The new Apple Music service is a little bit like a Quentin Tarintino movie. It's quirky, it's fun, it's rather unique... it's a mess.
Now we can understand why Apple bought Beats last year. The emphasis that streaming service placed on human-curated playlists, in addition to relying on computer-generated algorithms, clearly gave it an edge over competitors. All it needed was scale. Enter Apple with its billion IOS devices. Yet there is more to Apple Music than a simple business acquisition. Is there a DJ manning a switchboard somewhere, plugging in wires to a different song when prompted? It certainly feels like that. The team that designed this service clearly loves music, and wants the listener to feel the buzz of discovering new sounds and voices.
This much is obvious with the hiring of Zane Lowe to front Beats 1, Apple's new radio station. The man eats, sleeps and breathes music.
I like the way I can merge my own songs with those I am enjoying streaming (and may buy at a later date), although admittedly there are a few bugs to iron out. The quality of the search capacity is a massive step forward for Apple - let's hope it pushes this out to its App Store.
Apple Music caters for buyers of music, hoarders of music, and streamers of music. I was worried it would fall between all these stools but instead it lands straight on top of all of them. I am discovering new songs and an being reunited with old songs I forgot about. It is an addictive service that is thoroughly enjoyable and, indeed, immersive.
Now all Apple has to do is tidy it up. A gadget-conscious, music-loving consumer will love it but would my mum? The tabs (For You, Connect, Radio, My Music, New) require digging around in and do not provide a clear path to what you initially came in for. Perhaps that's the point - you go in expecting something and come out delighted with what you find instead, something that wasn't what you expected.
For me, Apple Music is an unrefined, unpolished yet rip-roaring adventure back to the days when music was an integral part of my life. Highly recommended.