I have been reading a lot of articles online about the Apple Music streaming business and streaming as a whole. I have to say, that the more I look at this, and investigate what is the underpinning philosophy behind it, as well as much of Apple’s direction since the passing of Steve Jobs, the more I become both concerned and disgusted with Apple. Much to my chagrin, Apple, post Steve Jobs, has become “Big Brother” incarnate. The company seems to have forgotten all that was “different” of the “Think Different” philosophy of Steve Jobs. The company now is Big Brother, just like in their famous Super Bowl commercial that advertised the arrival of the Mac in 1984.
Steve Jobs spoke in the 2003 Apple Keynote address, and said concerning streaming services:
“These services treat you like a criminal. And they are subscription-based, and we think subscriptions are the wrong path. One of the reasons we think this is because people bought their music for as long as we can remember… When you own your music, it never goes away.” ~ Steve Jobs, April 28, 2003
Steve Jobs was introducing the iTunes Store at the time.
Last week Apple introduced Apple Music. Its own subscription music service for $9.99 a month, joining the ranks of other streaming services such as Spotify. And all of a sudden, the undergirding philosophy of being different was swept away, all for the sake of dominance of the market, innovation was placed on the altar of profits and personal freedom and the choice of the user. All this under Tim Cook’s ‘watch’ (pun intended).
Apple Music Streaming Business is Just the Latest Symptom of What is Wrong With Apple
Last week I commented on a tech blog and the backlash of some Apple Addicts was really out there. This seems to have provoked a lot of interaction, backlash, and in some cases resistance to where Apple is headed as a corporation. Here are my observations.
The Flawed Idea Behind the Eco-system Philosophy
I remember Steve Jobs speaking of the importance of the eco-system in iOS and Mac OS, and how important all the apps were to making it an integrated and well functioning system. This made sense when you thought about iOS devices being connected to the Mac OS, but most people are not connected to the Mac OS. Most people are connected to the PC’s. So, part of what Apple was doing and is still doing is promoting brand and integration, to increase hardware sales for their other iOS and computer products. I don’t blame them for wanting to make a profit and for expanding their brand. That is what businesses do.
Apple is over-reaching and it is coming at the price that users are feeling when it comes to restricted choices and options. The Apple Music service is just one more thing added to the Apple brand that is being pushed on to users, and there is really no choice in the matter. Apple Music is integrated in iTunes.
This is the exact same tactic that happened, when iCloud was introduced into the Mac OS and iOS. It was a subtle intro by Steve Jobs, but since his passing, Tim Cook has really upped the ante and made some hardware and software choices that take away user choice and freedom. Forcing iCloud on users by showing how you could sync things with all your iOS devices and your MacBook Pro, was a tempting gambit. However, it was used as leverage to get users to buy in to the various storage plans available for iCloud. 5 ‘free’ gigabytes means nothing to a corporation. But tie in all your hardware and devices and backing things up in the cloud, well you need storage for that. And this is where the integrated eco-system and software comes in to driver consumers to buy a monthly package, which are profits in Apple’s coffers. Caching! Caching!
Now comes along Apple Music, and the streaming service of $9.99 per month, can you hear it? Caching! Caching! $ $ $ The same attitude, arrogance all over again, like they have been doing since they introduced iOS 7. Now all the more trying to get more and more people to buy in and to conform to what Apple thinks the digital life should look like.
Their credo is no longer: Think Different. The new Apple Creed is: Ubiquity. The state or capacity of being everywhere, especially at the same time. That is what is behind iCloud, and now Apple Music, and Apple’s views and beliefs about WIFI and being online. No independence. No freedom of thought or expression. When it is to Apple’s bottom line, “Thinking Different” is not relevant, and distinction and uniqueness and the power of freedom of choice is discarded and conformity is championed as virtue.
The recent issues that many have discovered with switching to Apple Music and the damage it caused their music libraries is enough to reinforce the dangers of letter corporations like Apple control both the cloud and your personal computer and its data. People can whine all day about the virtues of the cloud, but when integration and coordination between the cloud service destroys and compromises the music libraries that people have bought, then that company that infringed on user freedom of choice and user owned music libraries.
This whole philosophical approach to technology and life in this century has led to strained personal relationships, and has led corporations to tactics of “divide and conquer” and new alliances have been formed, where none existed before. Apple has become “Big Brother” and all the other technology companies especially know that just because Apple doesn’t respond right away, it is always watching (like Big Brother) and is evaluating the trends in society, and as it does, the only give away, is when there are leaks online about Apple registering new patents. Registering them does not mean new technologies will emerge, but it does guarantee that Apple will have it’s brand protected. This is how far and how wide Apple’s tentacles reach.
