Bloomberg is reporting that Apple Music will be getting a pretty big overhaul this year:
Following a management shakeup, the service’s new look is being overseen by content head Robert Kondrk and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. Design chief Jony Ive’s team also has provided input, along with Iovine and Eddy Cue, the senior vice president in charge of Internet services.
9to5Mac has more on what the new look may be, and it’s described as a more “black and white” interface:
The new user-interface ditches the current colorful and translucent look in favor of a simpler design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text. For instance, the user interface in the albums view will no longer change in appearance based on the color of a particular album’s art. While the new interface will eschew color in the user-interface, album artwork will become “huge” and a larger part of the interface in order to avoid a dull black and white look, according to people who have seen the updated Apple Music service.
There’s a small aside at the bottom saying that iTunes itself will get a minor update this year with a larger revamp expected next year. My argument has long been that iTunes needs to be separated into different apps. There’s just too much going on. I’m still using, and for the most part enjoying, Apple Music. The ability to combine my library with the Apple Music library remains the killer feature for me, but god damn when the bugs hit they are infuriating. I currently have two versions of “Thrice” in my library even though they’re named the same and I’ve checked all the sorting options and tried renaming them multiple times. I mean what the hell.
Dessner said of the studio, “We need a new home because everybody is scattered,” since frontman Matt Berninger now lives in Los Angeles and Bryce splits his time between the Catskills and Paris. He adds that he’s “been really, really working hard on the National stuff now, so that’s mainly, almost every day,” and that they will “do the whole record there, because it’ll just be fun and a good feeling.”
“But those first ideas that I sent, they said ‘nothing’s really doing it for us.’ [see above and below for the rejected album artworks] There was an illustration, however, that I’d worked on about a year and a half ago that I’d parked up and not got round to finishing. I looked at it and thought how California, to me, is about driving, the birth of the hot-rod and that whole lifestyle – so it made sense if it had a car in it. So that was the first checkpoint for me where I realised it was working. I sent that idea over and Matt [Skiba] and Travis were like ‘that’s the one. That the shit!’ But, to be honest with you, Mark [Hoppus] was like ‘I’m not so sure…’ – so it wasn’t straightforward, let’s put it like that!”
Seeing some of the rejected art ideas is pretty cool, but I’m definitely more of a fan of what they ended up with.
Blink-182 continued their media blitz yesterday with Live 105’s Kevin Klein. Mark Hoppus talks about how Tom DeLonge’s Facebook post came as a surprise and how he hadn’t spoken to Tom in over a “year and a half,” how he is really just focused on this new album, and how great it’s been to work with Matt Skiba.
Last week, I saw The Spill Canvas play in New York. This is a band whose albums Sunsets and Car Crashes and No Really, I’m Fine had a profound impact on shaping my musical tastes during my youth. This show got me thinking a lot about the infrastructure of band reunions, and how the typical life cycle of bands seems completely foreign to me in this era of music consumption. The show itself was astounding, and I’ll talk about it more later, but it definitely made me ponder a variety of questions about the life-cycle of a band in the hours and days after the show.
John Paul Titlow, writing for Fast Company, looks at Pandora and their attempt to fight back the big streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music:
By shifting toward on-demand subscriptions, Pandora is hoping to add a new, much deeper layer of data and understanding to its artificial brain. By creating artist-based stations and thumbing songs, listeners can teach Pandora a lot—but behaviors like saving albums and listening to them on repeat or adding individual songs to playlists are vastly more informative (as Spotify and Apple already know). Right now, if you’re obsessed with the new Rihanna album, Pandora has no idea. These are the types of blind spots the service needs to fill in, especially if it wants to target superfans with special perks.
Data is just as crucial when it comes to selling concert tickets.
I’m fascinated by the idea of big music data and how it can find the perfect next band or album for a listener. I think Pandora is smart to be moving into trying to tie their music service into other things like selling concert tickets. But, I’m bearish on the company as a whole. They’ve been relegated to what is basically a feature in other apps and there’s no reason to pay for something you already get in a good enough fashion somewhere else.
This first impression was originally posted as a live blog for supporters in our forums on May 3rd, 2016. First impressions are meant to be quick, fun, initial impressions on an album or release as I listen to it for the first time. It’s a running commentary written while listening to an album — not a review. More like a diary of thoughts. This post has been lightly edited for structure and flow.
Let’s take a listen to the new Saosin album. Same thing goes as before — spoilers abound, I reserve the right to change my opinion as time goes on. I’ve got multiple beers sitting in front of me, and I’m hitting play and just going to type out my thoughts as I listen.