tech2 News StaffJul 01, 2015 13:26:49 IST
Along with the release of iOS 8.4, Apple Music is finally here! Access to the new service for the first 90 days is free. After the free usage period, users will have to pay $9.99 per month for on-demand subscription access to over 30 million songs, or $14.99 monthly for a family membership that covers about six people. In India, Apple Music starts at Rs 120. The biggest challenge for Apple will be to convert these users into loyal customers willing to pay. Has Apple Music managed to woo users and tread on path to become the next big hit for Apple? Will it replace Spotify? Let's take a quick look at what the critics are saying about the new Apple service.
Whether you love the way it works or not, you will most likely find the interface visually appealing as Apple pulls colours and themes from the album to display on the complete screen. The app looks more polished than the older iOS Music app. A search button always on top ensures easy access to songs, album of your choice all the time. "Apple Music certainly looks visually appealing on the iPhone 6 Plus preloaded with the iOS update," says USAToday's Edward C. Baig.
"Apple Music is a really well-designed app. There is a lot in the app — it's jam-packed — but Apple has done a really good job of making the app easy to navigate," Mashable's Christina Warren writes.
However, not everyone thinks its easy to get around the app. "It also took me awhile to get comfortable finding my way around — there's an awful lot packed into a section labelled "New." The fresh version of iOS you'll need to access Apple Music came out Tuesday," Baig adds.
One of its main features – For You – offers on-demand music recommendations based users' preferences entered and music they've been listening. It is designed to offered more tailored recommendations as you listen to more and more music.
"My For You recommendations were pretty on target and included music from many familiar artists — Herbie Hancock, Barbra Streisand, Lena Horne, and Coldplay — but also a few artists I didn't know," Baig further adds.
The next tab named 'New' allows users to discover new released music and also finds curated lists for users. However, many felt the 'New' section is heavily loaded by Apple with just about everything it felt should be there.
Re/code's Walt Mossberg said, "A lot is crammed into this New module, including music videos and top tracks, plus, long, deep lists of music curated by genre, from artists that are far from new. There are also playlists for activities, like cooking, dancing or driving. The New section is deep and rewarding, but it’s also confusing, and seems to be the place where Apple jammed everything that didn’t fit anywhere else. It could be a streaming music app all by itself."
The next feature is “connect” that's like a platform allowing users to follow artists. Apple Music will follow artists it finds within your music library by default. It will allow you to follow new artists through personal pages and also access them via albums.
"Having indicated an interest in classical music, I found myself connected to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra where conductor Sir Simon Rattle in a video discussed streaming classical music. For all its promise, the Connect area seems pretty thin at the outset," USAToday writes in its hands-on.
The Radio section offers curated streaming radio stations along with the all-new global live station called Beats 1. "At the moment, the top banner By tapping on this station you can see the current DJ lineup and featured shows that air on this station. The other stations available are pretty straight forward though. Tap on a station and it will begin playing content based on the title," explains 9To5Mac.
The Search works fine and Siri is also quite effective in responding to the new Apple service. However, it is confusing when you are moving iTunes Music to the cloud. Having said that, the first look of Apple Music seem overwhelming.
"My first impression of Apple Music is that it’s the most full-featured streaming music app I’ve seen — and heard — and the first I’d consider paying for. But it may overwhelm some users, and I’ll need to live with it more before I can reach final conclusions," Mossberg concludes.
"Apple Music is exactly what I’ve been waiting for and I’m looking forward to its release on Apple TV and Android in the near future," finally writes 9To5Mac.
Some users also believe it packs in the Beats Music experience. "Much of the Apple Music experience really is Beats Music. And this is a good thing. I always thought Beats had the best discovery mechanism of the streaming services. With live radio, human curated playlists and access to your iTunes purchase history, I'm really liking Apple Music," concludes Mashable.
Yes, the initial impressions look good and it seems like something people may be willing to pay for. However, its been just a day and user reviews over the months will really say if Apple Music is here to stay.
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