After years of rumors swirling around, Apple Music was introduced last week at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) held in San Francisco. The much anticipated announcement follows Apple’s acquisition of Beats last year for $3 billion dollars. There are many existing streaming music services which Apple aims to challenge, including Spotify, Pandora, and Google Play Music. As with each of its competitors, Apple Music is not the perfect music service.
Quick List of Apple Music Pros and Cons
- Android App
Just as Google Play Music is available on iOS, Android users will be able to load Apple Music, available in the fall, but with limitations.
- Music Uploads
If you’re a musician looking for exposure, Apple will accept submissions (subject to approval) for inclusion on Apple Music. 9to5Mac has an article on how to get started.
- Free Trial
A three-month free trial will give you time to decide whether or not you like Apple Music, and to check out how it compares to other services.
- Doesn’t Include Every Track in iTunes
Apple Music gives you access to 30 million songs, but that’s the same number as Spotify. It’s not the entire iTunes catalog – for example, don’t expect to stream the Beatles.
- No Such Thing As Free
Unlike Spotify, Apple Music does not have a free, ad-supported option. However, there will be Beats 1, which is a selection of curated radio stations like Pandora, but with DJs.
- Not a Deal
For $10 a month you basically get the exact same thing Spotify and Google Play Music offer. Apple’s family plan is $14.99 a month for up to six people. Spotify is currently $14.99 for two users per month, $19.99 for three, $24.99 for four, and $29.99 for five. But, Spotify is offering 50 percent off family pricing, and rumor has it they will soon be reducing their rates to match Apple.
Apple didn’t have much success with Ping, its first music-related social offering, but it’s trying again with Connect. The goal is to let artists share with fans, but they already can do that on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and many other services.
- Limited Devices
Apple Music will run on iOS, Apple Watch, Macs, PCs, and Android devices. Spotify covers all those platforms, and also Roku, Amazon Fire devices, a range of speakers and stereos, and PlayStation 3 and 4.
- Separate But Not Equal
The Android version will be available only for those who have a paid subscription. On iOS, Beats 1 Radio, Apple Music radio stations, and Connect are free.
(list adapted from a recent PC Magazine article)
Some streaming music choices: 7 Alternatives to Apple Music.