It would also be great if syncing your own music to a device actually worked without issues (such as not copying the entire album, which you inevitably discover later, on the road). I stopped listening to music on the way to work because of all the roadblocks the app put in the way.
It's utterly beyond me how the largest tech company in the world can't sort basics of their their UI out, over periods of years.
Why...WHY is it that people design stuff like this?
> Why are the fonts so large that you can't see list of songs properly?
> Why do I have to click so many times to be able to view all songs in an album?
> Within a couple of clicks, I should be able to view a list of songs in my playlist and I can sort it the way I want. By year, by genre, by any parameter of the song
> Same thing for albums list and artists list
Unbelievable - the new UI paradigm with BOLD fonts and large negative space is eating into the limited valuable real estate on a mobile device.
What goes into these people's minds? Can someone shed some light?
Maybe I can shed _some_ light.
I worked for one of the big music streaming services for a while.
>limited valuable real estate on a mobile device.
Maximizing data density on a screen is absolutely not a goal on any 'large audience' app.
Yes, an app with tons of data crammed on a screen would make some folks happy in the HN/geeky communities (I am not sure that's true actually, but that's something that I often see power users asking for).
That's not who these apps are targeting though.
The design of these apps is often a mix between opinionated choices (basically what is trendy right now in the design circles) and what works in user testing.
Turns out, most of our users are ABSOLUTELY lost when they have to interact with a mobile app.
Music streaming services have way too many features :
some kind of AI powered automatically created track lists (all services give this a different name, but they all have pretty much the same feature)
On top of that, there is a ton of data for every single track :
composer !!!! (classical music treatment is usually awful in any streaming app) .
has lyrics ?
is downloaded on your device ?
The player adds another layer of complexity :
Here is the dirty little secret of the music streaming industry : how to present all this in a way that allows random users (not geeks) to efficiently interact with the app : nobody knows how to do that :/ .
There is just way too many information to cram on a screen.
To pile on that, usual development cycles are focused on releasing new features, either to keep up with the competition or because that's how PMs demonstrate that they are 'improving' the app.
It is orthogonal to actually improving the user experience and we can see cycles of several years where the UI becomes more and more bloated with random stuff until designers are able to push a redesign with half of the features.
And soon we start cramming features again until the end of this new cycle.
Apple Music is way out of the normal density expected from a quality app. Apple has a phenomenal understanding of UI and they're one of the best - just look at the UI of the settings menu on your iPhone. Everything is cleanly laid out - just the right amount of information density. Apple Music seems like it was designed by someone like Will-I-Am (sorry :-) ) with absolutely zero understanding of basic functional UI principles.
If I were to design UI, I'd design it like how aviation does cockpits. Functional, not "trendy". Everything has a reason - if you can't explain "WHY", you shouldn't be designing UI. Personal taste, subjective opinions, "I kinda like it that way" doesn't work in aviation industry. Please don't take it as I mean Apple to follow the same principles, I am just mentioning the other end of the spectrum in UI design to provide contrast.
You seem to not understand the difference between designing UI for professional use where a user has to spend countless hours learning where each button is compared to an app for general population where users have to figure things out on their own.
Try to put an average joe into a jet cockpit, he would not understand a single thing, and he should NOT. You have to emphasize the most used features and elements with bigger font or negative white space in order for people to better understand where they should start and then walk their way into deeper understanding. In a fighter jet cockpit most of the buttons have identical look and it’s impossible to get started without reading a manual.
Everything you’re saying is absolutely true. UI design for masses is different than for a fighter pilot. I think Apple Music app is one of the worst even considering for the masses. Just look at their competitor - Spotify and learn from how they’ve designed for the masses. Apple Music arguably fails at meeting the basic UI expectations from a company, ironically, that values design immensely.
oh UI design in such an app always has a why
Before doing any modification on the UI of such an app, a lot of attention is given to user data.
It can't be completely objective because at the end of the day any interpretation of user data is at least a bit subjective (and generally way more than that). It does aim at being data driven though.
Again at some point there is a part of subjectivity in how you analyze the dataset.
It is still better than having no idea what your users are doing with your product.
