Getting the Most Out of Apple Music

By Chantal Bechervaise

Apple’s streaming music service, Apple Music, arrived Tuesday. It is Apple’s long-awaited response to other streaming music services such as Spotify and Pandora. Apple Music is available for download via the iOS 8.4 update for mobile devices and it’s also available for your desktop (Mac or Windows).

After you download Apple Music and open it for the first time, you will be asked if you want to go with the three-month free trial offer or jump right into your own music. If you say ‘yes’ to the trial offer, you will automatically be billed $9.99 per month after the trial expires. You can avoid the automatic billing by going to your Apple account settings and turning off the auto-renewal feature.

For You

When you first log in, Apple Music will ask you for your music preferences and tastes. You simply select different genres from the bubbles on the screen. It will also scan your music library to see your preferred artists. After this is complete, the For You tab will recommend some custom playlists. You can further refine what For You recommends by tapping on the heart when listening to music. This will enhance your personal algorithm and will continue to improve the playlists and other content that’s presented.

New

This section offers the latest and most popular albums and songs. The default screen offers weekly selections from each musical genre chosen by Apple editors. You can also click on ‘Hot Tracks,’ ‘Recent Releases’ and ‘Top Songs’ across all different styles of music and narrow down the results by selecting different genres. The New tab also offer playlists curated by Apple editors such as ‘BBQing,’ ‘Breaking Up,’ ‘Studying’ or ‘Partying.’

Beats 1 Radio 

Beats 1 Radio is probably one of the most interesting features of Apple Music. It offers Sirius XM type radio stations, which makes it stand out compared to some of its streaming competitors. Beats 1 offers shows by Zane Lowe, Dr. Dre, Elton John, Pharrell Williams, Drake, Q-Tip, St. Vincent, Ellie Goulding, Jaden Smith and others. The downside to these radio-style stations is that they are not available on demand so you have to listen to them live.

If you don’t want to listen to stations with live DJs, then you can scroll past the Beats 1 section and select from a variety of music stations organized by genre. Or you can ask Siri to play the top 50 songs from the year 2000 or any other playlist and your music will start playing automatically.

Connect

Another interesting Apple Music feature is called Connect. It’s a social platform that allows artists to interact with their fans by posting content and comments. By default, you automatically follow artists that are in your music library and are also on Connect. This new feature will continue to be free after the trial period. It will be interesting to see how Connect grows, particularly as lots of artists already have large followings on other social networks.

Have you tried Apple Music? I would love to hear your thoughts and impressions. Please leave a comment below.

CBechervaise67Chantal is located in Ottawa, Ontario. She is passionate about everything related to the World of Work: Leadership, HR, Social Media and Technology. You can read more from Chantal at her TakeItPersonelly blog or follow her on Twitter @CBechervaise.

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