I tried out streaming Apple Music in Uganda and I was smitten

Apple Music Uganda way

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It’s a public secret that am not an Apple fan boy, but truth be told those guys make out of this world products and services. So last weekend I used Apple Music in Uganda while gallivanting around my home area — and for lack of a better phrase– I was blown away. If you own an iPhone and have with large amounts mobile data plan to spare, chances are that you updated to iOS 8.4, and really the big feature is Apple Music. I have to admit, I was surprised that Uganda was among the countries that would enjoy Apple’s new Music service at launch, since most US based streaming services are geographically restricted to certain countries. RANT ALERT: I hate you Spotify, Tidal, Pandora and Netflix (okay that’s for movies, but hey it’s a similar rant). Before I start hallucinating about Ugandan app developers and content creators that have tried to bring us similar apps and services, let me stick to what works worldwide and what is available. So, let’s get the party started.

But wait a minute, something is not right!! WARNING: If you haven’t updated yet and have no idea how music streaming works, I think it’s worth noting that it’s for people that have no fear for the data hungry “GONYA”. Believe me when I say this app will suck your data plan dry– of course depending on the time you take listening to it and bit-rate of the music you are streaming. A 128kbps music stream offers a better audio experience than 64kbps audio, and it will demand for more data, but lets leave that for the audiophiles out there. My advice is just enjoy the music and have a monthly cap for music (mine is 200MB) streaming if that’s your thing anyway. Your best bet will be to use some random free WiFi if you happen to stumble upon one.

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So now where was I?  Yes, after updating you’ve probably noticed a Music new icon and this is Apple Music. It is Apple’s answer to the old dogs in the music streaming business like Spotify, Pandora and Google Play All access. The Apple streaming service gives you access to over 30 million songs, a live radio station and a personal connection to the artist you love. Don’t expect to find a lot of Ugandan music, but if Nigerian music is your thing? You won’t be disappointed at a certain extent.

Understanding Apple Music

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Apple music is built into your music app, but if you don’t want this service this won’t stop you from listening to the Music that you pre-loaded in the device yourself. But, they actually give you a 3 month free trial and that’s where the issues begin.

[signoff icon=”appstore”]It’s worth noting that you can switch off the automatic renewal, because 3 months down the road, this service might not be your piece of cake and then you will start getting $10 monthly charges on your Apple ID account. [/signoff]

With that sorted out, you can go ahead and start your 3 months free trial. Activate your individual account by inputting your Apple ID password or TouchID and you are in.  When the app is opened initially, you can see there are five tabs at the bottom of the screen and starting from the right to left above, you can see My Music, Connect, Radio New and For You.

My Music :

All of the music you load onto the your iPhone will be shown in this tab.


This is a place for you to connect to your favorite artist. Look at it like a little personalized twitter feed. It basically connects you to the artist that you are a fan of, so you have to follow your favorite artist. Lets say if you follow Kanye West, you will have all his info, albums and all content related to him on that page, giving you what I should call a behind the scenes look at your favorite artist.


This is what Apple bought from Beats now called BeatsOne. This is basically a 24 hour radio station that you can use to listen to music. This is the same radio station everyone in the world will be listening to.

New Music:

This just shows you the latest jams, hot albums and music tracks. This is nothing special, it is not in anyway curate for you as it just shows the top charts, especially in the USA.

For You:

This a personalized experience that automatically curates the music that you would love to listen to, so it’s paramount you set it up suit your music tastes. This is basically what Beats Music was all about before Apple bought it. All you have to do, is to show what types of Music genres you’re into than the app will try and curate a list of songs to play for you. The app is pretty accurate when it comes to fishing out your music preferences amoung the millions of songs out there.

Apple Music Gallery

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Apple Music Uganda bambino
As I listen and Enjoy Apple Music

Voice command Integration

Apple’s digital assistant Siri is deeply integrated in this app, not only can you just ask it to play a song from your library, Siri also has access to millions of tracks. You can ask it some pretty interesting things like “PLAY THE TOP HIT FROM” 2004 and don’t be surprised when it plays YEAH by Usher Raymond featuring Ludacris. You can also request some Ugandan songs, but you will be hard pressed for Siri to comprehend what you asking for “her”.

So that’s just a brief look at what Apple Music is all about, perhaps before I sign off, it’s worth noting that this is a great service and during my weekend music listening frenzy, I used up to 180MB of data (you can do the math and see how much it will cost you on your carrier). But, since I am a die-hard Android user, I will wait for the Android App that Apple promised to be release before I can even commit to spending my UGX 35k ($10) a month. Where as the service is not the Alpha and Omega of Music streaming this is the first one I have tried out from a big company like Apple and I was smitten.  Well, at this point am really interested to know what you think of Apple’s new Music service for those who have tried it and be sure to leave your comments down below.