Why is it that in some places there is a setting with a off/on toggle on the right, and in other places there is a setting that takes you to a sub-page with only a off/on toggle? For a current example, the Handoff menu under General.
While I agree they generally do a better than average job with UI, I've never really understood why the settings app has this inconsistency. It's been this way for many versions.
Rant over. Though not really a rant anyway, it doesn't make me mad, just puzzled.
For example, as you note, you have space to describe it and add possibly more UI to the feature. And in a future pass, you can decide to fold it back in to the existing UI and solidify it there. But that pass isn't necessarily worth it.
It isn't perfect, but it actually feels like an app designed to be used to play back music. Apple Music feels like a big, clunky, advertisement.
There is usually some degree of uniformity in streaming apps :
- all the services tend to get the same deals from the majors. Let's say service x gets terms A, service y will push to have the same A.
- they all solve the same problem .
Personally, I am not a big fan of spotify's UI :
- I despise Blur, it is the autotune of design and Spotify uses it a lot.
- As much as I like an app that is easier on my eyes without all these white areas everywhere, spotify is way too dark for my taste .
- it is surprisingly unpolished for such a big mobile team. To be fair a lot of the complexity is self imposed and comes from the fact that the UI is rendered based on the configuration sent by the server (display 3 columns of artists, etc)
Spotify does shine on the playback tech though. ogg vorbis, loudness equalization, etc they are on top of their game here.
I said it before and I'll say it again: Rdio knew. In my opinion the best streaming service for music enthusiasts and casual listeners alike.
This and it also seems like Apple has given up on a lot of their playlists. Adding one song per week doesn't count as updated playlist. For how many billions they generate, you'd think you could just have an army of people making amazing playlists.
That’s super fast and you can almost blindly hit the buttons.
For most audio app it’s a better control scheme than the in-app smallish buttons you struggle with.
And I also disagree that saying that Apple has given up on their "playlists" or that they are stagnant in content. There are many playlists within Apple Music: the auto generated ones e.g. Chill Mix which are refreshed once a week, the Beats1/Guest ones which are refreshed very often e.g. a few times a day and the ones littered through Browse which again are often updated once a week.
Which "playlists" are you referring to ?
My college banned smoking on campus halfway through my studies. They removed every ashtray from campus. This lead to people littering cigarette butts everywhere.
The discussion preceding this comment is about navigational buttons, not selecting songs from a playlist. Siri will not argue with you when you simply request the “next song”.
They don't update any of their playlists that often. For instance, their "new music" playlist gets updated once every week. TripleJ, the local ad-free radio station in Australia, updates their new-music playlist every day. There's so much (western) music being released throughout the world that I find it unfathomable that it takes Apple a week to filter out 25 songs.
I was with Google Music and they would have a new playlist (new music or otherwise) catered to my taste every morning.
If you want completely new music then look at the Radio section. They have full, hand-picked playlists which update at minimum 3x a day.
Certainly there are gaps, particularly when it comes to sorting. But all this about bold fonts and button sizes seems to stem more from an expectation that a music app should be a dense, text-focused experience like iOS's email app than from any fundamental design issue. Given Apple Music's focus on album art as the primary identifier for recordings, the UI has an appropriate information density - one can argue that's the wrong priority, but if you accept that premise, the UI supports it well.
I think we should demand a 12 month moratorium on UI changes across all operating system user interfaces and focus on stability and speed.
Touch interfaces are exasperated by Fitt's Law. This is actually good design.
Looking at Apple Music right now I see no bold fonts except for say Library and Artists which only appear on those main screens. The negative space you talk about is largely a result of them making the thumbnails large (on list view) and because otherwise the screen would be cluttered (on now playing view).
Personally I think it's clean and pretty well designed and a lot better than the alternatives.
1. Is it really necessary to say “Apple Music” on top!? We know it’s Apple Music. Also "Get all the music you want" tag line is unnecessary.
