Apple has activated some new Apple Music features for users of the beta versions of macOS Sierra and iOS 10. Called My New Music Mix and My Favorites Mix, these algorithmically-generated playlists offer a selection of new music, and a choice of older tunes from familiar artists.
You can subscribe to each of these playlists, and they’ll update on Friday and Wednesday, respectively. Each one contains 25 tracks. There’s no description of these playlists in iTunes, but in the iOS Music app, they are described as follows:
I find the My New Music Mix playlist to be surprising. Since I recently got a new guitar, and have been listening to a lot of old blues, the My New Music Mix is offering me almost exclusively blues music. This ignores the rest of my iTunes library, my Apple Music play history, and my iTunes Store purchases. Sure, there’s some interesting music in the playlist, but I’d expect to hear more variety. There is one track of a piece by Steve Reich, a song by Ian Bostridge from his Shakespeare Songs album, and a few classical movements, plus a handful of random new-agey piano pieces that all sound alike, but the playlist is about 50% blues, with most of the blues songs at the beginning.
The My Favorites Mix playlist is a lot closer to what’s in my library. All the artists are in my iTunes library, though not all these specific tracks. A few of them are purchased tracks, but it’s an interesting collection of music I am or should be familiar with. Oddly, there’s no blues there, and no classical music at all; it’s just rock and jazz, from artists such as The Cure, The Clash, Be Bop Deluxe, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and others. It looks like this playlist uses Apple’s Genius feature to grab songs from a cross-section of my library, but there’s no attempt to make a coherent playlist as Genius does.
I’d like there to be an option to get more than just 25 tracks in either of these playlists, but especially in the My Favorites Mix. If Apple’s algorithm really works and presents me with music I should like from artists I know, then it should be able to do more than offer 25 tracks or about two hours of music. But it’s likely they see this as a starting point for listeners to then choose more music from the same artists or albums. But if I want to use the dumb playlist method of “play me music I like,” then an endless playlist would be more efficient.
You can subscribe to either or both of these playlists, and they’ll be added to the playlists in your Apple Music library. Presumably, they’ll display at the top of the For You section even if you don’t subscribe, so I’m not sure what advantage there is in actually subscribing.