Apple Music: Apple’s music streaming service

Apple Music is Apple's official music streaming service, a platform available both as a desktop version for the web and as an app for mobile devices. Activating a monthly subscription you can access over 50 million songs, to listen on Mac OS, iPhone, or Android smartphones and PCs with Windows operating system. Among the most interesting features of Apple Music are custom playlists, downloadable libraries to listen to tracks offline, radio stations and the ability to store tracks on iCloud.

What is Apple Music

Apple Music is the official music streaming service of Apple, available for any device of the Cupertino company, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac OS, Apple Watch, CarPlay and Apple TV. However, it is also compatible with Android smartphones and tablets, with PCs equipped with the Windows operating system and Sonos speakers. Within the platform there are over 50 million songs, divided into categories and genres, with great classics of Italian and international music and all the latest news of the moment.

The playback system uses ACC technology, Advanced Audio Coding, which ensures high audio quality and a speed of 256 kbps. For mobile devices, the app can be downloaded free of charge from the App Store and Google Play Store, however it is also possible to connect via your iTunes account, especially for those who prefer listening through their Mac OS PC. Of course, you must have an Apple ID, a personal code linked to your Apple account, which allows you to take advantage of all of the company's services and apps.

How Apple Music Works

Apple Music is both a platform and an app, available in desktop and mobile versions, to ensure a flawless service with any type of device. Thanks to a simple and intuitive interface, it allows easy navigation, to use all the features of Apple Music without difficulty. New songs, charts and up-and-coming artists are released every day, making the app particularly up-to-date.

In the app you can find your favorite song or artist, create playlists, find out what your friends are listening to and share tracks with your contacts. You can also watch music videos and access exclusive programs for Apple Music subscribers. Every week, the platform offers special playlists, with the most popular songs of the moment, those chosen by your friends and the latest news, received directly with an alert on the main board.

Apple Music is integrated with Siri, Apple's voice assistant, a feature that allows you to find songs and artists with voice commands, just say Hey Siri let me hear XXX and the app will play the song, without having to type anything on the screen. In addition, you can set special alerts to receive personalized notifications, for example when your favorite singer or band releases a new album or his latest single, which will be shown both within the platform and as an alert on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

With Apple Music you can also view the lyrics of the songs, to read the words of the music during streaming playback, create personal libraries, to listen to the music you want even in offline mode, or consult the international charts, divided by genres and geographic areas.

Apple Music: subscriptions and costs

To use the music streaming services of Apple Music you must subscribe, but for new subscribers there is a trial period of 3 months, during which you can use Apple Music for free, while at the end you can decide whether to switch to the paid version or unsubscribe from the platform. Apple Music's pricing plans are 3: Students, Individual and Family, for each of which you can take advantage of for free trial period.

The Students subscription has a monthly cost of €4.99, however, only university students can access this mode, upon verification of eligibility and credentials. The Student plan provides a number of services, including access to over 50 million songs without limitations, the ability to create custom libraries, both online and offline listening, no ads, compatibility with any Apple and Android device, radio stations, exclusives and the service that allows you to see what your friends are listening to.

Apple Music's Individual plan, on the other hand, is priced at £9.99 per month, which includes the same features as the Student version. In contrast, Apple Music's Family subscription, with a monthly cost of €14.99, provides all the services of the other two plans, plus some additional features. These include access to the platform for up to 6 people, the ability to create a single personal account for each family member, and by activating the Family mode on iCloud you can share purchases made on iTunes and your favorite music tracks.

Unfortunately there is no free version, so it is not possible to have Apple Music for free, so apart from the trial period you need to buy a monthly subscription, otherwise after the initial 3 months the service will be deactivated. At the same time it must be said that there are no advertising interruptions, an important aspect that directly affects the quality of the music streaming application. Not to be underestimated is the customization of audio playback, which compared to other platforms allows you to listen to only the music you select.

How to add and download music with Apple Music

After subscribing to Apple Music you can add and download audio tracks, placing them in your personal library to listen to them online and offline. To do this, you need to activate the iCloud music library on all devices, to synchronize playback, using the same Apple ID for login. To add a content from iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you need to open the app, select your favorite music tracks and tap on the + symbol, while to find them you need to enter the library and open the playlist.

To add audio tracks from Mac OS or PC just open iTunes, choose the audio tracks and click on +, or opt for the Add (+) feature to upload entire albums or create a new playlist. On the Apple Watch you have to enter the Radio app, activate the playback of a song and tap on the icon with the 3 dots, selecting the item + Add to library to insert the music into your custom playlist.

To download music from Apple Music you must first add it to the playlist or directly to the iCloud library. After that you need to open it, using the cloud icon with the downward pointing arrow, to download a single audio track, or an entire album or a complete playlist. Another option is to enable automatic downloads, which allows you to download every song in the playlist or iCloud library, which you can do in the iTunes Store and App Store settings.

How to create a playlist with Apple Music

With Apple Music you can choose songs from the catalog, to create, save and share playlists customized to your preferences. To create a new playlist just select a music, hold down the track playing, select Add to a playlist, New playlist and choose a name for the list, then insert new tracks using the + symbol. From Mac OS or pc you have to click on the three dots, choosing Add to playlist, New playlist.

To share the Apple Music playlist with your contacts you have to make it public, selecting in the settings the mode Show on my profile and in Search, in this way any person can view the saved tracks. To send it to a friend just tap on the three dots and select Share playlist, sending it via message, email, Twitter, Facebook or AirDrop. Finally, to save the playlist in the library you just need to open it, tap on the + symbol and choose the Add option.

