How to use Apple Music: Everything you need to know

Apple Music, Apple’s music streaming service that aims to take on the likes of Spotify, arrived in 100 countries on 30 June 2015 as part of iOS 8.4 for iPhone and iPad, and is also available for Android, PC and Mac. Apple Music comes in the form of a complete overhaul of the Music app, and being a completely new service, it takes a bit of getting used to. Here, we talk you through all of the features of Apple Music in our complete guide.

If you haven’t got Apple Music on your iPhone or iPad yet, visit: How to get Apple Music. If you’ve got Apple Music but haven’t set it up, visit: Apple Music FAQ. You should also make sure you won’t get charged for Apple Music once your three-month free trial is over.

You’ll also like: Apple Music versus Google Play and our 12 top tips for using Apple Music

See also: Apple Music review | Complete guide to Apple Music | 12 top tips for using Apple Music | Apple Music vs Spotify | How to cancel your Apple Music free trial | What are the differences between iTunes Match, Apple Music and iCloud Music Library?

How to use Apple Music: For You

The For You section of the Apple Music app, which is accessible by clicking the heart icon on the bottom left of the screen, is where Apple presents music and videos that it thinks you will love, based on what’s in your music library, the genres and artists you chose during the setup process and songs that you’ve ‘Liked’ using the heart icon. Here, we’ll talk you through the For You section bit by bit, to help you get to know it.

See also: Apple Music review | Apple Music vs Spotify | How to use Apple Music in the UK | How to cancel your Apple Music free trial

How to use Apple Music: Improve your recommendations

When I (Macworld writer Ashleigh Allsopp, hi!) first had a look at Apple Music’s For You I was unsure how well it had worked – it was suggesting Justin Bieber’s greatest hits and an old Shakira live album, both of which do not appeal to my music tastes. However, when revisiting the app the following morning, Apple Music seemed to have the right idea. It suggested a Chilled-Out Pop playlist perfect to get me through the morning commute, several introductions to bands that it’s possible I’ll like, and a variety of albums that look interesting.

Plus, you can actually tap and hold on a recommendation for a menu that contains the “I don’t like this suggestion” option, which will help improve your recommendations for the future. Whenever you see the little heart icon, you can tap that to let Apple know that you like that song, album or playlist, which will also help the service get to know you and should improve the results.

You won’t need to launch the Apple Music app if you’re listening to a song you like when your phone’s locked. The heart icon will also appear on the Lock Screen, which you can tap at any time to let Apple know you love it.

 

You’ll find that you can scroll almost infinitely on Apple Music’s For You page until you find something that takes your fancy. Swiping down from the top will also load a new set of playlist, album and artist recommendations.

 

You’ll find that you can scroll almost infinitely on Apple Music’s For You page until you find something that takes your fancy. Swiping down from the top will also load a new set of playlist, album and artist recommendations.

 

How to use Apple Music: Listen to playlists albums from For You

If, for example, you want to listen to that aforementioned Chilled-Out Pop playlist, just tap the little grey play arrow on that ‘card’. You’ll now see an additional bar appear along the bottom, showing what song you’re listening to and allowing you to pause it. It’s worth noting that iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can also force touch a playlist to ‘peek’ at its’ contents without opening it.

You can tap that bar to see more details and controls for the song itself. There, you can choose the more option which the three dots and three lines symbol, and rearrange the playlist in your Up Next queue.

 

Tapping the three dots on the right of that bar along the bottom will bring up a menu of options that you’ll like if you’re enjoying the current song.

 

Tapping the three dots on the right of that bar along the bottom will bring up a menu of options that you’ll like if you’re enjoying the current song.

 

The ‘+’ icon will add the track to ‘My Music’, which means you’ll see that song when you go to the My Music section of the app. You’ll be able to listen to it any time you choose from there, as long as you have an Internet connection or have downloaded the songs for offline playback. If you’ve already got the song in My Music, this option won’t appear.

The heart icon helps Apple Music understand what kind of music you like, and improves the music suggestions on the ‘For You’ section of the app.

