I hate to Love songs on Apple Music

By , Sep 29, 2016

Redesigned Apple Music iOS 10

While Apple likes to put emphasis on the human curation that goes behind the scenes, Apple Music is still largely powered by algorithms that learn about your music tastes by looking at your own library, but also by looking at your recent activity, including the songs you Love.

The more you play a song, the more the algorithm understands you like that song, and maybe by extension that band. If you Love a song, you’re also signaling that this is a tune you particularly enjoy. Algorithms then crunch data based on your behavior to improve music suggestions for you.

For the past year, my favorite way to train Apple Music’s algorithms was to actively Love songs. It was a quick and simple way for me to tell Apple “hey, I really like that, please play this more often and also play more songs similar to that one.”

But the big, bold, confusing mess of a redesign that happened with iOS 10 has changed a lot of things, including how you now Love songs on Apple Music.

Up until iOS 10, you could Love a song by tapping the heart icon on the Lock screen, in the Music app, or in Control Center. It was right there at your fingertips, in three different spots. It was quick. It was simple. It was convenient.

Since iOS 10 however, the process of loving a song is a complete nonsense. What was a two-step process has now become a four-step disaster:

  • Unlock phone
  • Launch Apple Music
  • Tap ellipsis
  • Tap Love

I’ll be first to admit that complaining about going from two to four steps comes across as a major first-world problem, but that’s beyond the point. The point being, why is it now so convoluted to Love a song on Apple Music if the service partly depends on this action to provide better recommendations to me?

Misery loves company, so it somewhat feels good to know I’m not the only one being frustrated at the situation.

How could Apple make this right then?

Well, the answer to me is a pretty simple one: just bring back the heart icon on the Lock screen, in Control Center, and in the Now Playing widget in the Apple Music app. Maybe just display that icon for Apple Music subscribers only, because it really benefits just them.

This said, something tells me that Apple deliberately hid the Love icon for the sake of its never ending quest for simplification. In short, form once again prevailed over function.

But if Apple doesn’t want to show that unsightly heart icon, why not add 3D Touch gestures to the music widgets on the Lock screen, and in Control Center? This would surely keep the icon out of sight while still offering a quick and easy way to Love songs.

Until this is improved, I know I won’t go out of my way to Love songs, which is a shame since this feature is designed to make my experience better.

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  • [RECON1]

    I guess they only left the star for “play more like this” or “play less like this” when you create a station from a particular artist?

  • askep3

    So I’ve never really loved any songs, and the recommendations work fine, just from what’s in my library and what I listen to. I only love the songs I really like, so I don’t really mind the extra steps.

  • Rob

    U can ‘love’ a song from the ‘now playing’ screen on your Apple Watch, that’s the easiest way I find to do it now they’ve taken away the heart from the lockscreen. Wish they would just bring it back tho.

  • Troy

    I’m just happy that they finally have dislike

  • Vic O.

    It’s NOT a first world problem. IT IS a functional problem. I totally agree with you “Love”-ing a song should be an action you perform instantaneously; you should not have to dig into sub-menus to like a song. It’s almost akin to digging into sub-menus to fast forward or pause a song. Long story short: the love button should reside in the general area of the song controls (pause, play, …)

    • Diego Milano

      Oh, but I do get Sebastien’s point when he said IT IS a “first-world problem.”
      But the thought hasn’t really come across my mind when I read this.
      At the end of the day, the world would be a better place if everything we complained about were stuff like this. 🙂

  • Riley Freeman

    absolutely hate apples music player. the shuffle system is terrible

  • Myung Chul Park

    Agreed. It’s a total mess.

  • Srujan Mishra

    I have never been a big fan of the redesigned Music app on iOS 10. I still prefer the design in iOS 9. I disliked it first when I got my hands on the iOS 10 beta, and I still do. There was more content in display in iOS 9, but Music in iOS 10 has those bold and BIG typeface that takes up more screen real estate. Add to that I cannot “like” songs on the lock screen; that used to be a neat feature. I also loved the larger album art on lock screen in iOS 9.

  • Yered Martinez

    Another really dumb thing they’ve done is: To force you to download music from a certain artist by having to get into every single album you want then tap download. Instead of just being in the artist’s main page and just tapping the cloud for downloading all the songs you currently have on your library.
    two biggest mistakes her, “Hidden” love music and dumb download system…