Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

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Lester
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Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

Post by Lester » Mon Jul 06, 2015 2:50 pm

The innovators who brought you the iMac, iPhone and iPad don’t usually look backward. But with one of their signature services, iTunes, weakening against competition from streaming music providers, Apple this past week finally responded — not with any technological breakthrough but with a radio station modeled on half-century-old successes, complete with hyperkinetic DJs, relentless self-promotion and a listener request line.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html

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Re: Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

Post by cgarison » Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:16 pm

OK, I have waited a week to cast judgement because honestly, I was in total shock and horror when I first downloaded the updated Apple software on June 30th.

In all, the Beats Radio concept is moot because Apple will win market share from Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio due to their tight integration with the iPhone/iPad. What is sad is that Apple completely dropped the ball with this product and left us with a bolt on streaming application hacked into the worst piece of crap software since..... Nope. iTunes absolutely wins the worst application award of all the tools that I have used for the last 10 years and I did not have the option to purchase a better alternative to replace this "cr'application." It is a shame to be forced to use such horrible software like this to load/curate music onto that wonderful, sleek hardware that was originally my iPod and are currently the iPhones and iPads in our household. Now, having access to an album is really nice and the depth of the Apple Music catalog is wonderful, but this falls short when I want to have a mixed play list of music in the background because all I get is a 25 song "Genius Mix" which does not match the concept of streaming music in competitors like Pandora. I would also swear that the section where you follow your favorite artists was built our of old iTunes Ping code with some glossy graphics laid in to coverup the lack of substance we get compared to what was promoted at WWDC. With all the bright talent that works for Eddie Cue in those Cupertino sweat shops along Infinite Loop, Apple should be ashamed that all we have to show for this $10/month service is crappy bolt-on, polished turd functionality wrapped up in really bad copy of Google+ design style that only gives us a 25 song playlist of mix music that we want to hear.

And speaking of Google, that is the real unsung hero in the streaming audio world over the last couple of weeks. Talk about wonderful (semi)customized playlists that includes 99% of the music that I like with only 10 minutes of up front configuration time. And the playlists are really tight unlike the hodgepodge train wreck mix of music on Pandora which makes an average college radio station sound like viable competitor WNKU or WXPN. And with just a few mouse clicks I can go from a play list of modern Top40/AC Hits to something of my favorites when I was 4 years old which includes Tom T. Hall, Glenn Campbell, Don Williams, The Statler Brothers and even Dave&Sugar. (Yes, I was a weird 4 year old, but you knew that after after my last 15 years around here.) Now that is an amazing collection of music that I only expected to see from Apple Music PLUS this is from the free side of the application because I am a total tightwad and refuse to pay for a streaming service because I never paid for my radio in the corner of the room. (OK, you got me because I paid for Sirius for 3 years before I bought my first iPod.)

Hands down, Google has won my heart with their music offering and "glory be" they offer up this service through an iOS app because I have seen the light and purging the house of Android hardware that is obsoleted by the manufacturers 18-22 months from the day that the product is offered to the public.* I cannot imagine that I will give Apple that extra $10.00 a month on top of my annual iTunes match money when the Google App can stream wonderful music that my wife and I enjoy for free and I don't have to work for days curating another "Awesome Songs Mix" playlist for our iPhones/iPads on that cra..... Well you already know I hate iTunes.

* As a side rant, I have had my fill of needing to gain root access to a phone/tablet to undo the damage of a bad update from the device manufacturer (Samsung, HTC and Asus have all been guilty) just so I can use that device until my carrier contract runs out or I have reached a reasonable end of life time frame for a product of that initial price.
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Re: Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

Post by Arp2 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:57 am

Lester wrote:Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics....

...a radio station modeled on half-century-old successes, complete with hyperkinetic DJs, relentless self-promotion and a listener request line.
I apologize if I've mentioned this before here, but I'll point out that the successful English-language radio stations in places like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur generally employ a likewise "old" tactic -- dayparting!

English is pretty widely spoken in those places, so we're not talking loser stations trying block programming...we're talking winning stations that nuance their music through the day and night and whose talents are actually doing shows with loads of content and interactivity that matches not just the general lifestyle of a target but what that target is probably thinking, feeling, and doing at that very time.

There, it's the stations that are always trying to meet a single brand expectation that are the also-rans and the stations that are the also-rans that are always trying to meet a single brand expectation....it's the also-rans that are relying on the music to define their brand! Though not necessarily up to par with what we have here, the talents there are integral to the winning stations...a style of music or set of songs simply can't differentiate the stations enough to make a winning difference!

cgarison wrote:...the hodgepodge train wreck mix of music on Pandora which makes an average college radio station sound like viable competitor....
Thank you.

