back to article Apple Music: First three months for free? We lasted less than 3 hours

Apple Music is finally here. The bit-of-everything music service was debuted last month at WWDC as the headliner in CEO Tim Cook's keynote address. Now, provided you own an iOS device or have the latest version of iTunes, you can take advantage of the free three-month trial period before paying about $10 a month for the …

  1. Handy Plough

    All that from 3 hours.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Well the description in the third paragraph from the end of the article makes it sound like a John Peel set and they lasted three hours. Presumably it was long enough to tell it wasn't John Peel nor would it be anytime within the next three months.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm using Google Play's new music radio thingy.

      And oddly enough I haven't heard any ads even though there were supposed to be some?

      1. oneeye

        Glad someone mentioned Google's new updated music app. It will compete with Spotify far more than Apple's new effort. My Son and his wife are Apple/itunes users, but thhey spend more time on Spotify. Because we all have Sprint,they got the six monthh free trial,and now only use the freemium version. Something Apple lacks,and the ad supported Google Music will likely over take them both. After all,that type of operating platform has been perfected by Google already,giving them the advantage.

  2. David Roberts

    Well confused by the header text - I was expecting a report that you were charged after three hours, not that you just got bored.

  3. Mage Silver badge

    Meh or just a me too service?

    Really there is no way Apple can make a music streaming service "innovative" or "special".

    Subscription services are ultimately bad value and rely on customers not bothering to cancel.

    1. Big_Ted

      Re: Meh or just a me too service?

      Sorry I have the opposite view.

      I have uploaded 120 gigs of music going back to my youth in the 60's and having that plus everything on Google available is a dream come true.

      Since subscribing I have not bought a single album so saved money each month. I have also discovered a load of artists I would never have done and developed an interest in Folk Music that I never listened to before.

      Worth every penny that I spend on it.

      1. Julian Bond

        Re: Meh or just a me too service?

        Apple has told you before. Will you please stop collecting music. What are you some kind of dinosaur[1]? The next thing you'll be asking for is a 1Tb iPod and there's no money in that. And if you keep collecting music, how are they going to get you to keep paying for access to the tracks you like?

        [1]Youth in the 60s? Yeah, me too. ;)

        1. jelabarre59

          Re: Meh or just a me too service?

          > Apple has told you before. Will you please stop collecting music. What are you some kind of dinosaur

          I have about 12 linear feet worth of 12" vinyl (which means albums and 12" ep/singles), who knows how much in 7" records. Going through the collection piecemeal, digitizing records as I listen to them. Prior to a recent purchase of a Doors collection, the last online music purchase I made was the "demo tape" songs from a local band I used to follow in the early 1980's (they found their old tape and put it up on Amazon). And the Doors one was because I had gotten an iTunes gift card (which was a PITA, since the only iTunes-capable setup I have is a MSWin10 preview install; everything else at home is Linux and Android). 7 months later, and I still have $30 credit on the iTunes store from a $50 gift card. Nothing else I've seen there has been worth ordering.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Meh or just a me too service?

        Hi Tim :-)

      3. croc

        Re: Meh or just a me too service?

        "Since subscribing I have not bought a single album so saved money each month. I have also discovered a load of artists I would never have done and developed an interest in Folk Music that I never listened to before.

        Worth every penny that I (DON"T) spend on it." Fixed your statement to clarify its meaning....

        Too bad about those new artists, eh. Guess that they can get along just fine without you, yeah...

    2. fruitoftheloon

      @Mage: Re: Meh or just a me too service?


      Our household heartily disagrees with your statement, we have all of our desired tunes on a number of on/offline boxen for 10 squids a month.

      There is no way it would be more economical and less hassle for us to buy what we listen to and have it available as we do now...

      Not everyone has the same reqs as you matey!!!



  4. jonnycando

    Meh is right.

