Apple Music's "Human Touch"

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 2 min read

I finally set up my Apple Music account late last night and after a quick setup, I was up and running. The above playlist was the first thing Apple Music recommended to me, and it was great!

I've seen playlists like this in Spotify before, and they've been…okay. This playlist was great! It started with Titus Andronicus, moved into Arcade Fire and The Walkmen, before venturing out to about 20 other songs that were really amazing in 2010. I knew most of the songs, and the few I didn't know were happy surprises.

The bottom line is that I was able to listen to some good music that was tailored to me without having to think about it at all. Despite similar playlists on other streaming services (and believe me, I've tried them all), it wasn't until Beats Music last year that I felt comfortable just opening up the app and finding something right away I wanted to hear. Apple Music is doing the same thing, and I'm super excited to have this back in my life.

I'm also in love with the "Intro to..." playlists, which serve as great ways to get (as the title implies) get introduced to a new artist. These are not just a list of their 10 most popular songs, they're hand picked selections that actually do a great job of easing you into new music you may not have previously known how to approach.

Then you have Beats 1, an actual honest-to-goodness traditional radio station with real life DJs doing shows and crafting playlists.

And Connect, probably the least interesting part of Apple Music is 100% human controlled (at least until Buffer figures out how to tap into it). I somehow doubt this will be huge, but at least some stuff is going to be going on in there.

These elements are "the human touch" that I love so much about Beats/Apple Music. Every element of the service makes it plainly obvious that there are people working behind the scenes (and in the open, in some cases) to get you listening to the best music. This is what I love about Apple Music, and if I never touch the radio or Connect, it will still be my favorite place to listen to music.

Who knows if that will be enough for everyone. Maybe most people are okay with a 500 song "best songs ever!!!" playlist created by some random person out there, or just cruising the top songs lists, but that's never done it for me. Apple Music is music curated in a way that works for me, and I'm glad it's here.