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In ads for its new music service, Apple tries to sound different

Technically Incorrect: Having presented Apple Music and its Beats 1 radio station, the company must now begin the harder task of selling the subscription-streaming service.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


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Is Apple Music the next towering step in history? Apple/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Is there an overwhelming sense of excitement about Apple's new music service and radio station?

I haven't heard it yet.

Perhaps it will take a while for the echoes to reach my analog ears. But having presented Apple Music -- which includes a 24/7 radio station called Beats 1 -- at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Apple immediately began selling it.

The Apple Music Twitter feed began pumping high energy ads, so that you can retweet as you jig to the beat.

One ad is a statement of intent. It tries to place Apple's new music service in historical perspective. It's less about the Crazy Ones. Instead, it's about -- in Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor's words -- music being treated less like the "digital bits, and more like the art it is."

This comes worryingly close to the launch of streaming music service Tidal, where Alicia Keyes, Jay Z and (wealthy) friends behaved like they were the 12 apostles coming down to bless us all and save us with their Tidal offering.

Just like Tidal, Apple claims it will support not just the famous artists, but "the kids in their bedrooms." Apple believes that music needed a home, so it built it one. Generous, perhaps. But with this introductory ad, not entirely simple. Not Apple simple, at least.

Another ad leads you through the history of sound. It's beautifully done, and the idea is that Apple Music is the next great progression that began with the foot-tap and the drum-bang.

The question is whether what was presented really feels like it's the next great step.

Doubts abound. Is there one utterly compelling thing about Apple Music, something that makes Spotify users immediately give up their commitment? It doesn't seem like it.

What about Apple's new radio station, Beats 1? Yes, I said radio station. The new ad for this is delightful, uplifting, emotional and very Apple.

But is it compelling? Yes, people all around the world love listening to music. Yes, the track on this ad is wonderful. Well, Pharrell wonderful.

But there's one scene that is a touching giveaway to what Apple is attempting here. There's a young man steering a boat down a river. He's wearing a well-worn "Think Different" Apple T-shirt.

Apple wants you to believe it sounds different with these new ads. Why do I feel, however, that the song remains the same?