I have been mildly impressed with Apple Music so far, mainly because of the discovery features and the impression that the service is a lot more than mere streaming and track downloading. There is a sense of community throughout and a feeling that I will always be able to find something new every time I open Apple Music.
There is, however, also a sense that it is more than a bit messy and that the performance is quite poor overall. When I start Beats One, there is an inevitable delay and the same happens almost any time I stream a single track. I have had to re-login multiple times so far because the service forgets who I am and so I remain half delighted with the service and half frustrated.
And then an email arrived from Amazon this morning telling me that I can now use Amazon Music as part of my Prime subscription. Oooh…
I loaded up the iPhone app and took a look on my MacBook and first impressions are good. It is ‘much’ quicker than Apple Music with songs loading immediately for streaming and a much cleaner design. It reminds me of Spotify in terms of design, but is perhaps even easier to use. I am no longer surprised when competing services outpace Apple in terms of cloud performance, but it seems to happen every single time.
Less impressive is the library of music available which is 30 times less than with Apple Music or Spotify (1 million vs 30 million). Now, that leaves one decision for people to make. Do they need more than 1 million tracks and is Prime Music enough to stop them spending £9.99 / month elsewhere? I suspect that for me, I will struggle to justify the cost of Apple Music in comparison because I would be paying for discovery, a lesser performing service and more tracks. In my mind, I already bought Prime so there is effectively no cost to me to stream and download 1 million tracks. That is hard to ignore.