A Dalliance with Apple Music

I jumped ship from Spotify after the last controversy and tried Apple Music. A few friends use it, so it can't be that bad can it? Well after a few months I can say it's dire.

YASSS, the ultimate playlist of niche bullshit

Firstly if you're using it on a desktop you'll be using iTunes or the Web player. Every action feels sluggish, as if each invokes a DRM check. Songs can take a few seconds to start, and every UI element feels heavy.

Sometimes songs will be "unavailable" and then skip to the next track but then work on a subsequent attempt!

What attempt it makes to normalise volume isn't good enough. It's all over the place! Especially if you're listening to tracks from across the Loudness War.

Recommendations are very poor. I understand that listening to a wide array of niche bullshit as well as constant ambient stuff around the house will test a recommendation engine but Spotify do it better. Spotify's Mixes are can separate out the distinct vibes.

When using the iOS app tracks will sometimes seem to be playing with no audio. I think it's an issue with buffering on cellular data. Sometimes pausing then playing can fix it but that's a really killer when listening in a car.

I used a lot of community sourced playlists on Spotify. Apple Music has the feature but it doesn't seem as widely used.

Connection to Sonos systems is flaky. It frequently thinks I'm not subscribed to Apple Music so refuses to search or play anything.

As far as I can see there's no gig recommendations at all. I was still using the Spotify mailing list for gigs while subbed to Apple Music.

So I went back to Spotify. Better the devil that functions. Thanks to Soundiiz, moving playlists around and keeping them in sync is really easy.

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