Apple officially starts competing with the likes of Spotify, Pandora, Google’s newly launched Play streaming music service and others today. Apple Music will be up and running as of today, so naturally the company’s fans are just dying to try it out.
How to get Apple Music
The Apple Music rollout is part of the update to iOS 8.4, so if you haven’t yet upgraded your iDevices to the latest version of the mobile operating system, then you won’t be able to sign up for the service. iOS 8.4 will be available at 11 a.m. Eastern. Android users, unfortunately you’re out of luck for right now. The full version of the service isn’t coming to the top competing OS until the fall.
Apple is offering a free three-month trial for its streaming music service. At the end of the free trial, the service costs $9.99 for a single user plan or $14.99 for a family plan which can support up to six people.
Siri works with Apple Music
Because the streaming service is an Apple product, it will surely be easy to use. But for those who are a little timid when it comes to new tech, Siri is there to guide you around the service. Users simply ask the service to play a song, playlist or album.
The digital personal assistant is also supposedly intuitive enough to be able to respond correctly to a request to play the top songs on the iTunes charts. Siri can also supposedly help users find new music according to genre or even by date.
Things to keep in mind with Apple Music
It’s important that those who sign up for Apple Music sync the music they own with the service, but do not delete it. The service will go through your library and allow you to play anything you own anywhere. However, according to CNN, you cannot download your songs back onto your computer if you stop paying for Apple Music, so keep your songs saved elsewhere.
One good feature with Apple Music is that you can download songs, playlists or albums to your mobile devices so that you don’t have to stream them using the internet. This will keep you from eating up your allotted gigabytes on your data plan.
Apple Music versus Google Play
Google launched its own music streaming service just days ahead of Apple Music, but do the two services really compare? Fortune‘s Dan Reilly compared the two new streaming products.
One thing Google offers that Apple doesn’t is a free option that’s supported by ads. There’s just a single ad when you start listening to the service, and after that, there are no interruptions. This puts Google ahead of Pandora, which inserts ads periodically throughout streams, making it more like traditional radio stations. Google also allows users to create their own radio stations based on their favorite artists or other factors.
Additionally, Google Play uses technology made by Songza, which it acquired last year. The service lets users pick music streams based on their mood, a genre or other factors. The free option only allows a certain number of song skips per hour, however, and the service does not tell users which song is coming up next.
Google’s $9.99 per month service offers a much wider selection of music, making it more like Apple music, room to store 50,000 songs, including those downloaded on iTunes or other services, and YouTube Music Key access.
What makes Apple Music different
On the other hand, Apple has incorporated Siri into its offering. The company also launched its online radio station, Beats 1, which features a live DJ. Apple stole Zane Lowe from the BBC and will have celebrity hosts like Elton John sometimes. Apple Music also provides storage for up to 100,000 songs.