I signed up for Apple Music as soon as iOS 8.4 hit my phone. So far I’ve been very happy with it, although I’ve heard that others are experiencing some issues upon canceling their subscriptions. I’ll have to wait and see what the long-term experience is like for Meaghan and I but in the positive camp things have been great. I’m able to browse listening to artists and material that I likely wouldn’t ever buy or in many cases ever listen to again. It’s a nice way to stream what I’m curious about without committing money to a purchase I’d likely regret.
At work I have explored many different operas, my personal genre of choice for thinking time, and found several that are not to my tastes. Yet I have also developed appreciation for great works I never knew existed, in fact more works in a single month than in my entire operatic curiosity up to this point. That is where the power of the service lies, in letting my whimsy flutter without commitment. I had previously been a member of Spotify but am finding the Apple interface more intuitive and the library more comprehensive, for my tastes at least.
I use to have a hard time “renting” music. I grew up in an era where one built a music library, racks of vinyl, tapes, and CDs. Even as the iPod exploded, I struggled to own only the digital copy and would often buy a CD first and then rip the music to my library. iTunes Match was the first hit of the drug that really caught my attention due to its ability to provide a clean version that didn’t skip and was of unparalleled quality. It didn’t take long for the value of the physical media to yield to the trust of a digital license model. That stepping stone the paved the way for a transition to the Netflix model of renting access to media, and here I am. I’m exploring the feeling of not owning music and being OK with it. A friend of mine at work asked me how often I really go back and listen to songs again. I certainly did that a decade ago. I had favorite albums I knew so well that I can still sing most from memory and identify the song after just a few seconds of the intro. Yet in the age of digital distraction I find that I rarely go back and listen again. There is so much new content to consume that I’m more likely to just push forward into the next thing. It will be interesting to see where that leads.
For now I’m discovering the great works of Puccini and feeling unfettered with my access to music, a feeling I’m sure isn’t new to the Napster generation but one in my rule-following nature of license acquisition I haven’t known before.