I gave up on the idea of owning my music a while ago, and it didn't bother me much. Truthfully, I didn't see much value in building my own large music library.
This isn't to say I don't love music - far from it, actually. At any given point in my day, I'm probably listening to music. I enjoy listening, even if it's only in the background while I work, clean or relax.
Because of my love for music and disinterest in owning it, I was quick to adopt the subscription model. I've been a Rdio premium subscriber for well over a year, and I've dabbled with Spotify every now and again.
I love the subscription model for many reasons, the most important of those being diversification. If you've ever taken a ride in my car, you'd know I have an eclectic taste in music. I can go from listening to Tim McGraw to Usher, Backstreet Boys and then to Tracy Chapman.
With Rdio, I can listen to (pretty much) any song or artist I can imagine. While it may not be as high quality as other avenues, it's good enough for my needs.
Why Apple Music?
During my time using Rdio, I've never been disappointed with their service. However, if I had to nitpick, I've found the discovery element of their service lacking.
For the same reason I enjoy Pandora and Songza, I love turning on a random playlist and discovering new music I wouldn't have otherwise known about.
When Apple announced Apple Music, they made a major promise regarding discovery:
"Our experts handpick songs, artists and albums based on what you listen to and like. And anytime you want to find out what’s going on in the world of music, our experts are there to give you their take on the freshest and most relevant stuff around."
This promise alone pushed me to make the jump towards Apple Music.
I've only used Apple Music for a day or two, but so far I'm extremely impressed. In contrast to Rdio, I love Apple Music's curated playlists and artists selections.
When I first loaded up Apple Music, I spent around 10 minutes selecting my favorite genres and artists as presented by Apple.
The result from making these choices was a comprehensive 'For You' page, which has provided me with an endless stream of music tailored to my tastes.
Besides the curated playlists and recommendations, there are plenty of other ways to discover music. One of my other favourite ways to experience Apple Music is through browsing the 'New' section where it's easy to find what's trending in the music industry. I particularly love the inclusion of lists like 'Hot Tracks', 'Recent Releases', and 'Top Songs.'
One of the highest profile features of Apple Music is the Beats 1 radio station, which Apple hails as a "truly global listening experience." While possessing the traditional trade-offs of a typical radio station, Beats 1 is described as a place for "progressive radio programming."
While I don't think Beats 1 is a revolutionary shift in how I discover new music, I'm amazed at the diverse collection of music curated by the creative minds of Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Julie Adenuga.
Within the first hour of listening to Beats 1, I was familiar with only one song. I can truly say I discovered new music I never heard of (and probably never would've been introduced to if it wasn't for Beats 1).
As an example, Zane Lowe played a song by the band Coasts, which I immediately fell in love with. I've now downloaded their entire album. That's discovery.
Considering I've only been using Apple Music for a few days, it's hard to judge every element of the service. Connect, which is described as a place for artists to share pictures, video and content with fans, could end up being a dud, or it could turn out to be the best way to connect with your favorite artists. Only time will tell.
Ultimately, I've enjoyed my first experiences with Apple Music and have no regrets about cancelling Rdio.
While I may have given up on the idea of owning music a few years ago, thanks to Apple Music, I've now adopted the idea of discovering new music and artists.
And I think that's something special.