Apple Music: Features, Devices, Pricing, Lossless, and more
Apple Music is a streaming service that includes 50 million songs and is available on iOS, macOS, HomePod, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Sonos, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Android.
Apple Music is the company’s music streaming subscription-based service that was released on June 30 of 2015 in 100 countries. Apple Music has over 90 million songs in its catalog and offers the ability to download your favorite tracks and play them offline.
With the possibility of listening across all your favorite devices, Apple Music offers new music personalized for every user, curated playlists from Apple’s editors, exclusive Radio, video clips, and original content. Recently, the company introduced a HiFi quality for the service up to 24 bits at 192 kHz.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple Music.
Table of contents
- How and where can I listen to Apple Music?
- How much does Apple Music cost? Does it have a family plan? What about a student one?
- Apple Music Voice Plan
- Is Apple Music the same as iTunes?
- iTunes Match
- Apple Digital Masters
- What headphones are compatible with Apple Music Lossless and Dolby Atmos support with Spatial Audio?
- How to activate Apple Music Lossless
- How many songs are available in Lossless?
- How much data does Lossless use?
- What are Dolby Atmos and Lossless audio?
- Does HomePod stream in Lossless? What about Spatial Audio?
- Listen Now
- Now Playing
Everything about Apple Music
How and where can I listen to Apple Music?
Apple Music is available on a variety of devices: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, HomePod, CarPlay, PC, Android, Sonos, Amazon Echo, Samsung Smart TV, Google Nest, Playstation 5, and the web.
To be more specific, the service needs at least iOS 10 and watchOS 2.2 to run on your Apple devices. Here are the devices available:
- iPhone 5, 5C, SE (1st generation) or newer;
- iPod touch (6th generation) or newer;
- iPad (4th generation), iPad mini 2, iPad Air (1st generation), iPad Pro (1st generation) or newer;
- Apple Watch (all)
- Apple TV (4th generation) or newer;
- Samsung Smart TVs from 2018 or newer.
It’s also possible to listen to it on your browser, just type music.Apple.com. A subscription is required.
How much does Apple Music cost? Does it have a family plan? What about a student one?
Apple Music is a subscription-based service and it doesn’t have a free tier like Spotify, although you can try it for free for three months. As for now, the service has four subscription tiers available. Here they are:
- Voice Plan: 4.99/month;
- Student: 5.99/month;
- Individual: 9.99/month;
- Family: 14.99/month.
With a Student or Individual subscription, you can:
- Listen to over 90 million songs, plus your entire iTunes library;
- Enjoy songs in Dolby Atmos, Lossless, and Hi-Res Lossless at no extra cost;
- Listen online or offline;
- Stream ad-free music and music videos;
- Download 100,000 songs to your library;
- Access across your devices;
- See what your friends are listening to;
- Original shows, concerts, and exclusives;
- Live and on-demand radio stations hosted by artists.
A family subscription offers:
- Access for up to six people;
- A personal account for each family member;
- Share your existing music library however you want.
Individual and student subscriptions have the same benefits. To apply for a student subscription, you just need to verify your college credentials with UNiDAYS every year while you’re studying.
Apple Music is available on all Apple One bundles as well. Learn more here.
Apple Music Voice Plan
Apple released in December of 2021 the “Apple Music Voice Plan,” a new subscription tier for the service for 4.99/month. Users have Siri as their main way to listen to songs.
According to Apple, starting with iOS 15.2 users can subscribe to the Voice Plan through Siri by saying “Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial,” or by signing up through the Music app. Once subscribed to the plan, users can request music be played across all of their Siri-enabled devices, including HomePod mini, Airpods, iPhone, or any other Apple device, and when using CarPlay.
Subscribers can ask Siri to “Play the dinner party playlist,” “Play something chill,” or even “Play more like this” for a personalized music experience. Unfortunately, it’s important to note that Spatial Audio and Lossless quality won’t be supported with this low-cost plan, as well as lyrics, and music videos.
This new option is available in Australia, Austria, Canada, China mainland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, the UK, and the US.
Is Apple Music the same as iTunes?
This is sort of true because, in macOS Catalina, Apple killed iTunes. The Music app is where you can find all your songs, bought on the iTunes Store, ripped from a CD, or downloaded via Apple Music.
Before Apple Music, there was iTunes Match. The service uploaded your music library from the Apple Music app on your Mac or iTunes for Windows on your PC. Then you could access your music library on all of your devices that have Sync Library turned on.
Since Apple introduced its music service, the company encourages users to subscribe to the service, since you get all of the benefits of iTunes Match, plus access to the entire Music catalog.
Apple Digital Masters
Since Apple Music launched, Apple offers most of its catalog over the Apple Digital Masters label. With the AAC format over MP3, the company says the Advanced Audio Coding achieves the portability and convenience of compressed and encoded digital audio while retaining the audio quality that’s indistinguishable from much larger digital files.
With Apple Digital Masters, artists can offer higher-quality tunes. Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney, Billie Eilish, and Sigrid, for example, offer their catalog with this label.
In June 2021, Apple released Apple Music with Lossless and Dolby Atmos support with much greater quality.
Apple Music HiFi: Lossless, Hi-Res Lossless, Dolby Atmos with Spatial Audio
In May of 2021, Apple announced it was bringing lossless music quality options to its entire catalog at no extra cost, starting in June. Apple said lossless quality would be available for more than 90 million tracks in the Apple Music library by the end of 2021. Although it didn’t happen, most of the service’s library is indeed available in this higher quality.
