We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

AP Photo/Paul Sakuma
shaky start

Some of Apple's most prominent fans really don't like Apple Music

And they’re going public with their criticism.

APPLE FANS ARE famously dedicated to the tech company. They camp outside stores for iPhone launches, they fight the good fight in comment sections around the web, and they loyally defend Steve Jobs whenever they can.

But the Apple fan army hasn’t exactly taken to the company’s new music streaming service. Prominent fans have spoken publicly of their frustration with Apple Music, and now Apple employees are expressing their dissatisfaction.

This is extremely unusual for Apple. These are people who normally defend Apple the same way sports fans defend their football teams. Some of the critics are writers close to the company, people that Apple actually listens to.

One of the most surprising pieces of criticism came from veteran Apple writer Jim Dalrymple. He writes The Loop (which is named after Apple’s Cupertino campus), and has been covering the company for 17 years.

Apple likes Dalrymple, and even let him interview executives Eddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine in June. The company only rarely lets its executives do interviews with the media, and even then only under strictly controlled conditions.

Dalrymple published a blog post on July 22 titled “Apple Music is a nightmare and I’m done with it.” It came just weeks after he wrote an initial review of the service which was extremely positive.

But the new article slammed Apple Music. He said that he was deactivating his account, and that “Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with … I just don’t care anymore, I just want Apple Music off my devices.”

Apple scrambled to help Dalrymple, and he published an update two days later. He explained that Apple invited him to its campus to try and fix his problems with Apple Music.

He had lost music, he said, and albums were being split up. Apple helped him out, and most of his music returned. The problem wasn’t completely fixed, though, as Dalrymple had lost lots of Ozzy Osbourne tracks.

It’s not just one Apple blogger

Other prominent Apple writers, developers and analysts have spoken about their problems with Apple Music. Software developer and Instapaper founder Marco Arment, who often writes about Apple products, wrote a blog post slamming iTunes following the Apple Music redesign.

The iTunes software is a “toxic hellstew of unreliability,” he wrote. The best thing to do, he said, is to keep your iTunes library out of Apple Music. That’s exactly the opposite of what Apple is trying to encourage people to do.

Another voice speaking out against Apple Music is former Apple employee Matt Drance. He sent a series of tweets pointing out problems with the service:

Other writers criticising Apple Music include Ben Thompson and Jason Snell. They’re both dedicated Apple writers, so what they say matters to Apple fans.

Journalists haven’t fallen in love with Apple Music

Technology journalists are outspoken and critical of technology. It’s their job, after all. But the reviews for Apple Music weren’t as glowing as, say, coverage of Spotify can be. And a lot of the tweets sent by journalists about Apple Music have the same theme: I’m meant to like this, I’m trying to like this, but I don’t like this.

Some Apple employees aren’t fans

We wrote earlier this month about the reaction to Beats 1, Apple’s new online-only radio station, from inside Apple. One employee who works in Apple’s music department wasn’t a fan of Beats 1, and turned it off after just two songs.

Now, another Apple employee is sharing criticism of Apple Music. Mark Miller, an Apple employee who lives in Cupertino and is followed by many senior Apple staff members, has been retweeting complaints about Apple Music:

screen shot 2015-07-31 at 10.22.54 Businessinsider Businessinsider

screen shot 2015-07-31 at 10.23.07 Businessinsider Businessinsider

Miller hasn’t actually tweeted himself about Apple Music, but the fact that he’s sharing negative reactions to it is significant. Apple employees are famously tight-lipped, and they very rarely say anything bad about the company. Miller, however, isn’t afraid to tweet openly about his frustration with Apple software.

Of course, a less than glowing reaction by bloggers doesn’t mean that Apple Music has failed. The real test is the number of subscribers it brings in, and whether they stick around after the three-month free trial has ended.

Negative reactions from the Apple faithful isn’t going to help Apple at all, however, and it’s a sign that the streaming service isn’t going down as well as Apple hoped.

- James Cook

Read: Facebook’s solar-powered laser drone masterplan is starting to take shape >

Read: Google Glass is quietly making a comeback but not in the way you’d expect >

Published with permission from
Business Insider
Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.