Apple Music: Our Complete Guide

Discussion in 'Guides, How Tos and Reviews' started by MacRumors, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple Music is Apple's streaming music service, comparable to other similar streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, Tidal, and others.

    Apple Music boasts access to a total of 50 million songs. Content can be streamed or downloaded for offline play, and there are also song and genre-based radio stations available along with the curated Beats 1 radio station.


    Apple Music integrates with your existing iCloud Music Library, so you can combine Apple Music songs with songs that you have previously purchased on iTunes all in one unified location.

    Apple Music's Unique Features

    All of the streaming services have differences, and with Apple Music, Apple has focused on human curation. While there are some algorithmically created playlists, a lot of the content highlighted on Apple Music is done by Apple Music editors.

    Apple offers regularly updated personalized playlists in a "For You" tab, including a favorites mix, a chill mix, a friends mix, and a new music mix, along with other playlist options that are updated on a daily basis.


    Apple Music also often has exclusive album releases, documentaries, and music videos that aren't available on other platforms as a way to lure subscribers.

    Beats 1, Apple Music's 24/7 live radio station, is also one of the service's most unique features. It features songs curated by DJs along with a multitude of special shows, sometimes created by artists.

    What's Included in a Subscription

    [*]Unlimited access to Apple Music songs on demand
    [*]Personalized algorithmic playlists
    [*]Curated playlists
    [*]Mood-based playlists
    [*]User-created playlists
    [*]Beats 1 Radio
    [*]Access to other radio stations
    [*]Offline song playback
    [*]Existing music matched to iTunes catalog and added to iCloud Music Library
    [*]Music and playlist syncing across all Apple Music-compatible devices
    Apple Music Availability

    Apple Music is available in over 100 countries and regions, with a full list of countries available on Apple's website.

    Device Compatibility

    Apple music works on all of Apple's devices, including iPhone (CarPlay included), iPad, Apple Watch (with no iPhone on LTE models), Apple TV, Mac (in iTunes), and HomePod.

    It's also available on non-Apple devices, so you don't need to be an Apple user to get it. It works on on PCs with the PC version of iTunes, on Android devices with the Android Apple Music app, on Sonos devices, and on Amazon-branded Echo devices.


    Unlike Spotify, Apple Music does not offer a free ad-supported music tier. A paid subscription is required for all Apple Music content.

    A standard Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States. With UNiDAYS verification, college students can sign up for a discounted Apple Music subscription that costs $4.99 per month.

    A family plan is available for $14.99 per month, and it allows up to six people to listen to Apple Music. A family subscription requires Family Sharing to be set up, which requires all people in the family to use the same credit card for iTunes billing purposes.

    Pricing does vary by country, but is similar to the U.S. pricing.

    In the United States, Verizon subscribers with Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited data plans can access Apple Music for free.

    Free Trial

    Apple offers free three-month free trials for Apple Music, and in some cases, has been known to offer additional trial months to encourage listeners to sign up for a paid subscription.

    Apple Music Basics

    [*]How to Sign Up for Apple Music
    [*]How to Sign Up for an Apple Music Family Plan
    [*]How to Sign Up for an Apple Music Student Plan
    [*]How to Set Up Apple Music
    [*]How to Cancel an Apple Music Subscription
    Using Apple Music

    [*]How to Use Apple Music on Android
    [*]How to Use Apple Music on Apple Watch
    [*]How to Sync Albums and Playlists From Apple Music to Apple Watch
    [*]How to Stream Apple Music to an AirPlay Speaker or Apple TV
    [*]How to Customize Apple Music With Loves and Dislikes
    [*]How to Transfer a Spotify Playlist to Apple Music
    [*]How to Customize Your Apple Music Library
    [*]How to Turn on Automatic Downloads for Songs in Apple Music
    [*]How to Turn On iCloud Music Library for Apple Music
    Managing Your Music

    How to Add Music to Your Apple Music Library
    [*]How to Create a Playlist in Apple Music
    [*]How to Add Photos to Playlists
    [*]How to Download Songs for Offline Playback on Apple Music
    [*]How to Remove Downloaded Apple Music Songs
    [*]How to Add Star Ratings to Songs in Apple Music
    [*]How to See Song Lyrics in Apple Music
    Finding Songs

