Mossberg on Apple Music: ‘The most full-featured streaming music app; the first I’d consider paying for’

“I’ve been testing Apple Music on an iPhone 6 Plus, loaned to me by Apple for about a day,” Walt Mossberg writes for Re/code. “Because of the short testing time, this isn’t a full-on review but a first look. I set out to gather some initial impressions of how it feels to use the product. And to answer the question: Would I pay $10 a month — $120 a year — to use it?”

“My answer is a tentative yes, with some caveats. Apple has built a handsome, robust app and service that goes well beyond just offering a huge catalog of music by providing many ways to discover and group music for a very wide range of tastes and moods,” Mossberg writes. “But it’s also uncharacteristically complicated by Apple standards, with everything from a global terrestrial radio station to numerous suggested playlists for different purposes in different places. And the company offers very little guidance on how to navigate its many features. It will take time to learn it.”

MacDailyNews Take: It’s really not that complicated.

“My biggest disappointment with Apple Music is that, unlike apps like SoundHound, it has no lyrics. Apple says it’s working on adding that feature.,” Mossberg writes. “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.”

Read more in the full article here.\

MacDailyNews Take: As Nathan Olivarez-Gilesapple explains over in Walt’s old stomping ground, The Wall Street Journal: Apple Music is a busy service by design. The Cupertino-based company’s goal is to build a service that can not only compete with its pioneering rivals who have a years-long head start, but also something that can convert the majority of music fans who haven’t yet taken to streaming.

MacDailyNews Note: We expect Apple Music to arrive around 8am PDT / 11am EDT with the release of iOS 8.4 and the Beats 1 to go “on the air” an hour later at 9am PDT / 12 noon EDT.

Apple Music arrives on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch (via iOS 8.4 update), Mac or Windows PC (via iTunes update). Apple Music is coming to Apple TV and Android this fall.

SPIN takes first look at Apple Music: Usability is remarkably streamlined for such a complex product – June 30, 2015
Ed Baig first look: Apple Music visually appealing with creative playlists – June 30, 2015


  1. Didn’t we hear similar things about the Apple Watch? That it was complicated and took a lot of time to learn, etc.

    But most users of the Apple Watch didn’t have a problem jumping right into using it. Apple Music will probably be the same in that sense.

  2. I have to agree with Walt. For a service that is aiming to make you fall in love with music again, the lack of lyrics is a big disappointment. There is nothing more powerful than having the lyrics to sing along to really connect with a song and the artist behind it. I already sent an email to Tim expressing my concern regarding that feature. We’ll see…

    That said, I am still incredibly excited about this launch, and my guts tell me that this service, especially if they quickly address the missing lyrics, will meet tremendous success in the long run. Mark my words.

    Happy Apple Music launch everyone!

    1. Totally agree with you on lyrics. But according to some people *coughChrisBreencough* getting the lyrics to the songs you are listening to is akin to stealing. (Don’t ask me to explain, because I have no idea what his thinking was.)

    2. Lyrics are widely available all over the web – and included free on free I♥Radio subs for both (many) broadcast and individually created stations.

      Hard to believe the world’s biggest music broker and most profitable company couldn’t have had ’em on a new strategic launch for any technical or negotiating reason…

  3. OK, so how to you get it. Today’s the day, I looked all over the apple website, don’t see a download. is it an app? Is it part of iTunes? What’s the deal?? Looked in the iOS App Store

  4. I agree that lyrics are important.

    As an old-timer, it seems to me that many current singers and groups have either forgotten how to enunciate words clearly, or overpower them by drums or instruments — or treat vocals as more important as sound than as intelligible content. Yes, my hearing isn’t what it once was. But I can still hear the lyrics very clearly in a George and Ira Gershwin song performed long ago, that I have never heard before. Sinatra was famous for his clarity and phrasing of lyrics — they were important in his performances. Willy Nelson’s lyrics are clear and well crafted. Much of the experience of listening to the Beatles comes from the lyrics of their songs.

    So, yes, I would like to be able to read the lyrics of songs while listening to them. Perhaps some of those lyrics not clearly enunciated would be enjoyable if understood — at least sometimes. I’m not likely to listen to rap/hip hop, and would be even more turned off by the lyrics than by the sound. 🙂

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