Music for the MIND
By Paisal Chuenprasaeng
The new and improved Apple Music app makes it even easier to find the sounds you love
Apple Music is a single, intuitive app and service that combines several ways to enjoy music – all in one place. You can access the app via several tools, including your iPhone, iPod, iPad as well as an Android smartphone or a PC or a Mac computer.
More than 20 million paying subscribers are already enjoying handpicked playlists based on the music they love as well as discovering new artists every day. And Thai artists and students are also using the app to release their musical masterpieces.
I tried the Apple Music app on a brand new 9.7-inch iPad and a Huawei Mate 8 smartphone and was delighted to be able to listen to sounds that are hard to find elsewhere. Best of all, the music can be enjoyed without having to be downloaded or bought.
When I tried it on the Mate 8, the Apple Music app tried to get to know my taste of music by having me tap on music genres I like and then my favourite bands, then compiled a special playlist just for me.
The Library provides access to all music in your own Apple Music library, old and new, as well as the songs and albums you have collected, and the playlists you have created. Every song, album, and playlist you’ve ever added to your iTunes library is in your Apple Music library – whether it was purchased from the iTunes Store, imported from a CD, or downloaded from a music blog.
And when you enter the Library section, you can browse via subsections of Playlists, Artists, Albums and Songs. There is also a subsection called Recently Added, where you will find the music you have purchased via iTunes store.
You can download music for listening offline too by going to the Download music subsection in Library.
The For You section is where you will find albums and playlists curated by Apple Music’s team of experts to match your musical tastes. These special playlists are updated daily. Here, you will also see what you have been playing recently as well as posts from your favourite artists.
For example, I told Apple Music app that my preferred genres are rock, blues and alternative and named AC/DC, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Eric Clapton as my favourite artists. The app recommended several playlists, including Classical Rocks, Dark Sky (rock tracks for relaxation), Best of ‘70s Hard Rock, Vol 2, and Best of British Blues.
Under the New Releases subsection, I found Blondie’s “Pollinator” album and “50 Years Ago” by Genesis.
When I tried the app later, it suggested several albums including “Led Zeppelin (Remastered)”, “The Best of Stevie Ray Vaughan”, and “Back in Black” of AC/DC.
But my vote goes to the Browse section as the most entertaining. It’s your ticket to the best of the Apple Music service. Its intuitive layout lets you quickly choose new releases, chart-toppers or playlists that match your mood and activity.
Here you can browse music by subsections of New Music, Playlists, Music Videos, Top Charts and Genres.
Genres indulged me in a nostalgic trip back to the past with old songs rarely heard on the radio. The genres include classical, dance/electronic, hip-hop/rap, J-Pop, K-Pop, R&B, and Thai music.
The latter category include “Black” by Hugo and “The Lion” by Big Ass as well as other playlists, including The A-List: Thai Music and Thai Pop Replay.
The A-Lists have been compiled by Apple Music editors. They include the best new music in each genre and are updated frequently.
And when I chose the Best of Classic Prog Rock, the tracks I found included “Roundabout” by Yes, “Aqualung” by Jethro Tull, “Lucky Man” by Emerson, Lake and Palmer and “Time (Edit)” by Pink Floyd.
The Radio section lets you tune in to Beats 1, which is an innovative radio station hosted by the world’s best artists and DJs. Other radio stations include Charting Now, Classical, Chill, Love Song, K-Pop, and Pop Workout. You can also browse radio station by music genres.
Apart from browsing the features by sections, you can also quickly search by typing in your favourite artists’ names.
During the test, I enjoyed using the search feature to search for favourite artists, including Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel and Pink Floyd was delighted to find huge collections of their music. For example, there are several albums by Roger Waters, including his latest “Is This the Life We Really Want”.
The app offers good music quality too. I listened to the songs, using Sony’s MDR1ABT high-resolution headphones and I really enjoyed them.
You can also have Apple Music find the lyrics to a song. Just swipe up while a track plays and you’ll see them. Feel free to sing — or shout, rap, belt, croon, or whisper — along.
Moreover, if you use a Mac OS or iOS device to use Apple Music service, you can have Siri as your personal DJ. Siri can take your music request with voice commands. The commands include “What’s the top song right now?”, “Play the live version of this song”, “When was this released?” and “Play something that’s just for me.”
– What you need: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, Android device or PC with Internet connection
– Trial period: 3 months free
– Prices: Bt69 per month for students, Bt129 per month for individual, Bt199 for family membership