Apple Music (On Trial & Onward)

Discussion in 'Streaming Services' started by +48V, Jun 24, 2015.

  1. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    It is ridiculous, to be honest. I am not surprised, since the iPad "PRO" can't even do it.

    Today, I am listening to their "Behind the Boards: Rudy Van Gelder" playlist (Miles, Coltrane, Monk, etc..) that they had in my For You feed this morning. Awesome stuff.

    I haven't used Spotify in a while. I was not much of a fan. I much preferred the desktop app (and the apps I could add to it) than the iOS app (that I used 90 percent of the time), which did not have the same features. It is why I ended up with Rdio.
     
  2. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Neil Young is back on Apple Music. Guess it sounds good enough for him now.

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  3. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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  4. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Just got the notification email from Apple that my sub is about to expire. On the fence, as Apple has the best UI and playlists. Spotify has a horrendous UI, but it connects wirelessly to all my devices, Chromecast, Sonos and Echo/Dot, even without being on WiFi, from my phone. Pretty slick. Plus, it can be voice controlled from Echo/Dot.

    My hope is that the upcoming Pandora unlimited app will marry the pretty good Pandora UI, with its excellent Metadata, with the best of RDIO. Pandora can also be voice controlled, cast to Chromecast devices (though not to Echo), and has made noises about casting to Sonos, as well. Maybe, finally, the perfect app?
     
  5. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Yep, a big hypocrite. I like some of his music, so I am happy about it, but it does undermine exactly what he has been propagandizing for the last couple of years.

    If I was on Android, I would probably go with Spotify. Since I am on iOS, AM follows me everywhere and with my Apple Watch I can play music by vocal command where it is often more necessary...at work and in my car. One of the updsides to Android is that vocal commands works with more services. I just have too much invested in iOS apps and the Apple ecosystem to move for that reason, especially when I prefer AM by a mile to the other services available right now. I am not saying that Google/Android won't give me a more clear reason to move in the future, but so far, nothing is compelling enough to give up the "continuity" advantages of iOS right now (not to mention needing to repurchase a bunch of apps). I do think the Android options are much more compelling with Google in the hardware game now. I never liked the idea of using a device with Android and a bunch of junk from Samsung thrown on top...not to mention the extremely slow updates on a premium priced device. The Pixel is a really nice alternative to the iPhone, but it isn't so much better in any area (and falls short in other areas) to make me want to switch (but, as I said, I am not starting from scratch). (Also, privacy is still a concern, but I don't want to get too off subject here.)

    All that being said, I think voice control is better for casual listening and the Echo can fill that role at home without any feeling that I am missing out. I have loaded thousands of my own songs up to the their service, so that definitely helps. However, at home, when I am actually listening to music, I prefer opening the app and finding stuff to listen to (rather than just listening to artists or albums that pop into my head). Anyway, I am finding what I have now works great. The playlists and album suggestions of AM's "for you" section get better all the time and Amazon Prime Music is good enough for casual listening. My main gripe is still the inability for Siri to control where music is being played (bluetooth or Airplay). If it had that built in, I would have to come up with something else to complain about. :D The funny thing is that the Echo can control where the iPhone plays just by telling Alexa to "connect to iPhone" which helps make up for that problem when I am in a room with the Echo.
     
  6. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So it's been 9 months using Apple Music for me. Do I love it? I'd say I'm in "serious like" but not ready for a long term commitment (we're keeping separate abodes). The sound quality is very good @ 256k AAC. For giggles last night I signed up for a 3 month trial of Tidal Premium. They say "Up to 320k AAC" - I see no point in the HiFi option for these old ears. I think the Tidal apps on iOS and Windows are way more intuitive than AM apps. With my limited listening I'd say sound quality is at least equal to if not better. AND I can use my CCA - the iOS app supports it - (I recently put the CCA back into use). Installed Airfoil for Tidal PC app to talk to Airport Express.

    I guess I need to find the latest Tidal thread...
     
  7. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Funny, my thoughts on Tidal are just the opposite. I think it is the worst interface I have used...and I have used them all. The only upside, besides having access to Prince, is the lossless sound quality. Well, if you listen at home most of the time, you can pay $120 a year for Roon Audio (which works with Tidal) and get the very best interface available, but you would have to be very serious about streaming to spend $30 a month on it.

    Of course, people have differing tastes, so if you like Tidal's interface, you should stick with it. It would be my service of last resort in that area, though. Even Google's service, which I find boring, is more centered around my taste than Tidal. On top of that, the Google Play service (YouTube Red) comes with commercial free access to YouTube (unless the creator puts their own commercial content in the video).
     
  8. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Chocolate for some, strawberry for others. If we all liked the same flavor it would be a very boring world!
     
  9. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I understand that they make garlic flavored ice cream for Tidal interface fans. :p I kid...I'm a kidder. Enjoy Tidal! :beerchug:

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  10. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Looks like Apple Music is still growing at about a million a month:

    "In an interview with Billboard, Apple revealed that it now has over 20 million subscribers, adding 3 million users to its paid subscription since it announced that it had 17 million members in September.

    Reaching 20 million paid subscribers is an impressive number for Apple, which launched the service last summer. Pricing for the music service ranges from $9.99 per month for a single subscription to $14.99 for a family plan allowing up to six listeners. A student option is also available for $4.99 per month.

    Apple still trails Swedish rival Spotify, who announced in September that it had reached 40 million paid subscribers. Unlike Apple Music, however, Spotify also has a free, ad-supported tier, giving the service 100 million total users."

