreds of specially curated playlists that changes throughout the day to fit the mood, tone, and situation at any given moment.
It's like Apple isn't even trying.
Then we have "New", and you would think that the "New" section would take into account who I am, and what I like. But nooo... just like App Store, Apple completely ignores people's preferences. In my case, for instance, the top featured artist is from AC/DC. I just told Apple in the "for you" section, that I 'hate' that genre of music (I'm sorry AC/DC fans, but I really don't like it. It's mostly due to my half brother annoyed me during my entire childhood with music like that, while I annoyed him with hip-hop ;))
Again, why is Apple showing me music that I have just told them that I do not like. They are giving me a 'new for the general mass-market' rather than "new for you". It's such a huge miss.
Then we have radio, where we can find a few selected Apple made radio stations, just like the ones you had in the 1960s (with modern music, of course). On Spotify, I can create a radio station, however I like. It's just pointless.
And then we have Connect, Apple's 'new' social media channel for artists. I don't even want to talk about this. It's terrible in every way. Sure, you can post comments, but there is no social element in it. This is more like a blog than a social network.
Remember the last time Apple tried to create a social network for artists. Apple Ping? Here is how that looked: http://goo.gl/04wTzd
... Apple Connect is exactly the same. Every feature, every way it works, how it's more like a one-way broadcast than anything else ... it's just the same.
Why does Apple think that relaunching Apple Ping with a new name would work? Didn't they learn anything?
Oh... and sure, you can share each post on, for instance, Facebook. But when you do so, you end up on a static web page where you cannot continue the interaction at all. Even Instagram, who have been notoriously bad when shared outside their app knows how to make that work.
This is insane, Apple!
And yes, several people have told me that I'm being too negative towards Apple these days, and that I should give them time, and that they are awesome. You may be right about that.
But you know what they say. You taunt the things you love, and you ignore the things you hate. So when I'm taunting Apple for failing to meet my expectation, it's not because I hate Apple. It's because I want to love Apple.
I want the "For You" section to actually be smart about who I am. To look at my music habits, the artists that are already in my library, and the way I listen to them. I don't want Apple to ask me if I prefer overly generalized genres like "classical, rock or reggae". I want Apple Music to say "Hang on a minute while we scan and analyze your library and create the most awesome thing ever!"
I want the "New" section to be tailored for me, instead of showing me artists that I have already told Apple I don't care about.
I want the radio station to be modern and connected, and again influenced by who I am. Not just be a handful of broadcast channels like what I could listen to on my old FM radio in my car.
I want Apple Connect to actually be a real social network, where I as a user can interact and posts on the same terms as the artists, and not just be a one-way broadcast channel for artist to post updates about their music.
I want the playlists to be a mix of smart algorithms based on my listening habits, mixed with user generated list and curated lists targeted towards a whole slew of signals like the mood, time of the day, my activity, and more. Why the frak would I want generalized and generic playlists?
I want to love Apple, but they are so far behind the curve. They have no idea what social means, and their approach to working with data is light-years behind companies like Google, Spotify, Amazon, and all the others.
Apple, the era of iTunes is over, which also means this era of creating a passive generalized music store is over. The future is streaming, but not just the act of streaming. The real future of streaming is the data that makes streaming far better for the individual than a music store could ever be.
Apple Music does stream the music, but everything else is still exactly like in the old days of iTunes. There is no innovation here. There is nothing new or groundbreaking. Everything is disconnected.
I want to support Apple Music, because I want to support the business model it is based on. But I can't, while Spotify might be worse for the industry (because of its free plan), the way Spotify works as a subscriber is a million times smarter.