    Gotta mac, got Itunes, got iPod. Gonna get Apple Music? Not. When I want music its on my Ipod, when I want radio, I turn it on and listen to the Beeb! Yea, we have it in the States too!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh is right.

      Someone who has "all their music" on an iPod already isn't the target market for this. It is people who like NEW music, but don't want to pay $1 each time something tickles their fancy and they want to hear it a few more times.

      So pretty much the under 25 crowd who do the bulk of listening to new stuff, not the typical Reg reader who probably on average is older than 50 and hasn't bought any new music (as in music that came out that year, not buying an album from the 70s when they were young) in two decades.

      Those who already have Spotify etc. probably won't switch (especially if they are taking the cheapskate way out and listening to all the ads) but Apple Music will be a pretty seamless thing for those who already have an iPhone or iPod Touch, and given that streaming is still a small portion of the market, Apple doesn't have to convert existing customers, only get a bunch of the ones yet to come.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Meh is right.

        Well yes exactly. I decided to try it out today, upgraded, signed up for music, switched off the renew immediately then set about testing it out.

        I listened to Led Zeppelin III, which I already own a copy of - and in fact I already have paid for 99% of all the music I will ever want to listen to. So, if I was paying the subscription then I am either paying again to listen to music I've already paid for, or just paying to have it delivered by streaming.

        Either way, there is no appeal for me. If there was then I would already be a Spotify customer.

      2. Just Enough

        Re: Meh is right.

        " It is people who like NEW DISPOSABLE music"


      3. spinynorman

        Re: Meh is right.

        Excuse me! I am fast approaching my 60th year ... and I am buying NEW music all of the time. Buying music is (generally) the best way to support an artist, especially if the music is produced and published completely independently. I use Spotify (free) so that I can hear more than just 30 seconds of each song on an album before considering a purchase. I may consider subscribing to Spotify at some point, but that would not stop my purchases. Apples service is attractive because of the multiple user 'allowance', but I really don't want to be so dependent on iTunes. None of the services are likely to include all of the rich and varied artists that I enjoy listening to on their own, and when artists pull their songs from a service, or a service goes titsup, I will still have my music to listen to.

      4. jelabarre59

        Re: Meh is right.

        > Someone who has "all their music" on an iPod already isn't the target market for this. It is people who like NEW music, but don't want to pay $1 each time something tickles their fancy and they want to hear it a few more times.

        That's what YouTube is for... (been digging through YT for anime theme songs lately). YT is good for clearing out the earworms; play the song enough times that it drives it out (except I can't clear out "Sister's Noise")

  5. Zippy's Sausage Factory

    This is why the iPod classic had to die.

    A bit sad that it went in favour of a bland, generic service that nobody will particularly enjoy - kinda sums up Apple's "innovations" these days.

    The idea of the "Apple Music Connect" feature annoys me - er, don't want that, but not sure you can 100% turn it off. I have, why do I need another version of it that I didn't sign up to? Auto following artists you already bought from - that's just annoying.

    Apple Music for me is a great sales tool - for Windows. Maybe Microsoft should use it as a sales pitch for Windows 10? "Guaranteed NOT to include Apple Music (unless you're stupid enough to install iTunes)"

  6. s. pam Silver badge

    Bad seed Apple

    I'll stick with TuneIn Radio thanks very much...!

  7. Paul Nothard

    Disagree with the article.

    "Family Plan" with three music adoring kids.

    Have done the maths and it's cheaper.

    'nuff said.

    Add to that I listen to what I want, the style that I want and then have some new artists thrown in occasionally too ... I'm liking it lots.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Spotify vs Apple Music

    Night vs Day. I trialled Spotify recently and throughout felt everything it did was pulling me unadventurously and inexorably into the Middle of the Road. Whereas with Apple Music, I started with its brilliant 1969 playlist (Oh Happy Day!), started a radio station from "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies, and two tracks later found myself listening to Cellophane Symphony, 9'31" of psychedelia. WTF, in a good way. And so it continued: I've since started radio stations from the B52s, La Swift's 1989, PiL, and more - every time, new and interesting sounds in all directions, returning from time to time to familiar territory then setting off again. If you're happy restricting your listening to (a) what you own or (b) what "everyone" is listening to or (c) radio with ads or inanities, then of course you don't need Apple Music.

