We’ve been playing around with Apple’s newly released music streaming-service, Apple Music for a little over a month now and it’s been hitting all of the right notes and ticking all the right boxes.
I have to tell you straight off the bat that I was sold within 2 weeks and I’m betting you will be too. Once you really get into the app and you learn how to navigate and take advantage of all its great and creative features, you quickly realise that Apple Music is probably going to dominate the music streaming service market in the near-future. On-demand music streaming might still be a relatively new trend, with only 41 million people globally currently paying for music streaming services. But, because Apple is such a massive global company, Apple Music might just be able to raise these numbers. Although the app might not exactly be revolutionary in terms of what other music streaming services like Spotify or Pandora are offering, it has some unique features and it’s accessible in more countries than other services giving it an extra advantage.
Once you launch the app you will see five different sections (located at the bottom of the screen):
- My Music (Music Note icon): Here you will find all of your locally stored and saved music which will automatically sync via iCloud across all your devices.
- For You (Heart icon): This is one of the app’s cooler features – The For You section features all the music, artists, albums, etc Apple reckons you will dig. And the section is pretty accurate.
- New (Star icon): In this section artists will debut their newest stuff and you can also check out what music is popular at the moment. Here for instance I got to hear FKA twigs’s new song Figure 8 exclusively! Dr. Dre’s first alum in over 15 years will also be available to listen first exclusively on Apple Music, which gives this section an edge over the competitors.
- Radio (Radio Waves icon): This is one of my favourite sections. This section houses Apple Music’s exclusive radio station, Beats 1 which airs to over 100 countries and is broadcasted from London, LA and New York City. There are also other curated channels located under this section which features stations you might dig based on your location. Stay tuned for our full review of Beats 1 coming soon.
- Connect (@ icon): Connect is another one of my favourite features on the new music streaming app from Apple. Under this section you’ll find a platform for artists to share photos, videos and exclusive music to their fans in real-time. You are able to like your favourite artists’ activity and comment; it is a cool and new way for fans and artists to be connected.
Another plus for Apple Music is the fact that it so accessible – it is pre-installed with iOS 8.4 and all you need to do is update your device to iOS 8.4 and reboot it. Once rebooted you will see a new Music icon either on your home screen or in your Music Folder, named Music. Once you tap on this you will be presented with a home screen with a whole bunch of awesome Apple Music features.
Because your account is automatically setup using your Apple ID, the initial setup is quick and easy.
Apple is initially offering a free, three-month trail after which you can choose between two monthly subscription plans:
- Individual Plan – R59.99 p/m; and
- Family Plan (up to 6 members) – R89.99 p/m.
Not only does the app look sleek and uncluttered, it also works great and is relatively user-friendly. Apple Music is comprehensive and has many features packed into a visually beautiful and simplistic app that offers a smooth experience. Once you get over being a little overwhelmed at the sheer size of the music library as well as the different features, navigation becomes simple and quick. Apple just has a way of making products which are really simple to understand so that everyone from your 6 year-old kid to your 63 year-old grandmother eventually gets the hang of it. Apple Music is no exception, and once you’ve spent some time navigating and exploring (and getting lost) you will soon be able to enjoy a sleek, simple and comprehensive music experience.
Apple Music ticks all the boxes in terms of what you would expect from a music streaming service, including a comprehensive music library, user-friendly features, recommended music and so much more. And with cool features like Beats 1 radio, the Connect feature, exclusive debuts and more you are sure to sign up for Apple Music before your three-month trial ends.