As we reported, iOS 8.4 brought Apple Music along with it, but until just now Canadians had no idea whether it would be a launch country, and if so, how much it would cost.
It turns out we had nought to worry about, since the service is not only available in our fair country, but all the features, albums, playlists and pricing came along with it.
To wit, the price of Apple Music, after a three-month trial, is $9.99/month for individuals, and $14.99/month for a family of six (on the same Family Sharing account; more on that later).
Upon choosing a plan (neither one will charge you for three months), the app asks you to select a number of music categories – Hip-Hop, Electronic, Blues, Hits, Rock, etc. – and a few specific artists to begin populating the For You tab with familiar artists and bands.
The actual interface of the new Music app is fairly simple: five tabs along the bottom, with For You and New on the far left (the most curated); with Radio in the middle, which provides access to Beats 1 and the curated list of stations; followed by Connect, Apple’s new social network of a sort; and My Music, which combines music stored locally on the phone with songs stored in the iCloud Music Library.
Of course, tapping on the New tab brings up a number of popular and charting artists – Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’ is unsurprisingly the first album you see – with a number of top tracks, recent album releases and “Top Songs,” which seems to be based on plays, and not is not curated like “Hot Tracks.”
While as of publication Beats 1 hasn’t yet started broadcasting (it’s playing Brian Eno’s soporific Ambient 1: Music for Airports, which is amazing but not exactly thrilling), the company’s other curated stations are all here. From The Mixtape to All-City, the stations are diverse but not particularly innovative – Songza and Spotify have been doing this for years.
There is a section of Canadian English and Canadian Francophone stations, which appear to be pumping out some excellent tunes (with only a few duds so far), but they’re buried and don’t contain any graphics assets.
Connect is easily the most useless section right now, with artists on board only having posted one or two photos or videos. That said, it has the potential to be an interesting way for artists to connect with one another, but we’ll have to wait a few months to see if that pans out.
We’ll be diving deeper into Apple Music in an upcoming post, but rest easy knowing that iOS 8.4 brings what appears to be every feature our U.S. counterparts can take advantage of, and at an identical price.