I discovered first hand how difficult it is to make choices in purchases of hardware. I do not want my choices impeded or restricted. I want the best that I can afford, and I want it for a particular reason. Apple at one time understood that concept, for even in the evolution of the iPod, it provided all kinds of choices and options for users. I am one of those people that still uses an iPod Nano (5th Generation), when I listen to audio books or music, and it is for a limited amount of time. The point is, I have a choice and I made a choice. I like the ecosystem in this sense, that I can have the same music and videos on my iPod, iPad and MacBook Pro. BUT, that is for a limited amount of things and activities that I engage with.
I loved it when Apple first decided to go into the phone business. I live in Waterloo, the ancestral home of Blackberry/RIM. I have never liked Blackberry and I used to giggle at its own demise as it failed to continue to evolve and innovate, and failed to listen to its user base. Apple is treading dangerously close to that same fine line. A lot of faithful Apple users are reaching that point, whether it is about the iOS, or the Mac OS or changes in hardware and other things Apple changes as if on a whim. It will drive people away from the company.
Anyway, over the last couple of years, since the iPhone 4S, my wife and I have considered getting iPhones. The biggest argument against it was the cost of the cell phone plans in Canada, coupled with the cost of the iPhone with the plan. So we would be on this roller-coaster trying to decide. This went on over an almost 3 year span. We loved the idea of being integrated in the same eco-system, and having it all connected to the Mac OS and our MacBook Pro’s and our iPads. But for me something changed.
What Matters More is Freedom of Choice & Not Being Dictated to By Corporations
What matters most to me at this point in time in my life, is not the integrated system, and all the apps that can be on the iPhone, iPod and iPad, and the “seamless connectivity” between all the Apple hardware and software, but rather, the freedom for me to be able to choose the device I want for the reasons I want.
So I am championing the right of users to freedom of choice and to not be infringed on or restricted by the corporate elites who only think of all the dollars and cents they make. Corporations do not care about doing the right thing or fostering and encouraging the freedoms of others to choose.
Time to Resist, Rebel and Re:Imagine Our Use of Technology
I am actively resisting Apple and am rebelling against its vain attempts to gain conformity and ubiquity from not only its hard core users and fans, but from all others who use maybe one device and who get drawn into the need to add more of Apple’s menu of items to their digital life.
It is time to REBEL!
You can best rebel, by taking an attitude that you do not have to conform to what others are doing, and that you can make your own choices, based on cost, based on the best features, and the best overall meeting of your needs, and that you will not be dictated to by the corporate elites or the media. You can rebel and you should rebel, for you are a rebel with a cause, a just cause. No conformity! No ubiquity!
It is time to RESIST!
You best resist by making informed choices for your spending dollar. You can research and see and find the apps, the hardware, and the streaming options that meet your need. Your best weapon in resisting is becoming informed and sharing that information with others. Information is power. Resist and do not be conformed to the standards of those who would have you cower and just take what they give you and drain your pocket book. No more! Resist and fight back!
Investigate and choose another streaming service if you want to protect your personal music library. Here are five choices.
4) Amazon Prime
Investigate and choose the best of six choices for cloud storage services.
1) Drop Box
2) Google Drive
3) Sky Drive
4) Sugar Sync
It is time to RE:Imagine what our digital lives can truly be!
It is time to re-imagine our lives the way we want our lives to be, where our uniqueness and diversity and gifts and talents and likes are championed, and where conformity and ubiquity is shunned and rejected!
Re-imagine owning a MacBook Pro, an Android phone, and a Windows tablet. You should be more than able to use each without much hassle, and integration should allow you to maximize each to your heart’s content and protect your wallet. So go ahead and re-imagine syncing your Android phone to your MacBook Pro. Go ahead re-imagine using a Windows tablet, and syncing an Android watch. I know if you are a Mac Addict like I once was, that is a hard thing to do, but it is doable and it is possible. Imagine the possibilities. Your mind and your heart are all that is stopping you.
Open up to the possibilities of free thinkers and open minds where your thoughts and your desires are not suppressed and controlled by the corporations. Dream, innovate and change. This brings transformation to your life and to others. Are you crazy enough to think you can change the world?