Apple Music: is it good enough to beat Spotify?
WHEN Apple launched the iPod in 2001, offering 1000 songs in your pocket, it revolutionised the music industry.
Fast forward to 2015, and its hoping to do the same with Music - offering access to 30 million tunes. But it faces some super fierce competition from Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeart Radio, Pandora, and Google Play Music, which are well established in the music streaming space.
Apple is hoping a free three- month trial will be enough to win new fans. But based on the latest reviews, it faces an uphill battle.
If you have been using Spotify or another streaming service and already built up your musical favourites with someone else, it is a big ask to start all over again.
Especially if you have to pay $11.99 (individual) or $17.99 a month (up to six people).
But if you are starting from scratch, there's a lot to like about Apple Music. Its family package is also one of the best on offer.
Apple points out its Music service is not just powered by computers but hundreds of music loving humans who are experts in their genres.
The result is an endless variety of curated playlists designed to fit your musical tastes.
Apple Music combines the best of iTunes, streaming, music videos, real radio stations, and a way to connect with your favourite artists' social media postings.
You start off by setting up your profile by telling Music your favourite - and least favourite artists - and musical genres.
From these picks, Music creates a rich, deeply layered For You selection offering a wide range of music you might like.
The key to refining that further is to press the heart icon for music you love, as it is playing.
Some of the recommendations can be hit and miss, especially early on in the process.
The interface is very well done, with each page rich with well-presented offerings.
The new section can be refined by genre and features editor playlists, activity playlists and curator playlists.
Activity playlists include celebrating, cooking, driving, entertaining, getting it on, getting outside, getting ready to go out, holidaying, chilling out, running, studying, working and working out. It's a great way to discover new music for your mood.
The radio stations are something Apple is particularly proud of. Beats 1 is a 24/7 station broadcast worldwide, featuring DJs like Zane Lowe running the show and regular guest DJs include Elton John, Dr Dre and Pharrell Williams.
Siri is also on hand to help you with your music selection, responding to questions like "Play the top songs from 1981' or 'that song from Frozen'. (Please don't.)
For a one-stop music shop, there's a lot to love about Music.
New iPod to feature iSight camera and A8chip
Apple has unveiled its best iPod touch and a new line-up of colours for all iPod models, including space grey, silver, gold, pink and blue.
The iPod touch features a new eight megapixel iSight camera for photos, an improved FaceTime HD camera for even better selfies. It now supports slo-mo and burst mode.
Apple said the A8 chip offers 10-times faster graphics performance for a more immersive gaming experience, as well as three-times faster wi-fi for better FaceTime calls and faster video downloading.
It has a better fitness tracking with the M8 motion coprocessor.
It starts at $279.