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The Verdict: Should you pay for Apple Music when the free trial ends?

Macworld Staff | July 9, 2015
We're a little over a week into the free three-month trial of Apple Music, and the Macworld staff is more or less dancing in the street. We don't love everything about Apple's new streaming service, but even though most of us were already subscribed to a competing service that we pay our own hard-earned dollars for, Apple Music and its Beats 1 siren song are tempting us to switch, and it sounds like our current services are about to lose a few customers.

We're a little over a week into the free three-month trial of Apple Music, and the Macworld staff is more or less dancing in the street. We don't love everything about Apple's new streaming service, but even though most of us were already subscribed to a competing service that we pay our own hard-earned dollars for, Apple Music and its Beats 1 siren song are tempting us to switch, and it sounds like our current services are about to lose a few customers.

Music is personal, and your mileage may vary. If you tend to do most listening on the desktop rather than on your iPhone, for example, Apple Music requires iTunes 12.2, but some users have suffered corrupted libraries or other headaches. Other services like Rdio, Spotify, and Pandora offer web players--you could find yourself avoiding iTunes for weeks at a time. And of course if you need cross-platform support, Apple Music may not be your best choice right now. It's coming to Android this fall, but the other services are already there, plus they support platforms Apple Music probably never will, like the Roku set-top box, the Chromecast, and Android Auto.

Read on for our personal opinions on streaming, and then let us know what you plan to do. Are you switching to Apple Music from another service, staying with your current service, jumping into streaming for the first time? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments--we'll even take the earbuds out of our ears for a few minutes.

Oscar: Switching from Google Play

My main requirement for paying $10 a month to stream music is the ability to upload, access and incorporate my old MP3 library via the cloud. Before Apple Music, only Google Play Music offered that kind of locker service (sorry Spotify).

Plus, Apple Music has too many perks for me as an iPhone user not to switch, including Siri and Apple Watch integrations, setting any song as an alarm, etc.

Sometimes if a new album shows up in the iTunes Store as a pre-release, you can add it to My Music even if tracks are still grayed out. After the release date, the full tracklist shows up automatically. It's a good way to stay on top of new releases without having to keep track of drop dates. --Oscar Raymundo

Leah: Switching from Rdio

I'm a Rdio subscriber, and there¹s a lot that I love about Rdio. I love its intuitive, consolidated menu. I love its web client, and that the web client and iOS app talk to each other in a very Handoff-esque way. I love seeing what albums, songs, or artists are trending among my Rdio friends, and I love collaborating on playlists with friends, too.

 

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