Allen Pike, one of the developers behind WeddingDJ and the excellent Party Monster, has written on the new issues introduced with Apple Music for third-party media apps:
According to our latest stats, 17% of Party Monster users have been unable to play a song in their iTunes library, and 22% of WeddingDJ users have tried to cue a playlist that has so many unplayable tracks that we need to display a warning. While it’s a miracle that we’ve been able to maintain a 4 star rating through all of this, it’s not going to last if we stay the course.
Given all of this, we have a couple options. We could double down and go pro, catering to serious DJs who can load DRM-free music into our sandbox. Pro DJs who use our apps often have a large licensed library of songs, and won’t rely on iTunes Match or Apple Music.
Alternatively, we could steer towards the mass market, drop crossfading support, and regain full iTunes compatibility. We could also put in the work to add support for Spotify or other competing streaming services, and focus our apps less on playback features and more on having a great UI for queueing.
The standard iOS media player has never given a lot of freedom to third-party developers. I wonder if Apple Music with its “love” system could be even more of an excuse for Apple not to make the media player APIs more flexible. Not to mention, of course, DRM.