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Apple Music in iTunes just got more enjoyable and easier to use

Kirk McElhearn | Sept. 16, 2016
Apple Music in iTunes 12.5 is a lot better the second time around.

There’s a section with the day’s playlists. This is similar to the playlists that For You offered before, but presented in a different way. I can’t say that these playlists are any better; the six playlists I see as I’m writing this article don’t interest me much.

  • Next comes a selection of albums, again linked to the current day. There are four blocks of four albums, each one related to music I like. Right now, there’s one “Because you like electronic,” another “Because you listen to Bob Dylan,” and another “Since you’re into jazz.” These are a bit simplistic, but I have found some music I like there, from artists I know and others I’ve discovered.

  • Next are Artist Spotlight Playlists, six of them, focusing on music by a specific artist, or their influences.

  • Finally comes New Releases, with a row of a dozen albums Apple Music thinks I might like. This isn’t a very good selection, and contains a number of albums I’ve told Apple Music that I dislike.

  • All in all, there are a dozen playlists and a few dozen albums on the For You screen, more than enough to find something to listen to when I’m short on inspiration.

    The Browse section also benefits from the cleaner display, with a number of sections for new releases, “Music You Need to Hear,” “Hot Tracks,” and more. There are quick links at the top of the page to Curated Playlists, Videos, Top Charts, and Genres. And hop into any genre, and you’ll find more focused new music.

    View an album and you’re greeted with more bigness. In fact, this is a key feature of iTunes 12.5: bigger fonts and much bigger artwork. It’s a bit jarring at first to see the size of album artwork in iTunes 12.5, but both in your library and in Apple Music, it makes the music stand out a bit more. Gone are the thumbnails that made you squint; this artwork is in your face.

    album view

    The new Apple Music features bigness all around.

    Apple Music Radio hasn’t changed much. The content and features are the same, but it, too, benefits from the simpler interface and larger fonts.

    I wasn’t a big fan of the first iteration of Apple Music. The design lacked the simplicity that is often present in Apple products (with the exception of iTunes). Apple has stopped trying to cram so much content into the Apple Music display, and has allowed everything to breathe more. Looking at the Apple Music interface in iTunes, I feel less pressured to pick something, and more inclined to browse and actually check out some of its suggestions.

     

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