Alongside lossless, Apple launched support for Spatial Audio music with songs authored in Dolby Atmos. Users can listen to select albums with an immersive 3D sound space on Airpods 3, Airpods Pro, Airpods Max and Beats headphones with an H1 or W1 chip. Apple says thousands of Dolby Atmos are already available.
What headphones are compatible with Apple Music Lossless and Dolby Atmos support with Spatial Audio?
Apple says Dolby Atmos is supported by iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV using any pair of headphones. This includes Airpods, Airpods Pro, Airpods Max, BeatsX, Beats Solo3 Wireless, Beats Studio3, Powerbeats3 Wireless, Beats Flex, Powerbeats Pro, and Beats Solo Pro, but there are a few differences.
For example, no Bluetooth headphones will offer Lossless quality. Apple says that Airpods Max with a wired connection can offer a similar sound to Lossless, but to stream Hi-Res Lossless quality at 24 bit at 192 kHz it will require another headphone with an external DAC.
One of the features available with iOS 15 for Airpods 3, Airpods Pro, and Airpods Max is “Spatialize Stereo,” which uses head-tracking for an immersive sound experience.
How to activate Apple Music Lossless
With iOS 14.6 or newer, follow these steps:
To listen to between Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless:
- Go to Settings, then Music
- Click on Audio Quality and choose between Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless for cellular or Wi-Fi connections
How many songs are available in Lossless?
Apple said that by the end of 2021, all of its catalog would be available in Lossless, but the company didn’t reach its goal, because it doesn’t require artists to upload a Lossless version of their tunes. Even though, as of 2022, it’s possible to say that most Apple Music catalog is already available in Lossless.
How much data does Lossless use?
- Lossless audio files will use significantly more space on your device. 10GB of space could store approximately: 3,000 songs at high-quality AAC, 1,000 songs with Lossless, and 200 songs with Hi-Res Lossless;
- Lossless streaming will consume significantly more data. A 3-minute song will be approximate: 1.5MB with high efficiency, 6MB with high-quality at 256 kbps, 36MB with Lossless at 24-bit/48 kHz, and 145MB with Hi-Res Lossless at 24-bit/192 kHz. Support varies and depends on song availability, network conditions, and connected speaker or headphone capability.
What are Dolby Atmos and Lossless audio?
Dolby Atmos is an immersive audio format that enables musicians to mix music so it sounds like the instruments are all around you in space.
Lossless audio compression reduces the original file size of a song while preserving all of the data. Apple Music is making its entire catalog of more than 90 million songs available in lossless audio at different resolutions in Apple Music, “Lossless” refers to lossless audio up to 48kHz, and “Hi-Res Lossless” refers to lossless audio from 48kHz to 192kHz. Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless files are very large and use much more bandwidth and storage space than standard AAC files.
Does HomePod stream in Lossless? What about Spatial Audio?
Yes, HomePod and HomePod mini stream in Lossless quality, as long as you update your Smart speaker to version 15.1. Follow these steps to enable the quality:
- Open the Home app on your iPhone running iOS 15.1 or later;
- Click on the Home icon on the top left corner
- Choose “Home Settings” then click on your profile
- In “Media,” click on the “Apple Music” tab
- Toggle on “Lossless Audio”,
Only the original HomePod can stream songs with Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio support. To do the same with the HomePod mini, you need to have a pair of them synchronized with an Apple TV 4K. From the Apple TV, you can play songs in Dolby Atmos using Apple Music. Learn more about it here.
How to find songs with Lossless and Dolby Atmos labels?
Apple Music is highlighting content that’s available in Spatial Audio in the Listen Now, Browse, and Search tabs
- In the Browse tab, check out all playlists made up of all Spatial Audio music like Hits, Hip-Hop, Pop, Country, Rock, and Jazz
- There are also sections for “New Music in Spatial Audio” and “The Best of Spatial Audio”
- Apple Music is using this as a hub for all the Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio content including videos, music, tutorials, featured albums, new content, and more
- Underneath the album artwork and play button, look for “Dolby Atmos”
- You can also quickly tell if a track is playing in Spatial Audio by:
- Or opening Control Center (swipe down from the top right corner) and long press on the headphones icon look for Spatial Audio playing in the bottom right and Dolby Atmos below the volume slider.
iOS 16 Apple Music features
With the release of iOS 16, Apple Music offers a few new tweaks:
- Sort playlists by Title, Artist, Album, and more;
- Favorite artists;
- Volume HUD has a tweak on the Apple Music app. It looks similar to the bar that shows the length of the song;
- When searching for albums, playlists, singles, etc, you’ll notice that the covers are more rounded;
- The Apple Music widget in the iOS 16 Lock Screen is now different. It also shows the devices you’re listening to (a HomePod, Airpods, Beats earbuds, and even wired headphones);
- When using SharePlay via Messages, it now synchronized activities like movies, music, workouts, games, and more with friends while chatting in Messages;
- Apple Digital Master label is now closer to the song information, while Dolby Atmos and Lossless quality are shown closer to its cover;
- You can drag and drop songs to add next in the queue;
- You can move music from a HomePod to another without it AirPlaying to the other HomePod;
- There’s a new music and podcast preview on the Lock Screen.
Apple Music Replay playlist
Apple Music has a Replay playlist of your most played songs of each year from 2015 when the service launched.
The feature doesn’t have much, but by the end of every year, you can enter the Replay website here and see how much you listened to your favorite artists, your top 100 songs, and play counts for your top albums.
With iOS 15, by the end of the “Listen Now” tab, you can find all your Replay playlists as well. Apple Music Replay 2022 is already available.
