Apple Music: Everything you need to know about Apple’s new music service

Apple is preparing to launch Apple Music alongside iOS 8.4 in a short while from now. The new Music service will include three different services — the Apple Music streaming service, the Apple Music radio station which includes Beats 1 and Apple Music Connect, a social network to link fans with their favorite artists. It’s a new venture for Apple and one that may be difficult to navigate to due to its many parts, so read on for answers to your most pressing questions about this new service.

What is Apple Music?

Advertised as “All the ways you love music. All in one place,” Apple is creating a streaming music service that’ll complement its existing music download catalog. Instead of purchasing individual tracks, Apple Music will allow you to stream any song in Apple’s streaming catalog for a small monthly fee. Apple Music will exist alongside your iTunes library allowing you to mix and match music from both services. You can create your own playlists or listen to ones crafted by Apple’s select music editors.

What is Music Radio?

Apple Music also includes Music Radio with a 24/7 live radio station called Beats 1. Music Radio provides iTunes Radio-like curated stations that you can listen to on-demand. These fifteen stations cover a vareity of musical genres — from indie rock to classical and folk to funk. Besides the pre-programmed stations, you’ll also be able to create your own stations based on a song, album, or artist.

What is Beats 1?

Beats 1 is 24/7 live radio station with studios in Los Angeles, New York, and London. Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Julie Adenuga will be the primary DJs controlling the flow of music, arranging interviews, and inviting guest hosts.

What is Apple Music Connect?

Besides Music, Apple Music also features a social network called Music Connect that’s designed for musicians to interact with their fans on a personal level. Each artist can post photos, videos, and more to their stream. Apple envisions artists sharing inspiring moments, candid backstage shots and in-progress lyrics to the stream. Fans then can follow that stream and initiate a conversation with the musician by leaving comments to which the artist can respond.

What happens to iTunes Radio, the iTunes Store, and iTunes Match when Apple Music launches?

Once Apple Music launches, iTunes Radio will be sunsetted with the new Apple Music Radio stations and Beats 1 taking its place. The iTunes Store will still be available for you to purchase and download music. ITunes Match also will continue to provide song matching, uploading and streaming for customers who prefer not to subscribe to Apple Music. If you subscribe to Apple Music, you likely will no longer need iTunes Match as the Music service will include a similar matching service.

How much does Apple Music Cost?

Free at first! Apple is offering a free three-month trial of Apple Music starting June 30th. After the trial period is over, the service will cost $9.99 per month for an individual account and $14.99 for a family account that includes six subscriptions. Family subscriptions are available via iCloud Family Sharing.

Can I listen offline?

Yes! Offline listening is one of the major features of Apple Music.

Can I mix and match my iTunes library with the Apple Music collection?

Yes! Apple has said you’ll be able to add Apple Music songs to your iTunes library and then use those tracks to build playlists.

Is Apple Music getting any exclusive content I won’t be able to hear elsewhere?

Yes! The service is launching with an exclusive song from Grammy Award wining artist Pharrel Williams. Other similar partnerships undoubtedly will materialize in the future.

How is the new Music app on iOS different?

The new Music app has been revamped to showcase Apple Music with five tabs that include the following:

  • For You: displays your playlists along with suggested music and playlists
  • New: highlights new music in the Apple Music catalog with an emphasis on the music you enjoy
  • Radio: the new radio channels along with Beats 1 can be found here
  • Connect: gathers the social feeds of your favorite musicians
  • My Music: your music library including those songs you have purchased and ones you have transferred from Apple Music

iTunes will have similar categories to keep the UI consistent across platforms.

How do I tell Apple Music what I like to listen to?

Personalization — providing you with the music you like most — is key to Apple Music. When you first setup the app, you will be able to select genres and artists that you enjoy. As you use the app, Apple Music will watch what you listen to and adjust its recommendation engine to match.

How does Apple Music’s dynamic search engine work?

You can search Apple Music using Siri or Apple’s new dynamic search engine. Just tap the search icon at the top of the app and enter your search terms, such as artist, song, genre, or playlist. Apple will remember your past searches and display trending searches from other members. The app also will allow you to filter your search so you can search either Apple Music or the songs you’ve added to your library.

Apple Music iOS 9

What is included with the paid subscription?

For the first three months, everyone will be able to use all the features of Apple Music including the following:

  • Access to your iTunes Library
  • Beats 1
  • Listen to Apple Music Radio stations without advertisements and unlimited skips
  • View an artist’s Music Connect stream
  • Like, comment, play, and save Music Connect content
  • Unlimited listening to Apple’s entire Music catalog via the Apple Music streaming service
  • Ability to add Apple Music songs to your iTunes library and listen offline
  • Upload your entire iTunes library to iCloud
  • Access to Apple Music’s hand-picked music recommendations and playlists

For the first three months, everyone will get all the features of Apple Music. After that initial trial, your account will be limited unless your purchase a subscription. Free accounts only will be able to do the following:

  • Access your iTunes Library
  • Listen to Beats 1
  • View an artist’s Music Connect stream
  • Listen to Apple Music Radio stations with advertisements and limited skips

What happens to my music if I decide not to subscribe after the three-month trial?

If you choose not to subscribe to Apple Music, you will lose all the premium features of the Music service. Any streaming content you added to your iTunes library will no longer be available, your access to Music Connect will be restricted and Apple Music radio stations will be skip-limited. You also no longer will be able to upload and stream your iTunes library via iCloud unless you purchase iTunes Match for $25 per year.

What devices are compatible with Apple Music?

Apple Music will be available starting June 30 on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch), the Apple Watch, Macs, and PCs. The service will be coming to Android devices and the Apple TV later this fall with Sonos support available as soon as possible.

Does Apple Music work with the Apple Watch?

As an Apple Music subscriber, you will be able to sync any music or playlist from your Music library to your Apple Watch. If you chose to store songs on your Apple Watch, you wouldn’t even need your iPhone to play the music.

Zane Lowe and Beats 1

How do I sign up for Apple Music?

Apple Music will go live on June 30th after Apple rolls out iOS 8.4 to the public. Once iOS 8.4 is installed, you will be able to launch the new Music app and sign up for the free three-month trial. According to senior director of Apple Music Ian Rogers, iOS 8.4 will be released at 8 AM PT and Beats 1 will launch shortly after at 9 AM PT.

What happens to my Beats Music subscription?

You will be able to keep using Beats for the time being, but it’s in your best interest to migrate over to Apple Music. Apple’s focus will be on its Music service going forward, and the company likely will sunset Beats Music eventually.

Once you move over to Apple Music, your Beats Music subscription will be canceled and all your content will be moved over to Apple Music. You will not be able to go back to Beats Music once you make the move to Apple Music. Any unused balance on your account will be added as a credit to your iTunes account. According to Apple’s senior vice president of Internet services Eddy Cue, Apple will provide an update to Beats app that’ll make it easy to migrate to Apple Music.

Apple’s Beats Music page has a helpful FAQ with answers to more detailed questions about topics such as carrier billing.

Where will Apple Music be available?

Apple announced during WWDC that Apple Music will be available in over 100 countries, but did provide details on these launch locations. Cult of Mac generated a list of locations by digging through Apple’s website.

We will continue to update this post as we get more information, and after we’ve tested Apple Music.

Let us know if you’ve any other questions in the comments below, we’ll be happy to answer them.


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