Last night, I continued with a routine that I began in June. Instead of winding down for the day by watching television, I cozied up to my iPad and listened to music while reading an e-book. Yesterday, I listened to tracks from “Intro to Green Day;” the day before, songs from “Jukebox Hits: ‘00s Pop Ballads.” I can’t wait to see what Cupertino has prepared next for my nighttime ritual, courtesy of Apple Music.
Since Apple Music launched on June 30, I’ve fallen in love again with One Republic, Maroon 5, and Mumford and Sons. At the same time, I’ve gained an appreciation for Darius Rucker (of Hootie & the Blowfish fame), The Handsome Family, and (gulp) Taylor Swift.
My renewed fondness for everything music has come as a surprise.
Music streaming services are nothing new in my household. Rdio Music and I go way back, and I still occasionally match songs to my mood through Songza. Prior to Apple Music’s arrival, I was a long-time Spotify Premium user.
So what’s different about Apple Music?
I’ve been trying to grasp what makes Apple Music different for me than other music streaming services. After hours of thought, I’ve realized that it has less to do with the service’s vast catalog or highly publicized user interface. For me, it boils down to integration. For the first time, all of my music is available in one place, including albums ripped years ago, digital downloads purchased throughout the last decade, and now, tracks I would never have experienced and enjoyed otherwise.
More work ahead
This isn’t to say that Apple Music is perfect. I find its interface a bit too cluttered, and some songs on albums remain mysteriously missing. Plus, I still wonder what will become of my ripped songs if I were to drop iTunes Match when my subscription comes up for renewal in October.
Despite these challenges, I plan on sticking with Apple Music after my 3-month trial ends in September. The reason is simple: I’ve seen what music integration looks like and will never go back.
Note: Earlier today, Aug. 6, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services, announced that Apple Music has attracted 11 million trial users.
As USA Today notes: “Assuming all the trial memberships are converted into paying customers come October, Apple would already boast half the paid memberships of reigning streaming champ Spotify, which launched nearly a decade ago.”