Although Spotify still ranks as one of the top music streaming services in the world, Apple Music has taken the United States by storm. It also blends your personal music catalog with on-demand streaming and live radio, all in one place. At the moment, Apple offers a three-month free trial, though signs are beginning to emerge that the company is thinking of scaling this back to just one month.
However, Apple claims that when master recordings are converted into AAC files using the Apple Digital Masters workflow which Apple outlines with excruciating detail for anyone interested , the result is indistinguishable from the master recordings and thus potentially better-than-CD quality , while keeping file sizes relatively small. Competing music services like Deezer, Tidal , and most recently Amazon Music , take a different approach to high-quality audio.
They tout the sonic benefits of their lossless and hi-res FLAC files available in their more expensive optional subscription tiers , which they claim are an improvement on any lossy formats, including AAC, regardless of how those AAC files were created. Is there a difference? There are two ways to get signed up for Apple Music.
Android users can download Apple Music for Android. The other way is via the separate iTunes Store app. The first link is usually a trial offer for Apple Music. Regardless of which way you do it, follow the instructions to set up a family or individual account. Before you dig in too deeply, we recommend turning off the auto-renewal following the trial period, unless, of course, Apple blows you away with its offering.
Each section lets you access your music and that of the Apple Music service in a different way. As the name suggests, this is your content. You can usually through your collection by album, artist, or song. Want to avoid any music that requires streaming, perhaps to save on your mobile data usage or for a red light flight? The Downloaded Music section of the Library will show you just the tunes that are physically stored on your device.
From there, you can add more albums or tracks to your library, making it easier to find your favorites later. Thankfully, Apple offers steady improvements in this area.
Most notably, the company has recently made a small, yet infinitely helpful tweak that groups alternate versions of the same album into one view. Think explicit vs. Double-tapping a bubble makes it bigger, and therefore more important, and triple-tapping deselects it.
Artists come next, and so on. Nothing you do here is permanent; you can change it any time. This section of the Music app is like a magazine. What gets highlighted will partially depend on your listening habits and likes, but much like the For You section, it has a time-of-day component too. You will start to notice that Apple Music tends to double-up on the names that it likes.
For instance, within the Hit the Gym playlist group, we found a song playlist called Pop Workout. The available archive of Beats 1 content, including interviews, shows, and special segments, is now incredibly deep. Some of these shows feel like podcasts, while others follow more traditional formats. These genre radio stations are a lot like terrestrial radio, since the music keeps playing as long as you keep listening, but of course, there are no ads and no live DJs.
These are provided via radio aggregators like TuneIn, Radio. The only way to access them is via the Search tab. If your device is Siri-equipped, like an iPhone or HomePod, you can ask Siri to play one of these radio stations by name. The best way to handle that is to Google some cool radio stations and see if any of them turn up on Apple Music.
Feel free to draw some inspiration from our own collection of favorite radio stations. This one is easy: Simply type anything you want into the search field, be it a song, artist, album, radio station name, or even just a few lines from some lyrics you heard when you were out with friends. But for a really rewarding search experience, try using Siri. Bringing up the full-screen version of the window shows you the relevant album cover for the track, but the real magic is in the three-dot contextual menu below the volume slider.
Tapping those three dots gives you a wealth of additional options such as:. The web player is available for any modern browser you fancy, and it has everything you need to support your next house party, including access to your playlists and library.
A slightly hidden option within Apple Music is the ability to check in on the music your friends are listening to. Before you can do this, you need to activate your Apple Music profile by tapping on the person silhouette at the top of the For You screen. After assigning yourself a user name and a public name, the Music app will take a look at your iOS contacts and figure which of your friends are also on Apple Music.
For these contacts, you can tap an invite button, which then sends an encouragement link to them via the usual sharing options. Once this is all set up, you can choose to be notified if and when your friends follow you, or when there are artist or live show events that Apple Music thinks you might be interested in. Apple Music works on more than just iPhones. You can find the app for other devices like iPads, Macs, and the Apple Watch. It works on Apple TV. So there you have it — Apple Music in a nutshell.
Is it right for you? Only one way to find out, so grab the three-month free trial while you still can. The best free music download sites that are totally legal 1 day ago. The best Android apps August Google Play Music is shutting down. These are the best alternatives 3 days ago. Spotify says the pandemic has changed how we listen to music and podcasts April 29, This cyberpunk suit was designed for concertgoers in our post-pandemic future April 29, Spotify playlist offers the familiar sounds of pre-pandemic New York May 5, Bored of Spotify?
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