  9. DrXym

    Autorenew is the next thing the EU should crack down on

    Too many services don't give a user the choice during subscribe of auto renewing or not. It's just on. And even if they do it's still defaulted to on. And if a user wants to change or cancel their choice some make it incredibly hard to find to turn off.

    It's not just reputable services either. Many popular websites have incorporated a particularly nasty scam into their checkout service where people are offered money off their next purchase and unwittingly sign up for a discount coupon service which charges their credit card every month.

    Auto renew should be an explicit option during sign up for a service and the default option should be OFF. No free trial should require it to be turned on. And turning it off should be unambiguous and simple. This is the sort of thing that consumer protection law should protect against with sufficient teeth to fine or shut down rogue services.

    1. adnim

      Re: Autorenew is the next thing the EU should crack down on

      I would go a step further...

      The word "free" should not be used for any product or service where the consumer has to provide something in return. Be that a credit card number or even something as simple as an email address.

      1. SundogUK Silver badge

        Re: Autorenew is the next thing the EU should crack down on


  10. J.Smith

    I suppose they'll copyright 'Music', if they haven't already.

    1. skeptical i

      copyright 'music'

      The 'c' does have rounded corners ....

  11. Dr Potatohead

    Beats 1

    So.... I'm not clear. Is beats 1 on all the time or not? And can I listen to it in different countries, or no?

    1. Dr Potatohead

      Re: Beats 1

      ...oh I see. Just like most popular radio stations in the uk... so STOP ramming it down my neck every 2 minutes as if its something new.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I listened for 20 minutes

    They completely failed to play "Where is the Police?" by Derek Bailey and Misha Mengelberg. I shall not return

  13. JP 6

    How do you un-subscribe?

    One reason I do not try these offers, is that the process needed to QUIT is rarely fully stated nor easy to find BEFORE you join.

    Reviewers would be doing people a service by explaining this trick of letting go.

    1. Paw Bokenfohr

      Re: How do you un-subscribe?

      It's easy to do once you know where it is, and actually in a pretty logical place. In Music, tap the account button (the one that looks like a person in a circle at the top left) and select View Apple ID. Click Manage in subscriptions and slide the slider to off.

      What I want to know is, if you have a balance in your iTunes / Apple account thingy, does the subscription come out of that, or does it charge your card each month.

      1. peter_dtm

        Re: How do you un-subscribe? - ta Paw Bokenfohr for the How To !

        how refreshing - you can turn off the auto sucbscribe and still leave the free demo period running ! - I could almost accept that as a valid way to offer a free trial.

        Now change calander entry made for 1st Oct which says turn OFF Apple Music and review to just 'review Apple Music' and turn on if wanted ...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probably stick around after 3 month trial

    I am not averse to paying for content, I pay for sattellitte tv as i live in a small hamlet and have a bandwidth cap on the high speed internet plan i have so not streaming "free tv" over the internet does save me money and being able to save music for offline play helps also.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I tried too

    And Google music destroys it in every regard, their music subjection is better, the human curated playlists are more relevant and more of them, you have more freedom.

    The Apple radio was the worst parr. Chock full of repeated content, and being global, no actual radio aspect to it, making it just another playlist .

  16. Grade%

    I don't understand.

