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Apple Music - help a noob! (2 Viewers)

DaveF

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I subscribed to the.Apple Music trial today. I found I can use the web-browser interface to listen to music at work, so I’m giving it a go for work music. But while I’m reasonably tech savvy generally and Apple products specifically, I know almost nothing about Apple Music. I need help. :)

  1. Do I let it merge my music into Apple Music on my desktop? If I cancel the subscription later, am I at risk of losing music? (I remember Apple Music deleting people’s libraries five years ago when it launched)
  2. Does Music learn from me “Love”-ing songs or albums? If I take time to do that, will it get better at recommending playlists?
  3. How do I sync or stream from my Watch?
  4. Any must-know tips and tricks?

Thanks! :)
 

DaveF

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Got this staring at me. Trying to decide what to do.
Screen Shot 2021-07-02 at 10.59.52 AM.png
 

DaveF

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I clicked Merge Library. Gotta see what this stuff does.

Updated preferences. Notably, disabled Download Dolby Atmos. That's hit or miss and I don't want my music silently replaced by new mixes that might be worse.

The Sync Library I had turned off previously. The auto-download of Sync Library gave me a bunch of duplicates. I never understood it, but iTunes seemed to sync from iMac to iPhone and also download from iCloud to iPhone. But, I'll try it again with a Music sub.
 
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DavidJ

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I’m following y’all’s leap into the unknown because I’m considering the trial too.
 

Sam Posten

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I’m no help. I’ve had my library music matched since the feature launched and I trust Apple to do the right things and am not going to freak out if a new mix over writes one I used to have. I’m simply not interested in managing it any deeper than that.
 

DaveF

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A day of work with Apple Music on for most of it, a late night exploring surround music, an evening streaming on iPhone in the car, and a weekend of scattered use on the AppleTV, and I’m loving streaming music. I need the trial duration to know if this is simply the glow of a new toy, or if streaming music really is as life changing as it feels.

I’ve used Pandora for years, but very scattered and intermittent. This is the first time I’ve really given a streaming music service a serious try. And I’m sure I’d feel the same for Spotify — but for me just going with Apple seems the easy choice since I’m all Apple and so far it works web browser at work.
 
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DaveF

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But…

Apple Music is maybe the most opaque, obtuse, inexplicable Apple application and/or service I’ve used in maybe ever.

What does Merge Library do? Who knows. Not even Apple explains it -- there’s no documentation on it.

The Music app has three tabs: Listen Now, Browse, Radio. All three give random selections of seemingly random music choices. All different. But all doing the same thing of offering me lots of machine-generated music lists. What’s the rhyme and reason here? Why are there three different tabs doing the same thing? <shrug>

I want to listen to Harry Potter soundtracks. I search and get the albums shown in random order. I find and play the first movie. When it’s done, it goes to random movie soundtrack songs from Avengers and LOTR and etc. Not stupid, but not the second Harry Potter movie. How do I get that? Search again. Find it in randomly ordered list of HP movies. Play. It ends, enters random sound track playback. How do I get obvious-to-me choice of playing Harry Potter albums in movie order? <I’m-too-old-to-figure-this-out-shrug>

How do I “Love” a song? Just tap a heart, surely? Nope. It’s like a thousand steps of tapping things to bring up screens to tap things to get to sub menus to tap a thing. Why isn’t Apple doing Apple design? Ugh.

I put the small-square Apple Music widget on my iPhone Home Screen. Awesome. This will show me what I’m listening to and let me get easily to the playing music to tap sub-menus and maybe like/hate it before the song ends. Oh. Nope. That is specific button to launch my “Station”. Whatever is playing, that widget stops it and starts my station anew at some random song. Station already playing. DGAF. Kills the playing song and starts a new random song. Seriously, WTF with this useless widget???
 
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DaveF

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Despite Apple Music being a kinda garbage UX, apple music streaming music is pretty great.

Are Spotify or Pandora or SiriusXM better? Could be. Don’t know. Not trying them.

How’s the price? $15/mo for family. Kinda spendy. That’s why I’ve never used it. But that’s like buying an album a month. Except without the tyranny of choice of having to decided which single album out of dozens or thousands to buy each month. And I’ve decided I’m now at a place that if I want, I can splurge on too many $15/mo streaming services.

If I subscribe, I’ll have to assess the apple combo in a year, which my aTV trial ends. As with the app, the pricing amidst multiple trials and having a non-standard iCloud storage amount is inscrutable. So, I’d pay for the $15/mo family and then look at unifying next year.
 

Clinton McClure

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To me, no streaming music service is worth paying a monthly sub. I own the songs I want and I’ll occasionally buy and download a new song that I happen to hear on the radio.

