Apple have rolled out Apple Music with the Radio Beats 1 up and running from the beginning.
So far in my opinion its great. Not really much difference to other streaming sites like Spotify amongst others but this is Apple. It takes what others do and polishes it up so much that the sparkle creates a shadow across everyone else in the Industry.
To start with it is an iOS 8.4 feature and above only. I assume they use this as the carrot dangled to get people on the latest iOS version. Once i had updated to 8.4 OTA i went to Apple.com on mobile Safari and clicked for my free trial. 3 months is a great incentive to sign up. The best bit? It is of course tied in with your AppStore Account! So no payments needed, no digging out cards, you just let Apple "accept payment" from the card on file and after the 3 months they will begin charging you $9.99/£9.99/€9.99 a month. A bit of an issue there as the currency fluctuation means to pay in one currency could mean you get it cheaper than another user in another country.
After signing up you are whizzed through a couple of screens opening and closing until you end up in the Music App which has had a re-design. Now it is all about the streaming with "My Music" relegated far right. Selecting that takes you back to the old template with your familiar options.
To begin with the process has you select genres that you like and that you love. From there you choose the artists who you like and love. This is a great feature which personalises your own selections on the first page. Kind of like a quick selector, i hope to see this refresh and change maybe weekly.
Looking at the "new" tab shows you...new music! The chance to find new artists and new albums as well as peruse hot tracks and top songs. Checking out "more top charts" opens up a list as long as your arm which would certainly satisfy the most eclectic music lover, from rock to pop through jazz, blues and classical, ending up in the country of choice chart leaves you feeling like there is nothing missing so far. The streaming service is actually filled with 30 million songs thanks to iTunes.
The "Radio" tab not only lets you listen to the flagship Beats 1 radio station currently available in 100 countries but also offers up choices of "featured stations" as well as a radio station for every single genre available. It's a hell of a lot of radio for a person to listen to!
"Connect" seems to be the option to add more artists to your own personalised playlist set up where you "follow" and "unfollow" them. This helps in case at the beginning of your set up you missed out or couldn't find some artists.
A real handy feature i do enjoy is the chance to export the tracks straight into "My Music" which means you can export any number of songs and turn it in to a playlist! Perfect not only for coffee shops, birthdays and get togethers but DJ's as well that use their iTunes library to perform from. No longer do you need HDD space as Apple hold all the files for you!
The streaming is fast, which i would expect from Apple, there is probably a 3 second delay between selecting a track and it starting up. I can live with that. The sound is crisp enough for me as well. I am so far unsure at the quality it is streamed in but i would expect it to be AAC.
If i had to suggest a streaming service i would certainly pick up Apple Music over Spotify for many reasons. The deep integration in to your iTunes music is one of the biggest reasons.