The Next Wave of Apple’s Marzipan Apps for MacOS →

April 6, 2019 · 10:45

Steve Troughton-Smith:

I am now fairly confident based on evidence I don’t wish to make public at this point that Apple is planning new (likely UIKit) Music, Podcasts, perhaps even Books, apps for macOS, to join the new TV app. I expect the four to be the next wave of Marzipan apps. Grain of salt, etc.

I hope they still keep iTunes around. (I assume) I’m one of the few people who actually like it.

Federico Viticci Coded a Shortcut to Visualize Your Most Listened to Apple Music Songs, Artists, and Genres of the Year →

January 9, 2019 · 14:28

Federico Viticci, on MacStories:

Apple Music Wrapped generates a personalized music report that, by default, collects your 100 most-played songs added to your library in any given year since Apple Music was launched in 2015, sorting them from largest to smallest play count. The shortcut takes less than 30 seconds to run and the final report is opened in Safari as a custom webpage.

It works perfectly. Turns out I have listened to a lot of film music in 2018. You can find my playlist here (88 songs, 5h45m).

One Hour With Apple’s New Homepod →

January 25, 2018 · 15:07

Madeline Buxton, writing for Refinery29:

However, there are some areas where HomePod is limiting. Even though you can use AirPlay to stream music from any service through HomePod, you’ll only get all the speaker’s benefits if you subscribe to Apple Music (plans start at $4.99 per month for students and $9.99 per month for individuals). For example, Siri won’t be able to tell you detailed information about a song or album unless that song is playing through Apple Music.

I strongly believe Apple should have included an Apple Music subscription for free with every HomePod — for the lifetime of the device preferably, but I’m sure a free year wouldn’t go amiss for many. This would at least quell some of the complaints, which we know will surface.

Secondly, although everyone in your apartment will be able to use the speaker, only the person who sets up HomePod on their iCloud account will be able to send texts, set up reminders, and get calendar notifications via voice commands. Google Home and Amazon Echo, meanwhile, can recognize different voices and provide personalized content accordingly.

Support for multiple users should work on Day 1 and there is no excuse for the lack of this feature.

Fortunately, HomePod also delivers where it counts: The sound. When I listened to the speaker next to Google Home Max, the latest Amazon Echo, and Sonos One, the vocals were consistently crisper and clearer on HomePod. The pluck of guitar strings pops, and bass notes have the robust thump-thump you want from them.

This is the one aspect of the HomePod, which I don’t doubt — I’m sure the sound quality will be more than good.

Apple to Revamp Music at WWDC 2016 →

May 28, 2016 · 19:16

Alex Webb:

Apple is altering the user interface of Apple Music to make it more intuitive to use, according to people familiar with the product who asked not to be identified because the plans aren’t public. Apple also plans to better integrate its streaming and download businesses and expand its online radio service, the people said. The reboot is expected to be unveiled at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in June. The changes will be accompanied by a marketing blitz to lure more customers to the $10-per-month streaming service. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

I’m probably one of the few people who doesn’t have issue using Apple Music… or iTunes for that matter. Many complain that the latter tries to do too many things. Quite frankly, it’s only a music player and secure backup tool at the moment — I do everything else via iCloud. I would however like the For You, New, Radio and Connect sections to become one.

‘Apple Sent Two Men to My House; No, They Weren’t Assassins’ →

May 21, 2016 · 09:20

James Pinkstone:

Tom, along with his boss Ezra, had just spent most of Saturday at my dining room table with me, trying to recreate a disaster like we were Netflix green-lighting Fuller House. So far, no luck.

In the days leading up to our face-to-face encounter, they’d earned more of my trust when they acknowledged that A), they’d read the phone transcripts, and although they maintained that she was mistaken, they did not dispute my account of what Amber had told me, and B), they, too, were convinced this was not user error. Before allowing them into my home, though, I’d laid out some conditions. Their research would be strictly limited to Apple Music, iTunes, and my iTunes library, and I would always be in the room to watch them work. Any information gleaned would be used solely for iTunes and Apple Music troubleshooting. If I had a document on my desktop called “Zapruder Film Unedited,” for example, they would still leave it alone. They agreed, both on the phone and in person, so we began.

I never linked to James’ original post about how ‘Apple stole his music‘, because quite frankly, I believed it to be user error. In the meantime my friend also told me about his problems — he also lost some of his files — and Apple showed up on Pinkstone’s doorstep to try to diagnose the issue.

What other company would do that? No, seriously. Is there any other tech company that would go to such lengths to figure out what’s wrong with their product?

iTunes Radio for Apple Music Subscribers Only →

January 16, 2016 · 12:25

Brendan Klinkenberg:

iTunes Radio, Apple’s Pandora-style internet radio service, is going behind the $10 per month Apple Music paywall on January 29th.

“We are making Beats 1 the premier free broadcast from Apple and phasing out the ad-supported stations at the end of January,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “Additionally, with an Apple Music membership, listeners can access dozens of radio stations curated by our team of music experts, covering a range of genres, commercial-free with unlimited skips. The free three-month trial of Apple Music includes radio.”

The Beatles Will Be on Apple Music on Christmas Eve →

December 23, 2015 · 09:45

Peter Kafka:

You can spend Christmas streaming the Beatles.

The world’s most famous band will finally be available on streaming music services, starting this Thursday, Christmas Eve. And they’ll be available very, very widely: Industry sources say that the Fab Four’s music will be on all of the obvious music services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and Tidal, as well as some you might not expect, including Amazon’s Prime Music.

I have the albums, and I’m still excited.

Rdio joins Pandora →

November 17, 2015 · 17:32

From the Rdio blog:

We’d like to update the entire Rdio community regarding today’s announcement that Pandora plans to acquire Rdio’s innovative technology and critically-acclaimed design…

We thank you for your continued support over the years and look forward to bringing you even better music experiences in the future as part of the Pandora team.

See you, Rdio. Seriously.

Maciej’s Spotify to Apple Music Playlist Importer

July 14, 2015 · 20:44

Maciek created a Spotify to Apple Music playlist importer:

Well, it’s rather simple from your point of view. You find a Spotify playlist that you like, copy the tracks, paste them into my app, and the playlist automagically appears in your Apple Music library. No need to sniff iTunes’ packets (sic!).

I don’t personally use Spotify so I can’t vouch for how good it is, but I’ve seem people give some positive feedback—it seems to be much less of a hit-and-miss than the others out there.