I don’t like the way the music app organizes my songs on my Mac so I’ve been keeping my library organized myself for the past 15 years.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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To me, no streaming music service is worth paying a monthly sub. I own the songs I want and I’ll occasionally buy and download a new song that I happen to hear on the radio.

I don’t like the way the music app organizes my songs on my Mac so I’ve been keeping my library organized myself for the past 15 years.

I basically felt that way... until I was no longer the only one who wanted regularly to be able choose the music in my family. That and it isn't always so easy (and affordable) to find and own what I might want anymore...

Still, I'm not all that sold on streaming music so far after subscribing to Qobuz for several months (and sporadically trying Amazon Prime's offering when I have Prime for a couple months a year). But my family seems to like streaming music -- they rarely ever buy-to-own music (or movies for that matter) though and are not keen on synching a large-ish subset of our music library to their iPhones... so we'll probably either stick w/ Qobuz or switch to Apple Music.

As long as we have some reasonably solid service that offers lossless and hirez, I'll probably use it at least to explore whatever music and then probably buy-to-own those I really want all that much...

_Man_
 

DaveF

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To me, no streaming music service is worth paying a monthly sub. I own the songs I want and I’ll occasionally buy and download a new song that I happen to hear on the radio.

A friend only listens to Edgar Winter, and only on vinyl or CDs. That was the music of his youth, and that’s all he wants. I’d say Apple Music isn’t for him.

I like both music of my youth and new stuff. I want nostalgia and new stuff the kids are into. But I no longer have time or interest in choosing, buying, playlist-ing hundreds of albums. I want good music as the mood strikes. I want it everywhere without effort: work, car, living room, airplane.

Please someone make music fun and easy again, like it was 15 years ago when I got my first iPod and wow that was amazing!

Streaming seems to make music fun and easy again.
 

Johnny Angell

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A friend only listens to Edgar Winter, and only on vinyl or CDs. That was the music of his youth, and that’s all he wants. I’d say Apple Music isn’t for him.

I like both music of my youth and new stuff. I want nostalgia and new stuff the kids are into. But I no longer have time or interest in choosing, buying, playlist-ing hundreds of albums. I want good music as the mood strikes. I want it everywhere without effort: work, car, living room, airplane.

Please someone make music fun and easy again, like it was 15 years ago when I got my first iPod and wow that was amazing!

Streaming seems to make music fun and easy again.
I have Amazon music, never tried Apple’s. So...

The music of my youth is Edison’s wax cylinders. ;) Most of what I hear currently, is just noise to me. All the performers have limited emotional range and iffy voices. There are a few I like, like Ed Sheeran. His music resonates with me.

I have the individual plan for $8 and I enjoy it almost always on me Denon AVR. I’ve been using it thru HEOS, but I just discovered the standalone app on my phone. With X-ray it will give tidbits on the album and song. Trouble is if the album is a reissue, you’re getting info on the album. So “American Pie” tells me the album came out in 2012. I made a playlist for the 4th for guests and then discovered random played a song and stopped. I had to play the list in order.

I like streaming music because I’m finding old stuff I haven’t head since the dinosaurs roamed the earth (The Limeliters) or music I’ve never purchased when they were current. Speaking of old, there’s an old song “If I Only Had a Match” by Al Jolson. Trust me, it’s an enchanting song but not on Amazon music. Anyone know where it is?
 

DaveF

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Haven’t used other services, so no comment on them.

I refer to Apple’s $15/mo which is the family plan. Single person is $10/mo, I think. Similar pricing to all the other services.
 

Sam Posten

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I'm 100% anti Apple ecosystem... Even if I got it free I'd not use it.

I use Spotify free at work. It has almost everything I own (and that's over 1400 CDs) and lots of stuff I've always been curious about. There are complete albums from the 50s through to current - many I've been surprised are available at all, much less on a free streaming service. The ability to "like/love" something is dead easy but I don't use it as I prefer to select albums I like and listen to the complete thing. I have hundreds of favorite albums in my tagged area.

The web interface, while a bit clunky for that favorites list (strictly by time/date added), isn't too bad otherwise and they seem to tweak its operation regularly. The most annoying thing is they tend to play the same grouping of 3 or 4 commercials in the same order for days on end. That said, a typical album is only interrupted a couple of times for that commercial break and I often just hit mute while it plays. They have a desktop client but I've not used it in over a year. I'd tried it to see if it manages your liked music better. IIRC it does but I'm happy with the web interface and it's easier to mute.

Even with the free version you can create playlists though I've never used this or the artists list. I use it quite often to sample albums for possible purchase. I have no idea how much "premium" costs and don't care as the free version does everything I want and need.

I've tried Amazon music (I have Prime) and have found its interface to be quite clunky and mostly non intuitive, plus their catalog isn't that deep unless you subscribe to the add-on service.
 

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