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How to fully use the new Apple Music app


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Aug 26, 2014
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Talking to Apple fanboys and fangirls, I’ve found that people fall into two categories regarding Apple’s new music app, Apple Music. They either love it or hate it. I’m a member of the former. Yes, there are issues that need to be solved (more on that later), but for the most part, I use it often, and enjoy it (yes, more than Spotify). I’ve also found that the majority of people who dislike it, feel that way less because they don’t like it, and more because they don’t fully understand how to use it.

Because of this, I’ve taken it upon myself to teach the naysayers, as well as the uninitiated, how to take complete advantage of app’s capabilities.

The Beginning

First off, you’ll need to have updated to iOS 8.4 or later. (For more information on that, you can visit our iOS Forum here.) When you first open the app, you have an option to either “Start 3 Month Free Trial” of Apple Music or use the app as more of an iTunes music player (and less of a Spotify-like music service) by tapping “Go To My Music.” Don’t worry about autobilling, as after your trial is over you’ll get a notification asking you if you’d like to continue using Apple music for $9.99/month. For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m assuming you chose to start your 3 month free trial. Congratulations! You now have access to 30 million songs! Well, not so simple.



What lies in front of you now is a massive app that not only contains all of the music you previously owned, but also music that you have stored on the cloud, music that you do not own, but that you now have subscription access to, a bunch of icons on the bottom of your screen (“For You,” “New,” “Radio,” “Connect,” and “My Music”) and some other things that we’ll get into.

My Music

This is what I’d refer to as your library. It has all of your previously owned music (or at least the songs you’ve selected to add to your device from your computer), the music that you’ve purchased (via iCloud), and any music you’ve taken from Apple Music and manually added. This last category of music means that for all intents and purposes you own that music, that is until you cancel your subscription to Apple Music.

Let’s get a feel for the general layout.
On the top of the “My Music” screen, you have the ability to toggle between “Library” and “Playlists,” and you can choose how you would like to view your collection. Obviously, “Playlists” shows your playlists, and “Library” shows your your Artists, Albums, Songs, etc. On top of both of those screens is displayed the most recently added music or playlists to your library. Under the “Library” category, there is a drop down menu, the “Category Selector,” below Recently Added Music, which will allow you to view your music alphabetically by Artists, Albums, Songs, Genres, Composers, or Compilations. (You can also choose to show only the music that you can access without an internet connection by toggling the “Show Music Available Online” option).


On the top right of this screen is a magnifying glass that is the search icon. Tap on this to search through “Apple Music” or “My Music.” The little clock icon in the search bar will show you your recent searches. You can exit this screen at any time by tapping “Cancel” or any of the icons on the bottom of the screen.

For You

The For You screen has to by my favorite feature of Apple Music. Its Apple’s Pandora. Its a visual display of the albums and playlists Apple thinks you’d like to listen to. Some of its great playlists include "Intro To" and "Deep Cuts" for many artists, as well as "Drinking Songs" or "Sunday Morning Classic Rock," etc.

This page is updated multiple times a day, and is curated based on tracks you’ve “liked” or added to your library, and on the suggestions you selected when you first started up Apple music.

To redo those suggestions:
  • Tap on your profile icon in the upper-left corner.
  • Tap Choose Artists For You.
  • Tap once on the genres you like.
  • Tap twice on the the genres that you love.
  • Tap and hold the genres that you don't like to remove them.
  • From the upper-right corner of the screen, tap Next.
  • Edit your artists the same way.
  • If you don't see artists that you like, tap More Artists. More options appear.
  • When you're done making changes, tap Done.


Simply put, the latest releases are added here. This looks a lot like the iTunes Store home page, featuring Hot Tracks, Recent Releases, etc., but you don't need to purchase anything to listen to it.

The weird thing about this screen is that here is where you’ll find the curated playlists in 3 categories. Apple Music Editors is where you’ll find genre specific playlists, curated by, well, Apple Music editors. If you’re looking for music to listen to while you’re studying, or working out, visit the Activities category. If you’re into brand specific curators, such as Rolling Stone Magazine or the Grand Ole Opry, you’ll be tapping on Curators for that.


All of these songs and playlists can be added your library at any time.


Exactly as it sounds, Radio has a bunch of radio stations, including the all new Apple original Beats1 radio station. I found that I listened to these radio stations for about 4 days and then never tapped Radio again, but to each their own.


This is a chance for artists to connect directly with the fans. Its basically a way for artists to show exclusive content (music, photos, videos, playlists) in a Facebook-like manner, but its for artists only. Meaning you don’t have to wade through all of your friends’ posts to see what your favorite band just posted today. To see the latest posts from your favorite artists, you’ll have to “follow” them. Fans can comment and “like” posts as well. To see artists you’ve followed, go to your profile icon in the upper-left corner of your screen and tap “Following,”

I find I don’t use Connect much, but when I do, I’m usually pleasantly rewarded. For me, its just another social media site I have to check in an already oversaturated world of Twitters and Instagrams and Periscopes and Meerkats, but it does sometimes contain some pretty cool exclusive, like a photo of the handwritten lyrics to a new Florence + The Machine song.

I will be updating this post with more articles on Apple Music, including:
If you want me to write another aspect of Apple Music, let me know in the comments. Or if you just want to say how much you love Apple Music, I'm cool with that too.
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Editor in Chief
Jul 27, 2011
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Fantastic writeup! You nailed it with a well written and detailed description!