2. Huge amounts of wasted space above “Browse”.
3. Space on the right of “Browse”
4. If the category/genes string length is small, why take up the entire bottom half of the screen?
5. Row spacing is excessively large
I understand that white space has a tremendous value in design especially when you have screen real estate and valid reasons. On a phone, I want maximal density of information so I don’t have to go into a hierarchy try while I need to quickly do something. Flatter UI hierarchy is preferred over deeper obfuscation of branches.
There is so much I could say. In fact, I might write a blog post explaining why Apple Music’s UI is one of the worst of any App I have ever used. I will explain and provide mock ups of the design.
2. Mostly because of 1. But the rest is because when you scroll that white space changes to show the title.
3. This is to be consistent with the other sections.
4. This is a standard list view used across all of iOS. What exactly are you expecting Apple to do here ?
5. This might be to do with your phone or font size. The white spacing isn't that large on iPhone X.
By all means write a blog but my suggestion would be to buy the app first just so you have the proper experience. And then appreciate that Apple designs their phones for a very broad audience i.e. think grandparents. Maximal density of information is not something most people want.
In return :-), I would like to offer the most crazy, cutting edge, next gen movement in design today: Resurgence of Brutalism
> 2. Huge amounts of wasted space above “Browse”.
> Ultimately the most important device is the
> management of the white space in the layouts.
> It is the white space that makes the layout sing.
> Bad layouts have no space left for breathing - every
> little space covered by a cacophony of type-sizes,
> images, and screaming titles.
Apple Music uses way too much to the point where it is frustrating to use it.
I am not saying we should make Apps that look like excel spreadsheets. I kind of find it condescending when people provide advise without understanding the argument.
There’s so many times I want to do something like play all songs under recently added or even one song without having to go to another screen. Also you ask Siri hey play songs similar to this one and she will but why the hell does Apple Music create a playlist I have to clear before going to play something else outside of that stupid playlist I didnt ask it to create? I just said play songs similar to this. So may terrible UX examples.
I only subscribe still because Of Apple Music and Siri integration for when driving.
Also music discovery is crap.. I just want it to randomly play new songs similar to a playlist I’m listening to and do so randomly/surprise me. Nope doesn’t do that and this I now subscribe to YouTube red for discovery and it rocks as I listen at work and home on my computers. Not safe to use Red while driving :-(
The same way the App Store on Apple TV still doesn't have an "Updates" tab with updates available for the apps one has installed. The only way to do this is to go to each app's page and see if there are updates available. It has been this way since the fourth generation of Apple TV with the App Store was released about two and a half years ago!
I've been repeating this a few times — Apple and its leadership ought to be deeply ashamed about such things, but never seems to be and doesn't show that it cares either. What ever happened to user experience being a distinguishing factor on Apple products???
Basics like, why only show the top 5 popular songs from an artist? with no option to "view all songs based on popularity"
If I can't recall a song name from an artist, I then need to start going through individual albums to find it... Or if I've over played the top 5 songs, and just quickly want to throw something from say, the top 20. No dice.
Alternatively, if I go into "my library" and select an artist, I now see ONLY those songs I've saved. With no option to view the rest of what they have to offer. Likewise for an album (only songs I've saved on that album).
And WHY can't I scroll backwards through the songs I've most recently played WITHOUT changing the current song? Seriously? Has a spotify staff member never been in a situation where their friend has asked, "hey what was that song two songs ago?"
These seems like pretty basic UI navigation options that should be easy to access.
This suboptimal in one major way, which is that this three dot link is hard to target!
I've used iTunes for many years and how exactly this works is still a mystery to me.
Sometimes I feel like there must be something wrong with how I think about music, because I like a lot of what Apple comes up with, but the Music app I cannot stand. Surely it cannot be that bad, and I should just adjust? Then I actually use the Music app for a bit, and I'm again convinced that I'm not crazy.
The app is confusing and hard to navigate, but somehow still manages to miss so many features I'd look for in a music app—I don't even want to start listing everything I don't like.
I, for one, will certainly not be getting an Apple Music subscription until they come up with a music app that actually makes sense. It is making me listen to less music. And I love music.
Interestingly, I've noticed the shuffle produces exactly the same result every time too.
It seems very reasonable.
