Apple Music one month later: Not loving it, but I’ll be subscribing to it

“I used to buy singles (45’s as a kid). If you don’t know what a 45 is then you are probably more likely to be a candidate for Apple Music :-),” Terry White blogs. “In my opinion Apple Music is for people that don’t have a huge investment in their own music. It’s for people that listen to music often and want to always be able to listen to what’s new from a variety of artists. If you’re the kind of person that LOVES music and always want to listen to either a lot of music or new/different music that you don’t own then you’ll likely love Apple Music.”

“One thing I’ve always loved about Apple products is that there was a certain elegance about them. The Apple Music internace wasn’t as straight forward as I had hoped,” White writes. “I probably would not continue with Apple Music if it were just me. At $9.99/month I’d actually be spending more than I do now. However, what will likely make me keep it after the trial is the very smart thing that Apple did by creating a ‘Family Plan.’ At $14.99 not only can I enjoy Apple Music, but so can 5 of my family members.”

“On a side note: iTunes on the desktop is long overdue for a complete rewrite. Every time they add something new to iTunes it becomes that much more of a pain in the ass to use,” White writes. “If you look at iOS you can see that Apple has separated out many functions into separate apps. You have the Music app for music, the iTunes app to buy/rent new content, the Podcasts app for Podcasts, the iBooks app for books, and the Videos App for movies and TV shows. Yet on the desktop the Mac/PC version tries to do everything in one Application. Since we rarely connect our devices up to our computers anymore to sync, there is a less of a need to have this all in one approach. Apple kept the Mac App Store separate and there’s no reason now not to separate out the iOS App Store and many of the other things that iTunes does now. They could then focus on building a killer Music app that would be the showcase for Apple Music.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yes, the family plan pricing is Apple Music’s saving grace. It’s a good deal, delivering much value for the price.

As for iTunes, as we wrote last month:

Apple deserves all of this and then some. This has been building for years. With each new version of “iTunes” (even the app’s name hasn’t been right for many years), we’ve had such high hopes, but all we ever get are more and more appendages bolted on to the bloated mass, when it’s exactly the opposite that’s called for!

iTunes is the Yoplait yogurt cup of UIs.
iTunes is the Yoplait yogurt cup of UIs.
iTunes is the Yoplait yogurt cup of UIs. Upside-down, inefficient, messy, unusable in spots and woefully inefficient. The foil top always tears in half; it never comes off in one piece. Trying to spoon it all out of an ever-widening cup maddeningly gets yogurt all over the spoon’s handle and your fingers. And inconvenient bumps molded into the horrid thing to go along with a wide yogurt-catching lip around the top thwart even the most determined of spoon scrapers. The amount of Yoplait yogurt thrown away due to poor packaging design could feed several impoverished nations. The amount of media hidden away, seemingly inaccessible, and lost inside in iTunes is like leftover yogurt forlornly and forever stuck in that awfully-designed Yoplait cup. What a stupid waste!

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.

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.MacDailyNews Take, July 17, 2015

Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 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


  1. It does take a while to learn how to navigate your way through the app. The playlists that are provided are quite useful. I have added more songs to my devices than I would have bought so on the face of it is cheaper than the subscription fee. The key will be to continue to add to make it worth while continuing with the service.
    At this point I would give it 3/5.

  2. I want Apple Music also working away from my bought music, so they can be transferred separately and never mixed together but flagged as clearly separate. Mixing personal libraries and virtual temporary ones was and is a bad idea. If “it just works” also means unintended catastrophic music file deletions then it doesn’t “just work” except to consumer dissatisfaction.

  3. I agree with MDN take, It definitely needs more work. Don’t bother trying to search because I can’t get the keyboard to work on my phone or iPad. I’m also struggling to understand how to find music and what happened to being about to play the Top Charts music? I liked that feature.
    I find I’m spending way to much time forwarding to the next song because I don’t like a particular song or artist.
    It doesn’t work well and it’s not easy to use. NOT a good combo and whoever is responsible for this at Apple needs to get this fixed ASAP. Ultimately Tim will have to answer for it but he’s not the software guy.
    Let’s hope they fix it before they start charging because even though the family plan is great, my kids are frustrated and won’t use it which defeats the purpose.

  4. The Apple Music UI certainly isn’t perfect, but I’m having little to no trouble navigating around and listening to what I want. iTunes is another story.

    Interesting analogy with Yoplait yogurt. Probably best that some of it stays in the container, because it is laden with sugar.

      1. I am getting really tired of people implying that Apple fans are mindless supporters of Apple and mindless denigrators of anything non-Apple. That is one of those half-a$$ed political techniques used by scumbag candidates to attempt to undermine someone else when they really don’t have good backing/evidence.

        Sure, there are some rabid Apple fans who tend to overlook the flaws and weaknesses in Apple’s products. And MDN often goes a bit over-the-top in slamming Android, although Google/Android/Samsung really does deserve most of it. But most of us are Apple supporters who see both the good and the bad in Apple products and services and hope to see the company continue to improve. And that’s the important fact.

      1. and a finger under the top edge gets the rest..

        though that’s true with basically ALL yogurt containers, regardless of shape — you get more out with a final wipe of your finger.

  5. Adam Estes echos what we all know but which Apple faithful just can’t bring themselves to say:

    “Apple Music betrayed my elemental trust in iTunes, too. It discombobulated my music library, confusing it with what I owned owned and the music Apple Music promised me—and for a fee! Dalrymple also experienced how Apple Music duplicated tracks that he owned, dismantling his own carefully curated library of music on his hard drive and shoving him in the direction of the iTunes Music Store. Apple Music wasn’t the application’s savior. It became its downfall.

    The reason for this is simple: iTunes always promised us simplicity. Apple Music made iTunes unbearably complicated. Even the basic things that iTunes always did well—really elementary things like making it easy to organize large amounts of music—don’t work in congress with Apple Music. Artists and albums seem to exist in two places, my iTunes Library and separate, gated community that is Apple Music. I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the simple, elegant iTunes I knew in college.”

    When Apple churns out software-as-services like this, Apple is the new Microsoft. For shame.

  6. A couple weeks from my first post on this subject. iTunes keeps getting better. Now, with each new “For You” there is often more than one selection that I want to listen to and a playlist the seems compelling. In the past, the playlists were easy to ignore; now, not so much.

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