Apple Music vs. Spotify
The main Apple Music competitor is Spotify. They’re both very similar. While AM is a better choice for those who already have a long-time iTunes catalog purchased, Spotify is the key music service if you love recommendations and algorithm-curated playlists.
With Spotify raising its prices, Music becomes a solid choice if you bundle it with Apple One. By the beginning of 2021, 9to5Mac compared both services so Apple users could know which was best for them:
Starting with Apple One, I think is more convenient to pay one subscription for a lot of services rather than paying only Spotify for one service. With the Apple One Family plan, I have 200GB of iCloud storage, Apple TV, Apple Arcade, and Apple Music, and I can share all of these services with my family. For 19.95 a month, I have way more benefits instead of paying 9.99 per month for Spotify individual plan or 16.99 for a family subscription that only includes the music service.
Apple Music walkthrough
As on iOS 15, Apple Music has five tabs on the iPhone. In this guide, I’ll explain what each tab does. There’s also your Profile on the app.
“Listen Now” is a section based on your favorite picks. It shows your recently played songs, what your friends are listening to, and stations and mixes just for you. At the end of the page, you can find the Replay section with your top songs by each year.
iOS 15 introduces a new “Shared With You” section where you can find songs your friends shared via iMessage. When you click on their names, you can reply to the message.
The “Browse” section is curated by Apple editors. You can find the most listened-to songs everywhere, new releases, what’s trending, exclusive playlists, Spatial Audio songs, the Daily Top 100, and what’s coming soon.
With iOS 14.5, Apple introduced its City Charts, a bunch of playlists with the Top 25 songs of over 100 cities around the world. It’s updated daily. You can learn more about it here.
Apple Music Radio is the rebrand of Beats 1. Introduced in 2020, it offers shows, interviews, and everything else you expect from a radio. Apple Music Hits and Country are people’s favorite stations.
“Apple Music is home — it’s home to artists, it’s home to fans, and it’s home to incredible music,” said Zane Lowe, Apple Music’s global creative director, and host. “I’m an obsessive music nerd. I love searching for the most exciting new artists and playing them right alongside the most essential, established artists of our time because great music does not know the difference and the service’s fans just want to hear great music.”
The “Library” section is where you find your added songs. You can opt to listen to them online or offline. The offline songs are also available in the “Downloaded” tab.
You can edit the section to appear just the tabs you use, such as “Playlists,” “Artists,” “Albums,” and “Songs,” while toggling of “Genres,” “Compilations,” and others.
You can search on Apple Music and in your library. You can also browse categories or write a part of a lyric to find the song.
The Now Playing screen shows the song, album, or playlist you’re listening to. You can enjoy the “lyrics view”, AirPlay your song using your speaker, Apple TV, Smart TV, wireless headphones, and see what will play next. In this section you can “Shuffle,” turn “Repeat” on, and toggle the “Infinite” button, to keep playing similar songs after a playlist or album is over.
In the “Now Playing” section, you can also share the song or the lyrics on Instagram and other social media platforms, and let Apple Music know if you love the song or want the service to suggest less like this.
With iOS 15, you get a small label above the play/pause button indicating whether the song is streaming in Lossless, Hi-Res Lossless, or Dolby Atmos.
At the top of the “Listen Now” section, there’s your Profile. You have to click on your photo, then “View Profile.” In this section, there are your public playlists, what you recently listened to, who you follow, and who follows you.
The social part was never Apple’s strong move. These public playlists you can share with everyone and you can see who adds your list to their library, which is nice. But apart from that and the possibility to know what your friends are listening to, there’s not much to do here.
Upcoming streaming service Apple Classic
By the end of August of 2021, Apple announced it was acquiring the music streaming service Primephonic. The company plans to integrate “Primephonic playlists and exclusive audio content” into Apple Music. According to the announcement, users will also find “better browsing and search capabilities by composer and repertoire, detailed displays of classical music metadata, plus new features and benefits.”
Apple Music plans to launch a dedicated classical music app next year combining Primephonic’s classical user interface that fans have grown to love with more added features. In the meantime, current Primephonic subscribers will receive six months of Apple Music for free, providing access to hundreds of thousands of classical albums, all in Lossless and high-resolution audio, as well as hundreds of classical albums in Apple Music’s Spatial Audio, with new albums added regularly.
In February 2022, 9to5Google discovered references on Apple Music code showing that Apple intends to call its dedicated classical music app Apple Classical. You can learn more about it here.
Apple Music already offers three months for free for new users, but now and then the service adds a deal to attract users.
This time, if you’re in the military or a veteran, there’s a special offer where you can get four months of subscription for free. If this is the case for you, there are only a few steps you need to follow.
How to use Apple Music Sing on Apple TV 4K | Apple Support
The offer can be accessed through this link, which will redirect you to an authentication webpage on Apple’s website. To get a special code that provides up to four months free of Apple Music, all you need to do is log in with an ID.me account. However, even if you’re already an Apple Music subscriber, you can get an extra month of subscription for free through the same page.
Not only that, but Apple is bundling 6-month free trials of Apple Music with purchases of eligible Airpods and Beats products. The free period is available to new buyers of Airpods and Beats headphones as well as existing owners.
Customers have up to 90 days to redeem the offer, after first pairing the newly-purchased headphones to a device. Existing owners of Airpods or Beats have up to 90 days from the time that they upgraded to the latest iOS version.
Apple Music Awards
Apple Music Awards honor achievements in music across five distinct categories and winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are loving most. The award recognizes the best and boldest musicians of the year.
