Hands-on with Apple Music (Video)

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Today we’re taking a quick look at Apple Music. This new service came along with the iOS 8.4 update and effectively merges Beats Music with a new streaming service from Apple. The good news is, Apple Music will also be available for Android and Apple TV as well later this fall. Everyone also gets a 3 month free trial in case you’re on the fence about subscribing to the service right away…

The update brings along a refreshed Music app icon and this is where you’ll find Apple Music along with the music you’ve purchased through iTunes. Inside of the app we have a new layout with different tabs and organization. When you first sign up for Apple Music, you’ll be prompted to choose different genres and artists that you like. This will begin curating playlists and albums for streaming based on your interests.

The first tab at the bottom is where you’ll find music “for you.” These playlists, artists, and albums are available to stream instantly, add to your music library, and even save for offline playback. If you’d like to find other artists available on Apple Music or within your music library, you can tap on the search icon in the top right corner and type in an artist, song, or album name.

Next up, we have the “new” tab which will likely be similar for everyone using the app. This presents artists and albums new to Apple Music and can be streamed or saved to your library.

Check out our Apple Music hands-on video below:

In the middle, there’s a “radio” tab. This is basically what iTunes Radio should have been from the beginning. At the moment, the top banner showcases Beats 1 Radio which is a live station that has different scheduled events throughout the day. By tapping on this station you can see the current DJ lineup and featured shows that air on this station. The other stations available are pretty straight forward though. Tap on a station and it will begin playing content based on the title.

The fourth tab is called “connect” and works as somewhat of a social network for Apple Music. This allows you to follow various artists and see what’s happening in a single stream. You have the ability to like posts and comment on them with others that are into that artist as well. By default, Apple Music will follow artists it finds within your music library, but you can easily follow new artists through their personal pages or access them through a specific album.

Finally, we have the “My Music” section. This is exactly what you’d expect. It combines the music you’ve purchased through iTunes as well as the music you’ve added to your library from Apple Music. At the top, there are two tabs that allow you to switch between your library and your playlists.

Apple Music is exactly what I’ve been waiting for and I’m looking forward to its release on Apple TV and Android in the near future. If you’d like to sign up for Apple Music after the free trial has ended, it will run you $9.99 per month for an individual or $14.99 per month for a family of up to 6 members with individual accounts and listening preferences. It seems like a pretty good deal to me, but let us know what you think about Apple Music in the comment section below.

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  1. Michael Torres - 8 years ago

    It isn’t letting me add music to my library from apple music. Please help. I went to settings and did everything it told me but its still not working. It has something to do with icloud.

  2. James Transue - 8 years ago

    how do you put your songs on shuffle now?

    • On Apple Music select Add to My Music with the 3 dots ( … ) , all songs added to My Music should show up in iTunes within seconds, download each song to your hard disk by clicking on the cloud icon with the arrow, re-sync your iPod shuffle with the new songs, done. :)

    • Mosha - 8 years ago

      It automatically starts shuffling once you’ve selected a song.

  3. Michael Crabtree - 8 years ago

    I just want to play my songs in a random mix, but that seems to be gone. I can start playing a song, then press the random shuffle icon. Siri will no longer play a song in my music, and how do a reset a random shuffle?

    • NOTHING has changed with respect to random/shuffle play. If you want to randomize a specific album, you play any song from that album and you turn on shuffle. If you want to randomize a playlist, first you start the playlist. If you want to randomize every song on your iPhone, then you go to SONG VIEW MODE and play any song, then make sure that shuffle is turned on.

      This music app is the most straight-forward Apple has ever released.

      • chrisl84 - 8 years ago

        Straight forward? How do you easily differentiate downloaded songs and songs in the cloud? This app has so much improvement needed it’s not even funny. Spotify owns it on usability. Apple Musics only selling point over competition is Siri

      • Andrew Messenger - 8 years ago

        seriously? how do you differentiate between downloaded and cloud music? there’s literally an icon next to every single song. thats how.

      • samuelsnay - 8 years ago

        Andrew, it’s not worth it. He’s an anti-Apple clown. He doesn’t even own an Apple device. He’d never have said something so stupid if he did.

      • bunim1 - 8 years ago

        Very unclear on shuffle

        Also unclear on what’s downloaded since it still says ‘make available offline’ even after downloading a song

      • acgwipeout - 8 years ago

        The thing that drives me nuts is FFW, RW, scroll is completely gone in the app. You have to swipe up to the shortcut menu to access it. The basic buttons that has existed since Tape players were created is replaced with press ” ….” Then select “play next”, why would you change the common music button function that every person across every nation understands.

    • joshblinney - 8 years ago

      Everyone is moaning. There is a icon to say if it’s on the device or not. It’s a little banner than looks like a phone

      • bunim1 - 8 years ago

        That little icon is near the song. So if I downloaded all 10 tracks from an album, even though each song has the little iPhone logo, the album still has options for make available offline and only after hitting hat will it change to remove downloads

  4. Jamie Lunn - 8 years ago

    Has anyone else had the issue where once you sign in to use Apple Music it completely takes over your locally synced music and changes artwork etc. This is a massive deal breaker for me as it doesn’t even get the artwork right half the time if you have a rare album or a album it doesn’t know. Particularly bad for compilations!

    • Jake Becker - 8 years ago

      It did this and I put the kibosh on that right away. You have to turn off iCloud Music Library in Settings > Music and then resync through iTunes. Don’t know if that’s going to be counter to what you want to do but that’s how I fixed it and got all my old art back.

