Apple Music: Gone and forgotten

“Within 30 days after Apple Music debuted, Apple touted 11 million signups. But since they were for 90-day free trials, it meant, obviously, that had actually paid for the service,” Gene Steinberg writes for The Tech Night Owl. “With contradictory surveys showing how many planned to actually keep their subscriptions active when it came due, the potential for success remained a huge question mark.”

“Well, on September 29th, I had to make a decision. Some of you simply turned off the auto-renew option so your Apple Music account wouldn’t renew. I realized I hadn’t done so. Not that $9.99 is that much money, although I can think of other purposes for it.,” Steinberg writes. “It turns out that I hadn’t touched any tracks from Apple Music in six weeks. Not a one. This doesn’t mean I didn’t launch iTunes, but every song I played, when I played anything, was something that I had already purchased. So why did I need to spend an extra $9.99 each month?”

“So the decision was inevitable. I decided to go without,” Steinberg writes. “Obviously, I’m far from the typical would-be Apple Music customer. I grew up buying music… and perhaps I’m just too old to change my ways, but there is something about owning music…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, Apple Music is a service for music lovers, not music dabblers. Music lovers will find Apple Music to be invaluable.

That said, Apple Music certainly has issues.

One thing, among many, that Apple needs to fix in Apple Music:
In iTunes Store, you can easily see which songs are most popular on an album or for each artist. When you look at an album in Apple Music, there is no popularity rating. Apple need to simply use the iTunes Store data in those views. Call it ‘iTunes Store Popularity.” It gives the listener cues as to where to start sampling a new album. Whatever the reasoning for not including that individual track popularity measure in Apple Music, if there is a reason and not just another oversight, it is wrong.

Another thing Apple needs to fix in Apple Music:
If a user is an Apple Music member, there should obviously be NO 1:30 PER TRACK PREVIEW FOR APPLE MUSIC MEMBERS. Why force subscribers to switch over and hunt for the track in Apple Music so that they can play the whole song to which they are already entitled? You know they are subscribers, Apple. It’s extraordinarily stupid to limit subscribers in this way. It’s frustrating. It makes us not want to bother. It’s a wrongheaded impediment to music discovery. We’ve paid for the entire track to stream unlimited. Let us.

There are countless other niggles that we have with Apple Music that, frankly, should not have been there in a properly-managed, properly-tested product at launch much less continue to exist today.

To turn off Apple Music’s automoatic renewal:

In iTunes:
1. Click on your account
2. Select “Account Info”
3. Select Settings>Subscriptions and click “Manage”
4. Set Automatic Renewal to “Off”

In iOS’ Apple Music app:
1. Tap your account
2. Tap “View Apple ID”
3. Select Subscriptions and tap “Manage”
4. Hit the toggle button to turn of automatic renewal

So far, Apple Music has failed; it’s very difficult to justify the monthly subscription – October 5, 2015


  1. I don’t understand the reluctance to Apple Music, I intend to continue with my subscription because I can still PURCHASE the content I like, while at the same time entertain other tracks that I am not willing to buy but still enjoy. I really enjoy classical/baroque period music from the masters like Vivaldi, C.P.E Bach, J.S. Bach, Teleman, G.F.Handel and others, however each of these masters created prodigious amounts of music… I will never be able to purchase them all particularly since very few exist as singles, but on albums, or collections sometimes costing hundreds of dollars…, so with apple music I still enjoy all of them and then purchase either the single track, or multiple tracks, or whole collections as I desire, It’s the perfect solution, plus I don’t have to store them on my device unless I choose to, but they are always in my collection as long as I subscribe, so I’m not just paying for access to millions of songs, I am also paying for storage media to hold them until I decide to download them onto my device. So, What’s not to like? Please let me know if I’m missing something, or have a misunderstanding about how Apple Music works.

    1. Is it so hard to believe that AM just sucks?

      Apple doesn’t do good software any longer. This is a service that was also very late to an overcrowded party.

      The fact that Apple has a cover charge when the other parties are free doesn’t help the situation at all.

      There’s an article out now saying that the fabled 203 billion dollars that Apple is holding overseas is really only 800 million, less taxes, debt, etc.

      Way to go Tim Cook. If your plan was to lower the companies QA standards, use Apple as your personal soapbox for lifestyle issues, create worthless products, and decimate Apple’s balance sheet… then you’re doing a terrific job.

      1. There is no question that Apple’s iTunes music interfaces are a mess.

        Trying to do everything in one app in iOS and one window on Mac/Windows for so many things is ridiculous.

