As a radio station, we here at The Giggs know that however fun it is to share the best Alternative music with our little community, radio is a dying art. This week, with Apple’s foray into the streaming and radio worlds, we have hope that radio and music culture will be revitalized.
Some of you, the more curious types, have already explored the Wild Wild West that is Apple Music. For those of you who are a bit hesitant to take a dip in to these radio waves, we’ve written a friendly lil’ Giggs guide on how to use Apple Music. This could be the future yo! Step into it.
The Super Basics
First up, download the 8.0 iOS for your phone and/or the 12.2 update for your laptop. At this point, you can tune into Apple Radio for free. If you want to access the streaming part, you’ll have to sign up for the 3-month free trial. But don’t worry! You can cancel the autopay function so that you don’t have to pay after the three months are up.
What The Hell Am I Looking At:
So what are these different little tabs on Apple Music? There are 5 sections to it: ❤️ For You,🌟 New, 💿 Radio, @ Connect, and 🎵 My Music.
🎵 My Music
The My Music section is the one you know from from the original Apple Music. If you’re not trying to get fancy with Apple Music, this tab is your home base. Like in Hitch where Will Smith is trying to give that awkward dude dance lessons, the side-to-side step with some light snapping action is your home base. Just keep it there.
❤️ For You
However, if you’re ready to start pulling the running man and the Q-tip-throw-it-away moves, scroll on over to the For You section, which gives you personalized music selections. A bunch of little red bubbles representing genres and artists will pop up and float around, and you get to pick the ones you like. After you create your little bubble army, Apple will then create a feed for you that includes a mixtpape suggestion, an “intro” playlist that spans the career of one artist, and albums you might like. Every day, new content is created for you on your feed.
🌟 New ✨
The New Section is basically a more consumable version of the iTunes store. This is for those trendy cats who are looking to stay ahead of the next big thing. You can sift through the New Music by genre to find the new releases, top songs, artists, videos, playlists, and classics (“essentials”) from each genre. Here, you can also find pre-made playlists (like Spotify’s mood playlists): Apple Editor Playlists, Activities Playlists (ex: songs for breakups and BBQ’s), and curators playlists made by the likes of Pitchfork, NME, and The Fader to name a few.
The @ Connect section is Apple’s take on social media – like a Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram rolled all in one. WARNING: You are set to automatically follow any artist you’ve previously purchased. If you’re like me and one of your first purchases ever as an awkward teen was Gwen Stefani, you may want to opt out of that when you set up your account. Connect can work as a supplement to other social media app’s, but I’m not sure it’ll really take off on its own right, though exclusive content like new choreography from FKA twigs is tempting.
🌐 Global Music Culture: Beats 1 Radio
Lastly, the most innovative and impactful asset of Apple Music is the creation of a 24/7 live and worldwide radio station, Beats 1. At the helm is UK radio personality and British household name, Zane Lowe. With 12 years on BBC Radio 1’s most popular nighttime time slot, New Zealander Zane Lowe is a renowned global tastemaker.
His daily shows will bring you the best new music in his “Beats Breaking” section as well as exclusive “World Firsts” (previously the “Hottest Record in the World” on BBC). He’s also got some fun artist interviews on the docket. [For example, I learned in Zane’s interview with Ed Sheeran that The Weeknd has Ed’s digits and texted him to come over and write a song together. Which happened. And is purportedly good…?] Though Lowe’s show isn’t as underground as it used to be (he is working on Apple’s platform after all), he has the great opportunity and responsibility to create a global music culture. The future of radio is in good hands.
In addition to curated shows from established DJ’s Zane Lowe in L.A., newcomer Julie Adenuga in London, and Ebro Darden in NYC, artists will also be popping into the Apple studios to spin their own shows. St. Vincent was the first featured artist with her Mixtape Delivery Service. Disclosure got lit Friday night, and Jaden Smith brought Will and Willow in on his July 4th show. You can check upcoming shows over on Apple Music’s Tumblr.
🙈🙉🙊 Overall Thoughts
As we expected from a giant like Apple, Apple Music has everything: social media, radio, and streaming all packaged in one. I’m impressed. Though I will say they may have overlooked the simple stuff. For example, it won’t let me add music to a playlist. That’s some basic shit that should work. Yes, the entire setup is generally clean and intuitive, but hey, I shouldn’t be having problems making a simple playlist, Apple.
The idea of having a global music culture and a musical home wherever I go is exciting, but also ultimately could eliminate unique niches. Zane Lowe’s glorious return made my week though, and he’ll quickly garner the world’s love and respect. You’ve got a three-month free trial waiting for you and a butt-ton of musical discovery to do, so get on it!