If your office is closed tomorrow (like mine is) then I hope you enjoy the long Fourth of July weekend. If you are looking for something to keep your weekend entertaining, I strongly recommend that you update your iPhone to iOS 8.4 so that you can start to use the new Apple Music service. I've been using it for the last two days, and I'm really impressed. It is great fun to listen to any music I can think of. For example, I had been thinking about checking out the new albums from Barenaked Ladies and the Indigo Girls, and with Apple Music it was quick and easy to do so. I even listened to the ultra-famous Taylor Swift album 1989 yesterday, the first time that I had heard it all of the way through, and I see why it has been so popular. I doubt I would have ever purchased an entire Taylor Swift album, but I'm glad that I heard it.
Also, I really love the For You tab. I usually rely on a small group of friends to alert me to new artists and new songs, but with the possible exception of one friend of mine (yes, Bill, I'm talking about you), they cannot know everything about music that might appeal to me. But the For You tab has been giving me a great mix of music, from old favorites that I hadn't heard in a while to new groups that I never knew about. Last night while on the treadmill finishing up the circles on my Apple Watch, I listened to a group called Of Monsters and Men that I had never heard of before, and they were fantastic. (Why haven't any of you told me about that group yet? No, don't say it, it's too late for you to apologize now.) The For You tab is a great way to find music that you are likely to want to listen to, even if you didn't know it yet.
Finally, I've even enjoyed listening to the Beats 1 station more than I thought I would. There seems to be a lot of rap music that doesn't appeal to me, but I've also heard quite a few songs that are really good. Also, the energy and enthusiasm of DJ Zane Lowe is contagious, and the lack of commercials makes this unlike any radio that I've ever heard. (Beats 1 just has occasional sponsor mentions, sort of like public radio.)
Overall, this is a great service. Apple has rekindled my love for music this week. If you haven't checked it out yet, it's time to pull out your headphones and enjoy some great music. And now, the news of note from the past week, which is mostly about Apple Music:
- Barrie Hadfield of Workshare recommends his own app but some other good ones too in a post on Law Technology Today listing some good apps for lawyers.
- Caitlin McGarry of Macworld explains how to add Apple Music streaming music playlists to your Apple Watch so that you can listen to music with an Apple Watch and Bluetooth headphones — and without an iPhone.
- Caitlin McGarry also wrote a good overview of the Apple Music service.
- Christina Warren of Mashable also wrote a great overview.
- If you value using DRM-free music, you should read this post by Serenity Caldwell of iMore with theories on why Apple is adding DRM to songs in Apple Music.
- Leander Kahney of Cult of Mac tells us Why Apple Beat 1 radio station is great, and you should tune in.
- Serenity Caldwell also explains how to listen to Beats 1 shows that you have missed. [UPDATE: There is also a Twitter account that simply lists every song as it is played on Beats 1 called @Beats1Plays.]
- Kit Eaton of the New York Times recommends apps to help you make a cocktail. One app not mentioned that I really like is the free Highball app from Studio Neat.
- Julia Mayhugh of the WatchAware podcast (a podcast devoted to the Apple Watch) showed off her Apple Watch home screen on the MarkDMill blog, and it is fun to see what a color-coordinated group of icons looks like.
- And finally, the full trailer for the upcoming Steve Jobs movie was released yesterday. Here it is: