The iOS Music App Needs Some TLC

Dan Moren on Six Colors on the iOS Music app:

If the conversations I’ve had are any indication, the Music app on iOS isn’t particularly beloved. I don’t dislike it as much as many seem to, but nor do I find it particularly compelling—I use it because it’s what’s provided. Despite being part of the core functionality of the iPhone and the iPod before it, it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention in recent versions, outside of a graphical refresh for iOS 7/8.

The main point of his piece was discussing the need to add the “Up Next” functionality found in the Mac version of iTunes that allows for on-the-fly playlist building. Instead the iOS music app essentially has no sort of of queueing system, and is particularly crappy for listening to music that isn’t part of an existing playlist, or on shuffle mode.

It is crazy that this functionality is missing from the iPhone/iPod Touch. At this point most people have given up their iPod for an iPhone and to not have this functionality on iOS when it’s there on OS X is just bizarre. Third party app Ecoute claims to have this functionality, but it doesn’t seem to work at all like it should and it’s terribly unreliable.

It does not stop there though. The Music app is somewhat crappy in general. The only way to see all songs by a particular artist is to have them grouped by album. This looks dumb when a person has a few random songs from an artist. And for an artist like The Beatles, with many, many albums this method of finding a song is a pain.

The Music app hasn’t gotten much of an upgrade–other than a fresh coat of paint with iOS 7–since the beginning. It feels log in the tooth in an unnecessary way. But the pressure to release a new version of iOS every year makes it difficult to spend a lot of time on something like the Music app. But now that the big redesign is in the rearview mirror, and the first post-redesign release is too maybe something like a redesigned Music app would make sense.