But I do love the feeling of beating the system. You know those offers you see from various companies who say you can use their services for free for a period but at the end they will start charging you? I love those. It's not that hard to setup a reminder in your calendar to cancel something on a future date so why not enjoy something for nothing? Free magazines, free food, free movies, I get them all and I never pay a penny for any of it because I'm good about canceling right when I need to. It's like taking candy from a baby.
Besides, I like having my own library. It's like going to a restaurant and ordering something familiar on the menu. In fact, during my first week with Apple Music when I was still figuring out how to use it I had a funny thing happen. I got into my car and started to play what I thought was an Apple Music "For You" playlist. Every song was great. In fact, I couldn't believe how well Apple had honed in on what I liked as if they knew me personally. I took a closer look at my phone to get the name of this magical playlist and realized I was actually in My Music playing on shuffle.
Apple did something totally unexpected when they announced their service's pricing structure. They offered a family plan for $14.99 a month. They effectively blew up my formula which says that at $10/month for an individual, the present value of the music you are giving up is over $8000. For me, that is just too high. I estimated that if I purchase every song that I really like for the next forty years that it's going to add up to less than eight grand. So it's cheaper for me to own.
But if you divide the cost by multiple family members, the equation drastically changes. Adding a spouse and one child essentially cuts the cost in half which gives major pause. Imagine taking a sixty-thousand-dollar BMW 340i out for a test drive just for grins and giggles with no intention of buying it, and when you get back the salesman says they'll let you have it for thirty thousand. Uh, what?! Another aspect of the family plan that works in Apple's favor is that the person who pays for the plan is now under pressure from those who do not to sign up.
Apple Music so far has been awesome. I absolutely love getting access to all the music in iTunes for what seems like free of charge. I know there's going to be a monthly fee but you aren't conscious of it when you simply tap the little + symbol by a song or album to add it to your library. My wife, who's never streamed a song in her life, has been absolutely giddy adding song after song to her library. She normally hesitates to purchase her own music, buying about three albums a year. So “try and see” works well for her.
I've also been really enjoying the suggested playlists in the "For You" section which more often than not hits the target. I like the logical organization of the sections at the bottom, especially the brilliant move of putting My Music in the all-important lower right corner where my right thumb can get at it. On my iPhone the lower right corner is hallowed ground for only the anointed ones.
The service is still a little buggy for me, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm using the Beta version of iOS 9 or if it's an inherent problem with Apple Music. I periodically get one song playing while a different song is displayed on my screen. But the nice thing about Apple is that they have a track record of methodically improving their software and squashing bugs that people complain about. So I'm not too worried at this point.
So I'm the guy who crunched the numbers and said that streaming makes no sense. Am I going to sign up for Apple Music? Yes. Apple's family rate alters the equation too far in my direction to ignore. Plus I'm having a blast adding new stuff to my library without worrying about buyer's remorse. But here's the main reason. The other day I was musing out loud to my wife that I was planning on canceling our Apple Music subscription. She shot me a look of great disapproval and told me not to even think about it.