Beats Music: does it beat iTunes?

30 Jan

My blood pressure has equalized and my breathing is back to normal. The pounding in my head has stopped and my optimism has returned. All is right with the world once more.

In short, I’ve fixed my iTunes account.

Anytime I get an update message from Apple, I wince. I am a technological dinosaur, dependent on an 160GB iPod and an aging PC to protect and play my substantial library of songs. I don’t store my music in the cloud, my iPhone has maybe two songs on it, and I still mourn iTunes’ original, virtual brushed steel design. I’m terrified that I might delete my entire library with one misplaced click of the mouse.

My worst fears were realized when I restarted after the most recent upgrade – and this little box popped up six times in quick succession:

iTunes error messag

To fix this I had to uninstall every whiff of Apple technology and reinstall iTunes from scratch. (Luckily I had an open bottle of pinot noir to steady my nerves.)

I gotta say, Beats Music is looking real good right now.

Debuting last week, this streaming service is backed by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, the legendary music producers who created the best reason to spend a car payment on headphones. Trent Reznor is the outfit’s chief creative officer. As you can see from the “vision” video he narrates, Mr. Nine Inch Nails/Oscar-winning composer/Grammy ranter can’t wait to get in between our ears to burrow into our very souls:

The press has been considerable (with feature articles in Time, Rolling Stone and New York Times to name a few) and overwhelmingly positive. This is because in addition to offering access to pretty much any song ever recorded, the killer app of Beats Music is human beings. The recommendations and playlists rely on curators rather than algorithms  It sounds like being an eighth grader hanging out with your older brother’s cool high school friends: they flip through LPs or tap into SoundCloud to expand your horizons without rolling their eyes at your limited taste. (I can’t imagine how this actually works: do they employ armies of crate-digging hipsters or is Reznor chained to a laptop somewhere?)

At the moment you can only subscribe through AT&T, but I’m sure they’ll branch out to other carriers very soon so that world domination can follow. At that point I may switch to a streaming service and for the first time pony up a monthly fee to discover new tunes and revisit old favorites … leaving iTunes collecting virtual dust. So now, your opinions, please: 


See you on the flip side …

P.S. Want to read some good rock and roll? My first novel, Love and Other B-Sides, is on the e-bookshelves now – and Amazon Prime members can read it for free!


2 Responses to “Beats Music: does it beat iTunes?”

  1. Jason Wendleton January 30, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

    I had to quit Spotify (paid) while I start a new job…I’d assumed I’d be going back to them but now I’m curious. Wish I hadn’t just switched to Verizon.

    Oh, and Reznor chained to a laptop sounds like a weird sex-position or an expensive cocktail.

    • lpon45 January 30, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Reznor chained to a laptop sounds like a fantasy fulfilled for some folks I know …

      As you may remember I could never get Spotify to install on my system so I did without. Beats Music is offering a free week trial period so it might be worth looking into.

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