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/...usic-reaches-20-million-subscribers/95083480/

    I do think it will continue to be difficult to pull clients away from Spotify, though. The upside to Spotify is that they are getting Spotify Connect into more devices that used to only support Airplay and they are reaching into areas that Apple Music can't or hasn't (Amazon Echo or Roku are two examples). That being said, the Apple ecosystem of users is huge, so they seem more intent on reaching out to those people rather than reaching into new avenues at this point. It will probably be a long time before they exhaust that strategy.
     
  11. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    AM does work on Android tablets/phones and Sonos, as well. Spotify, though, works damn near everywhere, including Echo and Google Home, plus it can cast to Sonos and a bunch of other devices with built-in Spotify Connect. If they would just fix their dreadful UI, I'd be a customer. Right now, though, enjoying 6 free months of Google Music and YooToob Red.

    Bottom line is, all this competition is gr8 for consumers!
     
  12. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I am not a fan of Spotify, either. However, I do understand why someone would want to use them. As you said, they are everywhere.

    I pay for Youtube Red, but mainly just use it to skip the pre-video ad rolls on stuff I want to watch. They have made the Play Music service slightly less-boring, but I still prefer AM..even when you negate the Siri feature (which is probably the main reason I started using the service to begin with). However, it is nice to have the service for the rare occasion that I want to Cast music.

    I am hoping that Spotify eventually pushes Apple Music to open up to more products, but only time will tell. The main issue with Spotify is that they don't make any money. You just have to wonder how long it will be before a company like Facebook eventually buys them.
     
  13. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Apple announced their quarterly results. Incredible #s once again. The main interesting tidbit about AM was:

    “Apple Music was up — subscriptions were up 75% year over year. We're getting the highest conversion rates that we've had since the launch of the service and so we turned a corner in music. You remember that a few years ago we were actually declining in music — now with the streaming service in addition to the download business, the business is growing again and that really helps the growth rate for the entire services business. iCloud is a service that continues to grow very strong double digits and that's also helping. So we have already become the size of a Fortune 100 company. We set a goal for ourselves to double what we did in fiscal '16 and the trajectory is actually quite positive.”

    No real numbers here, but a 75 percent increase is pretty impressive especially when you consider that the HomePod hasn’t come to market and AM isn’t supported by Alexa or Google Home.

    Of course, we don’t really know how many Echos are our in the wild. I read an interesting article about the double standard when comparing the Echo to the Apple Watch and more:

    https://www.aboveavalon.com/notes/2017/10/26/apple-is-facing-a-double-standard

    Just the opening paragraph from the article:

    “Apple is a Silicon Valley and Wall Street leader. The company has the most profitable and best-selling smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, and wireless pair of headphones in the market. Apple has grown its user base by 10x over the past 10 years and is bringing in nearly more revenue than Amazon, Alphabet, and Facebook combined. This level of success places a bull's-eye on Apple’s back and rightly so. Leaders should be held to a higher standard.”

    It was written before their market cap hit 900 billion today, too.:eek: [ closed a bit lower, but you get the point]
     
  14. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Some more interesting comments from Iovine:

    http://www.nasdaq.com/article/apple...e-suggests-spotify-is-in-trouble-cm884439/amp

    Don't just take my word for it -- that's according to Apple Music chief Jimmy Iovine in a new interview with Billboard . Music streaming services simply aren't profitable, which could also help explain why Apple doesn't offer a free, ad-supported tier for Apple Music but instead only offers a paid subscription. Given Apple's deep ties with the music industry, it's tempting to think that Apple made that strategic decision out of the kindness of its iHeart, but the explanation could be more economic.

    "The streaming services have a bad situation, there's no margins, they're not making any money," Iovine reportedly said. "Amazon sells Prime; Apple sells telephones and iPads; Spotify, they're going to have to figure out a way to get that audience to buy something else. If tomorrow morning [Amazon CEO] Jeff Bezos wakes up and says, 'You know what? I heard the word "$7.99" I don't know what it means, and someone says, 'Why don't we try $7.99 for music?' Woah, guess what happens?"


    Spotify's revenue jumped 40% during the first half of 2017, yet the company remains unprofitable even though gross margin expanded to 22%, according to The Information last month. It's not hard to imagine what would happen if Spotify was forced to cut subscription prices by 20% to compete, as Iovine hypothesizes.

    "The streaming business is not a great business," Iovine added. "It's fine with the big companies: Amazon, Apple, Google... Of course it's a small piece of their business, very cool, but Spotify is the only stand-alone, right? So they have to figure out a way to show the road to making this a real business."


    I am still surprised that one of the big companies (Microsoft/Facebook/etc) have not purchased Spotify.
     
  15. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Willing Buyer/Willing Seller comes to mind. And apparently there is neither. From what I've read Spotify's guns are focused on going public; can of worms and all. So while I'd imagine there have been back door offers...Spotty is holding out.
     
  16. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I still don’t know how they survive in the long run when they lose more money as the subscriber base grows. I guess we will see what happens when they go public, but unless they start making money in other areas, it is hard to see how they survive in their current form.
     
  17. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    I hear ya. All I can say based upon the new stew accounting is they're following in the footsteps of some notorious non-profitables....aka Amazon, Facebook, Pandora, Uber, yada yada....

    Who the hell knows anymore. Cashflow and body-count is the new bottom line. :idea:
     

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