Today, you'll find the "Highlights" section of the Beats Music app packed with romantic bon bons, including love-tune playlists curated by the likes of
Match that, Whitman's Sampler.
A cut apart
Streaming music services have been making quite a noise, with Pandora and Spotify the most widely used and now iTunes Radio booming in "freemium" form with commercials and severe limits on content selections.
Beats Music, backed by the same music-industry heavies (producer/artist Dr. Dre, Universal Records exec
First a Complaint: As a major music man, it does tick me off that the Beats Music app doesn't open with a lengthy posting of available new album and singles releases, as you find on other subscription services like Rhapsody,
Instead, Beats spotlights just a couple of the week's debuts in their "Highlights" section. Ostensibly, that's because they're culling just "the best" for you. But four weeks into the service's existence (anyone can start with a free trial), their definition of "best" seems more like "most mass appeal."
That's appropriate for the big bulge of casual listeners that Beats hopes to lure into the fold with commercials on the Super Bowl and Olympics, co-sponsored by
Also exciting is the operation's on-the-beat music-magazine attitude. The morning after the Grammys, every big winner was available on that highlights page, with a specially enduring nod given to country comer
Within a few hours of
Then on Wednesday, after snowboard superstar
Personal to you: As originally executed by Pandora, Beats Music also uses a computer-weighted music-analysis system to suss what you like (from prior selections and thumbs-up/thumbs-down votes), then serve more "affinity" artists. But there's also a human aspect to Beats' fine-tuning intended to eliminate, say, those crappy karaoke versions that tarnish other services. Beats' extra-robust data streaming rate -- 320 kilobits per second -- likewise shows an extra level of respect for your sensitive ears.
When first signing on, you tap word balloons to define favorite genres and artists. Cute 'n' easy. The alt-rock, folk and jazz recommendations have proven terrific. And, thanks in part to Iovine, I'm thinking, Beats has all the riches of the ECM jazz label that rival subscription services have yet to nab.
Beats Music is still a work in progress, though. After "liking" Manu DiBango, an African jazz saxophonist who took up residence in
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