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William C. Altreuter
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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I downloaded the new iOS, deactivated the automatic subscription feature, and tried to stump Apple Music. Crack the Sky? Got it. Ornette Coleman? More than you could ask for. Watertown, the obscure Frank Sinatra concept album? Right there. Jack Dejohnette? Can't say I am familiar with his entire discography but there was plenty there to get started with. I tried playing hardball-- the version of "Memo from Turner" from the Performance soundtrack has always been an album-only track on iTunes, but there it is. In fact, it's got "Schoolboy Blues", the song Mick and Keith wrote to get out of their contract with Decca, known by another name and only officially released later by Decca in West Germany in 1983 as bonus single in a four-LP compilation and subsequently withdrawn. How about Johnny's Dream Club, the album by Cuban musician Juan-Carlos Formell that I once described as "music like a Marquez novel, full of influences from everywhere, but a thing utterly unto itself." The CD I bought at the Art of Jazz series where I heard Formell and his band was barely a step up from having been burned at home, with cover art that looked like it might have been Xeroxed, but there it is. I know if I keep at it I will eventually stump it, but that's not the point. The point is that this looks really, really close to being worth ten bucks a month. Right now I have 26.3 GB-- 2, 252 songs-- on my phone, and a gigantic piece of furniture in my living room for my vinyl and CDs. I have an iPod Classic with even more music, and an old iPhone 3GS with still more. Obviously there is a lot of overlap-- the three iDevices tend to skew towards different genres, and the vinyl is chiefly rock and jazz. I like the artifacts that package music, and I doubt that I will ever be at the place where I don't want liner notes and album art for the things that I really care about, but... wow. Apple Music may be the thing that opens up a lot of storage space in my life.

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