This week, you can add another music service to the long list of possible choices for your ears to consume content with, as Apple launches its awaited “Music” service, complete with its own live radio station.
If you haven’t been quite persuaded by the streaming choices out there, and neither Spotify, Rdio, Pandora, Guvera, Mog, Deezer, Tidal, or Google Play have matched what you think a music service should be like, today you have one more to try.
Yes, Apple Music has arrived, pretty much exactly when Apple said it would be coming, launching July 1 in Australia and June 30 on the other side of the world, which is what Apple said the day would be.
The service is currently available on iPhone and iPad only for the whole smartphone and tablet side of things, though if you have a copy of iTunes you can try it out on PC or Mac, with Android set to arrive later on.
Right now, the service appears to offer a good lot of what the other major streaming services offer, with the millions of songs available through the iTunes available to listen to and add to your own catalogue, with the option to create radio stations through these songs and find more music to listen to and add to your own library.
You can even help the system work out what sort of music to suggest by picking and removing the styles of music you prefer via a set of circles which increase in size when you touch them, with size denoting how much you like them.
Alternatively, you can remove them by holding them down, with these later on changing to artists, enhancing the size in the same way to show how much you prefer an artist over another.
One thing does set Apple’s service apart, however, with its own radio station, Beats 1.
This is exactly what it sounds like: a live radio station with real DJs putting music to air in real time, complete with the term “LIVE” appearing on the music that shows up in your list.
In a way, this reminds us of digital radio, as you’ll even find album art, a favourite option, and direct links to add the songs you’re listening to for that library we’ve already mentioned, making it a slightly more immersive and interactive radio experience, even if you can’t change what appears on Beats 1 radio.
Beats 1 is also worth mentioning because it provides another way to discover more music, more than just the constant refining of your own personal stations that you can do with Pandora, Spotify, Google Play, and any number of services, including Apple’s own newly launched Music service.
With editorial control put out there by the various DJs Apple is using, you may end up finding more music based on the preferences of that person selecting the records, just like you would listening to conventional radio.
From there, once music has been found, you can add it to that library, and play it whenever you want, thereby completing that music discovery circle.
Pricing for Apple’s Music service starts at $12 per month, though Apple is offering a three month free trial for all new users, with the service live now after you’ve updated a copy of iTunes or the iOS installation on your iPhone or iPad.