Apple announced that its Music service is now available on the Mac desktop and laptops as well, as an additional add-on installation through the Mac App Store. The software has been available as an app for iPhone and iPad devices through an update to iOS 8.4 for a few days already.
Apple Music is Apple’s foray into the increasingly competitive streaming music space, where Spotify and Pandora are currently the forerunners. But the space is heating up with the likes of Amazon and Google (through Google Play) having made their entries in this field.
Apple Music starts with a free three-month trial, and will then cost $9.99 a month in the United States for unlimited streaming. It also includes the Beats One radio station, which has two popular DJs in the East and West coast playing music twenty four hours a day.
But despite the overwhelming preparation for and hype surrounding the release, things seem to have kept going wrong with the Apple Music release. First was Taylor Swift’s much publicized Tumblr blog post criticizing Apple for not paying artists anything during its three month free trial, a move that prompted Apple to quickly backtrack and announce (through its Senior VP Internet & Services Eddy Cue’s Twitter post) that it would pay artists licensing fees even during its free trial.
Then, after release, the service was panned on several fronts for poor usability, especially as related to favorites and playlists. A highly upvoted post from Polish user Cezary Wojcik hit the front page of the popular online tech community site, YCombinator News (also known as Hacker News), and several users added their own stories of being frustrated with Apple Music. The Telegraph newspaper’s music critic Ed Power, in a review, said that Apple Music’s user interface “feels clunky and lacking in Apple’s trade-mark slickness”, adding “for a company synonymous with dazzling aesthetics, Apple Music is ungainly on the eye”.
Despite all this, as of now, Taylor Swift’s newest albums remain available to stream only on Apple Music–at least for now.