Apple Music Sucks*
*sometimes. In some, but important aspects, it just does not work (as advertised, or expected from the Apple experience)
So, Apple Music. With its seamless* integration into my carefully curated library, a large catalogue available for streaming, quite useful suggestions for what to listen to, and family plan, I never bothered to cautiously disable the automatic renewal, and therefore am a paying customer now with the free trial ended.
I am not sure if I should regret that.
Imagine Spotify. With a few hundred billion less in the bank, they manage an equally large catalogue. When I make a playlist available offline - because I do not sit around WiFi all day, and am not one of the two people world-wide who enjoy an unlimited data plan - it is available offline. Stays available offline. Shows me a nice icon next to each song indicating that yes, indeed, it is downloaded to the device, and there will be no surprises with Deutsche Telekom at the end of the month.
Now, Apple Music. When I make a playlist available offline - because, you know - it may become available offline, and download the songs to device. Or maybe not.
Maybe it is available offline for a short while, then spontaneously decides to revert that state, deleting all the downloaded song files from my iPhone. Probably to save space, because there are only about 80GB of it left.
There is also no indication that it did so until I actively check for it, so surprises with Deutsche Telekom are virtually guaranteed.
Sometimes, while the “service” messes around with playlists, parts of them also get greyed out and unplayable (show “Only Offline Music” is not switched on, and therefore not the culprit, and internet connection is working perfectly via WiFi). Perhaps all these songs are just not on Apple Music anymore? Yes they are, because when searching for them individually, they can be found and streamed perfectly.
It certainly is not easy to build a service like Apple Music, and it should be clear there will be growing pains associated with it.
But we are now a full iOS update into it (and a few smaller ones). This is now iOS 9.0.2, on a new iPhone, set up as new (not from backup), and basic functionality is still not working.
Which means I can either unwittingly blow through my data plan in half of a month, or just not listen to Apple Music while on the go. Which is not exactly what I am paying for here.
And we are not even talking about little issues like “sorry, can’t play this song past 34 seconds” or “lemme just skip this song entirely even on WiFi, because why not”.
Or “you want to add this playlist to your library? Well, no.”
Once again, Spotify (for the same price) manages all that basic functionality beautifully.
The difficult part for Apple should be getting all those artists on board, and the curating and suggesting done. The difficult part for Apple should not be setting up the necessary servers, and getting its software bug-free.
Apple, get your shit together. If this is important to you. Which, if I got your WWDC Keynote correct, it is.