Published On: Sat, Aug 22nd, 2015

9 Features Apple Music Needs To Win Over Power Users


I listen to a lot of music. we typically buy and accumulate 3 hour playlists every other week, while also supplementing my listening habits with slight vinyl purchases, going to live shows, and jamming Resident Advisor and XLR8R podcasts, SoundCloud mixes, and Boiler Room live streams.

But during a finish of a day, iTunes is still a core piece of my musical life.

I still recall switching to iTunes from WinAmp for a initial time — it blew my mind. The pleasing interface, a classification ability, playlist creation settings, and how it showcased manuscript art…it was light years forward of what Winamp was doing.

Over time, iTunes ceased evolving and Spotify started to take a spotlight. we gave Spotify a try, nonetheless we didn’t like it. we couldn’t find a artists we enjoyed. It didn’t make clarity for my listening habits, and we wasn’t prepared to desert my vast digital strain library yet. Spotify didn’t work for me.

Then Apple launched iTunes Match a few years ago. we adore Match. we trust it’s the best strain product Apple has expelled for appetite users.

What finished Match so special was that we could use iTunes like a Dropbox locker for your digital strain files — nonetheless still contend your playlists. It was a use for those that wanted both their digital files and indispensable an easy approach — even nonetheless Apple says it’s not a backup use — to behind them up. My usually censure with iTunes Match is that a strain extent is too low (currently it’s usually 25k), nonetheless we’ve listened that it will boost to 100k soon. iTunes Match was amazing…and yet. It was becoming increasingly tough to transparent spending so many on digital strain files when we could get 70% of what we wanted on Spotify for $9.99 per month? It was a struggle.

42 Apple Music

So when Apple Music was announced, we had high hopes. we was vehement about Apple Music and how it would work in and with iTunes Match. we wanted Apple Music to be a messiah. It isn’t. That’s not to contend that we don’t like it. It’s a outrageous alleviation over what was formerly available, and Apple has offered adult a handful of facilities to win over appetite users, including:

  • A giveaway 90-day hearing and no-paywall premieres
  • Niche genre radio stations
  • A opposite lineup of Beats1 artists with lane lists
  • (Limited) playlist sharing
  • Playlist curation from tastemakers
  • A amicable component to follow your favorite artists

Features. Cool. I wish more. But, no surprise, we wish it to work right and be better. we wish Apple to make Apple Music a fugitive program that I’ve been forgetful about for years. Right now Apple Music is for people with no thought what to stream. It’s a mainstream service, with mainstream goals for mainstream listeners. It should be more. And it can be more.

Apple Music could win over some-more appetite users with some changes. And now would be a good time, because everyone’s hearing durations are about to expire. Here are 9 features that we trust Apple Music could add to win over appetite users.

1. Alerts for new releases from artists we follow

Tuesdays are my favorite day of a week since that’s when new albums are typically expelled (Mondays for Europe). we get email alerts from Juno, Beatport, Boomkat, Bleep, and several other digital strain stores that tell me what’s being released. we click through, and we buy. Apple Music doesn’t have anything like this. The “New” territory does not seem to be catered towards me, a “For You” territory is usually a garland of marks we already have, and “Connect” has some-more than usually links to marks (it has photos, updates, etc. like a Facebook page).

Where’s a personalization? How do we know when your favorite artist has a new recover entrance out?

Wouldn’t it be good if a artists we subscribed to on Connect could send we an warning when a new singular was released? This is a underline Beatport has nailed. After subscribing to DJs we like, we get a weekly email catered to your preferences. Something identical within Apple Music would be awesome, and it would be a killer feature for all users. This would be a best approach for fans on Apple Music to stay on tip of a newest marks from a artists they know and love.

This is what a weekly email from Beatport looks like. It's catered to me formed on artists we follow.

This is what a weekly email from Beatport looks like. It’s catered to me formed on artists we follow.

