Posted on Monday, February 10th, 2014 by Will Hagle
Beats Music service combines the power of human curation with technology to deliver the right online music at the right time.
Beats Music is the much-hyped music streaming service offered by Beats headphones creators Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. The Spotify/Rdio alternative was given a further boost to its reputation when Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor was named chief creative officer. The basic concept behind the service is that the Beats Music staff hand-selects and delivers the right music for the perfect mood, situation and time. The primary method in which the service makes these specific selections is through a feature called “The Sentence,” in which users select a sequence of words based on where they are, what they’re doing and what they want to listen to. The Beats app then begins playing a radio station based on those preferences. While writing this article, for instance, I typed in “I’m AT HOME and feel like WORKING with MYSELF to AMERICANA.” The app then began playing “Still Climbing Mountains” by Blue Highway, and a radio station of folksy, Americana tunes followed.
The service is currently available for a 7-day free trial. Or, if you’re already an AT&T subscriber, a 3-month free trial. Aside from those promotions, the service costs $9.99/month or $119.88/year. The app features over 20 million songs, similar to the amount featured on comparable services such as Spotify. The app attempts to distinguish itself from those companies by offering a superior music discovery service, and it has definitely succeeded in its efforts. The app has several playlists created by well-established curators such as Pitchfork and Rap Radar, as well as Beats Music-created playlists with a specific musical purpose such as “Intro to Ice Cube.” Like Pandora and other services, Beats Music better learns your musical preferences the more you indicate you like or dislike tracks. The major downside of Beats Music is that there isn’t currently a desktop client. The entire experience takes place on mobile devices, which is great, but the ability to listen from a desktop or laptop computer would be an added bonus in the future.