5 ways for iTunes and Apple Music to harmonize

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Apple Music is good, but here are a few simple ways it could be great.
Photo: Apple

Yesterday’s iTunes update brought a few improvements to Apple Music as it lives on the Mac and PC. The minor tweaks and bug fixes are always welcome, but Apple Music still has a long way to go before the experience is where it should be, particularly in iTunes.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Apple Music. I switched over from Spotify and really haven’t looked back, especially since Apple Music’s recommended playlists are very spot on for me.

Still, there are a few issues with Apple Music in iTunes that frustrate me day in and day out — small things, because luckily it hasn’t screwed up my entire library. Certain features that haven’t been added yet just seem like no-brainer additions to me. There are also some elements I’d like to see removed or at least altered. Ultimately, I have five requests for Apple to improve the Apple Music experience in iTunes.

Add songs to My Music in one click

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Adding to My Music collection requires digging through a menu.
Photo: Apple

Adding a song to my music collection – something I do very frequently, and I imagine I’m not alone – is far more difficult than it should be. Apple places the heart icon next to every track so you can teach it more about your tastes, which is great, but to actually save the song I have to click the menu first and then add it.

It’s only one extra click, but it’s beyond me why a primary feature is buried in a menu. I just want to be able to search for a song and immediately save it without thinking about it.

Live search results

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Searching for music should not be this tedious.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s own Spotlight search can pull up movie showtimes before I even finish typing out the title. Why does Apple Music search in iTunes require me to type out the entire word or phrase and press Return before I can see the results?

It’s 2015. As soon as I type “Jaz” into search, I should see Jazmine Sullivan pop up as an artist with a few of her most popular songs to stream. Spotify does this beautifully, but Apple Music search is seriously lagging.

Don’t automatically add playlists to My Music

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Sometimes playlists don’t always belong in My Music.
Photo: Apple

Some people might disagree with me on this one, but hear me out. Very often I browse through suggested albums and playlists in the For You tab because I always love what Apple Music recommends. I’ve saved about 10 editor playlists to listen to, but I really don’t like how the songs in those playlists also scatter throughout My Music.

I want the option to save a playlist separately, then add it to My Music if I feel like it later. For instance, I save quite a few exercise playlists for when I go to the gym. While some of those songs are great to get me amped up, I don’t care to hear them when I put My Music on shuffle for casual listening.

Connect needs work

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It’s tough choosing between checking Connect and watching paint dry.
Photo: Apple

By far the feature I use the least in Apple Music is Connect, but it has a ton of potential. First of all, it currently looks like a boring Pinterest board in iTunes, except it doesn’t even fill the width of the app.

Apple just threw artist posts in two columns on a blank canvas and called it a day – or actually, called it Connect. The content is there, but I habitually check Facebook if I’m interested in what an artist is doing. I’d really like to see more integration among friends in Connect, too. I’d love to be able to share music privately or publicly to Apple Music friends.

Blend the iTunes Store and Apple Music

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Album pages in the iTunes Store should let Apple Music subscribers choose between streaming and buying.
Photo: Apple

It totally makes sense to keep the iTunes Store around while Apple Music grows, but the two seem at odds with each other even though they live in the same app.

Artist and album pages look completely different on the services. Also, when I’m browsing the iTunes Store, a “Play in Apple Music” button would really come in handy next to the purchasing options.

It’s possible Apple agreed to keep the iTunes Store totally free of Apple Music integration to please the record labels, but the experience right now is jarring.

These are all small quibbles in the grand scheme of things, but Apple knows better than any other company about how much attention to detail matters.