Nine words that exemplify Apple Music’s problem
My Music. For You. New. Radio. Connect. iTunes Store.
Just consider these navigation choices for a moment. How on earth did Apple end up making it so confusing for a user to experience music?
- For You. Everything is ‘for me’. It’s my music experience within Apple Music. By extension, why would there be something that’s not for me? If it’s really ‘Recommended (for you)’, say so.
- New. This is the only time-based choice of the six choices. How new is ‘new’? And because it’s mixed with type-based choices (Radio), ownership-based choices (My Music, iTunes Store), analysis-based choices (For You) and action-based choices (Connect), we get confusing overlaps. What if I want to find new music recommended for me? Do I go to New, or For You? What if I want to see new radio stations that may be available? New artists to connect with?
- My Music. Is this music in my iTunes library? Or just music I’ve bought from the iTunes store? Or music I’ve downloaded for offline playing? Or music I’ve ‘loved’?
- Connect. Connect with whom? Or indeed, to what, my iPhone? And if I love an artist, would I not ‘connect’ with them within ‘For You’ (or however I find their ‘home’ on Apple Music)? Why is this one action separated out? The artist and their music are the building blocks. Connect as a ‘thing’ in itself is just weird and more than a bit awkward.
- iTunes Store. This is where old meets new, and old does not sit well with new. In an ideal world, why is this a separate choice? Again, artists and the music are the building blocks, not how I pay for that music. Now, I may like an option to toggle whether Apple Music shows me music available to stream, buy, or both—an option I can toggle at any time. But with ‘iTunes Store’ we’ve separated off a huge area of music based solely on it being purchasable.
And the bonus issue: Where do a new user find music they’ve ‘Loved’? Where does it go? Okay, this isn’t just a new user question, because I still don’t know. I mark an artist as someone I love, I want to come back and listen to them, and I have no idea where to go. That’s incredible.
My wife continually complains about Apple Music. She just wants to play music she likes. That it’s hard to do so is deeply concerning for me. (Don’t even start me on navigating around Apple Music once you dive in.)
Come on Apple, get the basics right.