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Apple Music - the 'For You' section

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Hi @kirkmc and anyone using Apple Music

 

I've been using Tidal for years now and Spotify a lot the last few months.

 

I've got a pretty good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of those two (for my own needs).

 

One of the most important features (for me) is recommending new releases (tracks and albums) based on artists I follow.

 

Both Tidal (the 'suggested new' sections) and Spotify (the Release Radar playlist) are really good with notifying me of new releases by artists I follow, in different ways but both pretty good. Not much new stuff that I like gets missed by Tidal and Spotify. Some do get missed each week but both are pretty good... compared with Apple Music..

 

I'm now a month into using Apple Music and I can't believe how crap the 'For You' section is - specifically new tracks and new albums.

 

There is a 'New Releases' section at the bottom of 'For You' but in a month I have 2 recommended new album releases... 

 

I have a tonne of 'liked' tracks and albums in my Apple Music library. 

 

There's no way to follow artists the way I can with Tidal and Spotify. I just want to be alerted of all new releases by my favourite artists, like I can with Tidal and Spotify.

 

 

Am I missing something here or is it really that bad?

 

I'm very much an Apple guy and was really surprised at how shi!te the 'For You' section is - again, compared to Spotify and even Tidal.

 

And then there's using iTunes for Apple Music - it's very obvious Apple are more focused on the iOS version of Apple Music which looks nice, compared with Spotify (both are excellent).

 

Apple Music via iTunes (MacOS) feels like I've stepped backwards in time 10 years... but that's minor compared to getting alerted of new releases by my favourite artists.

 

I'll give Apple Music another month or two. I hope there is a rapid improvement - maybe it takes more time than Spotify, for the algorithms to start kicking in and spitting out the info?

 

Interested in other people's experience with Apple Music and getting alerted of all new releases by artists you really like.

 

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I agree about For You. It's as you describe: I've currently got give new releases on mine, the four album bricks are sometimes useful, but often recommend music that I really don't like, and I never listen to the "Mixes" at the top of the window or any of the recommended playlists. To be fair, I'm not really using Apple Music to find new music; it's more to play music I already know, and to go back and listen to discography of artists I know but whose music I don't own. 


I write about Macs, iTunes, music, and more at Kirkville.

Author of Take Control of iTunes 12

Co-host of The Next Track podcast.

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Like Kirk, I use Apple Music to find music I already know, or to recreationally go down the rabbit hole of recommendations. I still find new music the old-fashioned way: reading magazines/publications, friends' recommendations, radio, chance encounters, and so on. I do not care for Spotify. I recently subscribed to Amazon Music Unlimited--except for the music selection, which is about the same as everywhere else, I'm afraid its features are _quite_ limited.

 

I follow bands and artists I like on Twitter. That's the most immediate way I've found for staying, uhm, "Connected". Since Apple's acquisition of Shazam, I have been using "Hey Siri, what song is this" more frequently also. That will enable you to add music found in the wild to your library.

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Great post here on 9to5mac echo'ing my same frustration:

 

https://9to5mac.com/2018/05/11/apple-music-artist-alerts/

 

This tweet below is exactly like me, literally every week, for multiple artists. Tidal and Spotify are significantly better, it's not even close.

 

Of course I have the power to drop Apple Music at any time but I'll give it another month or two and see/hear if it learns better over time. So far it's been shockingly bad though (in terms of being alerted of new releases for artists in my library/playlists).

 

1790759106_ScreenShot2019-03-14at1_59_50pm.png.fd7829f511908aa877fa8bcef0d71479.png

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Another, more recent article:

 

https://9to5mac.com/2018/11/21/follow-apple-music-artists/

 

"One of my biggest complaints about Apple Music is the lack of reliable notifications of new music from artists I follow."

 

This MusicHarbor app could be interesting - even though Tidal and Spotify seem to have worked it out themselves, inside their own apps. 

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Yep, I agree too. Apple Music is great for finding releases that just are not on other services though. I don't actually play a lo too music through it though, and I guess I should cancel it. 

On the other paw, who knows what they might announce on March 25th, so maybe I'll hold on a little while longer. :)

 

-Paul

 


Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat DAC.

Robert A. Heinlein

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I've just setup this MusicHarbor app - it's fantastic!

 

It imports all the artists in your Apple Music library and shows a simple 'feed' with dates and releases (tracks and albums).

 

You can see a timeline of releases from artists you follow (i.e. in your library) and that even includes upcoming (future) releases (albums that can be pre-ordered in iTunes) from artists you follow.

 

I find it hard to believe one of the biggest engineering companies on the planet (Apple) can't include something like this in their app.

 

For now, this MusicHarbor app will do nicely!

 

 

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Since it's 'new music Friday', I've been able to test this MusicHarbor app.

 

The app said there were 50 (!!) new releases by artists in my library - great.

 

But it sucks having to manually open Apple Music and add the new tracks one by one, to a queue or playlist.

 

First world problems, I know.

 

And Apple Music alone was again hopeless in the 'For You' section, updated today (it updates every Friday).

 

I think I'll stick with Spotify for now, for daily use. I can't stand using multiple apps.

 

I'll keep my Apple Music subscription going. Maybe they announce big upcoming improvements on March 25th. Keeping my subscription active, if the 'For You' feature one day miraculously becomes as good as Spotify/Tidal for new releases by my fav artists, it has all my favourite artists in the system, ready to go.

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Looks like Spotify is actively working on improving notifying people of new releases of their favourite/followed artists too.

 

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/22/18009810/spotify-whats-new-timeline

 

Obviously Spotify recognise this can be an important discovery tool, specifically for artists you already know/love/follow.

 

 

Even though I consider Spotify/Tidal to be significantly better than Apple Music, they are not perfect and I can't imagine any streaming service would be happy to see this scenario from any customer:

 

1790759106_ScreenShot2019-03-14at1_59_50pm.png.fd7829f511908aa877fa8bcef0d71479.png

 

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