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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Apple Music first looks trumpet curation over algorithms

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Apple Music launches later today, but Cupertino’s given previews of the service to a handful of folks across the web. Which, aside from providing us with some interesting tidbits, also gives us a fascinating insight into the musical tastes of some of our colleagues.

Jim Dalrymple of The Loop:

I was interacting with Apple Music the entire time I was writing this and the radio station I started listening to improved quite a bit in those hours. I’m not skipping songs, instead I have a steady diet of Slash, Godsmack, Led Zeppelin, and Metallica. It’s hard to beat that.

Walt Mossberg of Re/code:

For instance, a curated list called “Best of ’60s Girl Groups” included a list of songs and artists that matched my memories and likes, and I was able to add it to my library as if I had taken the songs from those I had purchased.

Christina Warren of Mashable:

It’s hard for me to over-stress how much I like For You. From the very beginning, the recommendations in playlists and albums that the app showed me were dead-on accurate, reflecting my various musical interests.

Straight out, I was given a recommendation of a Taylor Swift love ballad playlist and albums from The Kinks, Sufjan Stevens, Elliot Smith, The Shins, Miguel and Drake. So basically my musical brain.

My favorite tidbit, though, is from Mossberg’s piece:

Siri was able to effectively respond to commands like, “Play the top hits from 2007”³ or “After this song, play ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’”

I have wanted the ability to easily queue up the next song on my iPod and iPhone since, oh, 2001.

In general, the response to Apple Music seems to be positive, though there are some nitpicks here and there, and clearly room for improvement–but hey, it’s also free for the next three months. So why not give it a whirl?

We’ll have more impressions of the service when it arrives shortly, along with the iOS 8.4 update.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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