How Jaden Smith Sold Me On Apple Music
While I wasn't the biggest fan of it before, my admiration for Apple Music has grown over the past few weeks -- mainly because Jaden Smith, son of Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, has curated playlists through the Beats 1 station.
Although he's a rapper, Smith has excellent taste in a wide variety of genres. He's already introduced me to several previously unknown artists and bands, who produce an eclectic brand of music I never knew existed.
His diverse musical palate for music outside of the hip-hop genre is highly contagious, and it makes you look forward to his recommendations.
In general, the recommendations from Apple Music improve exponentially as you continue to like more songs and playlists.
The music on Smith's playlists ranges from alternative R&B to electronica -- even French!
The idea of listening to the same music that one of your favorite artists is currently listening to is a fascinating concept Apple has unleashed.
It's created a stronger bond between musicians and listeners by giving the audience a glimpse into the contemporary musicians that influence an artist's creativity.
Apple Music's Connect feature also allows artists to share videos and photos directly with fans.
This allows Apple to foster an intimate connection between the artist and the fan, providing a far more personal listening experience.
Apple Music also provides exceptional playlists curated by Apple's own music editors, which capture the vastness of the human experience, ranging from emerging through personal hardships such as a breakup, to reveling in good times through highly infectious "BBQing" playlists.
Spotify offers many of the same options for activity playlists, but the interface on Apple Music is much easier to navigate, which incentivizes user interaction.
Rather than merely engaging the user, Apple Music is encouraging user participation to enhance the personal experience.
Listening To The Radio Live Again
Growing up, MTV and BET were thought to be vile mediums of propaganda, which negatively influenced the psyche of a young mind through distorted perceptions of reality.
Due to this, the radio was my passport to music discovery.
Unfortunately, I was rarely afforded the option of listening to music in car rides with my father, as he saw the radio as a vehicle to news programming, rather than sonic entertainment.
I haven't enjoyed the radio since I was in middle school listening on my Sony Walkman, back when it was the only way to hear music.
(This was way before Napster and dial-up Internet, which caused my brother and I to save up $300 to buy a purple CD burner from Best Buy.)
The radio stations on Apple Music are wonderful, as they reinvigorate the concept of hands-free listening, without feeling the urge to script one's musical selections.
The Complex and Soulection playlists and Beats 1 live radio station can provide you with the perfect ambiance for a Friday evening pregame, getting lucky on a Saturday night and even the laid back Sunday afternoon recovery before thoughts about returning to work Monday morning kick in.
Goodbye, Spotify And Tidal
Apple Music simplified the decision I had to make about leaving Spotify and not joining Tidal by injecting the mundane with novel tools to enhance the listening experience.
It also seems like Apple has been strong enough to force Kanye West into releasing his new album, Swish, only on Apple Music, which is kind of a farce because hackers will rip it, and it'll be all over the Internet in no time.
Nonetheless, I'm curious to know how Jay Z responded once Kanye delivered the news about Swift to him.
With regard to Tidal, I admire Jay Z for being ambitious, but it seems like Jay Z and his team didn't conduct enough research about the competition in the music streaming industry.
Tidal immediately became an unavoidable loss and I doubt it will be able to compete until Major League baseball exists in the Middle East.
Jay Z losing the $50 million he invested in Tidal is like watching a snake devour its own tail. However, I'm sure it won’t be long until Jay Z puts out a new song and explains in one of his verses the $50 million didn't phase him.
And that song will probably be a hit, too.
However, Apple Music isn't perfect. There were a few bugs in the software when it first came out, but now, most of them have been repaired and the service seems to be on track to become as indispensable as air and water.
For instance, I told Siri to play "99 Problems" by Jay Z, and the song played a few seconds later.
The first three months on Apple Music are free so you have nothing to lose, which is also plenty of time for you to find out which streaming service appeals most to your senses.
After three months, Apple charges $10 per month for a single user and $15 for a family plan, which can accommodate up to six users.
In this golden age of music, users are afforded a vast array of listening tools.
If Apple wants to monopolize the streaming world, it needs to figure out a way for people to transfer their crafted playlists from Spotify to Apple Music and add the remixes people love to listen to on SoundCloud, each of which represents years of curated pleasantries.
A library of music is replete with incredible, personal intellectual property that users will not part with lightly.
However, despite this obstacle, it is clear Apple is currently at the forefront of the music streaming world by affording users the opportunity to collaborate on the listening experience with their musical icons.