How to use iCloud Music Library with Apple Music

The iCloud Music Library storage service is compatible with iTunes and Apple Music, a solution that allows you to create a custom library to be saved in the cloud, with a maximum capacity of 100,000 songs. To do so, however, you must subscribe to Apple Music, choosing between the Student, Family and Individual versions, as well as iTunes Match with an annual price of €24.99. iCloud Music Library can be accessed from any device, including iPhone, Mac OS, iPod Touch, Apple TV and Apple Watch.

In addition to storing music tracks, it is possible to perform backup operations, to download songs and listen to them at any time via offline mode, saving them for example on a USB key. The quality is that of the Apple Music service, with playback in ACC at 256 kbps, you can also synchronize audio files between Apple Music and iTunes, use iCloud Music Library to share music with family members and use the service in any country in the world.

How to activate Apple Music on Android and Windows PCs

Apple Music is also compatible with Android devices, smartphones and tablets, just sign up for the service by downloading the app on Google Play Store or App Store, however you need an Android version from 4.3 Jelly Bean to later ones. To sign up you need to create an Apple ID, following the wizard on the App Store, then you just need to open the app, subscribe with the free trial period, activate it and enter the login credentials of the Apple ID.

To use Apple Music on a PC with Windows operating system you need to install iTunes, having a software version of at least Windows 7 64-bit. Prima di tutto bisogna eseguire il download del file .exe, scaricandolo gratuitamente sul sito ufficiale della Apple, all’indirizzo Dopodiché  basta avviarlo, seguire la procedura guidata d’installazione e accedere a Apple Musica tramite iTunes, attivando un abbonamento per usufruire del periodo di prova gratuito di 3 mesi.

Come disattivare Apple Music

Qualora non si volesse più utilizzare l’applicazione è possibile disattivarla, cancellando Apple Music ed eliminandola dal proprio device. Per disattivare Apple Music da iPhone e iPad basta:

  • aprire l’app
  • selezionare Per Te in basso a sinistr
  • toccare la foto del profilo in alto a destra
  • optare per la voce Visualizza ID Apple
  • inserire la password personale
  • scegliere Abbonamenti, Apple Music, Attivo/Attivi
  • selezionare la voce Annulla abbonamento per finalizzare l’operazione

Cancellare Apple Music da MAC OS

Per cancellare Apple Music dal pc Mac OS è necessario:

  • accedere al servizio iTunes
  • cliccare su Informazioni account
  • Gestisci
  • Impostazioni
  • Abbonamenti
  • selezionare Apple Music
  • scegliere l’opzione Modifica, cliccando su Annulla abbonamento

Cancellare Apple Music su Android

Per disattivare Apple Music su Android, invece, bisogna entrare nelle impostazioni generali dell’applicazione, selezionare la voce Gestisci, Abbonamento e accanto al piano tariffario attivato spostare il selettore del rinnovo automatico su OFF, eliminando l’app dal proprio smartphone o tablet dopo tale procedura.

Apple Music vs Spotify: which is the better service?

A difficult choice is represented by the decision of which music streaming service to use, opting for Apple Music or Spotify. Each of these platforms has pros and cons, however, it's not easy to indicate which of the two is the absolute best. In fact, you need to choose based on your needs, the type of device and the budget you have for listening to music. However, here are some useful pointers to make a decision.

First of all, it must be said that, as far as the cost of the subscription is concerned, the Apple Music vs Spotify clash is even, in fact they have the same monthly rate of €9.99. But Spotify also offers a free version, which despite having strong limitations and the presence of advertisements, is the only way to listen to streaming music for free from your PC, tablet or smartphone. The student and family versions are also practically identical, with similar services and the same prices.

Apple Music offers a greater quantity of music tracks, with about 50 million tracks compared to Spotify's 35 million, while Spotify has also included podcasts, a service absent on Apple Music, which on the contrary provides numerous exclusive previews. On the basis of compatibility Spotify definitely wins the dispute, in fact if Apple Music can be used both on Apple and Android devices and Windows software, Spotify is practically playable anywhere, even on game consoles such as PlayStation and Xbox.

Other features such as radio stations, creating playlists and sharing tracks with your contacts are almost identical, while the audio quality is 256 kbps on both, but Spotify also offers a lower quality of 128 kbps for free profiles. Which service should you choose between Spotify or Apple Music? The choice depends on your needs, so those who want a free musical streaming app, or prefer a platform compatible with every device, can opt for Spotify, while Apple Music is suitable for those who prefer the greater functionality of the apple app, with the power of storage on the iCloud platform.

Some interesting trivia about Apple Music

The challenge between Spotify and Apple Music has kicked off a heated backlash between the two, with Spotify recently filing an official complaint with the European Commission against Apple's music streaming app. On the one hand Spotify denounces some unfair practices by Apple Music, which would favor the use of the Cupertino company's platform to the detriment of the Stockholm-based app, on the other Apple claims that Spotify has benefited for years from the opportunities within the App Store, without paying any cost.

This is a diatribe that seems to have no end, in fact a huge market is at stake, for the moment dominated by the two services with a minimal participation of Google Play Music, Deezer, Napster, Pandora and Tidal. That's why in 2018 Spotify made a deal with Samsung, to try to counter Apple Music, which meanwhile has exceeded in the first months of 2019 the 50 million subscribers. The hits of the moment on Apple Music? Currently leading the chart is Marco Mengoni with Hola (I say), followed by Daddy Yankee's Con Calma and the remixi of Blu by Elisa made by Rkomi.