For those of you holding your breath, the long wait is finally over as Apple becomes the latest, yet most unexpected contender in the music streaming industry with the official launch of Apple Music yesterday.
Apple is credited with pioneering the migration from compact discs towards playable audio in storage media during the advent of the iPod.
The music streaming app comes as an update included in the iOS 8.4 package. Users can create and customize playlists, listen to playlists curated by music experts and download tracks.? Membership costs only $9.99 a month but Apple Music comes with a three-month free trial available to all users. The app supports PC, Mac, Apple Watch and iOS devices that can run on iOS 8 or newer.
While rivals Pandora and Spotify may offer the same great services, Apple Music’s competitive edge in the long run lies in its diverse and massive music library of around 30 million music tracks from both independent and major labels, the right to upload 25,000 of your own tracks free which will increase to 100,000 with the upcoming iOS 9, and the Beats One radio station manned by prominent artists such as Dr. Dre and Elton John.
Despite Apple’s success in advancing the portal media player industry yet again, several noteworthy users are already critical of the app’s features and initial shortcomings.
Marcus Wohlsen of Wired expressed dismay that the tracks he had kept in Beats Music over the years did not migrate into his account on iTunes even as the latter acquired the rights from the Beats brand. He says, “You booted me off Beats with the promise my music would follow me… all the songs, albums, artists, and playlists I?ve spent the past months and years slowly, painstakingly assembling?the part of streaming music that makes it personal. The part I?m paying for. And I can?t find it. I more than happily went along with you this morning when I updated Beats and was prompted to make the Apple Music switch.”
While Steve Jobs advocated for a powerful yet simple interface, Apple Music seems clunky and cluttered to use when one of its core strengths should have been navigation. The search function left Dee Locket of Vulture frustrated as he said,? “Most of us are probably used to typing in a couple letters into a Google or Yahoo search bar and getting exactly what we’re looking for in under a second. Apple Music’s search algorithm, unfortunately, isn’t as convenient so far.”
Even as the critics are coming out of the woodwork, Apple’s latest offering does not lack potential as it can harness over a billion user profiles and consumer databases to direct the future of the app.