WWDC is Apple’s developer’s conference, the place where we see previews of upcoming versions new software; this year OS X El Capitan, iOS 9, and WatchOS 2. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook was at his best; comfortable, commanding. The tidbits about new OS software were, as always, intriguing. Then the pleasantries came to an abrupt end with a long awaited ‘One more thing‘ moment. What was the one more thing?
What Is Apple Music?
Right in front of thousands of Apple developers, and in full view of many tens of thousands of Apple followers watching the keynote on the web or Apple TV, Apple dropped a presentation turd.
Apple Music. OK, I get it. It’s about music. But it’s not iTunes Music Store. Music is partly a streaming service but with no free option (just a 90-day free trial) to compete against Spotify. It’s a place to listen to curated music and to listen to unknown artists with the Connect module. I wonder what record companies think of that. Is Apple becoming a music publisher?
Music seems to be an independent publisher and distributor of music, which competes a bit against SoundCloud but also traditional labels. I was impressed with CEO Tim Cook’s presence on stage. He looked comfortable and didn’t even need to jump into the latest numbers to impress those who are impressed with such things.
Following Cook was the head of software, Craig Federighi who could do technology standup as a side job; who took us through a pleasant overview of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9. Nap time came with Kevin Lynch and WatchOS, but Apple blazed a bit of new territory with the head of Apple Pay and a marketing veep; both women.
But it was the foray into Music which surprised to the point of startle; a makeshift, unfocused view of Apple’s new view of the music industry. Or, rather, the view of industry guru Jimmy Iovine who came along for the ride with the Beats Music acquisition.
The last 40 minutes or so of the keynote was something of a visual disaster which left me scouring the web for tidbits on what Apple Music really is. It’s not iTunes. It’s not Spotify, Rdio, or Pandora. And, God I hope it’s not Ping, but it looks interesting, and I’m afraid I’ll need to try it before I buy it.
The Music portion of the keynote presentation was unfocused to the point of ugly. Let’s hope the Music launch goes more smoothly.