Romain Deville

music, 5 months later

Back in July, l did a quick review of Music a week after launch, Five months later, let’s see what I think of it.

what i liked

the ui

While a bit disconcerting at the beginning, I quickly got around the UI and I have to admit that Apple knows how to make things beautiful AND practical. From animated transitions to the transparent overlay, it feels modern and look gorgeous while perfectly integrated with iOS native music player.

the curated content

Beats1, New and For You are all a very pleasant experience in their own way. The playlists feel organic and clearly benefit from the experienced curators at Apple.

the family subscription

For £15 a month a family membership, the price is unbeatable.

what i didn’t like

the cloud

iCloud Music Library sounds great on paper, having your all library backed-up on Apple’s server and available on all your devices. In practice things aren’t that nice, the uploaded song are tagged with DRM (as requested by the record labels apparently). Some unlucky people have lost songs or even their entire library believing it was already in the cloud and deleting it from their machine.

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the automatically updated metadata

In order to feed the beautiful new UI with a lot of pictures, Apple is pushing the use of metadata further than many others and pulls nicely shot photos of the artist from their server. Those images are usually updated every few weeks for most active artists and give a nice feel to the music app. The issue, when an artist is badly identified (due to not-so-great metadata) a wrong image appears and doesn’t get updated even if the metadata for that file changes.

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connect

To me, Apple’s new Instagram-like social network is more gimmick than anything else. It doesn’t bring any value to the service but can’t be hidden from the interface as the new Music app lost its customisation features.

conclusion

Even with the gigantic catalog of content, the great user interface, the nicely curated playlist and the interesting pricing, Music is not the killer app that I was expecting. I can’t really tell what’s missing but it is not the Apple experience we’re all accustomed to. Is that a bad thing? Maybe not, but I don’t really like putting all my eggs in the same basket and to be honest, I am already far too dependent on their services.

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