We get a subscription music service [Beats] that we believe is the first subscription service that really got it right. They had the insight early on to know how important human curation is. That technology by itself wasn’t enough — that it was the marriage of the two that would really be great and produce a feeling in people that we want to produce.
– Apple CEO Tim Cook on Beats Music Subscription Service
When I heard Apple had forked out $3 billion to acquire the Beats music subscription and headphone company I was greatly intrigued.
To my knowledge, this must be Apple’s costliest acquisition ever.
While there was no way I was going to pay $90 plus for a Beats headphone (sold at Best Buy and Amazon in the U.S.), I was willing to take a look at the Beats music subscription service (offered currently only in the U.S.).
Beats Music Service
So I headed to the Beats web site to check out the music subscription service.
Beats works on iPhones, Android and Windows smartphones plus on the web.
I gave Beats a spin, first on the iPhone and then on the web.
Downloading the Beats app and signing up for the 14-day free trial was a breeze and took about two minutes on my iPhone 5S (those with an AT&T cellular plan get a longer free trial)
Once you sign up, you’re asked to customize the service by picking three genres. I selected World, Jazz and Pop.
Then I was asked to pick three artists. My choices were Zakir Hussain, A.R.Rehman and Kishore Kumar.
Voila, I was ready to listen to music.
Tamil – Not Worth It
I tested the Beats service for three Indian languages – Hindi, Tamil and Kannada.
To my great disappointment, the Beats service proved to be lousy in all three languages.
The service is not intuitive and I had difficulty in doing basic things like deleting a song from My Library.
Then there’s the issue of selection.
Beats is a huge letdown here. I couldn’t find extremely popular albums in all three languages.
For instance in Tamil, I couldn’t find the old MGR film Ulagam Sutrum Valiban. Although Ulagam Sutrum Valiban is an awful film, the movie has lovely songs including Pachchai Killi, Ulagam Ulagam and Thanga Thoniyile.
For Mullum Malarum, I found only one song – Nitha Nitha Nelli Soru. Other popular albums that are missing include Tik Tik Tik and Sigappu Rojakkal.
Annakili is another famous Tamil album from the 70s that I struggled to find. I stumbled upon it only while searching for Ilayaraja’s music.
For the Rajinikanth film Kochadaiiyan and Sivaji, I could find only the Hindi albums. Yengae Poghudo Vanam was the only song from Kochadaiiyan’s Tamil album I could locate.
To my immense delight, I found the songs for Mouna Raagam.
My experience with Hindi songs was better but not great.
I found complete albums for Ram Leela and Mera Naam Joker but not for Aaradhana (I did find individual songs like Roop Tera Mastana).
Salman Khan’s No Entry is missing. The film includes one of my Bollywood favorites Ishq Ki Galli Mein.
Yes, the complete Slumdog Millionaire album is there.
Shailendra Singh’s famous song Hum Tum Ek Kamre from Bobby is listed only under Lata Mangheshkar.
I had a hard time with Kannada songs too.
Famous film albums like Eradu Kanasu, Bayalu Daari, Nagarahaavu and Auto Raja were missing.
Search for famous singers like P.B. Srinivas yielded few results.
Bottom Line – Bad
Overall, I was unimpressed with the selection from Beats subscription service for Indian film music.
Beats’ search quality also leaves a lot to be desired.
There’s no way I’d consider or recommend Beats for Indians.
Of course, I don’t expect Indian thieves to ever pay for an online music service. 😉
Beats costs $10 a month or $100 for a year.
Stay away from the Beats service.
There are plenty of free Indian services like Gaana that are far superior.
3 Billion USD? Unbelievable.
Its a pity Indian music is scarcely found in it.
As I said in the post, even if Beats has the finest Indian collection, I don’t see Indians being ready to pay $10 a month.
Indians would rather spend it on a plate of Dum Biryani! 😉
This acquisition isn’t in line with what Apple is an odd choice.
BOSE beats Beats anyday!
I do not believe Beats will go anywhere as a standalone music subscription service unless Apple integrates it into iPhone/iPad.
We’ll hear a lot of Apple today & tomorrow since the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicks off today in San Francisco.
… in terms of sound quality / headphones.
BTW, Hearty congratulations to our telugu friends for Telangana!
So who owns sumptuous Dum Biryani and voluptuous Anushka Shetty now – Telengana or AP? 😉
You can divide a plate of Dum Biryani but how are Telugu biddas going to divide Anushka Shetty? Beats (not the Apple acquisition) me.
I suppose Telugu biddas are already engaged in a fratricidal struggle over Dum-Shetty!
Isn’t she from Mangalore?
The last name Shetty suggests she is a Mangalorean but Anushka Shetty is actually a Bangalorean who found fame and fortune in the land of Telugu biddas! 😉
What is your opinion on Apple buying Beats?
Do you think it makes strategic sense given the products they sell?
Or is it just some thing the CEO seems to be doing to scratch a personal itch, perhaps to differentiate himself from Jobs?
1. Unless Apple integrates/bundles Beats music subscription service with the iPhone/iPad/iPod touch/iCloud in some way, they’ll have a hard time making money off it. There’s Spotify already plus YouTube and the other lesser known players.
But it could well turn out to be a nice differentiator between iPhone/iPad with the Samsung Galaxy S5s or the cheaper Xiaomi like devices and tablets that are flooding the market.
2. On the Beats headphones, no one ever called the American consumer smart.
It’s quite possible that consumers (particularly youngsters) will turn the Beats headphone into a must-have fashion accessory like the Nike Air Jordan’s etc.
Don’t be surprised if you hear that someone’s head got chopped at the Jackson Heights subway station while waiting for the 7 train because some desperate whacko craved the victim’s Beats headphones. Remember there’s a precedent here. Air Jordan’s have triggered murders, robberies and other crimes in the past. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Jordan#Controversy
Bottom line, it’s hard to say with certainty how the $3 billion deal will shape out.
3. I hear a lot of Blacks are giving the cold shoulder to iPhone and embracing Android in a big way. Buying Beats is a nice way for Apple to fool African-Americans. But hey it works. Look at Barack Obama. The Democratic Party put Obama’s pictures everywhere before elections and all Blacks, Browns (including sadly yours truly) and Yellows ran out and voted for him. After the polls, the Democratic Party/Obama fucked all of us. Only now do we all understand that Obama is a White Man with a dark complexion. Ditto with Beats. Just because they have two Black guys at the top, it don’t mean nothing as long as Apple is in White hands.
All’s putty and purrty in a White Man’s hands, baby! 😉
4. All that said, I’m willing to bet more on Homosexuals than on Heterosexuals!
Homosexuals have a chip on their shoulders and the constant urge to prove to the world that just because they picked the “other” hole they’re no dumber than the rest of humanity.
So until I hear otherwise I will presume Tim Cook knows what he’s doing with the $3 billion he’s spending on Beats! 😉
Sweetie, I hope I have sufficiently responded to your questions.
Never let it be said that SI don’t give people more than wat dey wanting.
What are you trying to say? – That Indira Gandhi was right and Corruption is Universal????
Or that people in your adopted country are as big crooks as everybody else?
Still, it’s hard to beat Indians when it comes to bribery.
Development of this place was solely dependent on 2022 football, for which 10 bn dollar worth projects were planned.
It is going to be a huge setback to Qatar if the WC is removed.
Qatar should have diversified into software development or biotech 10 years back.