Ever since the first time I tried Pandora, which was in its first days, I've had the same thought. I'd tell people I spent much time and effort giving it a great idea of where the center of my target would be and the the boundaries it could poke out of, and I'll be darned if it didn't go out of its way to play anything but what I told it, making it no better than someone else's music collection....a weird someone else!
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Re: Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

Post by cgarison » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:20 pm

Arp2 wrote:employ a likewise "old" tactic -- dayparting!
I can only think of a couple of stations still left in this area (I am speaking in terms of the Delaware Valley) that use the dayparting tactic to differentiate the audiences they may have at different times of the day. In fact, I would say the art of dayparting really died when iHeart-ClearChannel fired the majority of their local talent 8 years ago and relied on a bunch of teenage, off-air "engineers" hired for slave wages to run the boards at venues with separate "iPods" filled with each events unique blend of music while the station streamed some broadcast (via the bird) from New York or LA that matched the sound of every other show they streamed from parts elsewhere. As soon as this happened, the majority of "sheeple" stations in this area followed suit with their local voice tracked shows and pretty much was the end some really good programming in the evening hours that had an eclectic feel unlike the homogenous blend for the folks at work.

Arp2 wrote:...and I'll be darned if it didn't go out of its way to play anything but what I told it, making it no better than someone else's music collection...
Pandora and I have had a pretty rocky relationship over the years. No matter how hard I tried to train the software to suit my tastes, it just came out wrong. Example, I told Pandora I wanted a station that had the musical style of The Corrs and it gave me a station of Punk Irish Folk Music. Now, I happen to have a lot of Dropkick Murphy's, Flogging Molly's and Dubliners tracks in my iTunes library, but I don't want that mixed in with my upbeat tempo lite AC. On the other hand, I asked Google Music to give me a selection of music based on The Corrs and it filled in the balance with The Cranberries, Six Pence None the Richer, Natalie Imbrulia and the like. Google gets another point.

And Poor Apple Music, their "Genius" process just has fallen to the side of crap like Pandora over the years and I don't think they are going to get it back. Apple's match does a good job a matching music for tempo and percussiveness, but they really mix genres that do not go together more often than I want to admit. I may want a nice light rock mix of music from the 80's and somewhere in the middle the Apple Genius tosses some "blaxploitation era" 70's soul music into mix. Granted, it matches the music rhythm and beats so the mix does not sound like a Jack-FM style train wreck, but the better question is why do I have Earth Wind and Fire, Isaac Hayes, and the Sugar Hill Gang mixed in with my Drop Kick Murphy's, Spice Girls, Collective Soul, Natalie Merchant, George Strait, Alicia Keys, Buck Owens, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. And how does that go with Spandau Blue.
Arp2 wrote:...a weird someone else!
OH! Pandora was playing my music collection for you. :wink:
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Re: Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

Post by cgarison » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:14 pm

And it is official. Apple Music wrecked my iPhone music library today and I had to turn off the service to keep from corrupting the new library on the restored phone. Yep, this is typical Apple with their crappy music service since the release of iOS7.

I will not be extending my 3 month trial. Google Music will be my source for streaming in the house and my iTunes library on my phone will be my mobile tunes in my car.
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Re: Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

Post by Arp2 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:58 pm

cgarison wrote:
Arp2 wrote:employ a likewise "old" tactic -- dayparting!
I can only think of a couple of stations still left in this area (I am speaking in terms of the Delaware Valley) that use the dayparting tactic to differentiate the audiences they may have at different times of the day. In fact, I would say the art of dayparting really died when iHeart-ClearChannel fired the majority of their local talent 8 years ago and relied on a bunch of teenage, off-air "engineers" hired for slave wages to run the boards at venues with separate "iPods" filled with each events unique blend of music while the station streamed some broadcast (via the bird) from New York or LA that matched the sound of every other show they streamed from parts elsewhere. As soon as this happened, the majority of "sheeple" stations in this area followed suit with their local voice tracked shows and pretty much was the end some really good programming in the evening hours that had an eclectic feel unlike the homogenous blend for the folks at work.
I think we might have different definitions of "dayparting," but that's not the end of the world or anything..... :D
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Re: Apple didn’t reinvent radio. It went back to the basics.

Post by cgarison » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:33 pm

Not really, but I get really excited about the "fringe" stuff that usually does not hit the airwaves until 7:00pm. :mrgreen: When else are you going to get a radio station to play something like "Rubber Biscuit"? Or any song by Southern Culture on the Skids?


Well, Mr. Sheehan used to toss in SCotS into regular rotation in the late 90s, but that was not normal.
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