I think I enjoy music and have never wanted any of the things you listed.
if you look at Spotify, you find they have all these features that music lovers would use, even though they may not be the majority class of users. This feels to me like Apple is marketing themselves as what Spotify is (the leading competitor in this space), but their product development falls short of their marketing.
God, how arrogant. It's one thing to be opinionated about music, it's another to judge another's enjoyment. Talk about making music something miserable to share with others.
Personally, the spotify client is a piece of shit for me--buggy, slow, and it can't sync any music not in its library. Somehow spotify's marketing manages to leave that out, and Apple Music is a much better option for me. Clearly you don't really love music if you're limited to Spotify's catalogue. ;)
It was meant in jest
Who are you to define the love of music? No better than Apple.
Here's a starter: I don't think taste is subjective and those that do believe it is just haven't developed any (yet). There is no shame in that, the shame should be not wanting to extend yourself.
I'm not saying everybody has to have the same taste, clearly everyone can enjoy different things. But there is a clear difference between having taste (of some sort) and not having any. Ask any designer, visual artist, musician, or apparently, Linus Torvalds.
This is btw not meant to disparage the great-grandfather comment about enjoying music at all, it's started this discussion, but is not related to it.
Likewise when I look at Apple Music I find all these features that music lovers would use.
I guess neither of us speaks for "music lovers".
Beats1 is incredible for music discovery and has no peer on Spotify for example.
“Hey Siri, play the top song from 1987.”
“Hey Siri, play some Delta Blues.”
“Hey Siri, who’s the guitarist on this song?”
“Hey Siri, play some sad music”
“Hey Siri, play something I might like.”
“Hey Siri, play John Williams radio.”
“Hey Siri, what album is this from?”
And with HomePod, it also sounds great.
> their product development falls short of their marketing
There's a difference between Apple saying "We love music" and saying "We make software for people who love music".
In their minds, they have taste and know best for the users they want. Apple makes the rules, users play by them or choose to go somewhere else.
Overall, you can't say it doesn't work for them.
That would be game changing for me. Spotify doesn't have this.
One of my friends dislikes to UI so much that he uses the app only through Shazam.
It might be what the demographic they are target likes, which probably isn't audiophiles. "Yes, let's target 1% of the population instead of 50%."
Consumer lock in && feature bias to minimize UI complexity && tradition of maintaining long standing bugs...
So basically, XXXXX XXXX as in Don’t care.
It seems to be a major pain point for Apple Watch users that's easily addressed. It's really confusing why they haven't done it yet.
As a point of evidence, Marco Arment's podcast app had to remove Apple Watch support after the approach he had used was eliminated[1-2].
Many stores and vending machines accept Apple Pay if emergency food/water/medicine is required on the run. You can also make phone calls or hail an uber/lyft in case you twist your ankle or another a different minor injury while running.
Wouldn't be the first time Apple has done this
Spotify does support offline music on Samsung Gear G3 though, maybe Samsung was willing to pay for the privilege.
Also, one of the reasons is the very cheap subscription for university students and the 3 months free trial. Unbeatable, yet.
The only reason I'm not jumping ship to Amazon's offering is Apple's tight integration with my watch and Apple TV. This will only get stronger with HomePod.
- they deleted a bunch of my personal stuff when I subscribed (I’m sure it was somewhere in the T&Cs but ... come on)
- albums and songs appear, disappear and generally get shuffled around a LOT
- they periodically purge my “offline” music on my phone. Usually I only notice this when I have just crossed the border on an international trip. It’s not just some unused stuff because I have no space free (I have PLENTY) - it’s everything
It’s a really frustrating experience, which is Sady increasingly common with Apple these last few years
up to that point i was generally happy enough paying for streaming but im slowly starting to move back to offline storage now and plan on just using spotify to discover new music every now and again.
ive given over 700 to spotify over the years which seems crazy now and ive recently spent around the same amount on a synology nas to store my music library, but at least the tracks i own wont suddenly disappear
I would think twice about that.
I, also, have all of my music on a local fileserver and I would never consider giving iTunes or an iDevice access to that share unless it was mounted read-only.