Apple has designed a series of physical awards that represent the extraordinary craftsmanship integral to creating music. Each award features Apple’s custom silicon wafer suspended between a polished sheet of glass and a machined and anodized aluminum body. The result of this multi-month process, before it is sliced into hundreds of individual chips, is stunning and distinctive. In a symbolic gesture, the same chips which power the devices that put the world’s music at your fingertips sit at the very heart of the Apple Music Awards.
Here are the categories and which artist had won in each one of them:
- Artist of the Year: The Weeknd (2021), Lil Baby (2020), and Billie Eilish (2019);
- Breakthrough Artist of the Year: Olivia Rodrigo (2021), Megan Thee Stallion (2020), and Lizzo (2019);
- Songwriter of the Year: H.E.R (2021), Taylor Swift (2020), and Billie Eilish and Finneas (2019);
- Top Song of the Year: “Driver’s License” by Olivia Rodrigo (2021), “The Box” by Roddy Ricch (2020), and “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X (2019);
- Top Album of the Year: “SOUR” by Olivia Rodrigo, “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial” by Roddy Ricch (2020), and “WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?” by Billie Eilish (2019).
In 2021, Apple also introduced a new category that recognizes local artists from five different regions: Africa, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia. Here are they:
- Africa: Wizkid (2021)
- France: Aya Nakamura (2021)
- Germany: RIN (2021)
- Japan: OFFICIAL HIGE DANDISM (2021)
- Russia: Scriptonite (2021)
As of now, Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo are the artists with more Music Awards with three awards each. Billie Eilish has won in 2019 as “Artist of the Year,” “Songwriter of the Year,” and “Top Album of the Year,” while Olivia Rodrigo won in 2021 as “Breakthrough Artist of the Year,” “Top Song of the Year,” and “Top Album of the Year.”
Apple Music for Artists
In 2021, Apple revamped Apple Music for Artists webpage. According to the company, the new webpage (available at artists.Apple.com) is the new “centralized home” for artists to find the tools and information on how to get their music ready for Apple’s streaming platform.
Through the new “Create” tab, artists can get some helpful tips on how to use Apple’s devices and apps to compose a song. The company highlights things like the Voice Memos app, GarageBand, and Logic Pro with third-party plugins. Apple also encourages artists to edit music videos with Final Cut Pro and content for social networks with the Clips app.
The webpage also has a “Release” menu that provides in-depth details about the process of releasing songs on Apple Music, which includes finding a trusted distributor, choosing a good image for the artist page, and uploading lyrics to the songs.
Artists can also share Milestones with fans. This new feature lets artists share an achievement on and even Instagram Stories.
“Share your big moments right from the Apple Music for Artists iOS app. With just a few taps you can let your fans know about new playlists featuring your songs, how many Shazams you have in a given country or region, and other notable milestones you’ve hit on Apple Music.“
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which is the best music app?
Apple Music is the go-to alternative music streaming service to Spotify, but which scores best overall?
If you’re considering switching to an alternative music service, then our face-off between Spotify and Apple Music — Spotify’s closest rival — will help you make up your mind as the Tom’s Guide team compares both services to find out which delivers the best overall experience for music fans.
Latest Apple Music and Spotify news (update April 8)
Despite announcing plans for a Spotify HiFi tier in 2021, there’s still no official comment on when it will finally arrive, although Spotify’s company co-president Gustav Söderström recently raised hopes that a lossless audio tier could still be in the cards.
Spotify has instead been focussing on its interface with a home screen redesign and new DJ feature that uses AI to further enhance the personalized feel of the music streaming service’s user experience.
Meanwhile, Apple Music may have raised its last year, but continues to offer lossless streaming and spatial audio support as standard. It has also launched a dedicated Apple Music Classical app with 5 million classical music tracks in lossless and hi-res audio free to existing Apple Music subscribers.
If you’re interested in potentially switching music services, check out our 5 reasons to switch from Spotify to Apple Music guide.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Price
The pricing for Spotify and Apple Music was very similar, with one big difference: the former offers a free starting tier. However, Spotify’s free option will interrupt your listening with recorded ads, as well as ads within the app, while paying for the Premium tier will get rid of both. Check out our Spotify Free vs. Premium comparison for the full rundown of differences.
Spotify also offers a Premium Duo package, aimed at 2-person households. It includes the Duo Mix playlist, an automatically produced set of tunes based on the users’ listening habits.
Note that signing up the Apple Music annual plan is a bit of an arcane process: you first need to sign up to a monthly plan, then switch to annual billing in the app or through your Apple device’s account settings. You can find full instructions for this on the Apple support site.
Apple has just increased its prices, and has commented that the new pricing structure is due to an “increase in licensing costs, and in turn, artists and songwriters will earn more for the streaming of their music. We also continue to add innovative features that make Apple Music the world’s best listening experience.”
An individual subscription to Apple Music costs: 10.99 / £10.99 / AU12.99 per month.
Apple Music’s student plan went up by 1 per month, so it’s now 5.99 (£5.99 / AU5.99), as opposed to Spotify’s student plan, which is 4.99/month.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: At a glance
|10.99 / £10.99 / AU12.99 per month||Free|
|10.99 / £10.99 / AU12.99 per month||9.99 per month|
|5.99 / £5.99 / AU5.99 per month||4.99 per month|
|—||12.99 per month, 2 accounts|
|16.99 / £16.99 / AU25.95 per month, 6 accounts||15.99 per month, 6 accounts|
|109.99 per year||99 per year|
|Works with Siri on the HomePod/HomePod mini; Apple Music 1 Radio; Cloud music locker; spatial audio||Available on PS5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and Xbox One; Spotify Studios podcasts|
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Music library
Apple Music and Spotify both feature massive libraries, but Apple claims the advantage with “over 100 million” songs to Spotify’s “over 80 million.” The latter also includes around 2.6 million podcast titles, whereas there’s an entirely separate Apple Podcasts service; Apple Music therefore definitely has more pure music tracks in total.
