I signed up for Apple Music as soon as it was available to try it out, so I know it pretty well at this point. You would think it knows me by now, but more on that in a moment. I had been using Google Play All-Access before that at a discounted monthly rate, but never was super-impressed with the iOS app or the service’s features. It was a very bare-bones music streaming service at the time, and with my kids getting more interested in listening to music, the ability to add parental controls became a priority.
While Apple Music itself was fine outside of a confusing interface that first year, we did experience one irritating problem. We had set up Apple’s iCloud Family Sharing when it became available in iOS 8, but there were some issues and bugs with it over the course of the first year or so. One of these affected Apple Music Family Plans when the service was released. We tried to set up our kids’ devices to use Apple Music independently with Family Sharing a couple of times within the first few months, with no success. Their iPhones and iPods would not recognize that they should have access to Apple Music when signed on on their iCloud accounts.
I’ve been an Apple Music subscriber ever since it was introduced last June. I really like the idea of an all-you-can-eat music subscription for checking out new artists and songs, but I’m not totally happy with Apple Music as it is right now. I did spend some time with Spotify last year and quite enjoyed using it, but I stuck with Apple Music because it was a first-party solution.
I’m reviewing that decision again now.
Last week Apple “officially” introduced Apple Music to the public with the release of iOS 8.4. If/when you decide to activate the streaming music service on your iPad you will be able to use it for absolutely free for the next 3 months. Thomas recently posted his thoughts on Apple Music–and by the title of his article, I’d say he’s rather happy with it thus far. For some reason I’ve never really been a big fan of streaming music. However, with nothing to lose but the opportunity to try the service for free, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to test the waters across all my iOS devices.
After the free-trial period has ended, you will have two membership options available for continuing your streaming service. The first offering is a single user account that will cost $9.99/month. The second option is a Family plan that can accommodate up to six members and costs a surprising $14.99. Both versions will grant you access to the full Apple Music library, along with recommendations, and unlimited skips on each of the radio stations.