Here’s why I won’t pay for Apple Music after the free trial ends

“We now know that Apple Music has 11 million people trying it since it launched last month, thanks to a new USA Today story,” Chris O’Brien writes for VentureBeat. “In an interview, Apple senior vice president of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue, told USA Today, “We’re thrilled with the numbers so far.”

“I’m one of those trying it. And while I’m glad he’s thrilled, I can’t exactly say the feeling is mutual. While I still have two months to go before the trial ends, I can’t imagine paying for Apple Music,” O’Brien writes. “The last two years, I’ve been a paying Spotify user. So I’m more than happy to spend $10 per month on music.”

“Frankly, after using Apple Music for a month, I’m still not sure why Apple is even bothering to try to get into the streaming game. There is nothing in terms of features on the service that I can’t find elsewhere. Beats 1 Radio is quite good, but I can continue to listen to that without paying for Apple Music,” O’Brien writes. “As many others have noted, the Apple Music discovery elements are very strong. The curated playlists are also very good, and they often serve up old albums I hadn’t listened to in a while. The rest of it, though, remains a confusing, frustrating mess… The functionality is the point, at least for me. Most of us will have a hard time comparing catalogues when we’re talking 30 million tracks. But it’s annoying and time-consuming to manage Apple Music.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last month:

Apple, take a step back and look at the iTunes app anew. Look at it as if, say, it was a piece of Microsoft software (it certainly looks and acts like one) and approach it as if you’re about to enter the market. What would Apple do? Laugh at what a POS it is and then get to work creating a coherent, easy-to-use solution.

Just like you did with personal computers, MP3 players, smartphones, and tablets make this experience for end users again. Look at what Apple did with non-linear editing via iMovie. You made something very complex into something simple, understandable, and usable for everyone. Reinvent. Simplify. Delight us. Surprise us. That’s why you get the big money.

Give “iTunes” to another Apple team, or teams, or even bring in some outside talent, and see what their fresh eyes might imagine.

And, as we wrote on July 17th:

Apple, especially under Steve Jobs, has shown a great and admirable willingness to cannibalize themselves. They obliterated their iPod business with the iPhone, for one example. But, when it comes to iTunes, they seem paralyzed by fear of change. Apple paralyzed by fear is not a pretty thing and it doesn’t yield pretty things. It yields hot messes like iTunes.

iTunes screams to be broken up into separate, streamlined apps. It’s been screaming that for years. But Apple seems to be scared silly to do so — perhaps 800+ million credit cards have something to do with it — so they’ve tinkered around the edges, making questionable tweaks here an there and bolting on even more bloat.

Grow a pair, Apple, and do what needs to be done already.

Apple Music has 11 million trial members, App Store has July record $1.7 billion – August 6, 2015
Designer mocks up standalone Apple Music app for Mac (and Windows) – August 3, 2015
The tragedy of iTunes: Nothing ‘just works’ – July 28, 2015
Dear Apple, please go thermonuclear on iTunes – July 28, 2015
Marco Arment: iTunes is a toxic hellstew – July 27, 2015
Jim Dalrymple: I got (most of) my music back; Apple working to fix Apple Music issues shortly – July 26, 2015
Jim Dalrymple: Apple Music is a nightmare, and I’m done with it – July 23, 2015
Apple’s iTunes: Whatever happened to ‘It Just Works? – July 17, 2015
The iTunes Report: Still a mess – July 14, 2015
Apple releases iTunes 12.2.1, fixes iTunes Match issues – July 13, 2015
Apple Music, both on iOS and OS X, is an embarrassing and confusing mess – July 10, 2015
iTunes 12.2 is mangling network-shared libraries – July 6, 2015
Serious iTunes Match issues for some users ahead of Apple Music launch – June 26, 2015
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015


    1. Spotify and Pandora are free if you don’t mind ads and if you don’t want to use features like Spotify Connect, higher quality streaming etc. I do want those features which is why I pay for both Spotify and Pandora. Pandora still does streaming stations better than anyone else and is cheap. I thought for sure that Apple Music would fill all my needs but it kind of sucks in a lot of ways which is why I just bought another year of Spotify.

        1. Hey Apple, we need a FREE discoverable fun inteligent music app. The only way to destroy the poor design Spotfy and cia. People will pay for cheap songs like a dime. Match 4 ever

    2. Spotify is doomed – I don’t care for Taylor Swift at all but she is right about one thing: Spotify is a startup with no cashflow.
      They’re “free” business model is unsustainable. You will start to see more and more artist pull their content from all the leeches who expect everything for free. And you will start to see more and more Apple Music exclusive new music releases. Apple Music’s real competition is youtube. Time to start prefacing any references to spotify with “beleagured”

  1. To all you jerks that refuse to pay for work done by performing artists soon you will have to pay. The performing artists do not believe their work is worth nothing (imagine that). In fact you believe their work is not worth anything, please post the contact information for your line manager. We will call them up and let them know you believe people should not be paid for their work and you believe people should work for free.