        I have been doing tech support with my family who keep getting confused as to how to use Apple Music to create playlists etc. I feel like I just bought everyone Windows computers again. Ugh.

        1. The real question is why you’d be trying to listen to music using iTunes on OS X in 2015? Open the app on your phone, pick a song, album or playlist and push play. The music app is quite simple. It’s even simpler if you just tell Siri what to play.

    2. “I don’t understand the reluctance to Apple Music …”

      My reluctance stems from way too many reports of Apple Music destroying the catalogs people already have installed on their machines.

      It might be a great service, but I need to feel that it is safe to use – I don’t feel this at present.

  2. Wait, if you’re a subscriber, why are you still shopping in the iTunes Music Store? It sounds like you’ve got an old behavior (browsing iTMS for discovery) that need to change. You’re no longer browsing a menu. You’re at the buffet. You need to give yourself to the New tab. Switch genres and browse through the various playlists. They’ve got great recommendations and multiple lists that call out the most popular tracks and albums. New releases is excellent.

    I’m convinced that Apple Music was not designed with last decade’s digital music habits in mind. It’s a paradigm shift and it’s seemingly lost on those users who can’t get past the collect and manage mentality.

    1. LOL. You assume that he is using iTMS for music discovery, when there are literally hundreds, if not thousands of ways to discover music.

      You are someone who doesn’t want to own things. You are thus, a parasite, whose music habits will only be satiated as long as others provide free stuff for you. When the free stuff goes away, you cry. Meanwhile, I will have everything I’ve purchased and will be able to enjoy it.

      1. I was referring to the items in MDN’s take. He was specifically talking about the popularity indicator and song preview in iTMS.

        Also, I’ve spent an embarrassing amount on iTMS purchases since 2003. To the tune of around 10k. I’ve also amassed quite a collection of physical music, most of which has been ripped and now sits in my iTunes library.

        Before iTunes, if I wanted to listen to a particular song or album, I had to locate the CD, fiddle with some things and listen to just that CD until I was ready for something else. iTunes let me find and listen to anything that I owned in an instant, provided the song was available on the device at hand. Now Apple Music lets me listen to just about anything at all regardless of where it exists or what device I’m using. I don’t have to look for it or worry about buying it. I just search and push play. I’m not understanding how that’s so hard for so many of you.

    2. Exactly. “Give yourself to the New tab.” And, I’d add, to the For You tab. I am 40, own 25,000+ tracks, and was SO BORED with listening to them years ago. AM has revolutionized my music experience in last 3 months. I continually browse new music and since I am happy to pay 9.99 a month for the privilege, I couldn’t give a rats ass about owning any of that music. Why own (and be responsible for managing) when I can rent and listen anytime. As for other steaming services that are “free” – nothing says Freedom like someone else selling your data (and brain space) to the highest bidder, then having said bidder shove their crap down your eyes and ears 25% of the time you are trying to enjoy your media. Right?

      1. Amen. Pushing 40 here too and had grown incredibly weary of managing my library prior to digging into Beats Music. I was bored with it. Shuffling no longer made things interesting. Genius playlists had grown stale. Beats constantly nudged me to try new things and truly experience music again. AM has been an even better experience for me simply because it’s integrated.

        I’m not sure what free services are being referred to here but I can garuntee you that if it’s free, it’s not on par with AM. Apples to oranges comparison. The industry licensing structure assures that.

  3. While Gene has his own likes and dislikes, I do not think he can forecast very well.

    I do not see my keeping Apple Music subscription for ever. I like to own my music and many of my devices do not do wifi. But in helping find new artists, It seems to be working. I will use it for a while, drop it, re connect etc cause that is where it is strong for me.

    To each their own. Nuff said.

  4. Ok I’ve figured out why journalist write poor reviews of Apple Music. It’s the “Dr. Dre” influence on the music format. Political Correctness has spilled over into their decision to attack Apple Music instead of Dr. Dre himself. Zane Lowe “vanity project” described by CNET was the last straw and I can’t take it anymore. MacDailyNews constant drumming up these articles show their bias has aligned with the mainstream tech sites. Go figure…10th most popular App.

  5. “Again, Apple Music is a service for music lovers, not music dabblers. Music lovers will find Apple Music to be invaluable.”

    Huh? A music lover, like myself, already has almost all the music I want. A dabbler needs someone to expose him to stuff he hasn’t heard of. I need Apple Music to find the music I have never found. It thinks I need rap music or top hits of the 60’s. Let someone else pay to dabble. I have spent 50 years as a serious and voracious music collector. I see no way Apple Music is invaluable to me.

