Apple admits it has ‘homework to do’ to improve Apple Music

“Apple has ‘a bit of homework to be done’ to improve its Apple Music streaming service, the company’s international iTunes boss has said,” Stuart Dredge reports for The Guardian.

There’s a lot of work going into making the product better. Our focus is on editorial and playlists, and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that, but we’re also adding features and cleaning up certain things… Apple Music Connect is growing big-time with more and more artists connecting to their fans, but we still have a bit of homework to be done for the rest of the year. — Oliver Schusser, vice president, iTunes International, told The Guardian.

Dredge reports, “Asked about criticisms of Apple Music’s usability – which has seen users complaining of corrupted libraries and unintuitive interfaces – Schusser said: ‘The product is always our priority, and we are getting a lot of feedback. Remember, this was a very big launch in 110 markets instantly, so we get a ton of feedback. We’re obviously trying to make it better every day.’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: ‘Tis good to hear that Apple is committed to improving Apple Music and all of their music-related efforts.

20 Comments

    1. I agree… But Beats 1 is revolutionary in its presentation and timing. Most here may not agree with the music, but it is ALL about NEW music and getting it out to the population.

      Much like DJ’s in the 50’s and 60’s, it is about the MUSIC and making sure people hear it.

      I suspect in ten years time… Apple Music will be thought of just as revolutionary as iTunes was ten years ago. Especially if they expand the live stations. Each into a different genre.

      iTunes singles was nothing new… In the 50’s you had to buy a “record” which was one song, with a B-side. Then they moved to whole albums when the technology caught up.

      We will see the advent of albums again, despite what some artists think. If history has taught us anything… what went around comes around again.

    1. Replacing iTunes with focused apps would be a start.

      Finding/downloading/using/syncing everything from iOS apps to movies, audiobooks and radio stations in one place is nutty.

      Maybe if iTunes only managed music they could make it easier to manage the five places where music can be found

      – Local
      – Playlist
      – Music Match in Cloud or local
      – Apple Music
      – My Music in Cloud or “Available Offline”
      – iTunes Music Store

      Even making a simple UI for all that will be a freaking challenge.

      1. iTunes does indeed need to be broken into separate apps.

        Also, the interface for the Mac apps need to be much more consistent with Mac GUI rules instead of continuing to hide controls like iOS interfaces do. THERE IS NO NEED TO DUMB DOWN THE MAC TO LOOK LIKE IOS. That is the #1 problem with all Mac programs that Apple has released lately.

        Finally — Apple needs to wake up and realize that a large percentage of people WILL NEVER sign up for iCloud. Stop making it a central theme in all programs. It’s just storage rental, so stop making it so confusing for users to know what files exist where. Make it CLEAR, and make iCloud and Match and AM clearly defined options that a user can TURN OFF PERMANENTLY.

        After the mess that these services have caused us, I never want to see these “features” ever again on a Mac. If you want to sell services, make it a different application separate from local media management apps.

  1. The UI is godawful, and the weird interplay of music you own that is physically on your device, music you own that is on iTunes Match, and music you have access to on Apple Music is horribly confusing.

    Having said that, the music that is actually on Apple Music is pretty great. Their curated lists of jazz is really stellar, which is a very pleasant surprise.

    So I’d say they have the important things right so far, and what they really need to do is figure out what the heck they want to do with the UI.

  2. Too bad they don’t plan on increasing its radio offerings to cd quality – like Tidal. I’m a loyal fanboy, but more likely to drop AM for Tidal. Especially if I had to choose only one.

    MDN bashed Tidal a couple of days ago (because MDN tends to do that to anyone they view as competition to Apple).

    I can stream Tidal through Sonos in my house and enjoy quality. I know a lot if people are walking around with $2 headphones and listening to super compressed music, hence they don’t care or don’t know what they’re missing. It’s a shame.

    It’s nice to have a better interface and better info for AM, but doesn’t sound quality count? I mean it’s about the music, right.

