iOS Developer Builds Web App Offering Breakdown of Your Apple Music Listening History

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Despite the lack of a big design refresh in iOS 12 this year, Apple recently updated Apple Music with new features like revamped artist pages, coming soon albums, and UI fixes to the way albums and singles are displayed. One of the features that remains unavailable to Apple Music subscribers, however, is a way to view a history of your listening statistics on the streaming music service.


    Following Apple's recently launched Data and Privacy portal, which lets customers download a copy of their Apple-related data, developer Pat Murray has built a browser-based app aimed at visualizing your Apple Music activity. With the download of one file on Apple's Data and Privacy portal, Murray's app organizes your complete Apple Music listening history since you first started using the service.

    The developer promises that none of your data ever leaves your computer in the process, and explained to me that once it's loaded, the web app will even work offline and still be able to run all computations and present users with their data. The full source of the app is available to read on GitHub, and it's worth pointing out that Murray's app is only asking for access to a single CSV file related to your Apple Music activity, and nothing else.

    Follow the steps below to get your Apple Music-related data from Apple:
    1. Visit Apple's Data and Privacy web portal
    2. Click "Request a copy of your data"
    3. Check the box next to "Apple Media Services information"
    4. Scroll down, click continue
    5. Select 1GB (which should be big enough), and click "Complete Request"
    6. A few days later, click "Get your data" in the email Apple sends to you once the retrieval is complete
    7. Click the small downwards facing arrow to download the data and open the ZIP file on your Mac
    8. Click the Apple Media Services Information folder within the ZIP file
    9. In this folder, open the ZIP file titled "App_Store_iTunes_Store_iBooks_Store_Apple_Music"
    Then follow these steps to use Murray's tool and visualize the data:
    1. Visit Murray's Apple Music Analyzer website
    2. Click "Choose File"
    3. Navigate to Downloads and in the search field, search for "Apple Media Services Information" and double click on it
    4. Find the "App_Store_iTunes_Store_iBooks_Store_Apple_Music" folder, and underneath that find "Apple Music Activity"
    5. Find "Apple Music Play Activity.csv" and open it
    With your Apple Music data open in Murray's web app, you'll be presented first with your most played song overall on Apple Music, including the number of times you've listened to it, hours spent listening to it, and hours spent skipping it. Below that, you'll be able to find your most played songs of each year that you've been subscribed to the service, the total amount of time you've spent listening to music, the day you've listened to the most music, and total library song/artist count.


    Murray also presents your most played artists in descending order, detailing the number of plays and total time spent listening to each. Below that are a few interesting charts and graphs. The first shows the "Playing Time by Month," allowing you to visualize the months you listened to Apple Music the most versus ones with lower activity.

    With the "Playing Time by Date" tool, Murray has created a miniature calendar that shows your total Apple Music play time for every day you've had the service, and lets you know out of those days how many you didn't listen to any music. Similarly, "Playing Time by Hour of Day" shows the most frequent times on average that you listen to Apple Music based on the time of day.


    The Apple Music Analyzer also provides specific sections for each year you've used Apple Music. When you click "Open" on any of these, you'll see your top 20 most played songs for the year with the usual hours listened to and play count stats.

    Below this, Murray has created a "Reasons A Song Finished Playing" section, offering the amount of times a song ended normally, a song was paused, skipped, scrubbed to the end, a session timed out, and more. Lastly, the web app provides a simple and straightforward list of all the songs you've ever listened to on Apple Music. With this tool, you can reorganize the list to prioritize listening time or play count in ascending or descending order.


    For anyone who has ever been a fan of sites like or personal stat breakdowns in general, Murray's web app is a fun and intriguing dive into your Apple Music history. Apple has not indicated if even a rudimentary feature such as listening history will ever come to Apple Music, and in this area some of its rivals do offer at least some form of personalized listening history.

    Spotify, for example, creates a mini website towards the end of every year with a breakdown of each user's most listened to tracks, artists, and genre for the past 12 months. Spotify began the 2018 Wrapped campaign today, and will reveal its subscribers' listening stats for the year on December 6. Apple Music users have found creative alternatives to this feature using Smart Playlists and even the new Shortcuts app, but these still only result in a single playlist that usually detail most played songs and not much else.

    Earlier this year, graphic designer Álvaro Pabesio envisioned an update for Apple Music that included listening history stats, among many other tweaks to the service. In Pabesio's vision, Apple Music would be able to track your play count, music discovery, play time, and more, and you could break it down by the past week, month, year, etc. This information would also fuel the social aspects of Apple Music, giving you an approximate taste comparison with other people on the service to see if you listen to the same genres and artists.

    Apple Music concept by Álvaro Pabesio

    If you're interested in reading about your own Apple Music listening history, be sure to check out Pat Murray's web tool and follow the steps above to get your music stats. Murray is the developer behind numerous other projects, including the iOS app Live Memories [Direct Link], which creates a miniature movie from Live Photos, and GitHub projects like Share Your Rings, which lets you export a GIF or video of your personal Apple Watch move rings to send to your friends.