  6. I see benefits in both owing music and essentially renting it. The curated playlists on Apple Music often work for me and the diversity of options are helpful.
    To get the most of the service, you do need to heart songs you like and explore as much as you can. It’s hard to do that with a full time job but gradually I am finding the benefit of the service.
    There is stil la lot of work to do on the product. Finding what you have liked and added to your device is not obvious and it is not clear that the information is being synched to other devices.

    1. HuH! I’m 50 and love AM. I can go find all that classic music (stones, lennon, rush) I love and still look for new artists who might be worth a dam! Best of all possible worlds!

    2. 56 here and Apple Music works just great for me. I have about 80 GB of owned music, but as a music lover this allows me to dig much deeper and discover new and old music all the time.

  7. I’ve got the subscription mainly for my family. My 6000 song bought and paid for playlist includes everything from Chuck Berry to the Sex Pistols. No single radio station I know can match my variety. Every great once in awhile I spend the time to find new songs, but at 10 or 15 bucks a month who knows how long that will last.

    I’m looking for new features in Apple Music that truly wows me into saying “that’s fcking cool!!!!!” Tick tock, Eddy Cue, tick tock. So far my gut is saying leave it, rather than take it.

  8. I own lots of music.
    I wanted Apple Music to expose me to new music, and to allow me to listen to tunes in the background, the way a radio works.

    But for me Apple Music simply doesn’t work. I find it unusable.

    1. And I’m afraid it’s going to screw up the music that I do own, or even worse, treat my music library the way iBooks treated my book library. I’m slowly divorcing myself from iBooks and iTunes which will make it less likely for me to buy Apple products to read or listen to music.

      1. “And I’m afraid it’s going to screw up the music that I do own …”


        I saw far too many reports of Apple Music screwing up the music people already had installed.

        No thank you – I’ll wait until I feel that it safe to use.

    2. Do yourself a favor. Go to the new tab, pick a genre or just stick with all genres. Tap on hot tracks, pick a song and push play. I assure you that something new and fantastic will hit your ears. Even easier – just tell Siri to play some great new music. Or great new alternative music or whatever else floats your boat. It really does just work.

  9. Now I’ve learnt it, Apple Music is great for me. There’s one or two issues but nothing is perfect and they’ll get sorted. I wish MDN would stop telling users how to unsubscribe. It’s patronising and unnecessary.

  10. Not sure what the big deal is here. I own a lot of music. But with Apple Music subscription I now have access to virtually any music I desire. I don’t need to own it. I don’t care to own it. Perfect arrangement for me.

    I think that we are all conditioned to the importance of ‘owning’ things. This is a new concept. Oh – and I am 62.

  11. I am a subscriber to Apple Music and love the way I can listen to anything whether I own it or not. I have found new artists in the “For You” tab and purchased their albums. I like the fact that I can do that all in one place. I am a fan of their playlists and enjoy listening to varied compilations. I do not have the time to build my own, so this works well for me.

    BTW, I am way over 24 years old. And, I believe Apple Music suits me just fine. However, not everyone has to buy the same tool to listen to their music. I have found the one that works best for me, Apple Music.

  12. I’ve curated my own collection of music for decades. Now streaming is the standard and everyone has everything. Streaming has it’s advantages because I can’t buy everything just to see if I like it. I hear about a lot of things. There’s a ton of music out there.

    Because Apple Music is integrated with all my stuff more so than Spotify and Rdio, I’ve been using it. I’ve discovered new music I like (that i purchased cos i’m old school), older music that i always wanted to hear but never got around to it, and I don’t have to buy terrible new pop music for the kids…so i’m keeping it and using it.

  13. At first, I didn’t think Apple Music would address my needs. I’m a 66 year old, who has a wide variety of musical tastes, but shy away from more modern ‘pop’ music for various reasons. I thought that Apple would cater to the tastes of some younger listeners who thrive on the heavy synth bass and dance beats that turn me off. What I’ve found is the remarkable ability to pull up some great music from artists of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that I’ve not heard before, or have on LP (vinyl) and not on CD. I can also compare several renditions of classical pieces and pick the ones that have the best performances. This was not economically feasible for me before. I also love the music videos that accompany some of the artist profiles. And if I want to own, I can buy the music in the iTunes store. I love Apple Music, and gladly subscribe since it has enriched my musical explorations. And I agree that MDN should stop sounding like a ‘broken record’ on this issue. Yes, it needs more work, but enjoy what is there now.

  14. Streaming of all sorts steals from musicians and makes executives rich. It’s just wrong. It turns art into a commodity. Musicians who work bloody hard to hone their art and skills spending thousands of hours to master their instruments are left without a ‘return on their investment’ It’s a bad business and it’s bad for music.