When I sync my music library (which is made up of files and directories, not "songs and albums") to my laptop, I rsync it over from the filesystem which is mounted read-only.
I don't need my mac to "discover" "music files" on the network and start "helping me" organize them.
It is absolutely infuriating that it fails at even keeping track of the songs you have added to your library. That should be one of the most basic features possible.
Now I just have to hit one download button in Music on my phone. I have unlimited access to--as far as it matters to me--basically the entire iTunes libary. My wife does too, and she can play it through the Sonos system at the house. It's great and well worth the $15/month and various UI glitches.
The paid version is awesome, though.
As for Spotify opening in India next year (2019), that's already quite late to the game, in my view.
the only good thing that came from it was that i got better at typing (this was before there was software that would download the track names from the internet and you would have to manually type in each track name)
* any competitor has to pay a portion of its revenue for every sale to Apple
* apps cannot use private APIs that would otherwise greatly enhance usability and value
* little to no integration with built in services; for example, I can't tell Siri "play the Beatles on Spotify"
I would refuse to use Apple Music over Spotify because I feel that Apple is playing dirty. Luckily, I don't even think about using Apple Music because I feel it's an inferior product.
>Simple answer: American antirust law is not a mandate to "play nice" with competitors and only governs a very small set of prohibited activities.
For the most part, a company can do whatever it wants so long as it acts unilaterally. As a result, Apple can do whatever it pleases, period, so long as it does not act in concert with another company.
The only exception to this rule is when a company has achieved "monopoly power" in a relevant market, which normally requires a market share (properly defined) of at least 60% and more close to 80%. Apple lacks such a market share in any market, Microsoft was believed to have that share in Operating Systems. (The only exception is an attempt to monopolize claim which would still require at least a market share of 40% to even state a claim. These claims have other elements that would be difficult to satisfy).
Finally, even if Apple had the requisite market share to state a non-frivolous claim, American law does not recognize harm to competitors as a legitimate concern, you must establish harm to consumers, which is almost always very challenging unless there is a good theory of how you are raising prices at a super-competitive level.
MacOS has about 5% of the desktop.
MS have about 90% of the desktop.
Apple are very profitable but they only have a monopoly on their own products. It's more like Nintendo does on the Switch than MS in 1990.
Today, if you want, you can instantly switch away from iOS to a plethora of options. Apple has the highest revenue and maybe the most influence in the industry but their numbers are paltry. Android has 80% share globally and 70% in US. When it came to MS, you didn't really have much of a choice.
Something akin to the MS anti trust case would be Google pushing Chrome exclusively on Android and shutting out all competitors.
And point two and three are trivial to argue.
2 - increased security is a great counter point. No publicly available apps could abuse private APIs to mine personal data
3 - No one's stopping you from using spotify. It's just not in the way you like.
I feel like maybe these days such anticompetitive practices are just felt more strongly by consumers because subscription-based walled gardens (often involving locked hardware) are being pushed in seemingly every market where it even vaguely makes sense, from food and drink to professional software.
I'll likely just end up using the homepod as an overpriced Spotify airplay speaker.
There was an app to transfer playlists/songs from Spotify to Apple music (for $10). It did an okay job.
What is it lacking that no one ever considers it?
Others have mentioned iTunes Match, but they haven't mentioned that Apple Music itself includes iTunes Match. So this claim is very much incorrect.
Apple Music doesn't include iTunes Match, they're complementary: while Apple Music does perform matches like iTunes Match, iTunes Match gives you DRM-free AAC 256 as downloads while Apple Music matches are DRM-ized.
This means that if you use source files to match with Apple Music then delete the sources, you lost them, whereas with iTunes Match you would have sort of "converted" them.
You can see the difference by adding the "Kind" column in the "Songs" view of iTunes.
Now I use Spotify for most of my music and GPM for uploaded stuff, because that part is actually free, surprisingly.
most of the new music i find these days is on discover weekly so I don't have as much of a need to upload tracks.
it is really odd that none of the other services have added that feature yet. talk about being behind! its been 7 years
another thing that bugged me about Google music is the albums and singles being mixed up and also the album view not showing the order by year. it seems to be just random.
but apart from that its pretty decent and it is odd that its not mentioned as much as the others
The album listing is definitely a big issue. I don't mind EPs being mixed, but singles should really be separated.
