Is This The Worse Apple Product So Far?

Posted by Kirhat | Monday, December 07, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Apple Music
There will a lot of arguments to determine what is the worse Apple product in the last 5 years. However, the arguments will probably shift a little more against Apple Music, while Apple Maps would be a close second.

Apple Music, released in June, was supposed to be Apple's big splash into the world of subscription on-demand music and online radio. But it seems to have a lot of bugs.

Longtime Apple watcher Jim Dalrymple wrote about his experiences a few days ago, saying that the Apple Music app on his phone deleted more than 4,000 songs after presenting a bunch of confusing options that were hard to override. He later got most of it back, but not before frustration overwhelmed him.

Matt Rosoff of Business Insider has not lost any music yet, but he also wrote about his share of headaches with the app, particularly when using his music library. He said "a bunch of commands and functions have changed or been obscured, like shuffling all songs within a single artist (possible but not intuitive)."

When Rosoff tried to create playlists on the phone it "randomly deletes songs from the playlist on the fly (really annoying)."

It appears that Apple Music works fine only if the user stay within the subscription service — the playlists it creates based on the user's taste are excellent. But as soon as they try to use the music they already own, it gets buggy.

But that's not the biggest problem. There's a more general impression among many Apple watchers that the Cupertino company sacrificed the experience of users for its own business purposes. This Twitter comment by former Apple employee and current Apple Outsider blogger Matt Drance sums it up:

"The new Music app isn't just bad. It's designed around a business initiative, rather than user interest or intuition. That is so worrisome.

— Matt Drance (@drance) July 29, 2015"
That sparked a long Twitter conversation. Apple expert and blogger Jon Gruber compared Apple Music's lack of polish to the keynote introducing it at the June WWDC conference:

"@drance @dlpasco @benthompson Interesting how the keynote segment reflected the Music app itself: scattered, unfocused, business-focused.

— John Gruber (@gruber) July 29, 2015"
Industry analyst Ben Thompson pointed to an article he wrote after the keynote that compared Apple Music to the kind of product a big company would release because it thought it had to — not a compliment:

"... There is this (streaming music) and that (curated lists) and this (BeatsOne radio) and that (Ping Connect) and no cogent thread to tie them together beyond the assumption that Apple must do a music service because that is what they do. That’s what big companies do."
Others, like designer Mark Lee McDonald, argued that Apple Music is focused on discovering new music — not on organizing the library of music users already have:

"@gruber @drance @dlpasco @benthompson it’s very focused, on discovery, which IS a user focus. Maybe not yours, but many, esp. the young

— Mark Lee McDonald (@housewarmer) July 30, 2015"
To those who have not built their music collection for years, that could be the case. However, for those of who spent many hours over the last 10 years ripping vinyl and CDs so they could listen to tunes on the go, this is really frustrating.

More to the point, Apple Music was a high-profile launch for the company and a major change to how one of its businesses — selling music — works. It only had one chance to make a first impression. And that first impression has been pretty weak.

It also reinforces the idea that Apple may excel as a hardware company, but doesn't do very well when it comes to software and services. Apple Maps was far inferior to the Google Maps application that it replaced as the default on new Apple devices. Mobile Me, the company's first attempt to back up data to the cloud, was also a disaster.

Apple Music is rapidly taking its place in this dismal line-up. Apple needs to listen to feedback and pump out an update, fast, otherwise those 10 million people who signed up for the free trial aren't going to stick around.


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