There was a lot of noise about Apple Music competing with Spotify in iOS 10 with the algorithmically generated New Music playlist. I’ve been doing more driving than usual lately and got a chance to check out the New Music playlists. There’s been some gems, but there’s a lot of stuff I don’t like. That’s alright though—you want to have your boundaries pushed.
The Favorites Mix playlists, however, have been amazing. And that really makes sense. I’ve been putting music into iTunes since 2002, and I’ve been a stickler about rating songs over the years. When Apple Music came out, I took everything I’d rated 4 or 5 stars and “loved” it.
Apple has my ratings, songs I’ve loved, everything I’ve bought from the iTunes Store, and (if they pass this data to the cloud) my play counts and last played data. That’s almost 15 years of data, probably somewhere north of 100,000 played songs (last.fm has me at about 64k plays, but that doesn’t cover everything).
So, yeah, Apple should be able to make good playlists of my favorites. They’ve done a pretty good job. There’s some exceptions (interstitial tracks from albums I like), but they’ve been unearthing songs I may not have listened to in years. When I’m not sure what to listen to, the Favorites Mix has been a go-to, and it hasn’t really missed yet.
I just need to make sure I leave room for the New Music mixes …