  15. Haters gonna hate. I listen to Apple music everyday – great service. Discovering and rediscovering music I would never buy. I didn’t get streaming music until I tried it now I’l near go back. The Stones, John Lennon, etc. Artists I loved but did not hear the whole catalogue – now its all there for me!

  16. >>Again, Apple Music is a service for music lovers, not music dabblers. Music lovers will find Apple Music to be invaluable.

    You got that exactly backwards. Music lovers will arrange to have the music they love permanently available. That means they’ll purchase it and move it to all of their devices. It won’t be dependent on availability of a signal so that it can be streamed. The music they love will always be available.

    Music dabblers are happy to listen to something once or twice and then move on to the next disposable bit of fluff. Apple Music is for dabblers.

    1. Guess you haven’t heard of “make available offline”. I stream as little as possible unless I’m on wifi. Disagree with your assessment. I own roughly 20,000 songs, but still find Apple Music quite useful.

    2. I’ve got 3 albums that I’m obsessing over right now. A Jeff Buckley life album, an Al Di Meola album and an album by the band DIIV. All of which were discovered through Apple Music. I am the polar opposite of a musical dabbler. I’m a music obsessive and Apple Music has served me well.

  17. I’m a total music junky and for the life of me I cannot figure out how to work with Apple Music. I have over 2,000 songs on my Spotify account which is so user friendly and will soon cancel Apple Music if they don’t make it easier to stream and create your own playlists. As a huge fan for everything Apple this is a huge disappointment!

  18. I’m a music lover.
    Apple Music is a waste of time.
    If I have to look at one more stinking warning label I think I’m going to puke.
    On the other hand it does make it easier to spot the garbage.

  19. My Music adventure today:

    The “For You” interface offered up a Ryuichi Sakamoto album I hadn’t fully heard before. I played it while doing some work. It finished playing. It was wonderful. I bought it.

    Of course I bought it! That’s how I think about music I like. I want to own a copy. I’ll be playing it in my ears today from my iPod Shuffle while I move stuff into my new home. It will be my ‘whistle while you work’ tuneage. I ♥ Music!

  20. There are a few of us who listen primarily, perhaps exclusively, to classical music. Apple has ignored us entirely, perhaps reflecting both Steve Jobs’ personal taste in music but also the simple economics: we listen to music but don’t consume it.

    With a library of several hundred CDs specially selected by me for the performance and musicians or conductors it makes little sense to subscribe to an uncurated medley of recordings: a classical radio channel will introduce a new recording with commentary on the interpretation, performance and musicians but Apple offers nothing in this regard.

    iTunes is equally hopeless for classical music: sorting by composer is impossible or very difficult because a single composer, say J S Bach my be listed in several variants which make it difficult to exclude his son J C Bach or C P E Bach for instance.

    If I listen to Bach J S I want to hear performances on original instruments by players and conductors with a reputation for correct interpretation and I don’t want to hear modern instruments or recordings by groups or orchestras who have no idea about baroque playing – unless there is something remarkable about it, like Glenn Gould’s performances on the modern piano.

    And there are such performances, and new and interesting interpretations, but you would never know if you relied on Apple.

    So if I listen to new music I turn on the radio and listen to the curator to understand why a particular piece has been selected – it’s the only way to find new classical performances unless I buy a CD on a recommendation from a magazine or someone in one of the very few CD shops which remain.

    When I have listened to Apple’s classical radio selection the performances are mixed and it’s impossible to find out anything about the recording.

    I listen to other music – jazz, blues, greats from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, but only from my own collection.

    Given the market share of modern music services many people will perhaps never hear the great music from past centuries – music has been “dumbed down” and turned into a disposable commodity. I think that is a shame and Apple has a lot to answer for in this regard. Culture, it seems, has little place in Silicon Valley and the world is poorer as a result.

    1. Yes, for classical music lovers Apple Music is a joke. (But then again, so is everything else.) I barely noticed when the 90 day free trial expired, ’cause I’d abandoned using Apple Music many weeks prior, mostly due to frustration and anger at the tepid and incompetent selections.

    2. My problem with Apple Music, is that I read too many reports about it destroying the music people already had installed.

      I have classical albums that were pulled from LPs – they aren’t on CD, and I don’t want to have Apple Music remove them.

      No thanks, I’ll wait until it is actually safe to use.

  21. Real music lovers do not rent music, and are fully capable of curating their own playlists. AM is for people who just need the same corporate-funded, computer pitch-corrected noise in the background that all the kids are listening to this month.

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