Why is it that a 3rd party music service is more directly integrated across multiple platforms than the platform owner itself?
Apple is bringing this idea of an ecosystem to the floor, but it seems to be failing to capitalise with some of it’s simplest products.
Comparing Spotify to iTunes, you’d struggle to think which of these products was created by the platform owner.
Spotify can continue playing on device A where device B left off. It can choose songs to be played on device B from device C, whilst downloading a playlist to device A. All of these devices are designed and manufactured by Apple, and yet the Apple music ecosystem is nowhere near as well implemented as this upstart.
Slow, confusing iTunes Match, A non-existant “social” integration (Ping, lol), iTunes Radio’s US-only Pandora/LastFM also-ran, Questionable Genius selections, Managing “Authorised” devices. It all takes it’s time and it’s toll on a supposedly premium experience.
It also disappoints in the supposedly simple functionality whereby you have a song on your computer, and you want to put it on your high-end mobile phone. The most fundamental of tasks — “take this song and put it on my phone” — and it’s a multi-step needlessly complicated process that pays no attention to the way we live our digital lives.
No wonder streaming music services are so popular.
Traditionally, tight integration between software and hardware have been enough to differentiate Apple from the rest, but in a world where organisations must integrate software, hardware and services the biggest company in the world is falling short, and put to shame by well-integrated third party applications.
Spotify on iPad
by Simon C Roberts