Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Apple Music Arrives

Apple Music has launched, 11 pm Singapore time last night. I was waiting to checkout iTunes, but it tuns out the iTunes 12.2 update, required to access Apple Music, didn’t become available until 6 am Singapore time this morning. Mac users should find updates ready to install by now, and if not, just go to the App Store to check for downloads.

Apple Music on RMBP

Apple Music is a really good deal for Singapore users. It costs US$9.99 in the US, and £9.99 in the UK, but it is only S$9.98 in Singapore. The Family plan is US$14.99 in the US, and £14.99 in the UK, but just S$14.98 here. It’s quite a bit of a discount. Singapore is getting some Apple love.

On the other hand, Beats 1 is not available in Singapore. Shocking. Beats 1, Apple’s own Internet radio station, is available in 100 countries, and Singapore isn’t in one of that long list of countries. I don’t know what to say. No, it’s not that I want to listen to Beats 1. I personally don’t care about it. But, it seems rather odd for us to be left out. I’m thinking it must have to do with some policy reasons. Perhaps MDA?

The apparent discount on Apple Music in Singapore notwithstanding, I think some of us will need some convincing whether to go with a music ownership or a streaming subscription model. After you pay Apple S$9.98 a month, or almost S$120 a year, you don’t own anything. You can’t share the music with anyone. Once you stop your subscription, all your music access is gone. Compare that with spending S$120 a year buying albums or tracks you really love, and being able to keep them with you for as long as you like, transferring from playback device to playback device as you move to new ones, etc.

The repertoire of music available on Apple Music is quite impressive. For us, particularly, the music selection includes a variety of Asian genres, including CantoPop, J-Pop, and K-Pop. As you setup Apple Music, you’ll be asked for your likes, not just in the types of music, but also artists. You can also indicate those you really love, as opposed to simply liking, to help Apple Music make better recommendations “For You”. Perfect for clueless listeners, or anyone simply wanting to explore.

Apple Music will support Android devices, but not yet. At the moment, it is only available on iOS devices and through iTunes on both Mac OS X and Windows. I hope the Android support arrives before the three months free trial ends.

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