Part of my normal work-from-home routine is to fire up iTunes on my personal desktop PC and play music throughout the day. (On and off, depending on what I’m doing, of course.)
My desktop is a Windows 10 box, so I’m still stuck with iTunes. There’s a preview version of the new Apple Music client available in the Windows Store, but I’ve been leery about trying it. I’m afraid it might do something horrible to my local library, which is almost 18,000 songs, and around 125 GB, at this point. I’d prefer to wait until a 1.0 release.
But iTunes has been locking up on me a lot recently. So I got a bit fed up today and decided to give an alternative client a try. I’d previously tried Cider, but didn’t like it enough to keep it. That was a while ago, though, so I decided to give it another try. It used to be an open-source project, and you can still download that, but the new version is (I guess) closed source, and costs $4 in the Windows Store. I went ahead and bought it and tried it out today, so I thought I’d post some notes on it.
First, it’s mostly just a shell around the web interface for Apple Music. So if you go to music.apple.com and sign in to your account, that’s basically what you’re getting, with some added bells & whistles. It doesn’t deal with your local library at all. (I don’t mean to belittle it here; the bells & whistles might be really handy for some people.)
My major issue with it right now is that it’s got a “dark mode” interface, and no way to switch to a light mode. And I find that hard to deal with. So it’s definitely not something I’m really happy with. But it has done what I needed it to do today: let me stream music to my PC without locking up, like iTunes was doing.
It has occurred to me that another solution would be to stream Apple Music from my iPhone to my desktop via AirPlay. I have something called AirServer on my PC, and it works pretty well for streaming audio from my phone to my PC. Though that, also, is not a great solution.
Or I could go back to CDs! I do still have a CD player in my PC. I could just play CDs via VLC or Windows Media Player or something like that…
Oh well, I’m starting to overthink this stuff again. Time to get back to work…