    If I'm on the go I won't/refuse pay for data so a streaming service is moot. At home I have a list of radio stations that simulcast on the internet -- they are world wide and cover every genre -- and streaming them to my home stereo is as simple as tapping an icon (actually it's a Station ID name from a list of links). What exactly do I gain by paying for a Spotty face or a bitten Apple service? I'm being a bit disingenuous because I think I know, and have tried TuneIn, which isn't terrible but seems equally pointless in a way when as I said, there are (is it quadrillions) of radio stations streaming out there. Oh, is the fee the charge for the copy and pasting of the URLs? Doing that myself and saving ~$120US per year, seems, um, prudent.

  17. Criminny Rickets

    I'll stick to thanks. No subscriptions and very little advertising. Actually, can't even remember the last time I heard an ad that wasn't station identification on there. Great selection of channels to choose from though.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    New music?

    There have been NO good bands since Zep and Floyd

    ; )

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: New music?

      Come, sir! One or two, surely (though I struggle to recall their names).

      Though my father, a child of the twenties, maintains that there has been no good music since Glenn Miller died.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: New music?

        He was mostly right !

        Clearly there is a market for Streaming but it's not me.

        Firmly in the "local storage, iPod/PC/Mac camp".

        Here's hoping for new iPods 14/07 ?

        Why hasn't there been a memorable James Bond theme since Octopussy in '83 ?

  19. D@v3

    i listen to quite a lot of music

    radio in the morning, music or podcasts in car on way to work, radio at work, more in car on way home, and then usually the radio when I get in.

    I have no problem paying for new music, but in the last few years most of what I have heard on the radio has seemed, average... (despite listening to a variety of stations)

    I don't have a massive amount of stored music, but what I do have is on a (now discontinued) iPod, so that when I go anywhere, I can take it with me.

    The idea of paying more in a year than I ever have (or am ever likely to) on new physical music for a service that I can only use while in range of the internet, so not while I am driving through foreign countries, on aeroplanes or ferries (times when I am likely to want music). For a service that if I wanted to use while out and about in this country (out of range of wifi) I would be paying for again in data costs. For a service that is either a glorified radio (which I currently get courtesy of the Beeb) or that I have to search for something that I know I want to listen to, (which will probably be something I already have, if I like it enough to want to listen to it).

    Just doesn't appeal.

    I have signed up for the three month free trial, and have made sure that auto-renew is switched off. I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt, but so far, other than a quick look when I signed up, I haven't been back since.

  20. Anthony Hegedus Silver badge

    It's cheaper than spotify for multiple users

    I like the fact that at £15 a month for 6 users, it's cheaper than spotify (£10 per month + £5 per additional user). That, and the fact that spotify haven't finished developing the user interface for increasing the number of users. Once you've gone to 2 users, if you want to change to 3, you need to cancel the service and resubscribe!

    Apart from the pricing the service seems good. Quick at changing tracks when you're on 3G/4G, Music selection good (for classical anyway). Seems easier to find music I want than google play music and spotify.

    The beats station is useless to me, as so far I've only heard some sort of rap "music" on it that isn't exactly to my taste. I'd like to understand though, is the station set for UK time zone if you listen in the UK, seeing as they have a london base?

    So overall, I like the service. A lot easier to set up than the others, and pretty easy to use as well.

  21. the idiotuk

    Apple vs Spotify

    I can't see it taking many existing Spotify customers unless they come up with a way to import Spotify playlists; which users have painstakingly built up over years.

    There's a kludgey way to do it via Beats but it's not ideal or even available as the Beats servers struggle under the weight of new sign ups.

    Unless Apple is able publish a tool that let you compare the availability of tunes on your Spotify playlist and then import it, then I think they'll struggle. It also needs to fully integrate with the BBC's excellent Playlister service.

    Until it does all of the above, Spotify gets my money.

  22. David 138

    I think i lasted less than 3 hours in my trial, Its Ok to navigate, the Radio is crap. its no better or worse than Google Music which i get cheaper.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    So no one needs it?

    Then it wont last long.

    Still I got mu Vinyl & CDs, then there is the radio, dont have any fruity products so why would I use this thing

  24. Wade Burchette

    Once again

    "It's not a terribly bad music service, but it falls well short of what Apple talked up at WWDC."

