At 4pm today (UK time), Apple will release Apple Music, their streaming service, to 100 countries. Packaged with iOS 8.4, the release includes a new version of iTunes for Mac and Windows, whilst the existing Music app on iPad and iPhone will be replaced with the new Apple Music app. The service will be available on Apple TV and Android later this year.
Boasting an impressive 30 million songs available to stream and play, Apple Music will be launching with a 3 month trial, after which users will pay £9.99 a month to use the service. Alternatively, for £15, Apple Music’s family plan lets 6 family members have their own music account under the service.
The service also sees the launch of a new Pharrell Williams song, “Freedom” created exclusively for Apple Music. No doubt artist exclusives is something we may be seeing once again in the future.
What Is Apple Music?
Apple Music is the company’s music streaming service, that sits alongside existing music in your iTunes/music library. It also includes a radio station, Beats 1, and a multitude of varied stations in all sorts of themes and genres. All you need is access to an internet connection, and you’re good to go.
Breakdown of the App
The Apple Music app will be available to download on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Windows later today, and here is what to expect on the mobile and iPad app:
The “For You” section recommends playlists and albums to suit your musical taste. To get this working successfully, Apple encourages you to suggest genres and artists you like, as well as rating those you dislike too. The more likes and dislike ratings, the more tailored your recommendations will be; in the same vain as the recommendation system on film and TV show streaming service Netflix.
“New” is what the name suggests; it presents the newest music and new tailored suggestions just for you. Up and coming, popular and renowned, Apple’s “New” section is promising to be rather varied.
Whilst 30 million tracks are available for your perusal, the Radio section offers even more content. Upon launch of the service at 4pm, Apple are introducing Beats 1, a radio station that is always on, worldwide, 24/7. Presented by DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga, the station will provide a host of music and interviews. The first interview will be conducted by Zane Lowe tomorrow with rapper Eminem. For those of you not willing to shell out £9.99 a month, the Beats 1 station is available without a subscription.
The Radio will also include a selection of different stations, based on genres and themes, whilst users can also create their own stations by selecting a song, artist or album, and seeing the recommendations created from this.
With Connect, Apple has completely changed their approach to music, and made it much more interactive. Connect allows artists to upload soundbites, videos, photos and other updates for fans to see. This encourages artist and fan interaction, creating a friendly community between the two. If any of the content interests you enough, you will be able to share it with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, email or message.
My Music is like the original Music app, but it now includes not only your existing music collection and purchases, but it is now also combined with the music library hosted by Apple Music. Users can add in any song from the Apple Music library into their own collection.
Improvements with Siri
You will notice a change with Siri to reflect the new music service. Users can now command Siri to find a song, play particular songs and add music to their libraries, among other commands.