The third (and most odd looking) icon will create a Radio station (we’ll talk more about those later) based on the song you’re listening to, where you’ll hear other songs from that artist and related artists.

Tapping the Share icon (Square with an arrow pointing upwards) will present you with two options; ‘Share Playlist’ or ‘Share Song’. Once chosen, you can send it via AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Twitter, Facebook and more.

You can take a closer look at the album of the song by tapping on its title, which takes you to a list of songs that are in that album.

If you really enjoy the playlist or album, you can add it and all of its songs to the My Music library by tapping the plus icon. It’ll become a tick if they’ve been successfully added. If you change your mind, tap the tick again to remove it from My Music.

 

Then there’s the share icon, followed by the three dots ‘More’ icon. Tap that, and you’ll be able to tap ‘Play Next’ to add it to the top of your Up Next queue or ‘add to Up Next’ to add it to the bottom.

We’d recommend spending some time exploring the For You section and playing around with it. Make sure you tap the heart when you like something so that Apple knows how to make your recommendations better, and save some songs for offline listening if you spend a lot of time on the underground, for example.

Read next: How to sync music from Mac to iPhone without deleting Apple Music playlists

How to use Apple Music: Offline listening

As mentioned above, you’ll find the offline listening option when you tap the More icon on any playlist, song or album. Tap the first icon on the left (with a cloud and an arrow pointing down), and you’ll find that the songs are downloading in the My Music section of the app.

 

Then there’s the share icon, followed by the three dots ‘More’ icon. Tap that, and you’ll be able to tap ‘Play Next’ to add it to the top of your Up Next queue or ‘add to Up Next’ to add it to the bottom.

We’d recommend spending some time exploring the For You section and playing around with it. Make sure you tap the heart when you like something so that Apple knows how to make your recommendations better, and save some songs for offline listening if you spend a lot of time on the underground, for example.

Read next: How to sync music from Mac to iPhone without deleting Apple Music playlists

How to use Apple Music: Offline listening

As mentioned above, you’ll find the offline listening option when you tap the More icon on any playlist, song or album. Tap the first icon on the left (with a cloud and an arrow pointing down), and you’ll find that the songs are downloading in the My Music section of the app.

 

When you’re offline and want to listen, you’ll find the songs you’ve downloaded in the My Music section, either in Playlists or Library depending whether it’s a playlist or not. Offline songs will have black text and a phone icon next to the name while unavailable songs will be greyed out.

You can test whether the song is stored for listening offline by turning on Airplane mode from the Control Centre by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, or by looking out for the phone icon mentioned above. If you can play the song when Airplane mode is on, it’ll be available any time you’re out of Wi-Fi or 3G/4G range.

You can also make sure that the songs showing in My Music are only the songs available to listen to offline by clicking Albums and then turning “Music Available Offline” on (it’ll be green).

 

How to use Apple Music: New

All that, and we’ve only really looked at the For You section of Apple Music. We told you there was a lot to get your head around, and we really weren’t kidding! Now, we’ll take a look at the second section of the Apple Music app, called New.

 

How to use Apple Music: New

All that, and we’ve only really looked at the For You section of Apple Music. We told you there was a lot to get your head around, and we really weren’t kidding! Now, we’ll take a look at the second section of the Apple Music app, called New.

 

As you might expect, the New section is where you’ll find new music and charts. When you first visit New, it’ll be set to All Genres, and will show you a featured slider at the top, followed by New Music, Hot Tracks, Recent Releases, Top Songs, a Spotlight (this time it’s on Glastonbury), and Discovered on Connect (which is the social part of Apple Music we’ll talk about later).

 

How to use Apple Music: Find playlists to suit your mood, activity or favourite genre

Scroll even further, and you’ll find three options: Apple Music Editors, Activities and Curators. This is where you’ll find playlists you can listen to. Choose Apple Music Editors for the tracks Apple’s dedicated team are enjoying. It’s split into different genres including Alternative, Blues, Children’s and more.

 

How to use Apple Music: Find playlists to suit your mood, activity or favourite genre

Scroll even further, and you’ll find three options: Apple Music Editors, Activities and Curators. This is where you’ll find playlists you can listen to. Choose Apple Music Editors for the tracks Apple’s dedicated team are enjoying. It’s split into different genres including Alternative, Blues, Children’s and more.