However, Apple Music has also moved away from its initial FOCUS on exclusive (or timed-exclusive) album launches, with then-Apple executive Jimmy Iovine admitting in 2017 that “The labels don’t seem to like it.” Likewise, Spotify’s exclusive content is mainly limited to podcasts, so there’s immense overlap between the two services on music content.
Technically this is a win for Apple on sheer numbers, but unless you’ve got particularly eclectic tastes, you’re extremely likely to find the artists you want on either platform.
Winner: Apple Music
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Sound quality
Previously, standard-quality Apple Music tracks were 256kbps AAC files, the same format as tracks purchased from iTunes. Last year Apple Music updated its entire catalogue, which is now encoded using ALAC in resolutions ranging from 16-bit/44.1kHz (CD-quality) up to 24-bit/192kHz (hi-res audio quality).
Spotify streams songs at three different rates (96kbps, 160kbps and 320kbps) all in the Ogg Vorbis format, though the highest caliber is limited to paid Premium subscribers. This could change when Spotify’s delayed HiFi tier launches, though when it comes to resolution and bit rate right now, Apple Music’s library of lossless content has Spotify beat.
That’s not to say that headphones and speakers don’t make a difference at standard resolution, but remember that current Bluetooth tech simply doesn’t have the bandwidth for high-resolution audio.
As with experience the audio quality benefits of any lossless audio content without compromise, Spotify HiFi will likely require a pair of wired headphones such as one of our best audiophile headphones to hear the benefit, though Spotify notes that Spotify Connect-enabled speakers will support it.
Check out our pick of the best headphones, best Bluetooth speakers, best soundbars, and best computer speakers to make sure you’re getting the best sound quality experience.
In any event, Apple currently supports higher-resolution streaming and Spotify doesn’t. In the absence of any other big differences in Spotify’s favor, we have to give this one to Apple.
Winner: Apple Music
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Cloud locker
Apple Music’s biggest special feature is the iCloud Music Library, accessed through iTunes, which allows collectors to access their libraries of tracks in AAC 256kbps wherever they go when signed in with the same Apple ID. While the service’s original rollout was hampered by collection-distorting bugs, it’s currently a useful feature that helps the service stand out from the pack.
Spotify allows you to listen to your own MP3s within the app itself, check out our how to upload music to Spotify.
Winner: Apple Music
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Browser playback
Thankfully, Apple no longer requires users to install iTunes to access Apple Music, and currently lets you listen in a browser just as Spotify does. Both browser versions let you browse their respective libraries, access your playlists and play “Made for you” content, just like their app counterparts.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Availability
Both services have worked on widening their availability in recent years. In addition to the expected devices like phones, tablets, PCs and Macs, Spotify content can be played via your games consoles. That goes for the most recent PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, as well as older consoles like the Xbox One series and the PlayStation 4. Early in 2021 Spotify also launched the Car Thing, but this has now been withdrawn from the market.
Apple Music has its own automotive solution in Apple CarPlay, and also claims an impressive breadth of supportive devices, from the Apple HomePod and HomePod mini to the Apple TV 4K and Apple Watch. Support for third-party components now includes Sonos, Xbox (Series X, S and One), PS5, and Roku, and extends to Android mobile users. If you’re a Windows user though, you will need to download iTunes to get access to its extensive library of content.
Spotify also works on smartwatches ranging from Fitbit and Garmin models to more fashion-minded Samsung and Google Wear OS wearables. It’s getting better in this regard too, as Spotify is getting offline listening on Wear OS devices as well as the Apple Watch.
Either way you’re spoiled for choice, through thanks to its bonus games console support, Spotify edges this one. You could perhaps also call it a negative that Apple Music lossless content cannot be experienced in full resolution through wireless headphones or speakers due to the bandwidth limitations of Bluetooth connectivity, including its own Airpods models. Although, this could soon change.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Playlists and curated content
When it comes to user-curated playlists, Apple and Spotify are essentially on parity. Both will present you with personalized playlists, like Spotify’s Daily Mix lists and Apple Music’s Get Up! And Chill mixes. Both services will also recommend songs and artists you haven’t listened to yet, but might like based on your listening preferences.
The Apple Music 1 (previously known as Beats 1) radio station also serves as a potential source of new music, though since it functions like a traditional radio station — fronted by veteran DJs like Zane Lowe and Ebro Darden — its content is curated for the Apple Music subscriber base as a whole. Spotify’s version of “radio” is essentially just playlists, curated for certain genres, topics and tastes.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Social media
One of Spotify’s clearest wins is its wealth of social sharing features. You can easily share Spotify content as Instagram and stories, post album art on Snapchat (which then links friends and followers to the song) or create links and scannable, QR-like Spotify Codes to share music and playlists on any messaging platform.
Apple Music lets you share playlists with other registered users over AirDrop, or create content links to post wherever you want, but its social media integration is more basic than Spotify’s. If you’re not overly keen with sharing your listening habits with the world, this is unlikely to be an issue.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Design
Ever since Apple Music’s big redesign for iOS 10, it’s design is close to Spotify in a lot of respects. Both employ large images in an almost tile-like UI, with a navigation bar the bottom of the screen for quick access to your music library or the respective search function.