2. A approach to follow record labels

There are a handful of record labels that we positively love, including Aus and Local Talk. Although incomparable record labels tend to offer a opposite catalog of artists, smaller labels tend to carve out a niche within a industry. Power users follow a niche scenes. I’ll check out all that’s expelled on Claude Von Stroke’s tab Dirtybird since we know what forms of marks to pattern from a label. Likewise, Skrillex fans go nuts over all from his label, Owsla.

If we can follow artists on Apple Music, we should be means to follow record labels too. If we tied this underline into my initial underline ask about notifications, we could get updates when your favorite labels had new things being expelled (much like what Beatport offers).

3. Fix a formation with iTunes Match and iCloud

As many have forked out, a iCloud square of Apple Music is a finish nightmare. The biggest “WTF” impulse for me after we commissioned Apple Music was a finish drop of my playlists. I’m not articulate about a few songs out of place; It was like a explosve went off and sparse my songs everywhere. Apple Music dismantled my library some-more than any iTunes refurbish I’ve ever experienced. we won’t capacitate a strain square of iCloud on my phone now since I’m frightened of a repeat A-bomb dropping on my library. Apple has mislaid my trust.

But this offensive knowledge is usually partial of a problem with iCloud. If we don’t capacitate iCloud on your phone, we can’t take Apple Music marks on a go. That means I’m usually removing partial of a advantages of Apple Music on mobile. Apple wants we to capacitate iCloud, nonetheless a problem is that a earthy marks get private from your library when iCloud is enabled. You can usually tide a tracks. Sometimes I’m on a craft or in an area with uneven service, and we wish a files on my phone so we can still listen to them yet joining to a Internet. Apple needs to repair a iCloud formation and let me take all marks in Apple Music on a go. And for a adore of god, greatfully make a transcribe playlists stop.

4. Ability for users to emanate and publicly share playlists

One thing overwhelming about Spotify is that normal users can turn playlist superstars. Any and all playlists can be common and ranked. Beatport has something similar. Any pledge DJ can horde playlists on a height and share with their followers. 

Apple Music’s chronicle is incomplete. You can emanate and share playlists, nonetheless there’s no open confronting partial of Apple Music that allows we to see what your friends have combined and shared. Does Apple unequivocally wish me to share this playlist on Facebook or Twitter? Why not do something with “Connect” so users can have exchanges with one another — this internally-facing amicable appetite will feed into creation Apple Music a place where people are driven to go for reasons over ‘their library’.Screen Shot 2015-08-11 during 1.59.35 PM

What’s good about this functionality on Spotify is that it builds village and allows appetite users to turn playlist superstars. Users need to be means to emanate some-more open confronting user profiles that can horde these playlists. Apple Music needs to take annals from Spotify and make a amicable facilities indeed social. “Mixing” by enormego already has a flattering plain template for trending playlists on Apple Music. This is a good place to start.

5. Expand strain publisher partnerships

Apple Music has finished a good pursuit removing artists like Jamie XX to emanate Beats1 playlists, nonetheless it shouldn’t stop there. What about strain blogs?

It’s transparent that some strain sites like Pitchfork are removing deals to be Apple Music Curation partners, nonetheless there are a lot of successful blogs that aren’t on a platform. Some of these niche strain blogs are big. They appetite vast counterculture movements and pull outrageous quantities of digital and earthy music. If we wish to get appetite users to use Apple Music more, we need to have all a sites they review on a height actively participating. And there needs to be incentives.

I’m not about just mega strain sites like Rolling Stone or NME; I’m articulate about a tiny guys. Sites like Resident Advisor and XLR8R should all have a event to get deals for curation.

Maybe start tiny and see what kind of volume of plays they can push. There’s a vast event for smaller strain sites to move in a new type of strain listener, and Apple Music could appetite this. If Apple isn’t already profitable vast sites to curate, they should. And they should extend that charity to smaller sites. All parties would benefit, including a artists, labels, and listeners.

