I have been an Apple Music subscriber for over a month now and have learned a lot in regards to the differences between it and Spotify. A couple months ago, I did make the switch from Spotify to Apple Music, so here is my full review of Apple Music, which will also include the redesigned player mode in iOS 10.
One of the best things about Apple Music is the fact that the catalog for music is so huge! I have been able to find songs and artists that I would not typically find on services like Spotify (and I’m not talking about Taylor Swift). For example, I am a big fan of David Archuleta’s music, and I was able to find his song “Broken” on Apple Music and not on Spotify. Granted, this is only one example, but it shows how dedicated Apple is at making sure that the quality of content is there, but also the amount of songs they have. It makes it feel complete in a way.
As for the first design of the Apple Music app for iOS, it did take a little while to adjust to, but I eventually figured it out. A key issue I had was playlists. I know that feature is pretty easy to understand, but when adding songs, there is tab that says “Add to My Music,” which was also a playlist I had created. Me being me, I assumed that the music was going into that “My Music” playlist but was instead going into my actual Music section. It sounds confusing, yes, but I quickly figured out what was going on.
Another thing that I liked about the first design of Apple Music was the player. I liked being able to tap it and then have it scroll up what current song was playing with the album cover art. I’m just easily amused that way, I guess.
But with the iOS 10 design, Apple did a great job with the iPad version of it. Essentially what they did was that they made it so that the player does not take up the full screen like it does on the Apple TV. It’s a great idea because that makes the Music app available for split screen. I also like that my playlists are the first thing to come up when loading the app. The iPhone and iPod Touch version is also getting better with the increased font size and the addition of lyrics, and larger album cover art when playing songs.
The most important thing that I had to test was offline-play. I am a college student, therefore I do a lot of walking around campus with my Beats on my head, listening to my favorite songs. Downloading songs was a pain in the butt at first due to how many songs I had to download for all three of my playlists (nearing 1,000 songs if not more). Now when I download them, the tab does automatically open up when on WiFi (my iPod Touch is usually in Airplane Mode) and then syncs new songs that I have recently added to my playlists. It works great. A tip would be to just allow it to sync overnight while on a college campus network.
Apple Music also works very well on my MacBook Pro, so when I add new music from my iPhone 6 or iPad Mini 2, it syncs accordingly with my other devices. One issue I have run into is that it does require more bandwidth and faster internet speeds to play music compared to Spotify. It was also good for adding songs to my iCloud Music Library and allowing me to add songs and albums that I had already purchased from iTunes. All in all, it’s not too shabby.
With everything said here, Apple Music is getting a 3.5/4 stars for my rating and general approval of the new music streaming service. From someone taking a chance and moving from the comfortable Spotify, and making the transition to Apple Music, it has been a smooth one. Everything works as it should. I don’t care much for Apple’s exclusive content or Beats 1 radio station. Just makes sure that I can stream Michael Buble, David Archuleta, and film/TV score music, and I will be happy.