    [*]Useful Siri Commands That Work With Apple Music
    [*]How to Search for Songs Using Lyrics in Apple Music
    [*]How to Ask Siri on HomePod to Play Apple Music Playlists, Genres, Moods, and More

    [*]How to Create Your Own Radio Station in Apple Music
    [*]How to Find the Beats 1 Archives in Apple Music

    [*]How to Share Songs and Albums With Friends in Apple Music
    [*]How to Share Apple Music Playlists With Friends
    [*]How to See What Your Friends Are Listening to in Apple Music
    [*]How to Subscribe to a Friends' Playlist in Apple Music

    Apple Music on Other Devices

    [*]How to Listen to Apple Music on Amazon Echo
    [*]How to Listen to Apple Music on Sonos Speakers

    More Apple Music Tips

    [*]How to Set an Apple Music Song as an Alarm
    [*]How to Limit How Much Space Apple Music Takes Up on Your iPhone
    [*]How to Listen to Apple Music on the Web

    Apple Music Comparison Guides

    Trying to decide between Apple Music and another service? Make sure to check out our guides comparing Apple Music with other streaming music options that are out there.

    [*]Spotify vs. Apple Music
    [*]Google Play Music vs. Apple Music
    [*]Amazon Music Unlimited vs. Apple Music
    [*]Tidal vs. Apple Music
    In a nutshell, Apple Music is the ideal choice if you're in the Apple ecosystem, have a HomePod, prefer human-based curation, and already have an existing iTunes music collection.

    Music Quality

    Apple Music uses 256Kb/s AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) files. For comparison, Spotify, Apple Music's largest competitor, uses 320Kb/s Ogg Vorbis files, but while that sounds like it's better quality, the two are not identical.

    Both AAC and Ogg Vorbis are different compression formats with different sound profiles, but both are similar and the average person isn't going to be able to tell one from the other. CNET has a great comparison testing the sound quality of Apple Music and Spotify.


    You can download songs from Apple Music for offline playback, but the content that you download is protected by DRM (digital rights management), much like other streaming music services.

    If you cancel your Apple Music subscription, the Apple Music songs that you've downloaded were no longer work. Apple Music songs also can't be transferred to other devices, downloaded, burned to CD, or used off device in any way.

    Note that with iCloud Music Library enabled, all of your Apple Music content will be available on all of your Apple Music-compatible devices.

    Guide Feedback

    Have an Apple Music question or tip that you don't see available in our guide? Email us at

    Article Link: Apple Music: Our Complete Guide
  2. Zanton68 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2012
    How do I stop Apple Music from screwing up the music artwork, replacing the right artwork with the wrong artwork, sometimes even the wrong artist? How do add the correct artwork where there is a microphone icon instead of an artist picture in the music app ?
  3. rizzo41999 macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2009
  4. Zanton68 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2012
  5. now i see it macrumors 68040

    Jan 2, 2002
  6. Zanton68 macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2012
    I have hundreds of CDs on iTunes and Apple Music decided the artwork was wrong and changed it whether I liked it or not. I corrected it. Apple Music changed it back to the wrong artwork. Again. I cancelled Apple Music and still find wrong artwork in my collection. In the music app there is a microphone icon against The Bee Gees, Beyoncé and a completely wrong picture against others and there is no way of fixing it. Apple won’t fix and Apple won’t let me fix it. My reason for shopping Apple was for iPod and how it enabled me to choose what I listen to. Now Apple tries to tell me what to listen to and even makes a mess of my library whether I like it or not. I use Spotify and Ecoute. Ecoute doesn’t waste my time with what’s “trending” and the worlds worst radio station Beats1
  7. NervousFish2 macrumors regular


    Mar 23, 2014
    I think Apple Music is great. If folks don't like Beats1, then that's fine. But lots of ppl do! But what I love most about Apple Music is deep curation of their playlists, and the way they give me fresh music every Friday of latest releases that it knows I might like -- have discovered tons of new music that way
  8. load97 macrumors regular


    Feb 29, 2012
    Yuck, that’s been my experience. More bloatware. How hard is it for Apple to just do one thing and do it well.
  9. robbysibrahim macrumors regular


    May 13, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm starting to see more and more friends pop up on the Recommended Friends list. But my favorite feature is the ability to blend owned + subscribed music into one Library allowing me to take it with me, curate lists, customize metadata, star rate and share.
  10. Ebok Suspended

    Aug 22, 2018
  11. JetTester macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2014
  12. JGIGS macrumors 65816


    Jan 1, 2008
    Big fan of the new music playlists as well though definitely some strange songs get put on it from time to time.

