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Music App Stuff #7: Albums 4.2!
Cloud Queue, iCloud Sync, Bulk Actions, and more!
Music App Stuff #7 is, as promised, a celebration. A grand ball. And here it comes now: Albums 4.2, descending the grand staircase, decked out in elegant new features, clad in stability improvements, and… look, I don’t know. This update took a lot out of me. But it’s here and I’m really excited to tell you about it. Without further ado, I present, The Litany of Features.
Cloud Queue + iCloud Sync
Imagine you are an Apple Music user living in a world so technologically advanced that your iPad knows what you were listening to on your iPhone, and one is perfectly happy to let you pick up right where you left off on the other. No longer the stuff of science fiction, Albums 4.2 makes this a reality. Sometimes I switch devices every other song and cackle maniacally about it until I tucker myself out.
In addition, Tags, Quick Actions, album tint colors, and other things you might like to be consistent across your devices now sync via iCloud.
Bulk Library Adding
I’m not some sort of naming genius, okay? The app is called Albums for heaven’s sake. Tap the funky little button in the top left of the library tab to search for albums to add to your library, or paste in a new-line separated list of albums. Finally, a quick and convenient way to add every album from your personal favorite pretentious music blog’s end of year list to your library.
Plucked right from the “make [thing] good” section of my Albums to-do list, Search is good now! You can now search your library for any type of collection. You can also find an album in your library or on Apple Music by searching a song on its track list, solving a problem of mine that I can only assume is universal: hearing “Maneater” by Hall and Oates on the radio and thinking to yourself “I kind of like that song, I wonder what the album is like,” searching for the song and being bombarded by greatest hits albums rather than the album it was originally on.
Bulk Album Actions & Mass Tagging
Bulk Album Actions allow you to take actions on albums in bulk! (Pause for dramatic effect.) Tap the “Actions” button in a collection and choose “Bulk Album Actions” to multi-select albums you’d like to tag, hide, or add to your library en-masse.
Tag pages now have an “Add Albums” button, which takes you to a screen where you can search for albums to tag, or collections for which you’d like to tag every album. You can also paste in a new-line separated list of albums you’d like to tag.
Release Feed & Apple Music Collection Types
You can now subscribe to Record Labels in the Release Feed and load their discographies from their collection pages. Not just the few hundred labels Apple supports in the Apple Music API, mind you, but all the labels your little heart desires.
There is a certain genre of feature that I tell my wife about and she says “you know you are the only person who cares about that, right?” And I say “you may bag me up and put me out with the trash on the day that I release a new version of Albums where I didn’t spend a week going down a rabbit hole working on something you will correctly tell me only I care about.”
That said, if you do happen to share one of my esoteric obsessions, you can now load discographies for Mixing Engineers and Producers from their pages.
Bits ‘n Bobs
Entire collections can now be added to the queue. Tap the three-dot menu on the Shuffle button in a collection, or long press a Quick Action to add the whole collection to Play Next/Play Last.
You can now change an album’s sort year or release date, as well as hide it in the app on its settings page. Hidden albums can be viewed by going to Library -> Quick Collections -> Hidden Albums.
Albums is nothing if not a panoply of settings screens, and many of them have been clarified and updated.
The FAQ has been rewritten.
Compilations are now treated sensibly, rather than nonsensically.
There are dozens more little tweaks and quality of life improvements, but it is time for me to eat breakfast, and you can go read the changelog in the app if you like. Thank you very much for reading this newsletter and for supporting Albums.
See you in two weeks.