Apple Music Connect Joins Apple’s Legacy of Neglect

| The Back Page

What a drag. 9to5Mac reported that Apple plans to "demote" Apple Music Connect—one of the most exciting features in Apple Music—in iOS 10. If accurate (like all of Mark Gurman's reports, I frankly assume it is) this news is a major disappointment, and it should be taken as an embarrassment within Apple.

Neglected Apple Music

Apple Music Connect - Neglected

Apple Music Connect was supposed to be a way for artists to connect with fans. Through Connect, artist could post content such as b-sides, alternate mixes, messages to fans, videos, playlists, and just about anything else they wanted. Better yet (in my opinion), it was available to big, small, indie, and every other artist on Apple Music.

This is exactly the sort of thing that artists and fans alike want. Apple Music Connect, as described, was...perfect. In implementation and practice, it might be the most egregious failure of design in Apple Music, which is a pretty impressive achievement considering.

Artists have complained about difficulty in posting content, which leads directly to fans complaining about there being too little content. Writing for Macworld in 2015, Susie Ochs put it this way: "Turning off Connect makes Apple Music better." John Gruber's developer partner, Dave Wiscus, wrote up a detailed critique of Connect after it launched, and here's a look at one of his songs uploaded to Connect.

The point is that despite having all the promise of being awesome, Connect has failed, and that failure is all about implementation, not concept. Exclusive content from musicians is a no-brainer idea, but it never worked well in Apple Music Connect. For anyone.


And now we're finding out that rather than improving it—rather than taking the abundant feedback from artists, fans, and critics alike, Apple is judging Connect a failure, removing it from the main Apple Music interface, and according to Mr. Gurman, it will not get any "notable new features this year."

"Demote" is Apple code for "it's probably going away and we're going to tuck it out of the way to illustrate how much attention we aren't giving it."

It's ridiculous, really. Apple is the biggest single force on the planet when it comes to music. Apple has one of the best ecosystems of users, software, and devices on the planet. Apple makes more money than any other company on the planet. Apple has some of the best minds in music working on Apple Music, and it can throw more resources into making something like Connect work than the next 50 competitors combined.

But instead of fixing it, Apple is punting. It's ridiculous, shameful, absurd—the list of negative descriptors I could throw at this is long, deep, and biting.

Coulda Been a Contender

You may ask why I'm so pissy about this, and I can tell you. Apple Music Connect could have been great, and it should be great. It should be something I want to use. For that matter, Ping was also a great idea, though I may be alone in that assessment.

But Apple isn't willing to do what it takes to make Connect great. Instead, it's going to be one of a long line of Apple software and services that is rolled out and ignored. Everyone and their brother is already saying it's been "Pinged." That shouldn't be a thing, but even if it wasn't, we could say it's been "iToolsed" or ".Macced" or "HomePaged" or "iDisked" or "Apertured" or "iLifed" or "iWorked" or "HomeKitted" or "iAded" or "WebObjectsed" get the idea.

It's become all too common and I find it frustrating.

Popular TMO Stories



Apple is clueless if “the cloud” Apple Music, Apple Photos sync/sharing, iTunes Match give me a break. Apple make the sh1t work already.

Amazon Prime is eating your lunch. All their cloud stuff works flawlessly. ON YOUR OWN iOS.

Apple should be embarrassed. Oh and make Siri work for more than time and temperature.


Yup, and yup. Makes me wonder why they bother. I too, am pretty over it at this point. When it comes to this sort of thing, Apple and Google are about on equal footing. Hard to invest in things when their future prospects are in question.


Comparing Connect to Ping was completely correct. I predicted this fate when it was announced. Not because of the interface or anything like that, I’m not on Apple Music and have never set eyes on Connect. I just knew from experience that Apple doesn’t know s*** about social. Seriously, there’s dozens of successful networks that cater to everything from palaeontology to porn. From art photography to Art Carney. Literally on Pinterest or Tumblr, or Instagram, or Facebook you can find established groups interested in every artist, band, car model, or floor wax. And they succeed because the platforms can draw in people from the other groups. I like Anime but on Tumblr I may see a Geology post so I go have a look at what’s on that topic. Heck a couple of weeks ago I found that on a network for discussing video games there was an active room set up to talk about dinosaur research and palaeontology.

So here comes Apple with a social network about only music. Not any and all music either. Performers that are on Apple services only. Who’s going to leave their existing group discussing Imagine Dragons and pre-columbian pottery, to go to Apple’s limited network? It just won’t work. Even worse they’ve made this mistake twice, first with Ping and then Connect.

So it’s no surprise to me that Connect has failed. Apple just doesn’t know how to do social. It isn’t in their DNA.


Bryan, I wholeheartedly agree with your comments and concerns. I don’t know that Connect was a big selling feature for me, but your larger point is well-taken.

I cannot understand how Apple manages to be so successful with hardware and patent acquisitions, yet seems rather feckless when it comes to identifying and folding-in software. It’s kind of mind-boggling.

I wonder is it a veritable ‘blind spot’? Or a result of internal turf wars that snuff-out innovation over improving end-user experience?

No CEO is perfect and many significant gaffes happened on Jobs’ Apple (v.2) watch, including Maps and iCloud (to name a few). But whatever the underlying mechanisms, this is now firmly on Tim Cook’s plate (or his successor…?) to rectify—and Apple’s social presence is something that needs to be fixed.

I will call out one recent positive move: Apple Support’s use of Twitter. I’ve contacted them four times with questions and had answers within 5-10 minutes each time. Solid.


Apple’s Legacy of Neglect HAS become a thing, and it’s too large:

” That shouldn’t be a thing, but even if it wasn’t, we could say it’s been “iToolsed” or “.Macced” or “HomePaged” or “iDisked” or “Apertured” or “iLifed” or “iWorked” or “HomeKitted” or “iAded” or “WebObjectsed” or…

And readers/commenters may suggest more…like iCloud and…

Instead of timely fixes, Apple’s customers get only insubstantial changes, as I suspect we’ll see with iTunes. I hope developers give Apple an earful at WWDC.

Mr. Cook, it’s TIME TO LISTEN to your CUSTOMERS, too. And take appropriate action to remedy the ills of the ecosystem upon which your hardware sales depend.



I used to purchase quite a bit of iTunes music that I had discovered from iTunes Radio, but since its demise I have only purchased a couple of tracks. 

I’m not paying for Apple Music and now I’m not paying for nearly as many downloads as I used to buy either.  Apple Music to me is what I used to get with my iTunes Match subscription that cost me $24 per year, ad free radio. They want $10 a month for what I enjoyed for $24 a year.  Um, no thanks.


or OpenDoc-ed (my fav)

Paul Goodwin

Whenever you can’t figure out the “why” of something (in this case the neglect), the cause is almost always money. When you look at the resources it would take to make it great, could they ever get that investment back? I don’t know.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account