Apple Music Playlists

By | May 9, 2016

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It has almost been a year since the introduction of Apple Music. As I was frantically working to update my iOS before I left for work, I wondered what the new music service would have in store for me. Being a subscriber for 7 out of the last 11 months, I’m really happy overall with the experience.

Do the menus need to be simplified? Yes!

Do the downloading and favoriting options need to be simplified? Yes!

Does the whole service need a bit of a makeover? Yes, but we’ll have to wait until WWDC in June for that to happen.

In the meantime, we have what we have, and it’s really pretty good. The most impressive aspect of the service has been the advances to the playlists. Generally, the playlists are nice. Hitting the “For You” tab brings about the 10, 15, or 20 song selections that are an interesting way to hear new tracks or rediscover classics from the past. Over time, they can get kinda stale, extra exploration is important to keep things fresh and interesting.

If you are a slacker like me, you’d rather have the music brought to your ears rather than having to seek it out yourself. That’s why after all these years one music service still gets my $3.99. Slacker Radio is the best at what they do. They bring new and different music to my ears each day, but Apple Music might be catching up.

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Over the past few months, Apple Music has been doing an amazing job of auto-updating their genre playlists. I favorite and download The A-List – Apple’s alternative playlist. Previously, it was a lot of work to check in on the playlist to look for new tracks before manually downloading them individually. Now, all of the labor is removed. Randomly throughout the week, new tracks are added and immediately downloaded.

(I think this occurs during the night because the playlist syncs to my Apple Watch while it’s charging, but I can never be sure. I am sleeping after all.)

As the effort has decreased on my part, the benefit has improved tremendously as the music picks get better and better. I might be letting my advanced age of 35 years bias my view, these tracks are amazing. Check these out:

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Are you seeing what I’m seeing? Radiohead, RHCP, blink-182, Garbage. Do my eyes deceive me? Am I in high school again? If you move through the list, you’re treated to some Weezer that sounds straight out of their 1994 glory.

Of course, there are some lesser known, up-and-comers added into the mix that shed light on talent previously unheard. The lists are really well done.

My gripe: 49 tracks is a great, great start, but I long for more. More tracks, more selection, and more closely defined playlist than alternative. How about some old mixed in with the new? How about an alternative/ indie rock hybrid? I really believe this is only the beginning of Apple Music’s playlists with WWDC being the turning point of expansion and simplification.

Until then, Consume.Review.Repeat gives Apple Music’s playlists 8.7 banging heads out of  10.

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