How to use Apple Music in the UK

June 4, 2017
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Welcome to our Apple Music tips roundup, which shows how to use the newest and best features in Apple’s music-streaming service. For more detail on Apple Music, check out our Complete guide to Apple Music.

Apple Music, Apple’s music streaming service and Spotify rival, arrived in 100 countries on 30 June 2015 as part of iOS 8.4 for iPhone and iPad, and is also available for Android, PC and Mac. Apple Music takes a bit of getting used to, so in this article we talk you through all of the features of Apple Music and how to use them.

If you haven’t got Apple Music on your iPhone or iPad yet, you can sign up here. If you’ve signed up to to Apple Music but haven’t set it up, visit: Apple Music FAQ. You should also make sure you won’t get charged for Apple Music once your three-month free trial is over.

Interface and tabs

Let’s start with the basics. Apple Music’s interface has five tabs: Library, For You, Browse, Radio and Search.

Through these tabs, you can browse albums, songs, playlists, see your downloaded music and, through the now playing tab, even see lyrics. In this article we’ll discuss what each tab does, and we’ll cover both the old and the new tab systems.

Library

In this tab you can find your playlists, search for artists, albums, songs and downloaded music. You can even see your recently added music at the bottom of the tab’s page. Of course, you can edit the menus through the Edit button found at the top left-hand corner.

For You

The For You section of the Apple Music app, which is accessible by clicking the heart icon on the bottom row of the screen, is where Apple presents music and videos that it thinks you will love, based on what’s in your music library, the genres and artists you chose during the setup process and songs that you’ve ‘Liked’ using the heart icon. Here, we’ll talk you through the For You section bit by bit, to help you get to know it.

In the iOS 10 redesign, Apple has added a Discovery Mix to For You, so that you can discovery new music that suits your style. As you scroll down, you’ll be able to see various new sections, including daily curated playlists which are designed to set your day. At the bottom of the tab’s page you’ll be able to see what your favourite artists are posting through their own channels, allowing you to connect with artists.

How to improve your recommendations

When I (Macworld writer Ashleigh Allsopp, hi!) first had a look at Apple Music’s For You I was unsure how well it had worked – it was suggesting Justin Bieber’s greatest hits and an old Shakira live album, both of which do not appeal to my music tastes. However, when revisiting the app the following morning, Apple Music seemed to have the right idea. It suggested a Chilled-Out Pop playlist perfect to get me through the morning commute, several introductions to bands that it’s possible I’ll like, and a variety of albums that look interesting.

Plus, you can actually tap and hold on a recommendation for a menu that contains the “I don’t like this suggestion” option, which will help improve your recommendations for the future. Whenever you see the little heart icon, you can tap that to let Apple know that you like that song, album or playlist, which will also help the service get to know you and should improve the results.

You won’t need to launch the Apple Music app if you’re listening to a song you like when your phone’s locked. The heart icon will also appear on the Lock Screen, which you can tap at any time to let Apple know you love it.

You’ll find that you can scroll almost infinitely on Apple Music’s For You page until you find something that takes your fancy. Swiping down from the top will also load a new set of playlist, album and artist recommendations.

Listen to playlists & albums from For You

If, for example, you want to listen to that aforementioned Chilled-Out Pop playlist, just tap the little grey play arrow on that ‘card’. You’ll now see an additional bar appear along the bottom, showing what song you’re listening to and allowing you to pause it. It’s worth noting that iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can also force touch a playlist to ‘peek’ at its contents without opening it.

You can tap that bar to see more details and controls for the song itself. There, you can choose the more option which the three dots and three lines symbol, and rearrange the playlist in your Up Next queue.

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