Recently, Apple revamped iTunes and its music service. Many keys have been tapped writing about the pros and cons of Apple Music and how it works (a good overview is available here and here’s a good podcast on the subject).

One big change is the ability to stream a large portion of Apple’s music catalog.  Almost everything you could download in iTunes before Apple Music is now available for streaming for a monthly fee. To get you hooked, Apple offers a free three-month trial period. The service is definitely worth checking out, but you may want to turn off the auto-renew feature by following these steps:

  • On your iPhone, go to Settings | iTunes & App Store | Apple ID | View Apple ID | Manage | Your Subscription

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To use Apple Music, you will need to update your iOS software. The built-in Music app will provide access to the new service. You can rate your favorite genres and/or artists to help Apple know what type of music you like. The interface takes some getting used to, but I’m slowly getting used to how to find music and play music.

I like the fact that after adding a few favorite artists, I found an album I was not aware existed and was able to add to my device with a couple of taps. The more you use the app and rate music within the app, the better it gets at suggesting new music to you. You can check the album I was referring to here:

If you have a limited data plan, you can make the album available for offline listening, so you don’t burn through cellular data, downloading the album while you are on wi-fi or through iTunes.

Right now, I’m using the service to add the tracks to a playlist for songs I’ll be playing that week in my church band. I make the songs available for offline listening and use Siri to play that playlist while I’m driving to and from work.

I plan on using the service as much as I can during the next few months to determine if it fits me. I’m not thrilled about adding yet another subscription/lease service to my life. But, the ability to access a large library of music might be worth the price of admission.

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