Paleo Retiree writes:
I signed up with Apple Music warily. I’d read the bad reviews, and I’m one of those people who think that Tim Cook hasn’t got a creative bone in his body. But, hey, I’m immersed in Apple’s ecosystem and the first three months were a free trial, so I gave it a try. Upshot: I’m hooked. I’m surprised and pleased to be finding myself enjoying my subscription and using it a lot. Yes, the interface still isn’t what it could be; yes, I couldn’t care less about Beats One, Apple’s “radio station”: and yes, I wish the service would stop trying push a lot of crap music on me. Why do places that I want to use as libraries so often come at me like aggressive marketing entities? Word to the wise: DO NOT GET ME STARTED on my current annoyances with Netflix …
An even bigger surprise: I’m relying heavily on Apple Music’s pre-baked playlists. When I first read about Apple’s plans for playlists I assumed I wouldn’t be using them at all. The word “curation” never fails to make me explode in mirth and, besides, as an old hand at rummaging through huge heaps of music why would I want to rely on someone else to do my music-discovering for me?
But nearly all of the Apple playlists I’ve clicked on — from alt Country to early jazz to Soukous to Bobby Darin to Boulez — have turned out to be really excellent. The “Handel Essentials” playlist that I have playing in the background at the moment, for example, is a nice balance of the predictable and the unexpected, and shows some really good (and resourceful) taste in performers: Jordi Savall, Christopher Hogwood, William Christie and Les Arts Florissants … That’s really classy stuff, and those are choices that are informed by a lot of knowledge, taste and experience. Even personality: I often wish the playlists’s creators/curators were credited. As for the service’s $9.99 per month expense: mega worth it. For the cost of one CD purchase a month I get to explore and enjoy as much of Apple’s huge library as I can find time for. I play nearly everything from the cloud and my Verizon connection is more than sufficient to deliver good sound quality as I take my daily walk.
Here’s a snap of one of the local scrub jays listening to Apple Music. A big fan of Baroque music, she’ll settle in, calm down and pay attention for 20 or 30 minutes at a time when I’m playing Purcell, Vivaldi or Handel playlists.
The other scrub-jay who visits us regularly has no interest whatsoever in music.