    Article Link: iOS Developer Builds Web App Offering Breakdown of Your Apple Music Listening History
  2. RedGala macrumors regular


    Jun 17, 2015
    Awesome tool. It's funny how it took an independent developer to make this, while Spotify already does this kind of stuff for users, and Apple Music lags behind in features and music discovery.
  3. Scottsoapbox macrumors 6502a


    Oct 10, 2014
    Once again showing what a single programmer can accomplish. If only Apple had the resources to staff a single programmer on each of their conspicuously missing features...
  4. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Apple to offer a Murray a job in 3,2,1....
  5. MacFan23 macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2010
    They probably just assume the average consumer doesn't care about this sort of thing.
  6. jonblatho macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2014
    Which is, by and large, correct.
  7. EdT macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2007
    Omaha, NE
    When Apple becomes committed to upgrading the 80% of physical area (not population area) with fast and affordable cell data let me know. Right now it’s expensive and unreliable to steam music if you live in a rural area.

    Maybe Apple should be helping Elon launch his low orbit internet satellites, because nothing Apple is currently doing publicly makes streaming practical in low service areas.
  8. Remy149 macrumors regular

    Oct 20, 2016
    Exactly I’m a heavy music listener who does
    Or you can easily pre download the music you know you listen to the most. I live in nyc and ride the subway daily so I outside of the house I rarely stream music
  9. lunarworks macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    It's like how some gamers are still upset that Nintendo doesn't have an activity log on the Switch. Most people don't obsessively keep track of their game playing.
  10. GrumpyMom macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2014
    Yeah I download. I don’t usually stream anymore, even over WiFi. I like Apple Music but then I don’t rely on them to discover new music or help me listen to my ripped music, which I no longer access anyway since I just go and get it from Apple Music.
  11. adamjackson macrumors 65816

    Jul 9, 2008
    Download your data from Apple and upload it to a no-name server for some pretty charts? No thanks. If he let me download everything so I could run it locally, sure.
  12. atoqir macrumors newbie

    Jan 31, 2018
    My favorite headline would be ‘Apple releases official webplayer’

    I pay for Apple Music for my iphone and ipad but on my gaming desktop and work laptop browsing and searching the catalog is so slow and buggy that I am forced to use the free versions of Spotify and YouTube Music...

    Death to iTunes!!!!
  13. TheBensonBoy macrumors newbie


    Apr 11, 2018
    Huh. TIL. (Little bit of context) I work at a Simplymac, and we love to demo the HomePod by playing our retail radio over it. I also love having control over the music if it plays too much of something, I can skip it. With this said, it says that whenever I select the HomePod on our network, it apparently counts as a play. So I have a ton of things from the playlist "Today at Apple" in my plays. And its driving me nuts because I keep skipping that dang song
  14. EdT macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2007
    Omaha, NE
    This is somewhat unfair on my part because I now do have speeds a little faster but 5 years ago my official fastest download speed was 1.5 Mb and my usual actual speed was 0.7 Mb for downloads. Go 20 miles north or east or west of where I live and that is probably still true. The only ‘fast’ option most have is current satellite likes HughesNet, and that has lags, problems with obstacles and storms, and data caps.
  15. andrewsipes macrumors newbie


    Sep 29, 2015
    Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    It runs locally. The article links to the source code.
  16. bstpierre macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2008
    And assigns him a task totally unrelated to Apple Music...
  17. whyamihere macrumors 6502


    Jun 30, 2008
  18. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    If Apple provided this information all the time I would switch in a heartbeat. Does something with this much detail exist with Spotify? Spotify's yearly wrap up leaves a lot to be desired, very minimal data.
  19. macfacts macrumors 68030


    Oct 7, 2012
    Apple suggests that their software in some places lags behind competition because apple respects privacy. Complete lie. So much info is collected about the user.
  20. mcfrazieriv macrumors 6502a


    Jan 30, 2012
    Irvine, CA
    When I read the title of this article, my brain immediately interpreted it as:
    "Apple Music sucks. It has sucked since it came out. It still sucks. Suck suck."

    Apple Music new tracks for you: "Hey Brother" - avicii

    Next week Apple Music new tracks for you:
    1. "Hey Brother" - avicii
    2. "Addicted to you" - avicii
    3. "The Days" - avicii
    4. "The Nights" - avicii
    5. Waiting for love" - avicii
  21. efktd macrumors 6502


    Sep 29, 2011
    I'm a music junkie and will absolutely love this! Waiting for my 'download data' email from Apple...
  22. mgroot macrumors regular


    Jul 25, 2014
  23. Yumbo macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2011
    Smart playlists or Recently played works decently.

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