    I wish more people cared enough to make sound quality imperative.

    1. My brother is an audiophile. He is funny, weights pressing down on the equipment and speakers, Russian tubes, huge wires, things are shielded, precise placement of the speakers.

      I get so use to my music being highly compressed on headphones. When I visit him and hear the quality of his music, it is amazing.

  3. ” Our focus is on editorial and playlists, and obviously we have teams all around the world working on that”

    I don’t know how accurate the article is in quoting the iTunes manager but the ‘focus’ of Apple shouldn’t be ‘editorial and playlists’ but fixing the interface and the bugs that seem to affect some with their own large libraries. The reason why this is troubling is because this follows Iovines long interview some weeks ago where he kept talking about ‘hiring hundreds of curators etc’ when asked about Apple Music instead of really addressing the UI and bug issues.

    Fix the underlying UI issues and the ‘more editorial’ can come later.
    People aren’t complaining so much about the curation but the usability.

    1. Apple hasn’t had focus on user experience since Jobs left us. I swear Cook and Ive wouldn’t know an intuitive interface if it hit them in the head. They both seem to love copying Google and Microsoft instead of refining Apple’s own GUIs. iOS buries all commands, greys out and flattens the interface so nothing is legible, and forces the user to use Android swiping for almost everything. OS X has been dumbed down to look like iOS and partially act like iOS. Wrong way to go, Apple. STOP DUMBING DOWN OSX !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I’m not big on the whole music store thing maybe I just totally don’t understand it. I’m the type person if I download my music I want to listen to it at my convenience and own it. When you download from the music store do you own it? Or you just playing a monthly fee to listen to music like the radio? All that I do know is that the UI sucks if I want to play my own music under songs you use to be able to shuffle it. And listen to a mix of all songs that you purchased where is that at now? I honestly believe Steve Jobs would be rolling around in his grave the app is not intuitive at all. You have to do two things to get to where you want to go where before you did one.

  5. To me, the problem with Apple Music is that it is weighted too heavily to curated lists and Apple Radio.

    I signed up for the free trial period and wanted to start recreating some of my Spotify playlists in Apple Music. Took me a while to figure out how to do it, especially to put them beside existing playlists I had for my “bought” music, but I eventually got it. It certainly wasn’t intuitive. It was very intuitive to do the first time I tried Spotify.

    I don’t really want curated lists, I will listen to the radio if I want that. I want to create a playlist and have Apple Music suggest “similar” music for me to discover based on that. I will listen to it and if I like it, add it. I’ve got it all working and figured out now, but I wouldn’t call it obvious out of the box.

    They should have taken the opportunity of Apple Music to either decouple it or rebuild iTunes from the ground up. iTunes is seriously broken and shoe horning Apple Music into it has only made it worse.

  6. Like others have said it’s the user interface that sucks. This would never have been like this under Steve Jobs. Same goes for most new Apple software released in the past year or so. (i)Photo, iWork, iTunes, iMovie – the user interface has gone to crap. Please fix it quickly. Mr. Cook needs to start using this himself. Please fix it quickly!

  7. 1. I installed it. Found the interface very confusing and unfocused. But OK.

    2. I lost all my Playlists except for Purchased Music. huh? After some work I got it back. That happened a second time. Again, some work to get it back.

    3. It wouldn’t sync playlists properly. I created new ones and it didn’t work. Deleted some, added some, and for some reason it worked after a few tries.

    4. About 1,300 of my 2,600 songs lost their star ratings. Huh?

    5. Overall Shuffle of songs or a playlist is gone. Listening to my library, I got into a mode where I couldn’t find and access genres. I suit the app and restarted; was able to find Genres but no way to shuffle within a genre.

    6. Finally, I quit Music and downloaded a third party music playing app. And quit their Apple Music service. What a fiasco.

    Meet the new Microsoft!!!

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