Aug 18, 2015
Jul 1, 2015
Blog post title pretty much says it all, but let me go into details and get my frustrations out, so please read on.
First, let me make a disclaimer. I have owned several iPods, been a Mac user since 1995 and currently own a 27" iMac, a MacBook, iPhone and an iPad. My entire family is Mac-only with several computers and iDevices on hand. We're not Apple Fanboys or Fangirls, but we bought into the whole ecosystem, have supported and enjoyed it for a long time.
As far as music goes, for most part I stopped buying CDs years ago and even stopped buying mp3s since the streaming music services have become indispensable as they do not take any rack space, cataloguing is easy and for most part music is literally at your fingertips, and whether you're in a car, walking or sitting at home, you're only a few swipes or taps away from music from your favourite bands.
The streaming service I've been using for a few years now is Rdio, not by choice, by default. I'm in Canada, and as is the case with most everything, we are few years behind when it comes to technology and internet services. Until Spotify finally arrived in Canada, choices were slim and even when Spotify did finally get here, I was deeply rooted in various playlists and had a sizeable library, not to mention that the social networking of Rdio is actually quite good. I gave Spotify a shot but it was too late to sway me away.
When Apple bought the trendy headphones brand Beats, with a full intention of overcharging for their gear of questionable quality and using their assets and client base to set up a streaming service, I was a bit apprehensive about it. I was worried that this will be a service geared towards the Top 40 crowd with little to no way to discover new music. Apple's keynote on June 8, during the WWDC had me convinced that this might indeed be a service to dethrone Rdio as my streaming venue. After all Rdio is not perfect, their desktop app is fantastic, but as the screen real estate becomes an issue on mobile devices, the experience suffers, I also found Rdio's service to be notoriously slow outside of a wifi network and the combination of buried submenus and an incomplete catalogue left me wanting more. Something I thought Apple would be able to provide.
Well, let me just say this, not since the days of PageMaker have I been more frustrated with a service or software.
Apple music should not have entered beta stage yet, and for metalheads especially, it is not even worthy of the 3 month free trial. Here's why:
It took us over 3 hours of pure frustration resulting in screams of agony to set up a family account. There are three of us using streaming music at home. First, in order to experience Apple Music, you had to download iOS 8.4 update, which on our iPads/iPhones took anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, guessing Apple servers were running hot that evening. Setting up family account was an experience I would not recommend to those I hate, especially those who have ever had to change their Apple ID in the past, as was my case, so I'll skip that part, as your experience might have been less annoying and the less I have to be reminded of how shitty it was, the better.
On desktop, Apple Music resides inside the world's biggest bloatware known as iTunes and this is where the troubles only begin. iTunes is a mishmash of odd interfaces, confusing work-arounds and headscratching decisions that make Windows 3.1 troubleshooting seem like a charming task. When you finally launch Apple Music, you're greeted with the goofy Apple Watch interface that lets you pick music genres (to my surprise Metal was actually there) - one tap indicates that you like it, two taps means you love it, tap and hold for few seconds eliminates a genre. On an iMac this was faster and far less pretentious, since on mobile it took me a long time to close up all bogus music styles such as R&B, hip hop, electronica, pop, etc, etc. You'd think that by now Apple would know I couldn't give two shits about other music. Death to all but Metal!
You're then presented with the same annoying Apple Watch-style bubble choices of Metal bands to narrow your search further and for Apple to "get to know" you. Some of the bubble icons representing metal included such stellar metallers such as Disturbed, Nickelback or Kiss.
Once I selected a few metal bands from the list that I actually like, I was greeted with the home screen of Apple Music with such choices running at the bottom:
For You: oh, look, heart. Gay
New: Mostly Top 40 stuff = useless
Radio: useless, got one in the car
Connect: Only Avril Lavigne photos (why?)
My Music: Link to music I already have on my iPhone. WTF? Did I need to update to Apple Music to get a feature I've had for years?
In the middle you have a few Apple Music generated playlists for Metalheads, so I open the first one called The A-List: Metal.
What's in it?
As Apple would say: "beautifully curated music, especially for me"
So, based on my band choices, Apple gave me this personalized 25-song playlist with such songs as "1000HP by Godsmack, "Rabbits Foot" by Turbowolf and "Gimme Chocolate" by BabyMetal. No, I wish I was fucking with you.
Then I get this:
OK, back on my Mac, I'm now playing some Enslaved. I tried clicking the "+" icon to see what options I get. All I got was a check mark, meaning either the song or the album just got added somewhere, but where? To a playlist, to mobile, where?
