Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Music Needs Better Searching

Kirk McElhearn:

[…] After reading Alex Ross’s article about John Eliot Gardiner and Monteverdi, I went to Apple Music to listen to one of his recordings. The problem is that his ensembles are called The English Baroque Soloists and The Monteverdi Choir. So the number of results that come up when searching for “Gardiner Monteverdi” is stultifying. (Yes, Sir John has recorded a lot of albums.)

Sure, there are two Monteverdi albums in that list, but there is a lot more Bach. To make things worse, this search only returns 21 albums, whereas clicking on the name of the artist on one of these album pages – English Baroque Soloists, John Eliot Gardiner, & The Monteverdi Choir – returns nearly 100 albums. But none of these searches return all the recordings that he made with this ensemble.

Apple’s search engines in Music and Photos aren’t terrible, but they need some work to feel capable and powerful. As an example, if you begin searching for, say, Queens of the Stone Age and tap the suggestion Queens of the Stone Age in Artists, there’s only one result — Queens of the Stone Age. But you have to tap that result to get to their artist page, and that feels slow and cumbersome. If there’s only one result and it’s an exact match, it should just go to the artist page.

I also find Apple’s search functionality rather limited. In Photos, for instance, you can search by date, location, keyword, person, or even different objects automatically identified in the photos. But you cannot search by camera model or lens. I get that most people probably wouldn’t use this but, as a digital camera’s make and model is part of every file’s metadata, it almost seems like the kind of thing that requires more effort to omit from Photos’ search engine.