I'm curious to see how the merge with Youtube Music goes and if that leads to better UI.
I'm not sure why google doesn't get much mention, neither does napster (formally rhapsody) which a friend uses and likes. or amazon music for that matter..
For the overwhelming majority of customers this is a non-feature.
Consider anyone under the age of say 20-25 today. How many will ever have a "real" mp3?
It's basically music upload without the upload (and therefore always-available nature).
Also, adding features that don't add value (e.g. upload files) isn't a positive.
I’m not sure if it’s improved since then.
I've compared all, and no service comes close to Spotify's discovery engine.
They seem pretty good, with regards to matching my music tastes.
AM has nothing like it, and I say that after using AM for about a year or a little longer now.
I think it works by looking at songs you have in your playlists and then finding playlists of other users that have those songs. From there it’ll make a playlist for you using songs those other users have in their playlist that you don’t have in yours.
Rather than trying to do some matching based on song properties it abstracts the hard part to humans.
It works extremely well and it refreshes every week.
Spotify also has all the generic playlists that Apple has too.
I also find Spotify’s UI to just work better especially between devices.
I was recently offered another trial of AM, and decided to give it another go. Now, I have Apple Music Match, the thing where the music I put into iTunes basically gets put up into the cloud and is available everywhere. The point is, Apple has a list of what music I enjoy, as well as existing play lists, and what I've been listening to recently.
So, I expect their recommendations to be somewhat good. Maybe not as good as Spotify, as I use them more frequently. But, and this is a big but, 1) Apple can easily get access to my Spotify history I imagine by having me give them permission to access it, and 2) they still have access to my existing music library.
So, when their personalized Music mix played crap I absolutely hated, and then the next few songs were just so far out of left-field that I had to stop... well, let's just say I hated it.
I decided to see what Spotify had in store for me in my Daily Mixes. And the first song was perfect and I just loved listening to it (it was Dirty Paws by Of Monsters and Men, btw).
Couple this with Siri not understanding me asking it to play the Beatles (I have all their albums loaded into Match), it's just not worth the frustration.
One other thing I like is the Shared Playlists. I can find other people's public playlists, and basically subscribe to them. Other people discover music for me. This has lead me to buying new albums (usually I can find albums on Amazon for cheaper than iTunes, and I get a CD), which I can rip and put into iTunes where Match takes over. It's even better when Amazon's AutoRip is available for the CD. I get cheaper digital music then Apple along with an actual CD, which I like for music.
Siri is bad - can’t tell me calendar information. When I say “play kqed fm” she fails because I didn’t say “play kqed”.
When I ask her what podcasts I have she can’t do it - if I name a specific podcast it’ll work.
She’s bad at pretty basic stuff and it’s irritating to use as a result.
I often times have trouble getting Apple Music to playback reliably! https://imgur.com/a/VrO1Y
Spotify's UX is marginally better than Apple Music, but still not worth paying for in my opinion. Neither service allows me to block particular songs/artists from being recommended, which I find incredibly frustrating.
What are the usability problems you're experiencing?
As for usability issues in Apple Music:
- There are 2 ways to "dislike": Star> Play less like this and Heart> Dislike. What is the difference?
- Liking/Disliking is always 2 actions.
- If I'm listening to the Radio, I can only skip forward but not go back? Why?
- There are a million pixels on my phone, yet I can only see 3 full playlists in the initial list view. The "New Playlist" button is displayed like an actual playlist.
- The layout is a hodgepodge of poor recommendations and recent activity:
-- The library tab starts with a list, and ends with a grid of albums, most of which contain one song picked out from that album. The recents in "For you" scroll horizontally.
- The radio tab pretty much only consists of what Apple wants to push (Beats 1). There is also no way to delete recently played radio stations
- When playback stops, there is no difference between a network issue (Buffering) and a bluetooth connectivity issue. Incredibly frustrating when driving.
- The large album art display is nice visually, but it is not worth digging through a bunch of action menus that were created due to the lack of space.
