The Adding-New-Music Edition Friday, April 21, 2023

Apple's New Classical Music App Ignores Most Of The World, by Parker Hall, Wired

For its part, Apple says anything artists and labels call classical music, when added to Apple Music, can be included. I have indeed found Ravi Shankar (though few other non-Western classical musicians) on the app. What is and isn’t called classical music in the industry and world at large is a problem that stems well beyond Apple. Search for classical music on Spotify or YouTube and you'll largely be confronted with Western classical music. But as we grow into a world where music will increasingly be tagged, cataloged, and imported for us to stream, it's important we make other classical music easier to find.


If Apple decides to add new music to the current interface, there's a question of where it could even go in the current design. How would such music be categorized? The “Eras” section of the app has only European classical timelines and labels. The instruments you can say you prefer are all European classical. The composers with featured images drawn up by Apple are all in the Western classical tradition. Building a taxonomy to encompass both Western and non-Western classical music would only make sorting more complex.

How The Streaming Era Turned Music Into Sludge, by Morgan Meaker, Wired

Twenty years ago, the iTunes Music Store reshaped how we listen, but we have now arrived at another turning point blurring the definition of music. AI threatens to turbocharge sludge, making it easier than ever to produce. But if the people want sludge, why not give them sludge?

Coming Soon?

WSJ: Apple Planning To Release Journaling App, Codenamed 'Jurassic', by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

Apple is planning to launch a Day One-style iPhone journaling app to let users compile their daily activities, as part of its efforts in the physical and mental health market, reports The Wall Street Journal.


Pocket City 2 Is A Mobile SimCity But Better, by Allison Johnson, The Verge

Did you play SimCity on a floppy disk? Are you uncomfortable with the “theft” part of Grand Theft Auto but you love running around and playing mini-games? Did you quit checking Twitter and suddenly find yourself looking for things to do on your phone?

Boy, do I have a game recommendation for you. I’d like to introduce you to my newest guilty pleasure: Pocket City 2.

This App Solves One Of The Most Annoying Things About iPhone Safari’s Address Bar, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

The app is essentially a custom keyboard for your iPhone and iPad that focuses entirely on navigating through URLs.


Adware For Apple Services In iOS, by John Gruber, Daring Fireball

Promotions for services I might want? Maybe, but Apple should be extremely conservative about presenting them — especially in push notifications. Promotions for services I already pay for? That shouldn’t happen.

Grieving Mum Wins 13-month Apple Feud After Death Of Son, 30, by Rachel Alexander, StokeoStokeonTrentLive

Kate said: “Apple have treated us horribly. They would not tell me what I needed to send in to prove I am Davey’s next-of-kin. How am I supposed to send stuff if they won’t tell me what it is?

Can ActivityPub Save The Internet?, by David Pierce, The Verge

After nearly two decades of fighting for this vision of the internet, the people who believed in federation feel like they’re finally going to win. The change they imagine still requires a lot of user education — and a lot of work to make this stuff work for users. But the fundamental shift, from platforms to protocols, appears to have momentum in a way it never has before. For decades, the open web has always run into endpoints: things were handed off to SMS or email or a third party like Facebook or Twitter. Thanks to standards like ActivityPub, Dash says, “now it’s the web all the way down.”

Bottom of the Page

I certainly hope that Apple Music comes in more additional flavors, besides Apple Music Classical. Okay, perhaps many music genres does not require any additional or different set of meta-data. But it will be nice if I can just easily go to a particular genre directly, rather than, currently, switch to "Browse" tab, wait for page to load, scroll all the way down, tap on "Browse by Category", search and then, finally, tap on the desired genre.

Also, having entire universe songs in a particular language, say, Mandarin, classified under one genre, C-Pop, is, well, not that great.

Yes, I know Apple is busy building the Android app, and, hopefully the iPad and macOS (and Reality OS?) apps too. Sure, those are important too. But after that, can we have more specialized versions of Apple Music app?


Thanks for reading.