Honestly, the main difference here is purely aesthetic. Apple Music favors a light, bright and white look with high-contrast text, while Spotify has long stuck to its darker black/grey color scheme with flashes of neon green.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Value
If you don’t want to pay for streaming music and you’re OK with ads, Apple’s insistence on not having a free plan will keep you using Spotify. New users can try Apple Music for free for up to 6 months, which is more generous than Spotify Premium’s 1-month free trial, but after than you’ll need to subscribe.
For those who are willing to pay, the playing field looks fairly balanced. Apple Music is now 10.99 of course (but you do get access to lossless and spatial audio content for the extra dollar) and Spotify Premium is 9.99 a month for individual accounts, and while Apple’s Family plan is more expensive, it’s only by a single dollar per month. Both services offer a discounted monthly subscription for students.
Keep in mind that Apple Music simply offers more than Spotify Premium does for just 1 more.
If Spotify HiFi was folded into the existing Spotify Premium tier, rather than launching as a separate tiered service, that would keep things somewhat even. But that hasn’t happened yet, and even if it does, Apple Music will still have the spatial audio advantage.
The fact that Spotify has a free option makes this particular clash a tie, but if you have the cash for a premium subscription, Apple Music looks like the better deal right now.
Apple Music vs Spotify: Which is the better music app?
We first ran an Apple Music vs. Spotify comparison a few years ago, and Spotify comfortably won, on the back of its curated content, value for money and wealth of supported hardware.
Credit to Apple Music, then, for not just closing the gap but surpassing Spotify overall. It’s still behind on social features, and lacks native support for games consoles, but changing its approach from consumer-unfriendly exclusives to more thoughtfully curated content streams has paid off. It’s also wisely gained a browser version and remains the better choice for those who like to hoard their music files.
Really, though, it’s lossless and spatial audio that make the difference. Not only does this make Apple Music the better choice for listeners who want the best sound quality possible, but given it’s no more expensive than a Spotify Premium subscription, it’s also better on value for those willing to pay.
Apple Music vs. Spotify: Scorecard
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Contributions from: Henry T. Casey
How to Play Apple Music on Your Android TV or Apple TV？
Using Apple Music on your TV is a great way to have an immersive listening and viewing experience, as well as share your music with the rest of the room. There are a few different ways you can use Apple Music on an Apple TV. However, since this is an Apple product, it can be difficult to use Apple Music on an Android TV.
In this post, we’ll walk you through different ways you can use Apple Music on an Apple TV, and alternatively use it on an Android TV via AirDroid Cast Web. But before we get to that, let’s first understand what Apple Music is and how it works.
- Part 1 :What Is Apple Music and How Does It Work?
- Part 2 :How to Play Apple Music on Apple TV?
- Part 3 :How to Play Apple Music on Android TV?
- Part 4 :Apple Music Subscription
- Part 5 :Want to Know About Apple Music on TV
- Part 6 :Closing Words
Part 1: What Is Apple Music and How Does It Work?
Apple Music is a streaming service that allows you to listen to a vast library of music on your device. With a subscription, you can access millions of songs, playlists, and exclusive content. You can also add your music to the service, so you can access all of your music in one place.
To use Apple Music, you will need to download the Apple Music app on your device and create an account. With your account active, you can sign in this way:
- Open the Apple Music app on your device. If you do not have the app installed, you can
- download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Tap the “For You” tab at the bottom of the screen.
- Tap the “Sign In” button in the top right corner of the screen.
- Enter your Apple ID and password when prompted. If you do not have an Apple ID, you can create one by tapping the “Create New Apple ID” button and following the on-screen instructions and that’s it.
Once you have signed in, you will be able to access all of the features of Apple Music, including streaming music, creating playlists, and accessing exclusive content.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Apple Music is, let’s see how you can use it on an Apple TV.
Part 2: How to Play Apple Music on Apple TV?
Download Apple Music App on the TV
The easiest way to use Apple Music on Apple TV is by downloading it from the App Store. To do this, you’ll need to have an active subscription. You can sign up for a subscription through the Apple Music app or the iTunes Store on your device.
With an active subscription, you can download the Apple Music app this way:
Alternatively: You can also access Apple Music on your Apple TV through the Music app, which is pre-installed on all Apple TVs. To do this, open the Music app and sign in with your Apple ID and password. You will then be able to access all of your music, playlists, and exclusive content.
Apple TV, Apple Music coming to Windows
Play Apple Music on TV Via AirPlay
Apple Music is available on Apple TV models that run tvOS 11.0 or later. So, If your Apple TV is running an older version of tvOS, you may not be able to download the Apple Music app directly from the App Store.
The good news is that there is an alternative way to play Apple Music on your Apple TV using the AirPlay service. AirPlay is a wireless streaming feature developed by Apple that allows you to share audio, video, or other media content between your devices.
This feature is compatible with a wide range of Apple devices, including iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple TV, and HomePod.
How to AirPlay Apple Music to Older Apple TV Models?
To AirPlay Apple Music from your iPhone or iPad to your Apple TV, follow these steps:
- Make sure that your iPhone or iPad and your Apple TV are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.
- On your iPhone or iPad, open the Apple Music app and start playing the music you want to stream.
Part 3: How to Play Apple Music on Android TV?
Apple Music is natively an Apple solution, therefore, if you are using an Android TV, there is no direct way to use it on an Android TV. If you have an Android TV, you will face a platform barrier as your TV won’t be able to support Apple music. For this reason, you have to look for another way to play Apple Music on your Android TV, and this is where AirDroid Cast comes in.
1 Play Apple Music on Android TV with AirDroid Cast Web
AirDriod Cast Web allows you to play Apple Music on an Android TV via screen mirroring. It is a powerful solution that allows you to cast your device’s screen to any other device (including an Android TV) provided it has a web browser.
