"Apple is passionate about music," Steve Jobs often said. Those who know Steve's history know that music genuinely shaped the man. After his passing, Tim Cook echoed these words, but they always rang hollow to me. Tim is an oppressions guy. Sure you love music, Tim. It's what launched the iPod and therefore Apple into the pockets of millions. Without the success of the iPod, Apple would not have had the resources to research, build, and ship the iPhone; which as we all know took Apple into the stratosphere. The cynic in me never believed the post-Jobs, "music is our passion" mantra. But that changed yesterday.
Apple released Apple Music. It. Is. Good.
On paper, Apple Music appears to be merely a competitor to other music streaming services like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio. $10 a month gives you access to millions of songs. Whatever you're in the mood for is just a search and click away.
But what proves Apple is passionate about music is not the fact that they entered this space — it's the abundant amount of soul packed within this service. Upon launching it for the first time, Apple Music takes a moment to playfully ask what tickles your fancy. Reporting your preferences of genre leads to picking specific artists. Thank you very much, says Apple Music, and then presents you with real-live, human curated playlists and radio stations that resonate with you.
Yes, Apple Music, I do like Sigur Ros, Fiest, Radiohead (who doesn't?), and Mutemath. Apple Music is like that college girlfriend who made endearing mixed tapes for you, even with the familiar dash of crazy.
Playlists and stations are just the beginning. If you're of the variety who finds it abhorrent to listen to "singles," as the kids say, and prefer to give artists the justice of enjoying an album from track one to end, Apple Music will delight you. Search an album, give the whole thing a spin, and if it's your new jam, tell Apple Music to go ahead and toss it into your library. Even download it for offline access, if you'd like. That's right, cram your 128gb iPhone with as much music as you like for just $10 a month.
I don't know about you, but I've reached that stage in my life where I don't have the energy to discover new bands. I used to be that dude, but I'm not anymore. Like most adults, I've grown accustomed to just spinning the albums of my college days. Thanks be to Apple and their team of rounded DJs, my heart's desire to discover new music that churns my soul will not recede like my hairline. Apple Music reawakens your ears and makes you young again.
More could be said about Beats 1, the 24/7 global radio station, but I'll let you be the judge of that. There's also a feature called Connect, where you can be a digital groupie to your closest bands. Really, Apple Music has something for everyone.
Apple hardware is the envy of the industry for its clean precision, sturdy build, and beautiful materials. The sterility of Apple Retail stores reinforce their commitment to order, minimalism, and focus. Apple Music doesn't deny these values. Instead, it gives us a peek into Apple's inner sanctums and reveals the loud celebration of vibrance, art, chaos, and beat.