Beats Music – Innovator, a Pandora Clone, or the Best of Both Worlds?


After some initial bumps in the launch road where their application was unavailable for a little while, Beats Music appears to be back to accepting new members. The initial free trial period is 7 days though AT&T customers can obtain a 30 day or 3 month trial at no cost provided the fee is billed to your AT&T account.


Access to Beats Music includes over 20 million songs and unlimited downloads and streaming (for so long as you remain a subscriber).

The AT&T plans :

Individual – 1 users / 3 devices – $ 9.99/mo
Family – 5 users / 10 devices – $14.99

How Does Beats Compare?

The most similar music service that I’ve used is Pandora which like Beats Music claims that it learns your musical likes and dislikes so it can present you with the most appropriate music without you having to search around for various artists. The annual fee for Pandora is $36 vs $9.99/mo (AT&T) for Beats Music.

beats_music2 beats_music1

I’ve only just started listening to Beats Music, and I am starting to find that it’s actually more of a mix between full feature music apps such as Spotify ($9.99/mo) combined with Pandora’s “we learn your musical likes”.

The application is a bit crashy on my Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and I’ll have to take the full 7 days to see how insightful the music recommendations are.

So far in my initial experience the Beats Music application has solved two complaints I’ve had with other music apps.

  1. Many times I just want the app to pick music for me
  2. Other times I want to select a playlist and listen to music someone else has picked (curated)

Beats Music allows for both of these and initially the interface is very simple to navigate (another pet peeve I’ve had with other music applications such as XBox Music which seem to hide simple options in the far corners of the app). As of now I’m not sure whether I’ll subscribe. I also have a subscription to Pandora, Google Music , Spotify and XBox Music with each being used by a different member of my household. Perhaps Beats Music will be the application that finally lets me consolidate my music subscriptions.

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About the Author

Wayne Schulz
Wayne is a diehard Android user and consultant specializing in Sage 100 ERP Accounting Software. He lives in Glastonbury CT with his two children. When not helping them with their homework or pushing the latest school fundraiser off on his co-workers, he is active hiking and investigating all manner of technology.

8 Comments on "Beats Music – Innovator, a Pandora Clone, or the Best of Both Worlds?"

  1. Wayne, thanks for posting about this. I just downloaded (got the 3 months free deal), and other than a slight server glitch while getting set up, it’s working well and I like the selection and interface. Time will tell if this will be my favorite music service yet or not, but in the meantime, I am glad to be trying it.

  2. Wait – where did you get a 3 month deal?!?

  3. You get offered 7 days initially. Then if you enter your phone number, they send you a text message with a code. You also get an email that says the family deal is $14.99/3 months free or the regular membership is $9.99/30 days free. On the phone, you’ll get a screen that offers the family deal for $14.99/3 months free, which is where you enter your text code. I opted for three full months on the family deal; if I do keep the service, I’ll obviously downgrade. =)

  4. So cool for you! I signed up and got the 7-day code. It is a bit mainstream for my jazz tastes, but better than the jazz stations on Slacker, for example. But it is why I prefer things like Spotify or Rdio where I can do ‘on-demand’ listening.

  5. I’m having a very mixed experience. Yesterday I took a walk or about 2 hours. Beats Music played great the whole time. Very happy. This morning sitting in my kitchen listening to Beats Music randomly stop playing at different points.

  6. Wayne, how much do you generally listen to in a day? I’m just wondering if it is a glitch that is location based, or if it will only show up after you’ve been listening for a while (hours?).

  7. I don’t listen very much except for when I’ve been testing. There is definitely an issue where the music has stopped mid-song then it goes to the next song/artist. I’ve also had it stop entirely.

    One common thread is that this has always been while connected to Bluetooth so perhaps there’s something quirky in how the BT interacts?

  8. Maybe it is a BT issue; I haven’t had any random stops yet, possibly because I’ve just been listening to my iPhone through wired headphones.

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