I was lucky enough to get everything done early today & by 4PM I was already updating my iPhone 6 to IOS 8.4. – 15 minutes later I was signed up to the 3 month trial of Apple Music & trialing this exciting service. Initially Beats 1 Radio was just a loop of ambient music called Ambient 1 – Music for airports by Brian Eno. We kept getting brief voice over of Zane Lowe chatting to other locations & engineers in the run up to a 5PM GMT launch. And then at 5PM Zane launched with a local Manchester Band named Spring King and the song City. Manchester went worldwide & opened Beats 1 Radio. Good work.
So far Apple Music is an hour old in my hands & I’m already loving it. The initial setup was pretty easy with the exception of some awkward genre bubbles to select when setting up your profile. There seems to be a ton of artists available to stream and iTunes match has been integrated into a My Music tab.
I’ve followed a few of my favourite artists already & played with the streaming quality which seems responsive & crisp. No load times to speak of & nice bitrate streaming. I would like to see a way to limit the bitrate for use on mobile like in the Google Play app, hopefully apple will adopt that for users with smaller data plans.
The UI also seems pretty good. I keep losing the now playing as it minimises to a bar which needs to be clicked to bring it back. Will get used to it in no time but weird as users are used to looking at the bottom or top of a screen for minimised windows.
As it’s a brand new platform, a lot of the connect features are yet to be populated. Artists will need to start using the service & scrapers will need to start collecting content for the artists. I also found that bands such as Tool are not available to stream, but this is pretty standard as they aren’t on Spotify. Also Steve Wilson’s new material isn’t available. I’ve already found a bunch of music which isn’t available to stream so this will compliment my library & iTunes match as opposed to replacing it.
Anyway this is all new & I’m still playing with it, but I’ll write another post when I’ve got to know Apple Music better. Until then, a bunch of screenshots for you.