As you may have read already, Jim Dalrymple isn't happy with Apple Music and decided to remove it from his devices. His reaction is totally relatable and I wouldn't react otherwise, but I think his - and of many others - is a little overrated. You can't say that a new music service is bad after only using it for roughly a month. Especially if you're in a position where many people wait for your opinion.
It's not that the service isn't good or has a small catalogue of music, it's about the way it handles your media. Of course this depends on the way you listen to music and what music you own, but if you are a music lover - as we all know, Jim is - you may encounter some bigger problems.
As many of us, Jim jumped on the bandwagon right away as he trusts Apple:
"I love Apple. I love them because they take difficult problems and come up with innovative, simple solutions. The things they make just work and we trust them. Unfortunately, my experience with Apple Music has been exactly the opposite. As of today, I’m missing about 4,700 songs from my library with little hope of getting them back."
Pointing out that it isn't the service itself that causes his issues, but more the way it handles its and especially your personal music library.
"While Apple Music Radio and Playlists worked well, adding music to my library is nothing short of a mind-blowing exercise in frustration."
If you appreciate music, you collect many albums over the years. If you really love a band, you buy everything they release. Over time you have duplicates of songs, different versions, demos, live, acoustic, etc. but as complied on the album, you can listen to it without frustration. It is after all the way the artist intended you to listen to it.
I have a big collection of music that isn't available on music streaming services (at least it wasn't on others prior to Apple Music. It's the first one that has - for my needs - a great catalogue of music) and therefor I could never really use one.
I'm an iTunes Match subscriber since the day it launched and I have never looked back. I always had my library with me and it worked "perfectly" (with some hiccups from time to time) when I needed it to.
My biggest struggle though has always been finding new music. That's where Apple Music excels for me. Never has a service been able to give me something I really liked, and especially not have me add it to my own library.
When I listen to music, I still mainly listen to the albums/artists that I'm in the mood of hearing now. For the moments I'm in no particular mood or not sure what to listen to, I like the playlists and recommendations.
One thing is certain though, never touch my library! Don't ever change what I've been collecting, tending, and arranging for years.
This is the frustrating part behind all of it. I really feel the struggle behind trying to get everything back the way you've always been used to having it. I've had some minor issues with albums not playing some songs, but have been able to get it to work again. I have to add that this happened on albums that were available on Apple Music. I don't know how it would have worked with something not in the catalogue.
This is the desperation of a music lover, someone who has spent years creating his own collection of music.
"As if all of that wasn’t enough, Apple Music gave me one more kick in the head. Over the weekend, I turned off Apple Music and it took large chunks of my purchased music with it. Sadly, many of the songs were added from CDs years ago that I no longer have access to. Looking at my old iTunes Match library, before Apple Music, I’m missing about 4,700 songs. At this point, I just don’t care anymore, I just want Apple Music off my devices."
The worst part about it though is that Apple has not only lost the trust of one person, but a whole group of people who are now afraid to have the same happen to them.
"I trusted my data to Apple and they failed. I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music. I will not make either of those mistakes again."
Apple Music has only been out for about a month and there is still a lot of work to be done. I suppose (and secretly hope) they chose the three months trial period to make the service as stable as possible. They could lose a lot of potential subscribers when the trial is over and these issues are still present.
I hope Apple once again listens to what their nerdiest community is saying and reacts to keep music lovers happy.