In addition, AirDroid Cast Web lets you cast your screen across different systems, including iOS to Android which helps to play Apple Music on an Android TV. The best part is that you can do all this without installing AirDroid Cast on the receiver, in this case, the Android TV.
What do you need:
Before you use AirDroid Cast Web to play Apple Music on an Android TV, you’ll need to have the following:
- An Android TV with a browser installed
- An internet connection (LAN or remote)
- A device capable of running iOS (iPhone or iPad)
- AirDroid Cast installed on the iOS device.
Now that you know what you need, let’s get into how you can set this up and use Apple Music on your TV.
How to play Apple Music on your Android TV using AirDroid Cast AirDroid Cast Web?
- Step 1. Install AirDroid Cast on your iPhone/iPad
- Go to the AirDroid Cast Download Center and select the iOS link to download. Once the download is complete, install AirDroid Cast on your phone/tablet.
- Step 2. Open AirDroid Cast Web on the Android TV browser
- On your Android TV browser, go to webcast.airdroid.com. A QR code and a casting code will be displayed right at the center of the screen.
- Step 3. Connect your TV and iOS device
- Open AirDroid Cast on your iPhone/iPad. There are two options here for you. You can mirror your phone’s screen by:
- Entering your TV’s cast code on your phone
- Scanning the QR code on your TV using your phone.
- Step 4. Connect Audio and enjoy Apple Music on your Android TV
- Click on the speaker icon to share your device’s audio. You can now open Apple Music and listen to your favorite songs and stream your playlist in Full HD video quality.
Apart from the above, AirDroid Cast Web also comes with the following benefits.
Casting on a network of your choice:
It allows you to mirror Apple Music from your iOS device to your Android TV via both local and remote networks. This flexibility allows you to cast from anywhere you are.
Better entertainment experience:
AirDroid Cast Web is built to deliver a high-quality video, audio, and frame rate to give you a more enjoyable visual experience for music videos.
2Play Apple Music on Android TV Via AirPlay
Although the AirPlay service was previously only compatible with Apple devices, Apple released a new version called AirPlay 2 which is supported in some Android TVs. These are newer model TVs like Samsung QLED 4K, UHD, and Serif series, Hisense 50A6G, TCL 50” Smart TV, and many more.
With the AirPlay service enabled, you can connect an iOS device to your Android TV and use Apple Music on it.
How to play Apple Music on an Android TV using AirPlay?
With your TV and iPhone/iPad connected to the same Wi-Fi network:
Just like the previous steps, you’ll need an active Apple Music subscription to do this.
3Play Apple Music on Android TV Using Ondesoft Converter and USB Drive
There is another way to play Apple Music on your Android TV that doesn’t involve connecting your iOS device and your TV. This method involves downloading the tracks on Apple Music as MP3 files and playing them offline on your TV. However, since the tracks on Apple Music are usage-rights protected, you can’t legally play them on a non-Apple device.
To do this, you’ll need to remove the usage rights and the Ondesoft converter allows you to do just that. With this converter, you can download songs from Apple Music and convert them to be played on an Android TV without any legal issues.
Just follow these simple steps, and you’re good to go:
Sign in to your Apple Music account using your Apple ID.
After converting these songs, you can now transfer them to a USB drive. Then plug the USB drive into your Android TV and play the loaded music.
Part 4: Apple Music Subscription
Apple Music offers two subscription plans: an individual plan and a family plan. The individual plan allows one person to access the service for a monthly fee of 9.99. The family plan, which is intended for up to six people living in the same household, costs 14.99 per month. Both plans offer a free three-month trial for new subscribers.
In addition to the standard subscription plans, Apple Music also offers a student plan for eligible students. The student plan costs 4.99 per month and includes all of the features of the standard plans.
Part 6: Closing Words
Taking your Apple Music listening and viewing experience to your TV is a great way to enjoy the music more with others. Playing Apple Music on an Apple TV is straightforward since both are from the same manufacturer. However, it is not as easy with an Android TV.
AirDroid Cast Web presents a simple and convenient way to play Apple Music on an Android TV. All you need is a browser and an internet connection and you’re good to go. It not only makes it possible to play Apple Music on your Android TV, but also improves your audio-visual experience with high-quality video, audio, and frame rate.
How to use Apple Music Sing: karaoke on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV
We’ve all been singing along to Apple Music for years, whether it’s at our desks, in our cars, or anywhere else for that matter. But Apple Music Sing is a feature that makes all that crooning official with special controls that help us sound our best (and drown us out at our worst, too).
Apple Music Sing is the latest addition to Apple’s music streaming service and it’s available to everyone who has a subscription — so long as you have the right hardware, that is.
Apple Music Sing requirements
There are a few things that you’ll need if you want to enjoy Apple Music Sing. The first is an active subscription to Apple Music, whether that’s as a single subscription or as part of the Apple One bundle.
Assuming you have that covered, you’re also going to need to have the right hardware and software combination. And don’t assume that just because you’re iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV supports Apple Music that it’ll also support Apple Music Sing. It isn’t that simple.
These are the devices that support Apple Music Sing.
- The iPhone 11 or later, running iOS 16.2 or newer.
- The iPad Pro (3rd-gen) or later, iPad Air (4th-gen) or later, iPad mini (6th-gen) or later, or iPad (9th-gen) or later all running iPadOS 16.2 or newer.
- An Apple TV 4K (2022) with tvOS 16.2 or newer. No other Apple TV device supports Apple Music Sing.
That also means that there is no Apple Music Sing support on the Mac, which is unfortunate.
