Apple is a company with a musical DNA. Apple Music, as Apple’s music streaming platform, relies on the previous iTunes music library and user base, plus the acquired Beats Music streaming service, and has made great progress after the integration and launch. This streaming music platform has an amazing number of users and a good reputation both at home and abroad. Lossless audio formats and spatial audio are the two biggest killers of the Apple Music platform, making differentiated competition with music streaming platforms such as Spotify and Pandora.
Apple Music is my first choice when I listen to music, and I have used it for two years in a row. During this period, Apple Music has been continuously optimizing the user experience from its initial launch to the latest iteration. While using Apple Music I also use QQ Music and NetEase CloudMusic. Compared to other platforms I found that Apple Music still has a lot to improve.
Many software have imperfect functions in the initial stage of launch, and Apple Music is no exception. Apple Music feels refreshing to users from the very beginning. Compared with NetEase CloudMusic’s main social attributes, Apple Music is more focused on listening to music. It is precisely because of the focus on listening to songs that Apple Music has always been single in function. It wasn’t until 2019 that Apple brought scrolling lyrics to Apple Music. Although it is long overdue, it can finally solve a major pain point for users.
Song recognition requires skip
Song recognition is one of the primary ways people find music these days. QQ Music and NetEase CloudMusic have built this function into their software for a long time, and until now Apple Music still does not support song recognition. Although Apple acquired Shazam to solve the problem of song recognition, users need to skip back and forth between the two apps, which is very inconvenient.
Weird account binding
On the iPhone and iPad, the Apple Music account and the App Store account are linked and bound. If you switch the App Store to the US region, your Apple Music will also switch to the US region. At this point, you will find that Apple Music originally opened in China region is no longer available. However, Apple Music and the App Store on Mac can be separated into different regions, which leads to confusion in the account management logic of Apple Music.
Batch music download is not supported
And this has caused another problem, that is, every time the China region is changed, the songs downloaded before are all cleared and need to be downloaded again. The most troublesome thing is that Apple Music does not yet have the function of downloading songs in batches, and users need to click to download them separately.
What upgrades will Apple Music have at this year’s WWDC 2022?
Different apps such as Apple Music and QQ Music, each update will be updated together with the iOS system upgrade. Especially at the annual Apple WWDC global developer conference, Apple Music will have a relatively large version of the update. So for the upcoming WWDC2022 this year, what aspects will Apple Music update? Let’s make a prediction.
Make Apple Music more fun
Many music software have added social attributes, such as NetEase CloudMusic’s playlist sharing, QQ Music’s song barrage, etc., which have greatly improved user activity. Apple Music has always been solely focused on listening to music, with basically no social part within the software. For users it is more like a tool for listening to music. Hopefully Apple can bring more social experiences to Apple Music this year and make the software a little more fun.
Lyric translation is another big pain point on Apple Music. QQ Music has long added the translation of lyrics in English and Japanese, which allows people who like foreign language music to better understand the meaning of the whole song. Although the current “frosted glass” display of Apple Music lyrics is pretty cool. If the lyrics translation function can be added again, it will be very convenient for users.
A new way to listen to lossless audio
Apple previously announced that 75 million songs on the Apple Music platform support lossless audio formats, which is undoubtedly a good thing for listeners who want to experience lossless sound quality. Limited by the current Bluetooth technology, it is not possible to directly play the lossless audio music on Apple Music, whether it is on the iPhone, iPad or Mac, an external digital decoding amp is required. At present, various information is revealing that Apple is developing its own wireless music transmission method, hoping to completely solve the problem of listening to lossless audio.
A standalone Apple Classical music platform?
In 2021, Apple acquired Primephonic, a classical music streaming platform, and subsequently shut down Primephonic’s music service. Earlier this year, according to the technology media 9to5Google, we found some clues that Apple is preparing to launch the Apple Classical music service in the Apple Music client on Android. According to speculation in the code, Apple may integrate Primephonic’s music service to launch its own Apple Classical classical music software. This is undoubtedly a big surprise for those who like to listen to classical music. Whether there will be this streaming media software focused on classical music will let us see at this year’s WWDC22.
These are some of my thoughts on the current problems with Apple Music and what’s updated this year. Apple Music started relatively late in China, and due to the payment mechanism and Apple ecology, there are no small barriers to use. Apple still needs to make a lot of efforts to shake the status of QQ Music and NetEase CloudMusic in China. In addition to lossless music and spatial audio, Apple also needs to come up with a new killer. As for what big moves Apple Music will make this year, let’s wait and see.