Before I moved to Apple Music, Spotify had spent the past several years trying to get me to listen to Fleet Foxes, no matter how many times I asked them to stop.
Apple's got a lot of UI issues, which shouldn't actually be that hard for them to fix. Their playlists however are definitely not as good as Spotify's are.
I search up quite a few artists that produce no autocomplete results, even though they exist.
I have artists I'd like to bookmark but not add to my Library of songs.
Search is really the only way I interact with the app. Stuff I've added to my library just sits because it orders by Recently Added instead of recently listened. I tend to stick to the same artist for a couple days, and there's no way to simply reorder.
If I switch to another audio playing app, such as Overcast, and the phone connects to my car, Apple Music decides to take over and plays some random fucking song I've downloaded. I have to open Overcast and make it play again. But whatever I was actually voluntarily listening to in Music before the phone connected to my car is now gone, and I have to look it up again.
I tried Spotify, Google Music, Amazon, Pandora and all of them drove me batty.
The most common problem is just bad selection. For example I picked "Daily Lift" on Spotify expecting uplifting songs. First song was about woman finding out man is cheating on her. Second song is about woman thinking of x while sleeping with new guy. Neither was remotely uplifting.
Another example, on Google Music I play Prince. Pick "related" and get rap. I have nothing against rap but it's not even remotely related to Prince except in maybe some possibbly racist way.
Pandora had the problem on playing the same songs and if you ban the songs you just end up getting different mixes of the same song.
Yet other issues is "more like this" never works. If I'm playing say a ballad and I pick "more like this" I expect more ballads but instead all the music services just give you songs by artists someone judged as popular with people who like the artist you're currently listing too so you might get dance or rock or rap or anything and not actually "more like this"
I've cancelled all of them as I didn't find them useful because of those issues.
However, I've never heard of lyrics being used as data or metadata for determining similarity of tracks.
For one thing, it's not necessarily a common use case. I did college radio and we would do themed shows where all the songs are about food, for example, but 99% of the time of I listen to a song that happens to mention ice cream, I don't want/need the next song to mention ice cream.
On top of that, it's not obvious what type of lyrical similarity is desired. Do you want to match lyrical sentiment? (Happy songs with happy songs, whether they're about girls or cars or cooking) Or theme (relationship songs, positive or negative) or words in common or phrases in common.
It's definitely an interesting idea that I'd love to see toyed with, but I'm not surprised that its not, given how much effort it might be for an unclear and possibly uncommonly desires result. Not to mention that Spotify usually doesn't have a canonical source for lyrics of a given track anyway.
The same is true for Apple but at least for Apple it also has a strategic purpose in being the connective tissue for a number of hardware products that are almost certainly a better business (Apple Watch Series 3, HomePod, AirPods, iPhone, etc).
>Even their current scale, the surviving music industry oligopoly could probably still crush Spotify if it tried to do jumpstart a private label.
Rather than pulling their catalogs from Spotify, it'd be smarter for them to cut better deals with Spotify's competitors so they can undercut Spotify. If the publishers have multiple, more or less equally sized number of buyers, that'd be the ideal scenario for them.
> as they scale up they'll have more leverage with the rights holders
My comment was making the point that simply scaling Spotify does not solve their publisher/supplier costs because the publisher scales with Spotify.
Your response basically switched to the publisher's POV in talking about how publishers are incentivized to commoditize spotify's position in the market. (which is true, but not relevant here.)
I was just casually trying to imagine a scenario from Spotify's POV regarding how would they might gain leverage against publishers. IMO anything that involves labels seems like a fail.
Spotify's only path to success might be to offer some direct to consumer mechanism that eliminates the need of a label, even their own.
The labels will not pull the plug on Spotify as it represents too great a portion of future industry revenues.
You are correct about dealing with Spotify's competitors. Tidal and other streaming services are the labels best shot at reducing the leverage of any one player (Spotify or Apple).
I really liked the Spotify UI and their album list makes sense. But it does not offer any significantly different feature than made me chose it over Siri integration with Apple Music. Siri is frustrating at times but I can’t imagine not using it when I am in my car.