Apple Music started in its current shape about 3 months ago. Its promise is to blend traditional radio with a streaming subscription service.
The (Supposedly) Good: Entire Music Of The World
Apple Music came into being as a result of Beats acquisition. Beats Music was said to be the best music app on the market and now it's been incorporated into iTunes and iPhone Music app.
So now I have access to the whole music of the world and to some tracks "twice", since I've purchased them before... ;) This created a bit of schizophrenia in the user interface and the way those music apps work right now. What is being played locally from the device and what is streamed?
The Bad: Don't Treat Me Like I'm A Stranger!
Apple Music has a beautiful user interface slightly broken on the desktop by the iTunes quirkiness. Maybe it's just me but I always found iTunes difficult to use and creating barrier between the music and me. Creating a playlist is hard, displaying, sorting and navigating the music library is a struggle.
Now the whole experience is divided into different tabs, none of which does what I want. There's: Radio, New, Playlists, For You and Your purchased / locally pirated music. I'm trying to list those tabs from memory on purpose, to prove to myself how confusing it is.
So each time I want to listen to some music I need to open the app and make a choice of the tab. I need to stop and think what kind of mood I'm in. Then after opening the tab I need to make the choice of either a station or a playlist or an artist. Alternatively I can search and/or browse to find an album or artist I want to listen to, but again it requires stopping and making a choice.
That's a lot of choices for such a simple thing as listening to music. Nowhere in iTunes or Apple Music is a button "Play music I like". I've used Deezer, Spotify and the now-closed Grooveshark. Each of them had this option. Here in Apple Music I have the feeling I'm feeding this machine with information on what I like and it doesn't produce value for me.
The Ugly: Sneaky Subscription & What's An Mp3?
Today Apple tried to charge my credit card and I got a text from my bank about it. Otherwise I wouldn't even notice. Sure I've got the message 3 months ago that I will be charged. But I long forgot about it and wasn't expecting the subscription to automatically start charging without any notice! Make sure you check your own credit cards.
The second shock came when I tried to drag&drop an mp3 file onto my iPhone. I couldn't do it because "this device is using Apple Music Library Subscription something, bla, bla, bla". I don't know or understand what it is and how it works. I don't want or need to know it.
So we've gone a full circle in 2015 - you can't take your mp3 on the road anymore. It makes me feel I don't actually own my device anymore. Get your hands off my gear!
Value for money was great, as long as the money was $0. After all it gave direct, multi channel access to large music library in decent quality. I hoped I'll learn to use the services.
But now that they want me to pay I need to compare the service against the other players on the market and the verdict is brutal: it's waaay easier and more pleasant to use Deezer. Before going back there I'll look around for new alternatives...