Music fans rejoice, Apple Music is now available on Android!
What is Apple Music?
Apple Music is a subscription-based music streaming service, previously exclusive to Apple products. In a time when music streaming services are a dime a dozen, what sets Apple Music apart to make this notable? How is Apple Music any different from Pandora, Spotify, Google Play Music, or a plethora of other services, some of which have no subscription fee?
First and foremost, the biggest selling point of Apple Music is their human curation process. Most if not all other music streaming services either force users to create their own playlists, shuffle music at random, or depend on computer-based algorithms to create a string of songs that may or may not be related and have some sort of “flow.” Apple has hired digital DJs to queue up songs, much the way traditional radio or club music has been handled. According to users, this offers a better listening experience, as these jockeys have professional experience generating playlists and stringing songs that are genuinely related and fit well together. Obviously, this is not something that can be programmed into an algorithm efficiently or accurately.
Another feature that is rare among music services is the ability to outright purchase music, as well as upload personal libraries of music. With Apple Music, users can keep their own purchased and uploaded music to listen to, even without paying the monthly fee. For those who wish to curate their own collection, this is a huge advantage above services that only offer paid or ad-supplemented streaming.
Much a consequence of the music industry, another benefit to Apple Music is exclusive rights to certain labels and artists. For some users, it is vital for a specific artist or album to be available on a service to even consider using it. If Apple’s exclusive partnerships fit that description for users, Apple Music stands above other streaming services as a fantastic option.
Why is this important?
Apple is typically very exclusive with their software and hardware. Apple-created applications and services are few and far between on Android, with most first-party Apple apps staying exclusively on iOS devices. The fact that the company is opening up to creating apps and services across multiple platforms, even competitors, is huge news. Ideally, this means that Android users will continue to see more and more Apple products available without having to shift ecosystems. Furthermore, users who have traditionally used Apple products and have an interest in trying out Android as an OS will be able to jump ship without leaving behind all their music or going through a painful migration process for all their data.
Apple execs have called Apple Music the only “user-centric” music service currently available. For those who agree, allowing the service for Android users is a huge and fantastic move for users. If Apple Music on Android does well, it is entirely likely that we will begin to see more Apple services available on alternative platforms soon. As Apple shifts from keeping everything in-house and Apple exclusive to offering hardware and software distinct from one another, the entire Apple ecosystem could begin to evolve to not be so hostile to other platforms. Collaboration is key to offering the best services and best products to the greatest number of people.
Be sure to note, the version of Apple Music currently available on Android is still in beta. This means that not all functionality is going to be available immediately, and the app will gradually evolve to best suit its users. There likely won’t be many bugs, but don’t expect Chromecast support or other extraneous features until a full and complete release is available from Apple.