The rumors that Apple was killing off iTunes and replacing it with multiple apps for Music, Podcasts and TV made the rounds in the weeks leading up to WWDC. Because of this, the actual reveal of the new apps was expected during the Keynote and drew minimal fanfare.
I think I’ll soon cancel my iTunes Match subscription and stick with Spotify on a more permanent basis. iTunes Match costs about $28 CAD per year, while Spotify costs $10 CAD per month, so this isn’t a decision based on pricing.
I’ve become so addicted to the freedom to find new music by searching an app for it, and that immediacy is so much more costly if I’m to buy every new song I’d like to check out through the iTunes Store. I know there are cheaper ways to check for new songs, like Grooveshark or YouTube, but I don’t like those experiences quite as much.YouTube stops playing the moment you leave the app, and Grooveshark isn’t a native app.
Spotify is awesome though. I don’t own any of the stuff I add to my collection in Spotify — it only stay with me as long as I have a subscription — but the convenience of the access simply outweighs the lack of ownership for me. That surprises me because I’ve always been a bit of a control freak with my music. I care about getting higher quality sound files and about double-checking metadata on songs I rip from CDs, and I rate my library often so that I can purge it of any 1-star songs. My iPad and iPhone are both 64 GB devices as well, so I do have the space for my 15 GB music library (which is tiny by most counts, I know).
However, it does feel weird splitting my time between the music and Spotify apps. I’m so nerdy that I usually like to have a system for everything, and it bugs me a little that there’s overlap between Spotify and the Music app right now. I’d also like an excuse to leave iTunes in the dust altogether for music playback.
What I’ll likely do is head back to syncing my music manually periodically from iTunes and give up my iTunes Match subscription. I’ll use Spotify as a sampling ground for new tunes and then migrate any songs in my Spotify collection by buying them if I still like them after a month. I’d like it if I could spend most of my time in Spotify, but the interface is currently better suited to finding new music, not for managing a growing music collection.
The best solution would be to have a built-in Beats music subscription in a totally new (and much better) Music app. That would give me all the ease of use of a system-level music player, but the buffet streaming capabilities of Spotify as well. Perhaps in iOS 9?
I was in book buying mode on the iBookstore on my iPad mini last night. I bought Hamlet: The Shakesperience and another title, and wanted to purchase a couple more. But the iTunes Store decided maybe I shouldn’t, or rather I couldn’t. When I went to purchase a 3rd book I was greeted with this error message:
The iTunes Store is unable to process purchases at this time. Please try again later.
At first I didn’t worry much about this error. I thought it was likely some sort of iTunes Store server strain related issue and guessed it might resolve itself quickly. So I tried again after a few minutes – and got the same error. Then I tried a different book – still the same error. I left it for around an hour and tried again – same result.
I rebooted the iPad, and signed out and back into my iTunes account within the iBooks app – still no change and the same error when trying to buy a book. Just for grins, I tried buying an app in the App Store and a single in the iTunes Store. Both of those purchases went through just fine – leaving me a little baffled, as this seemed to rule out both a general sort of server issue on iTunes and a general problem with my iTunes account.