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Apple Music.

UPDATE: Turns out that the album recommendations from Apple Music are algorithmically generated but the playlists are only human created.

I also got some albums recommended now that were obviously algorithmic so it definitely works, so disregard my comments below that Apple Music doesn't do algorithmic recommendations.

I don't normally write reviews on my blog but I figured this was as good of a place as any to post my feelings.

I've used Apple Music since June 30th and today is the 4th of July so I've only really used it for about five days. It might seem like a short time but I already have some pretty clear opinions.

To give some back story I've used quite a few streaming services over the years along with also running iTunes Match. Most recently I've been an Rdio subscriber and a Google Play Music user.

Basically I like both but don't love either, and they both have things that I don't like. However in combination they do show some true greatness.

Now, looking at Apple Music in comparison basically it does everything Play Music does and has a better catalogue so there it is just clearly better.

Comparing it to Rdio is less of a 1:1 though as they have some different approaches to things.

In terms of catalogue they seem about the same, so there it is a draw I think. This might be a bit different in some way I haven't noticed yet as it hasn't been super-long. It is also nice to be able to cover holes in the catalogue with my own tracks in my iTunes library.

The way the different services do recommendations is very different. Apple Music goes for human curation and Rdio uses algorithms.

This means that Apple Music gets more cohesive playlists and they can solve problems in connections in ways computers can't based on what algorithms can automate today.

It also means that it's dependent on one person on staff having the same taste as you for the recommendations to be any good. As someone with a wide taste in music I've found that they are better within some genres than others, but in the genres where they are good they are really good.

As a related note to Apple; If you need someone to put together playlists for more extreme genres like Black Metal drop me a line and I can hook you up.

On the other hand Rdio does have all the issues that algorithms have over humans. It will sometimes think two artists are similar because a lot of people listen to both etc and will give some crazy transitions.

It will sometimes strike pure gold though when in truly obscure territory even when you're listening to stuff Apple is unlikely to ever hire someone who listens to enough to write manual recommendations about.

So, no obvious winner there, and neither is really a strong swaying argument either way.

I really couldn't care less about Connect or Beats 1, so those are a wash.

The Apple Music app is better in some ways and the Rdio Apple others. To me the biggest thing I wish Apple Music did better is last.fm integration. It sucks both in iTunes and on my iPhone.

The Apple Music app has nicer management of "up next" and doesn't use flash on the desktop which is huge.

The Siri integration on the iPhone is KILLER. It is amazing in the car, and except for a few problems with overlap in names it has pretty much been perfect.

So far Apple Music has been really great, and with some work from Apple and from the developer community to fill in any holes I think it will be near perfect eventually.