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Apple aims to change music industry (again) with Apple music

Today, among other things, Apple announced their long rumored new music service Apple Music.
By
June 8, 2015
Apple Music1
Today was WWDC, a developer conference held by the Cupertino tech giant Apple. Among other things, Apple announced their long rumored and long awaited “revolutionary” new music service simply dubbed Apple Music. There are a lot of similarities and some big differences between it and some of the other mainstream music streaming services offered right now. Apple has definitely pioneered change in the music industry before, but is the new service enough to put them on top again? Here are some of the main features that the new service will bring.

Music

What kind of music service would it be if it didn’t have music? The most basic feature being that Apple Music will have “All the music you already have. And all the music you could ever want.” This means that your entire iTunes library as well as the entire iTunes library in general will be available to stream or download for offline listening.

It doesn’t matter whether the music was purchased from iTunes, ripped from a CD, or downloaded from a music blog, it will all be kept in your own personal library attached to your Apple ID. This isn’t exactly a new feature as Google Play Music already allows you to do this with up to 50,000 songs, but it’s still something was necessary for them to succeed over the competition.

On top of that Siri has learned some new tricks especially for the new music service. You will able to play songs or albums by name via voice command, but can also make surprisingly specific requests and have Siri play the right song. For instance, asking Siri to play the top song from May, 1982 will play ‘I love Rock ’n’ Roll’ by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Pretty cool.

Live Radio Stations

Back in February, it was reported that Apple had picked up DJ Zane Lowe from BBC radio. Though motives were somewhat unclear at the time we now know the reason: Beats 1. Beats 1 is a 24/7 radio station that will be curated by DJ’s who know a thing or two about music, Zane Lowe being one of them along with his hand-picked staff of world famous DJ’s.

Zane will be broadcasting live from Los Angeles while Ebro Darden will handle the big apple and Julie Adenuga will control the airwaves across the pond in London. Rather than clicking on an artist or genre and having an algorithm determine what song comes next, live DJ’s will have actual radio stations that you can tune in to.

Other stations will also be available, though not live. Basically they will be curated playlists from other DJ’s and experts in the genre, some of which reportedly include artists like Drake and Pharrell. Both of whom made appearances today at the event in some way, with Drake physically speaking on stage and Pharrell having one of his songs play during a new ad.

If none of those appeal to you, you can always make your own station in a way similar to Spotify and Google Play Music, simply by starting a station and liking or disliking songs. The more you use it the more fine tuned the station will be to your preference.

Connect

Arguably the most unique feature about the new service is called Apple Connect. This is a new way for artists big and small to upload and share pretty much whatever they want. Everything from short behind-the-scenes video clips to pictures of half-written lyrics can be shared instantly from the artist to their fans in an Instagram-like fashion built right into the app itself. The best thing about it is that it is not limited to big named artists. Any new artist can upload and share their music, videos, and pictures through the service in order to reach new fans.

Spotify has a similar feature in their service that enables you to follow artists and people you like as well, but they haven’t yet turned it into a fully functioning social experience. It mainly just shows you what the person is listening to or what playlists they have. On the other hand, Apple Connect seems to be an entirely new way to (dare I say it) connect with your favorite artist and I’m personally looking forward to seeing what new musicians will emerge from the platform.

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As is the case with most things in life, Apple Music won’t be (entirely) free. Though they will initially have a 3-month free trial, pricing starts at $9.99 a month which is exactly the price of a premium membership on Spotify. That said, they will also have a special family price that allows up to 6 people to share in the service for only $14.99 a month.

Each person will get their own recommended playlists and music libraries so that no one ends up listening to their moms oldies (though I’m sure those are amazing). Or you can simply find six friends who want to save some money.

The service is said to come to iOS 8.4 on June 30th and there are even Android and Windows apps coming in the Fall. Do you think that Apple Music has enough going for it to set themselves apart from the increasingly crowded music streaming services market? Let us know in the comments down below.