Apple Music arrived on the 30th June in Apple’s iOS 8.4 update. Available on the iPhone, iPad and Mac (Android devices shall get it at a later date), Apple Music launched with a three month free trial for all who upgraded. Boasting an impressive 30 million songs (with more expected as the service evolves), they’re all available to stream online or offline for a price of £9.99 a month for a single person, or £14.99 for a family of up to six people. Rivalling other music streaming services Spotify and Grooveshark, Apple Music brings an impressive service. Check out our review below.
The App takes a little getting used to at the beginning, but once you have mastered the basics, its plain sailing from here.
Once you have selected your favourite genres and artists from the bouncing balls provided on screen, it is time to explore the five sections of the app. Each section includes more options within, creating a deep and customisable experience. There is the choice to revisit this whenever you wish to add more artists. Simply click the avatar icon in the top left corner and click “Choose Artists For You.”
For You recommends playlists, albums and songs based on the songs you have been playing, have added to your library and have liked. The more you like songs, albums and artists, the more accurate Apple Music’s recommendations are.
New offers you recent releases, spotlight features on artists and themes, music videos, playlists, new artists and other recommendations. It’s a handy way of discovering new music and similar tastes to your own.
The Radio section of Apple Music offers you a selection of radio stations from a whole range of genres. From rock to pop, hip-hop to r&b, even kids can listen in on the Disney station; this is a great way of discovering new music or listening to some old favourites. Beats 1 is the flagship station, offering 24/7 music, DJs and musical guests. Most of the stations are only available by paying the monthly prescription, but Beats 1 is free for any user to listen to.
Any track played on one of the radio stations can be added to your library and/or liked and disliked at your will. This is a fantastic feature if you are using the radio stations to discover new music and wish to save a song to replay. You can also create your own radio stations, based on a single song or artist at any time. Simply tap the three dots to the side of the track and select “Start Station”. Unlike My Music though, radio stations can only be listened to over an internet connection.
One of the few free to use sections of Apple Music, Connect allows fans to keep up to date with their favourite artists updates. Artists can post videos, photos, messages and more, for fans to view, like and comment on. It’s a useful tool for fans wanting to find another place to keep up with their favourite artists other than the usual social networks. However, it hasn’t really been a part of the app that I have found myself exploring too often. As Apple Music develops though, no doubt more artists will get on board with this section.
My Music is home to each track from your iTunes library, as well as those added via Apple Music. Playlists you have saved can also be revisited on this section whenever you wish.
The Search Function
With 30 million songs at your disposal, Apple Music is a hell of an impressive music app/service. It is worth utilising the search bar to find songs, albums and artists you are looking for. Each song can be added into your My Music library at any time, with the option to listen to them offline. Mixed with your existing iTunes library, extending your music collection with the help of Apple Music is simple and rather impressive. We especially love the offline feature, which is great for those worried about using up mobile data whilst out and about, or for places where signal is poor.
Use with Other Apps, Devices & Features
Apple Music has been designed to be used with the Apple Watch and the new and improved Siri. Music can be controlled via the Apple Watch, much like the previous Music app for the iPhone and Apple Watch worked.
As for Siri, new questions about music are available. For example, ask Siri to play music from a genre and she’ll recommend some choices for you. Other options include asking Siri to find a specific track from a film you liked, play music from particular years and much more. We recommend playing around with Siri to discover the full range of features it offers for the Apple Music app.
Apple Music is an impressive music streaming app, packed full of music and other features. It is well worth signing up for the free 3 month trial to see if you enjoy the service. The 30 million song roster offers (almost) endless choice, the radio stations offer tailored 24/7 music, and the option to add any song into your library was a great idea from Apple.
Only a month into the service, and suffering from the occasional bugs, Apple Music needs a few tweaks and refinements to make it run smoothly, but it is definitely worth using.