Finding songs to sing along to
Apple Music says that there are tens of millions of songs for you to sing along to using Apple Music Sing, so the chances are pretty good that your chosen jam will be ready to go. Just search for the song you want to sing along to, turn on the lyrics, and look out for the microphone button. If you see it, the song supports Apple Music sing and it’s time to warm up that microphone.
Alternatively, Apple has created playlists full of songs that it thinks are perfectly suited to karaoke. They include Festive Favorites, Classic Love Songs, and more. You’ll find those in the Browse tab under the Apple Music Sing section.
How to use Apple Music Sing on iPhone and iPad
As you’d expect, the steps for using Apple Music Sing on your iPhone and iPad are the same, so let’s dive into things.
- Open the Apple Music app on your iPhone or iPad.
- Search for the song you want to sing along to or choose one from Apple Music’s playlists and begin playing it.
- Tap the quotation mark icon (in the bottom-left corner of the screen on iPhone, bottom-right on iPad) to bring up the song’s lyrics.
- Tap the microphone icon to begin a Sing session. You can also control the volume of the song’s vocalist by sliding the volume control up and down on-screen.
As the song progresses the lyrics will be highlighted so you know where you are, and songs with multiple vocalists benefit from Duet View. It sounds more complicated than it is — duet view simply separates the lyrics so that one vocalist’s words are on one side of the screen and the other’s move to the opposite side of the screen. It isn’t a huge change, but it makes it easier to tell who should be singing which verses when singing along with a friend.
How to use Apple Music Sing on Apple TV 4K
Using Apple Music Sing on your Apple TV 4K (only the 2022 model, remember) is very similar to using it on an iPhone or iPad and all of the buttons are the same. They’re just in slightly different places sometimes.
Here’s how to sing along on the big screen.
- Open the Apple Music app on your Apple TV 4K.
- Choose the song that you want to sing along to either by searching, selecting from your own library or playlists, or Apple Music’s curated Sing playlists.
- Press the Menu button on the Apple TV Remote.
- You should already see the lyrics but select the quotation marks at the bottom of the screen if you don’t.
- Select the microphone button to begin using Apple Music Sing.
You can adjust the volume of the song’s vocalist just like you can on your iPhone or iPad, but it’s even easier here. Just press the volume up or down buttons on your Apple TV remote and the vocals will be adjusted for you.
As great as Apple Music Sing can be on an iPhone or iPad, there’s something about the big screen and being able to have all your friends see what the words are — even if you don’t always hit those high notes!
It’s singin’ time
Whether you fancy yourself as something of a pop idol or just like to blow off steam screeching out a power ballad of a weekend, there’s no denying that karaoke can be great fun. Apple Music isn’t the first to add this kind of feature and it’s notable that at no point has Apple mentioned the word “karaoke” throughout its press releases or support documents.
But make no mistake, Apple Music Sing is karaoke but turned up to 11. Being able to sing along to songs is one thing, but being able to fade the vocalist in and out at will is a super cool feature and a great way to either dive right in or keep that singer in the background for a little support. The choice is yours.
That isn’t to say that Apple Music Sing is perfect, though. The lack of Mac support is puzzling, for starters. And while Apple says that there are tens of millions of songs with Apple Music Sing support, there are plenty that just don’t have whatever is needed to make it work properly. That’ll surely change in due course — after all, Spatial Audio support has continued to roll out to more of the Apple Music library since its introduction. We can expect the same here, too.
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Ready for Karaoke Night? How to Use Apple Music Sing
With Apple Music Sing, the company’s music-streaming service now supports karaoke, provided you have the right iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Here’s how to prep for your next sing-along.
(Credit: Bob Al-Greene / Apple)
Hosting a karaoke night this holiday season? Feel like belting out some tunes on your own? Apple just rolled out Apple Music Sing, a new karaoke feature for Apple Music, with its latest OS updates. It’s available to all subscribers of the music-streaming service via supported iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs. Here’s how to put your vocal talents to to the test.
How Use Apple Music Sing
Many songs in Apple Music feature real-time lyrics that help you follow along as the song progresses. However, only Sing-enabled songs are optimized for karaoke mode. On compatible songs, tap the quote icon to view the lyrics, and then use the microphone icon to adjust the volume of the original artist’s voice. Background vocals are left intact with lyrics in a smaller font tucked beneath the main words. For songs that have a duet, lyrics will align to the left and right of the screen to indicate different singers’ parts.
How to Find Karaoke Songs
Apple says millions of songs are part of the Sing feature at launch, as are 50 dedicated companion playlists. Currently, tracks enabled for karaoke through Sing can be found in a dedicated section within Apple Music. On an iPhone, tap the Search icon along the bottom of the app, then select the curated section for Sing tracks. Within this collection there are more curated playlists of karaoke songs such as holiday and duets.
What Devices Support Apple Music Sing?
In order to use the karaoke feature, you must be using a device with an A13 Bionic chip (or later). There hasn’t been any clarification on why this hardware is tied to the feature, but that means your supported options are limited.
To use Apple Music Sing on an iPhone, you will need an iPhone SE (2022), or a device from the iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, or iPhone 14 family of phones running iOS 16.2 and above. For iPad models, you must have at least a 5th gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 3rd gen 11-inch iPad Pro, 4th gen iPad Air, 6th gen iPad mini, or 9th gen iPad, running iPadOS 16.2
If you plan to use the karaoke feature on a television, you will need the Apple TV 4K released in late 2022, running the latest version of tvOS. At this time, Apple Music Sing is not currently supported on Mac computers or via Apple Music for Android.