Apple should be given a medal for saving the music industry, mostly single-handedly– from itself. Thanks to the iTunes app, thanks to the iTunes Music Store, and now thanks to Apple Music, I can listen to almost anything I want, anywhere, and at any time.
Yes, I would like the same thing for television and movies, but that’s a different issue. The new kid on the block, thanks to Napster and a few others that brought a radio atmosphere to our Macs and iPhones, is streaming music; also known as subscription music; music on demand, to any device at any time as long as you pay. You know, like Apple Music.
Stop The Madness
Other than the food industry, I can’t think of an industry that has done more to give me less than the music industry. From my childhood I remember my parent’s 45s and 33-1/3 LPs. I remember 8-tracks and Cassette tapes long before CDs and DVDs and iTunes Music Store. Think about the poor folks who bought LPs, then bought the hits as 45s, then bought the same music again as 8-tracks, then bought the music again as Cassette tapes, then forked over more money for CDs, and then again to the iTunes Music Store. All for the same songs.
The only way to stop this madness is to go full on subscription, and the best way to do that is the Apple Music streaming subscription service. You know, like Spotify but with more music, lower prices, and half as many subscribers. I’ve never kissed a girl so I don’t know if I’d like it but I like Apple Music because you can make it a better deal. More on that in a moment.
The iPhone’s Apple Music app has been simplified from the original and is easier to navigate. In bold, bright letters you can select Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, and easily listen to Downloaded music. From the bottom of the Music app you select Library, For You, Browse, Radio, or Search. For You gets you into the Apple Music Store and the monthly subscription which allows you to download and listen to as much of the 30-million songs as you can for a low monthly price tag.
Low? Alright, there’s a free three month trial period, but the price tag is $9.99 a month after the trial ends. Nope, no long term contract at a lower price, but if you’re a college student you can get it for $4.99 a month, and there’s a Family package for $14.99 a month for up to six users (six devices). How is that a low monthly price tag? For whatever reason, Apple deducts the monthly Apple Music subscription fee from whatever balance is in your iTunes Account. Balance? Yes. If there’s no balance, your credit card is charged first. If you populate your account with redeemed iTunes Music cards– $25, $50, or $100– then Apple deducts the subscription from that first. But those cards often are discounted 10-percent to 20-percent at various stores. When you see a 15-percent or 20-percent discount on an iTunes card, latch onto as many as you can, redeem them in your iTunes account, and you get an unofficial but useful Apple Music discount.
That means the monthly price tag drops to about $7.99 for the single account, and just over $3.00 per month for the student account. What’s not to like?
Some of my music collection is from CDs, some from the Napster years, plenty from the iTunes Music Store since the iPod, but none of that compares to my Apple Music subscription and the Apple Music app. 30-million songs, and since I can’t tell the difference– even on good headphones– between music from Apple Music and music from the high resolution music on Pono (PonoPlayer is $399 and the music store remains Under Construction), it’s a system that works for me, and apparently 20-million other Apple customers.