    1. Oh that whiny $h@t for the record companies. If you’re an artist–sell your wares to your customers. Stop prostrating yourselves for the record co’s that consume the lion’s share of your revenues.

      If you’re signed and sealed to some dinosaur record label and your work turns-up on a streaming service against your liking, don’t blame the users–blame your record co and manager who sold you out and is horking-down the profits that YOU should be receiving. If you’re so inclined and have half a brain, there are avenues easily accessible & available now to create, market and distribute your work and pay you directly. If you are an artist and do not take advantage these resources, you can only blame yourself–not the streaming services who are PAYING to use that product they are licensed to stream. Good day..

      1. It is obvious you do nothing of worth with your life. If you did these kinds of issues would be important to you. The problem is that record companies hire lobbyists to keep copyright laws that are in step with the digital age, from being passed. I would love to see a video of you saying what you wrote to Lemmy Kilmister’s face. You won’t because you are so brave, that you had to say it using a troll ID.

      2. Let’s admit, giblet, that you have no idea what you’re talking about and are painting with a wildly broad brush. This isn’t 1955 and not everybody has an money-grubbing Col. Tom Parker managing them or an evil record company “horking-down” their money. 99% (okay, 98%) of artists make extremely well-reasoned, knowledgeable career decisions. I say this as one myself who’s experienced about every level of the business.

        If you’ve made something, would you rather sell your wares directly to customers (where would you find them? how would they know you exist? and on and on and on), or would you rather partner with someone who has a well-oiled distribution network and marketing operation already in place?

  2. I’ll admit I am having a bit of a difficult time with this issue as well.

    I was a paying Spotify user too, but cancelled as soon as the Apple Music trial became available.

    I also just leased a new car and have a free 6 month trial of SiriusXM, both in-car and online, and I’m kind of enjoying the mindlessness of choosing a channel every once in awhile at work, in the car or while running. (I recognize that Apple Music and SiriusXM are completely different offerings). And while the compression on the in-car audio sucks, there’s an appeal about the simplicity of it all that makes me wonder whether I would be better off to subscribe to that instead of something like Apple Music or Spotify.

    I want to like Apple Music enough, but still not sure.

    1. I got tired of XM pretty quickly. Despite being a satellite service, they are just as boring and predictable as terrestial services. They still use playlists. After a while, you could predict what song they would play next. And don’t get me started on the stupid one-band-only stations they pimp from time to time.

      XM is a great idea, but in practice, it’s flaccid.

      1. Yeah, I agree it’s surprising there is a need for the Pearl Jam and Grateful Dead channels. I mean really? The Elvis one I could iunderstand maybe.

        Will see what I think at the end of the trial I guess. 6 months should be long enough to determine that.

        1. I have a SiriusXM account for my wife’s car, and a piggyback streaming account for me. I listen to SiriusXM in my car through Bluetooth, and it sounds better than my wife’s built-in radio. (Kia’s SiriusXM radios are crap!) I can use my streaming account anywhere I get a cell signal, and the streaming app has more channels than the car account anyway.

          1. Yeah, Im at work currently using the streaming version and way better audio and lots more channels. I have a Ford, and I know the XM radios always sounded less compressed than the Sirius ones, but Sirius is what Ford uses so it is what it is.

            For me, it will be deciding who gets that $100 or whatever per year – Apple or Sirius.

            You would also think that SiriuxXM in the wake of all these streaming services would be getting away from the Playlist format that Poster was referring to above and trying to show they had a product worth keeping.
            With Apple Music moving into the car they have subscribers on the line they could lose.

  3. Is this cretin aware of Siri? Having an assistant available 24/7 that will play virtually any song or album ever recorded with the mere utterance of a few words is easily worth the pittance Apple is charging for the service.

    Add Beats1 Radio, which blows away any radio station on my local airwaves and the value proposition is even more compelling. Sure, iTunes could be improved and I’m sure it will be. The truth is people who won’t pay for Apple music probably aren’t paying for spotify, pandora or many apps for that matter and Apple music will be just fine without them.

  4. Sure, Cue is thrilled with the numbers right now. But, where will things stand when the first round of autopay renewals come up? We’ve already seen how Apple Music does not play nice with iTunes Match and iTunes music libraries, with DRM getting inserted into previously matched tracks. How’s this going to play out when users cancel Apple Music after the free trial, and find out how deeply Apple Music messed around with their libraries and iTunes Match tracks?

    The Music app in iOS 8.4 has ruined the radio functionality for me, and I can no longer listen to cached iTunes Match tracks offline. The external agenda of shoving the iTunes peg into the Apple Music hole has taken a far higher priority over the user experience.

    As an iTunes Match user, the experience I have right now is noticeably worse than it was two months ago. I get that OS updates change functionality, but iTunes Match is a service that I pay for and I expect better than this from Apple.

  5. I won’t pay for the simple reason I don’t pay for any other service. I have more music than I can listen to already. In the UK, the BBC offers a great selection of radio stations to listen to, plus I have so many podcasts that I like that I don’t even get through them. That’s before I even factor in TV and films. There’s just no justification in paying for content I have no time to consume.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.