Now I'm back on my freshly rebooted iPad. I'm looking up Napalm Death, (as I get more frustrated, I'm looking up more aggressive shit.) To my astonishment it finds lots of Napalm Death albums. On the right it finds similar artists. I see Carcass and Bolt Thrower, makes sense, they are similar bands. It also finds Nile and Deicide, ok that's a stretch, but I'll take it, but why the fuck are all these bands labeled as "Rock" bands, Pig Destroyer is labeled as "Metal", so is Godflesh, but somehow Immortal is rock, so is Marduk, Nasum, Satyricon and Anal Cunt. Brujeria is labeled as Alternative!!! WTF?! I see that Belphegor is there, so I tap on it to see the artist page. Nothing. Tap again. Nothing. I'm boiling over in frustration at this point. I fuckin need some Belphegor! I'm thinking something is wrong with my iPad, I borrow my daughter's iPad Mini. Same shit. On any band's page, you see a list of similar artists, but you can't tap on them at all. You can on Apple Music on the computer however.
At this point I'm completely ruined, my nerves are shot, my throat hurts from screaming.
As I am clearing my head and drowning my sorrows in Heineken, I'm listening to "ballistic punk rock of Carcass" right now and I can tell you that Apple Mu
Jan 14, 2015
Dec 9, 2014
First Phil Anselmo smokes his pot, then he lets the man walk on people shortly after Jesus took a dive during December 1, 2014 live show in San Antonio. Fast forward to 2:25 if you're impatient.
Nov 6, 2014
Somewhere between hitting drums, hitting his own dishwashers and hiring hitmen, AC/DC's Phil Rudd's ultimate bad ass Breaking Bad transformation has been captured by Ultimate Classic Rock.
May 19, 1954: Phil Rudd (full name: Phillip Hugh Norman Witschke Rudzevecuis) is born in Melbourne, Australia.
1973: He forms Buster Brown with future Rose Tattoo singer Gary “Angry” Anderson.
December 1974: After recording one album (‘Something to Say’) with Buster Brown, Rudd auditions for and joins AC/DC. Over the next decade, the group become international superstars.
April 1983: Rudd parts ways with AC/DC after recording his drum parts for the album ‘Flick of the Switch.’ Reports vary as to whether he quit or was fired, but drug and alcohol abuse, as well as personality conflicts with guitarist Malcolm Young, have been cited as factors for his departure.
1994: He rejoins AC/DC after being invited to several informal jam sessions by Malcolm and Angus Young. Beginning with 1995′s ‘Ballbreaker,’ Rudd has appeared on every studio album and tour since that time, including the upcoming 2014 release ‘Rock or Bust.’
Oct. 7, 2010: Rudd is caught by police with 25 grams of cannabis aboard his boat in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is convicted for possession of marijuana that December, but in April of 2011 the conviction was wiped from his record after it was argued that it would keep him from traveling abroad for AC/DC tours.
July 2011: He branches out into a new venture by announcing that he will open a seafood restaurant in Tauranga called “Phil’s Place.”
July 2012: Three employees at Phil’s Place are fired following an incident in which his dinner order was delivered to his airport hangar instead of his boat. Rudd reportedly verbally abused the staff and kicked the back door and a garbage can. He is subsequently sued for wrongful termination, and the restaurant is closed until April 2013.
March 5, 2014: The drummer is accused of lying when he fails to mention his 2010 marijuana conviction on his application for a New Zealand pilot’s license. A judge clears him of the charge due to insufficient evidence.
March 11, 2014: The Employee Relations Authority rules in favor of the former employees in the wrongful termination case stemming from the July 2012 incident. Rudd is ordered to pay $72,000 New Zealand dollars, the equivalent of more than $55,600 in U.S. dollars.
Aug. 29, 2014: Rudd releases his first-ever solo album, ‘Head Job,’ which features the single, ‘Repo Man.’
Oct. 4, 2014: AC/DC film videos for two songs from ‘Rock or Bust’ without Rudd. Singer Brian Johnson explains that a “family emergency” kept the drummer from attending the shoot.
Oct. 16, 2014: AC/DC raises eyebrows by posting a new group photo without Rudd on their Facebook page. The band offers no official explanation for the omission.
Nov. 5, 2014: Rudd is charged with attempting to procure a murder, possession of methamphetamine, possession of cannabis and threatening to kill after police searched his home in Mauta, New Zealand.
Nov. 6, 2014: AC/DC issue a statement that offered no comment on the arrest, but declares that “Phil’s absence will not affect the release of our new album ‘Rock or Bust’ and upcoming tour next year.”