 

Activities is where you’ll find Spotify-like playlists that are designed to suit your mood or, you guessed it, activity. These change, but I found sections for Being Outdoors, Breaking Up, Celebrating, Chilling Out, Cooking, Dancing, Driving, Entertaining, Feeling Blue, Getting Ready, Holidaying, Partying, Romancing, Running, Studying, Travelling, Waking Up, Working and Working out.

Within those different sections you’ll find playlists. In the Being Outdoors option, for example, there’s Sunshine Bike Ride, Saturday in the Park, Underneath the Stars and more.

Finally, there’s Curators, which is where you’ll find playlists put together by some big names in the music industry including Rolling Stone, NME, Vice and Mojo Magazine.

Back on the All Genres New page, scrolling further shows even more options. You’ll find Discovered on Connect videos, more spotlights and playlists and The A-List, which are playlists of the very best of each genre according to the Apple Music team.

If you’re looking for a particular genre, click All Genres at the top, and choose the Genre you want to listen to. You’ll see a similar New page now, but it’ll be tailored to the genre you’ve chosen.

You’ll already know how to listen to, save and favourite playlists, songs and albums from the New section now that you’ve explored For You’s features.

How to use Apple Music: Radio

Now we come to the Radio section of Apple Music, which is where you’ll find the new Beats 1 Radio station as well as various other Radio Stations, which are really just never ending playlists.

How to use Apple Music: Beats 1 Radio

First we’ll take a look at the star of the show, Beats 1 Radio. If you’re wondering why it’s called Beats 1, that’s because Apple acquired Beats back in 2014. In fact, the whole of Apple Music uses lots of Beats expertise.

Beats 1 Radio is an always on radio station that broadcasts worldwide from three cities: London, LA and New York. There are three main DJs: Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga, with various celebrities and popular names in music taking regular guest slots.

 

When you tap the Radio tab in the centre of the navigation bar of the Apple Music app, the Beats 1 will be the first option you get. Tap listen now and a bar will pop up along the bottom of the app to show you what song is currently playing. And just like when you’re listening to any other playlist, album or song in the app, you can tap the song to see the associated artwork and tap the heart to let Apple know you like it. Tap the three dots to add it to My Music and listen again later.

In addition to songs, Beats 1 also features interviews with artists and more.

How to use Apple Music: Other radio stations

Other radio stations available are slightly different. They don’t have DJs and aren’t live, so it’s really an endless playlist that you can listen to. You can also skip tracks you’re not enjoying.

 

When you tap the Radio tab in the centre of the navigation bar of the Apple Music app, the Beats 1 will be the first option you get. Tap listen now and a bar will pop up along the bottom of the app to show you what song is currently playing. And just like when you’re listening to any other playlist, album or song in the app, you can tap the song to see the associated artwork and tap the heart to let Apple know you like it. Tap the three dots to add it to My Music and listen again later.

In addition to songs, Beats 1 also features interviews with artists and more.

How to use Apple Music: Other radio stations

Other radio stations available are slightly different. They don’t have DJs and aren’t live, so it’s really an endless playlist that you can listen to. You can also skip tracks you’re not enjoying.

 

Preset stations you can listen to include Charting Now, Pop Hits, Workout Anthems, Chill, Kids Family and lots more. Additionally, any time you’re listening to a song you can click the three dots in the bar along the bottom and choose Start Station to create a Radio Station that uses that song as inspiration for other songs and related artists to play you.

While preset stations were originally free to all iPhone users (not just those with an Apple Music subscription) Apple has recently backtracked, and now preset stations are only available to paid users.

How to use Apple Music: Connect

The next section of the Apple Music app is Connect, which is the social feature of the service. There, you can follow artists and bands and see when they share photos, videos, messages and more with their Apple Music followers.

You can’t post your own content, but you can comment on, like and share anything that an artist has posted. To like it, simply tap the heart. The number next to the heart represents how many others have liked that post.

 

You can tap the speech bubble to see the comments that others have left, and to write your own comment that the artist might see.