6. Better interface

Apple Music is treacherous to use. Why are “Playlists” and “My Music” dual opposite sections? Why does a “For You” territory have playlists with all aged music? Why doesn’t a “New” territory have personalization algorithms during play? Why are marks blank from a curated playlists? And because is it so difficult to supplement new marks to a playlist? If we wish to supplement a new lane that’s not in my library to a playlist, here’s how a routine goes:

  • Click on a “new” or “for you” tab
  • Search for track
  • Click on lane or album
  • Add lane to “my library”
  • Go to “playlist” territory in Apple Music
  • Sort strain library by date added
  • Drag lane to new playlist

You can cut out a few stairs by clicking a “add to playlist” underline after we supplement a lane to your library, nonetheless it’s still a rather extensive routine usually to get one lane combined to your playlist. You should be means to supplement any lane to your playlist before adding it to your library. When a lane is combined to a playlist, it should automatically be combined to your library. I’m not certain because Apple finished this such an insanely difficult process. There’s so many tiny issues with a a interface, and those supplement adult to it coming across as clunky. It should be simple.

7. Better recommendations engine

Spotify has a best recommendations engine. Period. When we are listening to a lane in Apple Music, there’s zero enlivening we to try a new track. Where’s a “you competence also like” feature? Power users wish softened recommendations, and Apple isn’t creation it easy for a appetite user. The “For You” territory is buried and never relevant. It usually doesn’t work right.

8. Add a reward tier with allege releases

I would compensate twice a cost for Apple Music if it could get a same arrange of exclusives that Beatport gets. Beatport mostly gets exclusives several weeks before a marks are expelled on other services. Apple should supplement a reward tier that gives we entrance to some marks before they are expelled to everybody else. It would be like carrying a VIP card.

The $9.99 monthly cost isn’t unequivocally an “all-you-can-eat meal” if we can’t find everything. Since regulating Apple Music, I’ve spent a ton on marks that weren’t listed in the catalog. Often I’ll learn some new tunes by a curated playlists, nonetheless afterwards we can’t find a newest marks from a artists (even nonetheless a marks are already out on Beatport). I’m peaceful to compensate some-more if we can get more. And we wish more. Apple is blank out on a income stream, and appetite users are willing to flare over more income to get a marks they can’t find on Apple Music.

9. Add a earthy strain store

It competence sound like a crazy idea, nonetheless it’s not. Vinyl sales are on a rise, and vinyl nets many aloft distinction margins than streaming. While a cost of streaming a strain is pennies and a cost to buy a digital manuscript is typically $10, a vinyl record is $20-$30. According to Nielsen SoundScan data, 9.2M vinyl records were sole in 2014. The discerning math (9.2M annals X $25 per record) suggests that a vinyl marketplace is value about $230M.

Vinyl

Who’s removing many of this income for vinyl right now? Amazon. Apple could simply partner adult with Amazon or other vast vinyl retailers like Juno Records, and yield an easy approach for users to buy by Apple Music. Apple could take a tiny cut, and it would be profitable for both parties. If a business proves to be profitable to Apple, it could always launch a possess earthy strain store and emanate reward manuscript packages. These packages boost a cost tab from $20-$30 to $35 or more. Daft Punk did this for Random Access Memories, and a tip package cost roughly $300. Fans buy this stuff.

Final thoughts

Apple has a good product, nonetheless not a good product with Apple Music. With changes and updates —some major, many teenager — Apple Music could be a many softened product. First, it needs to repair a clunky pattern and formation with iCloud. Next it needs to supplement softened facilities for appetite users like alerts, a reward tier, and an softened recommendations engine. Expanding a strain publisher partnerships and potentially adding a earthy strain store (or approach to buy earthy music) could also be good reward facilities to assistance win over complicated strain consumers like myself.

The time on my trial duration is about to expire, and I’m still not 100% certain I’ll keep a service. There is a lot of issues with Apple Music — nonetheless there’s also a lot to suggest it still. Are we formulation on gripping it once your hearing runs out?

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