Ever since the announcement of Apple Music at the Apple WWDC 2015, fans around the world have been waiting impatiently to get their hands on it. Well, the wait is finally over – Apple has finally launched its much awaited streaming service with the new Apple iOS 8.4 update.
But that is not all, Apple Music comes with the brand new Beats1 radio station, which has been released in 100 countries including India, and artist exclusives. Beats1, the 24-hour, round the clock free radio station, will be hosted by DJ Zane Lowe at Apple Music’s radio station in Los Angeles who kicked it off saying, “It’s not about fanfare. It’s about quality and consistency. We’re Beats 1, we’re worldwide, and from now on, we’re always on.” Beats1 will include legends like Elton John and popular artists like Dr Dre on it guest host list.
The only point to note however is that Apple has decided to host only clean versions of songs, censoring explicit words and song titles, a move which has angered and pleased people in equal parts. However those who chose to listen to the uncensored versions, can do so from the on-demand Apple Music service. Beats1 however remains free even for those not willing to pay the monthly subscription charges for Apple Music.
Most first time users will get a kick out of the crazy UI. When you use it for the first time, you can select your favorite genres by tapping on ‘bubbles.’ The app automatically creates playlists under a tab called ‘For You.’ A ‘New’ tab features the latest popular music and videos while a ‘Radio’ tab offers iTunes radio stations apart from Beats1. A ‘Connect’ tab streams social media updates from your favorite artists. Other tabs include ‘My Music’ separated in ‘Library’ where your music is stored and ‘Playlists’ which keeps track of your own playlists as well as playlists for other users. This ‘My Music’ tab a bit of getting used to but you can organize your music on the basis of Artist, Genre, Album, Song Name, etc.
Apple’s attempt at a subscription-based streaming service puts it in direct competition to the popular Spotify which offers on-demand unlimited streaming; but the fact that it is available in countries where Spotify is not present – Thailand, India, Indonesia, and Russia – gives it an added advantage as well as the fact that Apple Music has a number of big celebrities on board, including Taylor Swift with her exclusive album 1989.
In the US, the service is available on a free three month trial basis after which the user can choose between an Individual membership at $9.99/per month or a Family membership for up to six people at $14.99/per month. Across the world, Apple Music has been launched with competitive prices with the India price settled at an affordable Rs 120 a month.