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 of their frustration with Apple Music, and now Apple employees are expressing their dissatisfaction.
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.
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. Developer Marco Arment, who often writes about Apple products, and founded Instapaper, 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:
The new Music app isn’t just bad. It’s designed around a business initiative, rather than user interest or intuition. That is so worrisome.
— Matt Drance (@drance) July 29, 2015
I’m making this distinction because we need to go easy on the people who worked on it. It seems clear their hands were impossibly forced.
— Matt Drance (@drance) July 29, 2015
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.
I feel really bad saying this i know the people at apple are working so hard but i hate apple music for the same UX reasons i hate/d itunes
— Xeni Jardin (@xeni) July 13, 2015
i don’t hate apple music but also i don’t love it so i guess that’s just as bad huh
— a classic dan (@dcseifert) July 22, 2015
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:
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.
So, Apple Keychain, at last we meet again for the first time for the last time.
— Mark Miller (@MarkWilbury) July 7, 2015
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.