Music Makes the World Go ‘Round
For many of us, music is one of the most important aspects of the human experience. It grounds us. It inspires us. It makes us cry. It makes us laugh. It can transport us back to a certain time in our lives, instantly upon hearing just a chord or the first few notes of a familiar melody. There is something about music that affects us unlike any other form of art it seems, and I shudder to consider what life would be like without it.
If you are anything like me, then music follows you everywhere. Everything you do has its very own soundtrack. Driving to work, of course, you need music to set your day right. While at work, music helps the time go by. At the gym, you need that special playlist to get you amped up and fight through the burn. At a party, music can break the ice, start a conversation, or fill what would otherwise be awkward silences. Even while just relaxing at home with a glass of wine, some music with which to unwind can make all the difference.
Plus, there is the unrivaled healing power of music. Ever gone through a bad breakup? The right song can speak to your heartache and make you feel less alone. It can validate your feelings, remind you that someone else out there has, and likely is, going through the same exact thing that you are. A song can either give you the necessary catharsis to feel what it is that you have to feel to the fullest, or it can pick you up from the dregs of your worst depression, cheering you up, reminding you that you can smile again, that everything is going to be alright.
We need music in our lives. Think of how bland, listless, and monotonous our daily routines would be without it. Which is why, in this age of information, when we have everything we could ever hope for in our back pockets, at our fingertips, we need the right music streaming app to provide the soundtrack to our lives. We need a music streaming service that can keep up with our needs, one that has enough songs to accompany any and every situation. But how do we know which, of the many that are available to us, is the right one?
Choosing the Right Music Streaming Service for You
Well, the best place to start, I think, is to ask yourself one simple question: what do you hope to get out of a music streaming service? By first identifying your own goals, your own demands for such an app, then you can begin to narrow down the playing field and find the right one for you. Because truth be told, there is not one music streaming app that is objectively the best. Each one privileges, enables, something slightly different than the next.
If what you value when it comes to accessing your music is exclusivity, if you want to be able to listen to albums a week before they are officially released and watch live streams of once in a lifetime performances, for example, you might be best off with Tidal. If you want tons of personalized playlists made just for you based on your listening habits, the ability to quickly and effortlessly be able to discover new songs and artists, Spotify might be the way to go. And if you are lower maintenance and simply want something closer to the olden days of radio, I might recommend you check out Pandora.
Either way, at the end of the day, by identifying what it is that you value in a streaming service, you will have a much better shot at figuring out which is the best … for you. Today, however, we will be taking a look at one of the most popular music streaming services out there, one that many people seem to swear by … and that service is none other than Apple Music.
The company behind this app, of course, needs no introduction. Everyone on the planet has heard of Apple, and there is a good chance that many of you are, in fact, reading this review on either an iPhone, iPad or Mac book right now. Apple is easily the most influential tech company of our day, and so, in turn, we expect great things from everything that they do. Having said that, though, does their music and streaming app, Apple Music live up to the company’s lofty standards and high expectations? Well, let’s delve in and take a look, shall we?
Getting the Criticism Out of the Way
First thing’s first, I just want to get this out of the way. I don’t normally like to start off a review with a negative note, but this criticism is so integral to the way that Apple Music operates that it feels necessary to address before taking a look at all of what’s working about it. The thing that is unique to Apple Music that, at least in my opinion, also functions as a flaw to the app, is the fact that you must have an Apple product in order to use it. Or, if you do not have an Apple product, in order to use Apple Music on a PC, you must also have iTunes.
This is, of course, a very smart move for Apple from a business standpoint. In fact, it does add an air of exclusivity to the app that many others (save for Tidal) struggle to produce. However, there is exclusive, and then there is inconvenient. And if you are a PC user, the fact that you will have to download iTunes in order to access Apple Music is, well, less than convenient to be sure.
It would be preferable, from the perspective of an Apple Music user, for the site to be usable from within one’s web browser of choice – the way that Spotify and Tidal has designed its sites. However, when you go to Apple Music’s website, instead of a convenient in-browser web player, you will be prompted to open up iTunes. All in all, if you are not using an Apple product, the app is probably the best way to make use of Apple Music.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can look at how effectively Apple Music functions, once you’ve got all the necessary programs and you are logged in and ready to go. The app’s interface, as one would expect from Apple, is intuitive, stripped-down, and easy to use. Simply open the app, and you will be greeted with five tabs down at the bottom, making it one of the more intuitive music streaming services on the market.
Click on either Library, For You, Browse, Radio, or Search in order to access millions of songs. The Library section, this is one of the key strengths of Apple Music, will allow you to browse any of the music that you have purchased through the app or uploaded onto your device. This is one thing that sets Apple Music apart from its competitors, the ease with which you can access the music that you already own. Doing this on Spotify, for example, is tricky and requires a bit of know-how. So, it is wonderful that Apple Music makes this one of their central features.
One of the Largest Music Streaming Apps there Is
Perhaps, though, you’d prefer to use Apple Music simply as a music streaming app and nothing else. If that is the case, it is fair to say that you will probably not be disappointed with Apple Music’s selection of songs, nor their subscription options. Apple Music, in terms of the number of songs available for streaming, sits right between Spotify and Tidal. Spotify has over 30 million songs, Tidal has over 60 million. And Apple Music claims to have over 45 million songs for you to choose from. So, that is certainly nothing to frown about.
As far as payment plans are concerned, Apple Music offers three options. The individual plan is priced at the standard for audio streaming apps, $9.99 a month. There are two other options that might be convenient for you to explore as well, though. If you are a college student, for instance (and can prove it), you can use Apple Music for $4.99 each month.
Or you can try out Apple Music’s Family plan, allowing up to 6 people to stream on your plan at once, which will run you $14.99 a month. As far as price goes, Apple Music is not more expensive, nor is it remarkably more affordable than other options on the market (unless, of course, you are a student … in which case, Apple Music is a steal).
All in all, with convenient and easy to use app design, Apple Music is a must-have, especially if you are an Apple owner already. Everything will be streamlined, integrated, and ready to go for you. If you are a PC user, however, you might want to look into other options, but Apple Music will still be just as convenient, so long as you don’t mind downloading iTunes as well. Happy streaming!