And the share button brings up the usual share menu where you can send the post via Message, Mail, Twitter, Facebook and more.

 

You can tap the speech bubble to see the comments that others have left, and to write your own comment that the artist might see.

And the share button brings up the usual share menu where you can send the post via Message, Mail, Twitter, Facebook and more.

 

How to use Apple Music: Follow and unfollow artists in Connect

You’ll automatically be following the artists with music found in your My Music library. To edit who you follow, tap the icon in the top left corner which looks like a head – that’s where you’ll find your Apple Music account details.

There, you can tap Following and choose who you want to unfollow. You can also turn off Automatically Follow Artists, or tap find more artists to see recommended artists that Apple thinks you might like to follow in Connect.

How to use Apple Music: My Music

Finally, we’ve come to the My Music section, the fifth and final option you’ll find along the bottom navigation bar. We’ve already talked a bit about it, as it links to the other sections of the app, but let’s take a closer look.

Along the top, you’ll first see the icon that takes you to your account, which we’ll talk about later. Then there’s Library and Playlists. The dark pink means that’s the page you’re on.

Tap Library, and on the screen you’ll see your Recently Added songs, and by default you’ll see albums in alphabetical order by artist. Tap on Albums to bring up the option to change to artists, songs, music videos, genres, composers and compilations to help you find what you’re looking for.

 

There’s also the aforementioned option to show only the music that is available offline, which is any music stored on your device, including the tracks you’ve saved for offline listening. If you have only added a song from Apple Music to your Library, you’ll only be able to listen to it when you’re connected to the web.

Tapping the three dots next to any song will bring up a series of options including Play Next, Add to Up Next, Start Station, Make Available Offline (if it isn’t already), Add to Playlist and Delete.

And of course, tapping on a song you play it. If it’s an album, you’ll go to the album track list. If you’ve already got the complete album in your Library you’ll see them all there. If not, you’ll see just the song you’ve added. With Apple Music, you can tap Show Complete Album and listen to others.

 

There’s also the aforementioned option to show only the music that is available offline, which is any music stored on your device, including the tracks you’ve saved for offline listening. If you have only added a song from Apple Music to your Library, you’ll only be able to listen to it when you’re connected to the web.

Tapping the three dots next to any song will bring up a series of options including Play Next, Add to Up Next, Start Station, Make Available Offline (if it isn’t already), Add to Playlist and Delete.

And of course, tapping on a song you play it. If it’s an album, you’ll go to the album track list. If you’ve already got the complete album in your Library you’ll see them all there. If not, you’ll see just the song you’ve added. With Apple Music, you can tap Show Complete Album and listen to others.

 

You’ll also get recommendations, including more by the album’s artist and a “You May Also Like,” section.

If there’s a particular song you have in mind that you want to listen to, you simply need to tap the magnifying glass at the top and type the song you want to listen to into the search bar.

 

You can choose to search the whole of Apple Music, or just your My Music library. Tapping the clock icon will show recent searches, and you’ll also see Trending Searches, which can be another good way to discover new music.

If you choose Playlists along the top of the Apple Music My Music main page, you’ll find your Recently Added playlists at the top, as well as a list of all of your playlists. Tap ‘All Playlists’ to change the view – you can choose to show only Apple Music playlists that you’ve added to your library, or only the playlists you’ve made yourself. You can also show only music available offline here.

 

You can choose to search the whole of Apple Music, or just your My Music library. Tapping the clock icon will show recent searches, and you’ll also see Trending Searches, which can be another good way to discover new music.

If you choose Playlists along the top of the Apple Music My Music main page, you’ll find your Recently Added playlists at the top, as well as a list of all of your playlists. Tap ‘All Playlists’ to change the view – you can choose to show only Apple Music playlists that you’ve added to your library, or only the playlists you’ve made yourself. You can also show only music available offline here.

 

How to use Apple Music: Your account

The last thing to talk about is your Apple Music account. Tap on the icon in the top left corner of the app to go to your Account details. You can add a profile picture and choose your nickname by tapping on your name at the top and then tapping Edit.

 

1 Comment
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