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Anybody use Apple Music? (DB forum thread)

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I am off of social media pretty much entirely except for Youtube and here, and have not kept up with the more recent technologies of our century like Pandora & Spotify. Since I have a house full of Apple devices, I've been thinking of giving Apple music a try but wanted to ask my friends here if anyone has any direct experience.

    I'm sure it can cover all of the pop stuff very well, but I don't listen to a ton of that. I'm more interested in:
    - Classical, including more contemporary forms
    - Jazz (obviously)
    - High quality acoustic instrumental and vocal music where the singers can really sing and the players can really play. A few examples might be things like Punch Brothers, Yo Yo Ma prog-grass fusion projects a la Goat Rodeo Sessions, Zakir Hussien-type projects, Union Station type stuff, and other acoustic music with top rate players of their instruments.

    I'm also looking to expand my horizons a bit, and I don't know the best way to go about finding things that are "like" things I already like. Do these algorithms work for the kinds of things loosely described above, and if so, which service is my best bet?
  2. fu22ba55

    fu22ba55 Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    PM sent.
  3. Dr. Love

    Dr. Love

    Nov 5, 2008
    Lubbock, TX
    I haven't tried Apple music, but do have the free version of Pandora to do basically what you're describing. It's "similar artist" selection is normally pretty good, though there is the occasional outlier. The free version has one or two short commercials periodically, but it doesn't bother me enough to switch to the paid version.
    JeffKissell likes this.
  4. BassJuju

    BassJuju Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2016
    I like it and rarely listen to pop, but I also suspect that I may not have a full understanding of the genre's you mention.
  5. Maple

    Maple Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2016
    San Francisco Bay Area
    I have an apple household and have a few sonos speakers. The apple integration is great with those devices but so too is Spotify. I pay for the Spotify premium and don't have Apple Music though I'm contemplating switching because my kids listen too and Spotify has no content filtering. I have very eclectic taste and tend to listen to a lot of contemporary jazz - Vijay Iyer, Ambrose Akinmusire, Mark Turner and so on.

    I play with a jazz drummer who loves apple music - he's got eclectic taste that runs from free jazz to alternative rock/pop.

    I play with a jazz/alt folk guitarist who loves Pandora for it's "recommendation engine". He likes to let it feed him new music and claims it does a great job at figuring out what he likes and regularly surprising him with great things.

    Most everyone else I know uses Spotify. I rarely find omissions. I like that you can share playlists. So for a band that has a repertoire to work on, we can share a playlist of tunes. Or when curious, I can check out what Damon Smith listens to. Spotify doesn't seem to have a great "recommendation engine" So if I listen to "<band name> radio" it either gets predictable quickly or it slowly wanders away from the style or feel of that band.
  6. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    +1 for Spotify. Absolutely love it and can find pretty much everything. I have very eclectic taste, am mainly a jazz guy, teach college classical and world music classes and almost never am unable to find what I seek. You can download stuff so you can play it without an internet connection. I'm talking the premium version. Another nice thing is how it integrates with the Amazing Slow Downer app.
  7. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Apple music will mainly have everything on iTunes unless artists opt-out - meaning all that stuff you list will be there. My stance is that I am against the current streaming model - currently it is huge rip-off to musicians, while it is a thing I don't withhold my music from the services. I tend to dislike Apples & Youtube less since they have a far wider breadth than streaming. Spotify, is purely a "wretched hive of scum and villainy".
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    I use Spotify but it only took me about 5 minutes to find stuff that wasn't available. Still, so much is available and at $10 a month I've almost stopped buying CDs altogether and am considering getting rid of a lot of LPs and CDs (I have a few thousand). I even use it for the bulk of my radio show rather than playing LPs or CDs. New releases show up every Friday like clockwork, as soon as I read a review of an album that sounds good, I go check to see if it's available. About 90% of the time it is. ECM released their full catalog last year (it's also on Apple) which by itself is enough to keep me occupied for the rest of my life. Lots of physically out of print titles, too.

    I agree with damon that the payment to musicians is poor but as a listener it's hard to complain. I used to spend at least $100 a month on CDs and had to choose which to buy.

    My #1 complaint: no liner notes!!! I've used notes all my life to find other music by the same players and producers. It's more like listening to the radio in that sense. You can't sit down with the LP cover or CD booklet while you listen.
  9. All the streaming services seem to be pretty expansive selection wise. My only gripe about them is that the audio quality can be severely lacking. I've heard Spotify streams at around 128kbps. Not sure what Apple does, but if you want quality listening this may be something to investigate.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2018
  10. Yeah I use it and its really good.
  11. Spotify use Ogg Vorbis 160kbit/s in the desktop app. Premium subscribers can choose to switch on High quality streaming, which uses 320kbit/s. They are also experimenting with lossless options.
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Lots to think about here. I've read a couple of sources that show of the major players in the streaming field, Apple pays more to the artist, although it's clearly a pittance at this point. I loathe Spotify and will not use it. I may check out services like Pandora and Rhapsody, but a lot would depend on their catalog as relates to the kinds of music I'm looking for. There has to be everything from Palestrina to Punch Brothers, and lots of choice of performers for the classical stuff. The Mahler recordings will need to offer Bernstein conducting, for example. Will continue looking - thanks for the replies.

    Here's how much Apple Music is going to pay artists
    bass12 and Quinn Roberts like this.
  13. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    To actually make money for the artists and corporation, the subscriber fee would have to get up past the price of an album or two, and the free model would have to disappear. At that point, many people would just go back to buying an album or two a month.
    Quinn Roberts likes this.
  14. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    Apple music is still probably you best bet in terms of catalog. Using/not using these services at our level is not going to make or break them at our level.
  15. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I signed up with Apple Music instead of one of the other main streaming services simply because, from what I have read, they pay a higher royalty rate. Of course, it's still peanuts and I still have a problem with it, but it seemed like the least reprehensible option streaming-wise.
    Chris Fitzgerald likes this.
  16. One reason to avoid Apple (and Google) is to not help them get all control over the business from A to Z. That's not in anybodys interest (except Apple and Google).
  17. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
  18. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    If you are into not being reprehensible paying for individual albums is the only option. As far as harm reduction in streaming the free version of Spotify is best.
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I have split the thread tangent about streaming music services in general and the ethics (or lack thereof) behind them into another thread that can be found here: Ethics/validity of streaming music services (DB Forum Thread)

    Let's please keep this thread about people's experience with Apple Music, thanks. I would especially like to hear about people's experiences with the music recommendation feature and how it works on Apple music.
    Fredrik E. Nilsen likes this.
  20. nbsipics

    nbsipics It's the Bass that makes them Dance Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    I was an early Tidal adopter, but not for a long time. Tidal had a yuge catalog, but crap servers/software IMHO. Left them a few years-back.

    Using Spotify ( premium ) now, and when I get a chance to learn how to download my complete playlist, I will share it. A short snippet of my playlist shown below. Sorry for their poor choice of background color. Its in alpha order by artist and album title. I have many hundreds of albums tagged. I save complete albums as playlists, so I can play an album, bounce through albums, etc.

    No experience with Apple Music yet, and not much motivation either :)


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