    Biggest reason I've stuck with AM is I put a lot of work into rating my music and I like the ability to create smart playlists which as far as I know only AM has. I wish I could create smart playlists just on the phone, maybe you can using Siri? I should try.

    Wish they included BPM data is it's you can use that for smart playlists and it would be great to make exercise/running playlists.
  13. FightTheFuture macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    that town east of ann arbor
    Then stick with Spotify? There are lots of choices including Tidal, Amazon, Google Music. Why are folks so insecure whenever an article is written about Apple Music?

    OMG an AM article! I have to hurry and stick up for Spotify!
  14. Yumbo macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2011

    The album artist field dictates artwork trigger.
    And that’s more Gracenote sourced than anything else.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 13, 2019 ---
    Clean up your metadata.
  15. Ebok Suspended

    Aug 22, 2018
    You sound much more insecure than me coming to apples rescue with your post. I use both Spotify and Apple Music. You don’t know **** about me so relax
  16. B4U macrumors 68010


    Oct 11, 2012
    Undisclosed location
    How to block the phone from trying to promote a useless music subscription service when launching music the first time after an OS update?
    It does not even have 10% of my music collections, so they can stop trying to promote that crap to me.
  17. dekadent macrumors member


    Sep 30, 2009
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Just a bunch of hiphop tracks repeated over and over again...
  18. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
    I still have iTunes Match and it’s a frequently flip-flopping love-hate experience. And I think for me, Apple Music would be a more expensive way to massively boost the hate-side.

    And yet there are a few things that together, if they fixed, could possibly make me subscribe quite quickly.

    - Lossless audio.
    - Easy ability to have the option to force-upload (instead of incorrectly matching because it thinks it knows better).
    - A tag or something that is always respected that just signals ‘leave the artwork and meta-data alone, hands off!’
    - Put headphone jack sockets back in the iPhone and iPad Pro and admit it was a stupid thing to ever remove them.

    If they did all that I’d seriously consider it. As it is, I’m constantly teetering on the edge of rage-quitting Match, never mind ever subscribing to Apple Music.

    But good luck to anyone who uses it and likes it.
  19. amagab macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2005
    Is Apple Music available in dark mode yet? The blinding white is a deal breaker for me who streams music mostly at bed time.
  20. Wash08 macrumors member


    Sep 18, 2008
    I use pandora, because my the radio station feature allows for multiple genres, taste is very, very eclectic from classical to spanish, japanes pop korean opera, techno, edm…none of the other services do it this way
  21. dominiongamma macrumors 68000

    Oct 19, 2014
    Tempe, Arizona
    Probably iOS 13 will introduce dark mode across iOS
  22. lsutigerfan1976 macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    That’s what i find. Bunch of pop and hip hop they promote. Even their top 100 which is supposed to be a mix of different genres has mainly hip hop and pop. It is like Apple caters more to a “hipster” younger crowd. But older ppl who listen to more of a variety of music are left out.
  23. swanseaboy macrumors member

    Oct 15, 2012
    Swansea, Wales
  24. cgs1xx macrumors newbie


    Jun 10, 2018
    London, UK
    Things Apple Music gets wrong:
    - it's in the same app as iTunes and my main library and there's no way to keep them separate (see previous comments about messed up libraries!)
    - it's tied to your apple ID so every time you log in and out you have to start from scratch
    - iOS app is just ugly and missing basic enhancements, ie: dynamic equalizer, volume gain etc
  25. cpa100 macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2018
    In the UK, the Three network provides unlimited streaming of Apple Music regardless of how much data you pay for - an added bonus (if you are on the three network obviously...) and not matched for other streaming services.

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30 March 13, 2019