    So, once again, another Apple product/service that few would want if the exact same thing did not have Apple's logo plastered on it.

  25. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    I hate this appropriation of generic names as product names

    Music, Watch, what's next? The Apple Computer?

  26. Winkypop Silver badge

    Another update to iTunes 64bit?

    Another bork?

    I'll stay with my last stable release for now thanks.

  27. Valerion

    I'm using it

    So far, so good.

    What I like to do is have all my music on my phone. I don't care about streaming because I mostly listen in the car. I just have tracks I like and stick it on Shuffle.

    I currently have Napster, but the killer use for me is that ALL the purchased/ripped songs I have on my phone, PLUS any that I tag for offline listening on Apple Music appear seamlessly in one place, so I can shuffle between them without there being any difference. That is perfect for me. So I'll cancel Napster and keep this.

  28. David Nash Silver badge

    Once a streamer, always a streamer?

    I use free Spotify because it's nice to try things out or discover new things. I baulk at a tenner a month though and the problem with only streaming, even if you had sufficient mobile data/coverage, is that you are dependent on them for ever. I like having my CDs, I can take them (in the form of MP3s) whereever I want and don't have to pay £10 a month to do so. I can rediscover an album I bought 15 years ago or equally one I bought this year.

    If I streamed but then didn't want or couldn't continue, or the service disappeared, all "my" music is gone. My CDs/MP3s won't do that.

    1. Ian 55

      Re: Once a streamer, always a streamer?

      This is why they're so eager to have you be a streamer, yes.

      Big CD collection - they're dirty cheap s/h - plus Spotify Free to find new stuff = independence.

  29. Paw Bokenfohr

    I'm a little torn.

    I don't like streaming services generally, I prefer to own the music or video or whatever than pay an ongoing subscription and also prefer to have it all on device rather than paying for bandwidth (when it's even available).

    However, I do like to have full albums on my iPhone - for example, I have all of the remastered Ultravox albums on there - but rarely listen to them long form in full, and more often listen to playlists of my favourites from an artist or genre. So for me, having access to the full albums on the rare occasion I want to, by streaming, but still to have the music I listen to on balance far more often on the device itself might be a great solution.

    Plus, it would mean that I don't need to buy devices with ever bigger storage capacities, which will offset a proportion of the cost of the subscription - the difference between a 64GB and 128GB iPhone 6+ is £90 and whether that is excessive in your view or not, that's the difference, which I can save.

    Just need to get over the idea of subscribing to music rather than owning it. I mean, loads of people do it with Rdio and Spotify so there must be something to it.

  30. Dana W

    I have three Macs, an iPhone, and an iPad and I was done with it in less than an hour. A lot of the music I want just is not THERE! The first five albums I wanted, music I listened to every day. Nowhere, not a chance.

    As well as the fact that its classifications are incredibly vague. I was hoping for a way sort by genre, I wanted a select for prog rock, and a select for 70's music. That is all. But what do I get? In the setup, I get rock, and classic rock. Because Gene Vincent and Devo are apparently the same thing. Come on! Satellite radio did a better job! This is just insulting.

    RUMOR is the new iPods are going to come with smaller capacity to encourage streaming. If that happens with the iPhone. This is one Apple stalwart who is going Android. Now that some higher end Android phones have OSX support its starting to look like an attractive alternative. As much as I've mocked Android phones for needing anti-virus, I'd rather have that than be locked into a media store I can't escape.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've not been impressed by music recommendation algorithms

    "You're listening to motets by Lassus. How about some Taylor Swift?"

    "Erm, not today, thanks"

    1. Dana W

      Re: I've not been impressed by music recommendation algorithms

      That is my problem exactly, I'm listening to Yes, how about Eminem?

      Or the fact that two bands in my daily playlist have pretty much nothing? Probably more but it was pretty useless after that.

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