Music is everywhere. In your car, your bathroom, the kitchen, the beach, you can have unlimited streams of music at your fingertips within seconds. Companies are competing to add a soundtrack to your life in ways that are quite frankly amazing.
Apple Music is a high-profile music streaming app and I spent 3 months trying to fit it to my music listening style.
Apple Music Looks Great
With a clean user interface, the Apple music service is more visually appealing than anything its competitors offer. Spotify’s layout isn’t interesting. It’s too dark and it’s interface very bland as result. Google Play Music’s interface is white-on-white with splashes of orange, broken up by pictures of suggested albums or playlists that rarely have anything to do with what I know I’m interested in.
Apple Music uses lots of contrasting light and dark design, with pictures adding ample amounts of color.
Clean User Interface
Large space between buttons, contrast, and commonly used icons makes this user interface incredibly straight forward. A red progress bar, just below the album cover, keeps track of your position in a song.
The app’s navigation was almost perfect, but I had some strange functionality with the search feature where it had no idea what I wanted, or would force me to replace an entire line of text instead of editing it.
Adding to playlists, favorites, or saving were each separate options and their results were straight forward. Apple uses the”Heart” symbol to denote favorite songs and the vertical (…) for accessing and saving songs to playlists.
All of the music sounded fantastic. I used headphones or my car stereo for listening and I had no issues with sound quality.
Apple will analyze the music you listen to and offer playlists that suit your tastes. I’ve had the most experience with this feature in Google Music, but Apple’s was better. I heard a lot more music that I liked, which kept me coming back, and it was presented to me in a way that felt more personal and direct.
At one point, I had Apple Music on two different devices and was listening to two different genres of music (Rap vs EDM/House). Each device received different tailored playlists, and that’s both good and bad. It’s good because I got to see a lot of suggestions in each genre, most of which were awesome. But on the other hand, I had no way of accessing those playlists across devices, and if I did, I had no motivation to dig to find where they were.
Lack of Voice Integration
Looks and functionality made the app very enjoyable to use, and the suggestions were interesting enough to keep me going.
But, Apple Music does not have voice integration on the Android platform.
Asking my phone to just “Play Music” is easily one of my favorite aspects of having a smart phone. Streaming music services are good enough for me to trust them to play music I like. Music isn’t a big part of my life, so ease of access to playlists I’ll enjoy is my priority.
Unfortunately, I don’t know if we’ll see voice functionality come to Apple Music any time soon.
As a service, Apple Music is great, but not amazing…for Android users. I like it’s design and music library, but for $10 a month, I could pay for Google Play Music and get Youtube Red. Red gives the ability to play Youtube videos and also shut off your screen. This essentially creates an endless library of music between the two services.
Apple Music’s future is by far the most interesting contender in the streaming music space.
Google has a lot going for it, but not in the same way.
I can only favorite, like, categorize, collect, and keep track of so many songs, so many playlists. Migrating to other has become more automated, thanks to tools like STAMP that allow you to transfer your music history to other platforms, including Apple Music.
Absolutely No Browser Playback
Apple Music cannot be played through a web browser like every other service. Instead, iTunes is the only way you’ll have access to the service on a computer. This isn’t a deal breaker for most, I’m sure, as iTunes has found a home on probably every other computer but mine. I am not going to install iTunes, and if I can listen to a service that offers a web-based music player, I am going to use that while I browse the web.
Apple Music is my favorite music streaming app. It blends great music together with its playlist suggestions, and has a very attractive user interface. It’s held back by its lack of integration with Google’s voice service, and Google’s own Music and Youtube Reb subscription service. However, if you’re on iOS, there’s no reason not to at least give Apple Music a try. If you’re on Android and your not using Google’s app, you should.