Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Apple Music Lobotomizes Siri

Dave Scocca on the TidBits forum (via Michael Tsai):

What’s killing me is Apple Music. I have an iTunes library of almost 15,000 songs, mostly ripped from my CDs but with a number of iTunes store purchases. I have a 256 GB iPhone to allow me to have my music with me, and my new-ish Civic has CarPlay. It used to be great–I could use either the car’s voice control button or (later) “Hey Siri” and request music and have it played.

Since activating Apple Music, that process has gone completely to hell. Siri seems to have no idea of what music might actually be stored on the phone. At first, I could play an album using the phone controls or the CarPlay interface, but if I asked Siri to play the exact same album I would be told that it couldn’t be played because I didn’t have cellular data enabled for music streaming. I have tried adding the words “from my library” to various places in my requests to Siri, and it generally does nothing.

I complained about this two years ago when this behaviour was introduced in iOS 13; my bug report — FB6825077 — is dated July 26, 2019. That bug report has gone unacknowledged and unfixed. It is another example of how Siri and CarPlay can be more distracting than helpful, which is worrisome behind the wheel.

The best solution I have found for requesting music is to ask to play an album or playlist “from my local library”. It is imperfect, but it is the command that most often gets me what I want. But it is entirely unnecessary — why would I prefer that my iPhone waste bandwidth streaming a record from Apple Music when I have a local copy right there? It makes no sense at all.