I wasn't looking for a new music service. In fact, while I have been incredibly disappointed in Apple's management of what used to be a great music service, I was hopeful it would improve. Sure the Sonos debacle upset me, but it more or less did what I needed even if the curated play lists seemed to be unattended.
But then three events occurred in my life at about the same time:
- Amazon launched an introductory (and cheap) Unlimited Music service for Alexa at $4.99 per month. While I could use Blu-tooth to play my Apple Music to Alexa, it was easier to ask for music directly by Alexa. It was fun playing with her ability to call up songs "that go like...", and calling up a "Top Christmas Music" playlist was intuitive. But I still jogged, travelled and drove with my Apple Music, relegating Amazon music to one device in my kitchen.
- Then the Echo Dot 2nd generation came out and suddenly I had one in every room in the house. Not a great speaker, but easier to play music with voice commands vs. Apple Music with Blu-tooth. So I upgraded to the full $8.99 version.
- And then I upgraded my iPhone. And Apple's slide put the final nail into their own coffin -- because our family of four has more than 10 Apple devices and (in their infinite wisdom) you are not allowed to delete a device from that list except from the device itself -- which is long gone to Gazelle by the time you find this out -- I was suddenly stuck without a working music service. Faced with a long flight to London and terrible / expensive data service there while traveling, I was forced to try Amazon music as a replacement and quickly learn how to master the subtle differences.
And it was better. Much, much better.
Playlists that you follow are actually updated often.
Playlist names are intuitive.
Lyrics are available while you listen.
You can directly control which songs download and at what quality.
Search actually works.
And suddenly I was happy again with my music service.
So having started my journey with Apple on an iPod more than a decade ago because of music, Apple Music was suddenly and unceremoniously replaced in my life by Amazon Music.
And the long slide continues...