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For want of a Play All button in Apple Music

As has probably most everyone else, I’ve started my three-month Apple Music trial. I listened to about an hour’s worth of Beats 1 Radio on the first day, and found it basically forgettable. (All the “Beats 1 worldwide!” voiceovers during songs certainly didn’t help—but I figure they’re doing that to prevent people from recording the high quality stream.)

Anyway, I was most interested in the For You feature, as I wanted to discover music similar to what I liked, but that I may not have heard before. Using my iPhone, I went through the “tell us about your tastes” feature in Apple Music, then switched back to my Mac to look at the For You section in iTunes. There I found an assortment of playlists:

Some I wouldn’t like, some I would, and (most interesting to me), there were some that had stuff I hadn’t heard before. Unfortunately, this is where Apple lost me…

What I wanted to do, as I looked at this wide assortment of music, was just hit the Play button, and let iTunes navigate the entire selection. But I couldn’t, because iTunes’ playback buttons are all grayed out. Argh!

The only way to listen to these selections is one playlist at a time. But that’s not how I listen to music. I enjoy a broad selection of music across many genres, and very rarely do I listen solely to one artist, one album, or even one genre. Why? Because when I do, I wind up getting burned out on that artist, album, or genre, such that I don’t want to hear it again for a while.

Instead, I just play music, paying no attention to genre, artist, or album. And once I start iTunes playing, it’s typically playing all day without any interaction from me. But if I want to use Apple Music’s For Me, I’ll have to return to iTunes to pick new selections as each selection finishes. Honestly, for something that’s background as I work, that’s too much effort.

In the end, as much as I’d like to use the For Me feature in Apple Music, I just can’t see myself doing it unless Apple adds a Play All (random, of course) button. Please?

1 Comment

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  1. Thanks for your post. It’s gonna save me the disappointment in figuring this feature omission out for myself. The inability to mix and randomize playlists is a regression that is worth calling out (= Mixing a bunch of playlists and having songs shift abruptly can be mitigated when intelligence is added to “skip” data Apple’s software collects.

    Anyhow, your observation highlights my issue with the feature. A problem that’s existed since the “Genius” feature in iTunes was added. Those genre-based playlists Apple seeded under “genius” got used once or twice then forgotten. Sort of like your comment in for you, the playlists were too uniform. Bland. It’s too bad since it, like this new “For you” feature, has the potential to save the teaming masses from the years of tedium some of us have spent making playlists that reference playlists in iTunes to get diverse mixes of songs tailored to our specific musical tastes and/or to help re-discover good music lost in the multitudes of gigabytes of music our iTunes databases hold.

    Hopefully someone at Apple will see the light and recode the “For you” feature to allow “For you” lists to mix together. Would seem that the “more like this/less like this” tag and data about skip counts would quickly whip these suggested lists into shape! =D Thanks for your years of Robservations!

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