You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
These 6 basic features are missing from Apple Music

These 6 basic features are missing from Apple Music

July 7, 2015

Maybe your story is different, but I waited for Apple Music for nearly five years. Ever since discovering that unlimited music streaming services exist, I’ve longed for the day where we get to see Apple’s approach – especially after discovering the magic that was Beats Music.

However, with Apple Music still being a very new thing, there are a few areas where it lacks functionality that Rdio and Spotify have had for quite some time. To make things worse, even Apple’s own iTunes Store is ahead of the game in some ways.

Let’s take a moment to go through some of the areas in Apple Music that have room for improvement, shall we? Here they are in no particular order.

1. Social interactions between users are nonexistent

Rdio allows users to follow each other for music discovery with friends.

Rdio allows users to follow each other for music discovery with friends.

While Apple Music provides a unique way for artists to Connect with their audience, the service currently provides no means for interaction between users like you and me. This is something I deeply miss as a former Rdio and Spotify user, since both of these services allow users to follow each other, see what friends are listening to, and share music effortlessly.

2. No way to rate or review material

The rating and reviewing system in iTunes.

The rating and reviewing system in iTunes.

It’s usually best to take them with a grain of salt, but the iTunes Store has a fairly reliable system in place that allows users to rate and comment on albums and music videos. Users can rate content out of five stars with a single click, and may also leave a brief written review if they wish. Everyone has their own tastes, but I’ve found that iTunes ratings and reviews are a decent place to start when trying to decide whether to listen to an album. Having to switch away from Apple Music to find this is tedious.

3. Web access is not possible

Spotify's Web player lets users access the catalog on any device.

Spotify’s Web player lets users access the catalog on any device.

You may not be using your own Apple devices 100 percent of the time, so having access to a basic Web player for Apple Music would be extremely useful. With this, any subscriber could sign into their account and listen to the Apple Music catalog or their own iCloud library from virtually any Internet device.

Of course, essentially every other music streaming service that exists has a Web player. Your move, Cupertino.

4. Apple: Please bring back the Popularity ratings

The Popularity ratings on Ed Sheeran's "X" quickly show how each song is doing right now.

The Popularity ratings on Ed Sheeran’s “X” quickly show how each song is doing right now.

One of my favourite features of the iTunes Store on the desktop and the iPad is the relative “Popularity” ratings. These provide a great way to see what people’s favorite tracks generally are on an album, which explains why Spotify and Rdio have also adopted this feature, each to their own extent.

Despite having access to a rich set of playlists and a list of top songs for many artists through Apple Music, sometimes I just want a quick glance at what others are liking the most.

5. Remote control features are lacking

If Rdio is in use on another device, you can control playback remotely or opt to "Play Here Instead" on the device you are using.

If Rdio is in use on another device, you can control playback remotely or opt to “Play Here Instead” on the device you are using.

Both Rdio and Spotify do a fantastic job at seamlessly allowing you to pick up where you left off listening on another device. All you have to do is fire up the app elsewhere, and in one tap or click, your music will resume playing on the device you’re using. Furthermore, if you do not wish to change the source of where the current song is playing, you can still use the device you’re holding to control music playback in real time.

For example, if you’re playing an album on your Mac using Rdio or Spotify, you can pick up your iPhone and control your entire library from the palm of your hand. And if you want to take what you’re listening to on the go, tapping one button will instantly let your phone pick up where your Mac left off.

All Apple Music does at the moment is stop playback on one device if you decide to play something from another. That’s all – no remote control functionality, or any indication, for that matter, that your music is being played elsewhere, if that is the case.

6. There are few options for importing a library

my music library

Unless you have been a committed iTunes Store customer or Beats Music user before switching to Apple Music, there is no official way to move your library over to the new service. Yes, there are workarounds for Rdio and Spotify users, one of which has been detailed by 9to5Mac. However, a more elegant solution from Apple would be appreciated.

How many annoyances can you handle?

Oh, Apple Music. You’re great at integrating well with my Apple devices and suggesting new music that you know I’ll love. But at the same time, you force me to discover new music in solitude, leave me hanging without a Web player, refuse to let me control anything, and are reluctant to import my libraries from Rdio and Spotify.

Still, though, even with this laundry list of features that Apple Music is lacking, I plan on sticking with the service for the foreseeable future.

For further reading on the subject, our Christine Chan has gone in-depth to compare Rdio, Spotify, and Apple Music. This is something you won’t want to miss when it comes to deciding which service will hold your music collection.

Mentioned apps

Spotify Music
Spotify Music
Spotify Ltd.
Rdio Music
Rdio Music

Related articles