    • same i am disappointed and mad at the fact that a lot of my albums have the wrong covers hopefully theres a fix

  5. Them has applied a nasty random image file irritation.

  6. Apple Music is indeed exactly what I was waiting for. However, there are some features I miss from Spotify, such as, move up and down playlists and connecting with friends -I guess Apple intention was to first connect fans to artist and then connect fans with fans. I’ve notice that the app crashes sometimes and some general lag when playing music and using other apps.

  7. The “NEW” tab is paid placement – advertising for artists and labels that cut special deals with Apple. Shame it’s not instead tailored to your own interests. I’d love to see when my favorite artists have new material available in iTunes for download/purchase/streaming, but I don’t give a rat’s ass about Taylor Swift and would rather not ever have that name or anything about her ever appear on my phone.

    So it’s a big “THIS SUCKS BAD” for the “new” tab. The “My Music” which is the equivalent of the old music player is much improved and streamlined. I can see the possibility of new features being added in the future, but it’s a great start that leaves all the old BS (going all the way back to the first iPod) behind.

    • incredibilistic - 8 years ago

      The “New” tab is the same for everyone as it’s just a quick tab for all the Tuesday releases. Not sure why that’s a deal breaker.

      I’m only guessing but there’s a chance you’ll see new releases from artists you’re following in the “For You” and/or “Connect” tab.

      Based on how much Apple managed to cram into a single app I think it’s an amazing feat of utility and aesthetics.

  8. Andrew Messenger - 8 years ago

    Where are the playlists? What about “The Sentence” feature from Beats? You know. The things I actually used.

  9. 9 out of 10 albums displayed on the “For You” page are albums I already have in my personal collection. I’m not sure whether to be pleased with its accuracy or simply be underwhelmed that it’s just parroting back exactly what I told it. ;)

  10. JDW - 8 years ago

    Playlists are rather hidden, but definitely searchable, will take some getting use to, but spotify’s experience here is really telling. Once you do get the playlist they seem good however really need public playlists from users! This is a great feature of spotify that I think Apple need to include ASAP. People have different tastes in music and public playlists enables a great range of them. It also allowed companies like fashion brands and radio stations to make their own ones for their followers, it would allow artists to create their inspiration playlists etc. If they add this, keeping their specialist curators and apple editor lists this could be the killer streaming service. Hopefully this is an update Apple already have in mind.

  11. I was so stoked for this but it’s incredibly badly set up…
    If you want to add content offline, you have to enable iCloud-matching. When doing so it deletes all your old iTunes playlists from your music app… If you then deactivate you can get your playlists back but then you can’t get offline content anymore.

    Seriosuly they can’t even add proper support for their own previous software… This is very unlike Apple to be this sloppy and messy…

  12. pdjhh - 8 years ago

    I can’t remove Michael Buble from my connect thing! This is a code red guys what do I do! What if someone sees it, I can’t leave the house!

    • samuelsnay - 8 years ago

      Going to connect, tap the icon in the upper left-hand corner, go into following, and delete him.

      • samuelsnay - 8 years ago

        Go into*

      • pdjhh - 8 years ago

        Yep, he’s not in there either followed or otherwise. But he’s taking up 50% of my connect page with flume (who I selected) on the bottom half. I turned off automatically follow as well in case it was int here but no luck. Also, in ‘find more artists to follow’ I just get offered about ten of them and that’s it. No option to search for anymore or anything.

      • pdjhh - 8 years ago

        Dahhh he’s on connect on my itunes on the Mac too..

  13. Mark Bergman - 8 years ago

    I had some good iTunes Radio stations configured. I liked them better than the new Apple music.

  14. Gregg Palmer - 8 years ago

    How do you create a “new” radio station based on a song or group? Also, where can I view my existing stations?

  15. Vince (@nameisvince) - 8 years ago

    Am I blind or is there no way to shuffle all albums by an artist that I have more than two albums from in my library?

  16. Toddger (@Toddger) - 8 years ago

    Ok, its another music player. I used Spotify exclusively before, so that is my benchmark. I’m perfectly fine with switching to Apple Music. But I’m still looking for the “revolutionary” in this app… It really isn’t apparent to me. Aside from being part of the Apple family, and a few other things that I’m not sure I really need or want right now, it is pretty much an “OK” new music service.

    I must note that the thing I really like about Spotify is all of the Social Media hooks. This seems largely forgotten in Apple Music, unless you care to re-establish all this stuff inside this ecosystem. I probably won’t. I liked the interaction with several other apps with Spotify, I guess this remains to be seen with Apple Music.

    Meh. We’ll see.

  17. raguirre886 - 8 years ago

    Can someone please help me.. Apple music is taking up to much memory on my iPhone, every time I add a song to my playlist it’s like I’m downloading it to my phone, with spotify I’m able to have 800 songs on my playlist and it doesn’t take up to much memory… I’m I doing something wrong?

  18. Alan Fahd Huespe - 8 years ago

    I have been testing Apple Music, so far I can tell the platform is nice but:
    – Very slow
    – I can not get the Icloud to work, so I have a view of The Apple Music playlist that I create on my Ipad or Mac Book
    – So far I am keeping my spotify premium account because it updates my playlists on all my devices

  19. Apple Music represents a unique moment for me…the most frustrated I have ever been with Apple’s products. None of the playlists I created on the Music app sync with any of my computers and playlists I created on my computer are all corrupted: e.g. Pixies songs play as MC Hammer songs inexplicably.

    Am I the only one experiencing such a buggy, horrid, user experience?

  20. Kath Jacques - 8 years ago

    Maybe i’ve read too fast, but you’re not talking about the: you have to be connected to Wifi OR use your cellular data to be able to listen to your music…