Top 12 Apple Music tips

Apple Music is the latest in a line of music streaming services all competing for your attention. So, how can you make the most out of Apple's music streaming service? We've got 12 tips to help you make sure you enjoy the experience as much as possible.

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  • IMG 7268 Listen to Beats 1 Playlists off the air
  • IMG 7287 Use Apple Music song for alarm
  • IMG 7288 Use Siri to control music
  • IMG 7269 Fine tune your recommendations
  • IMG 7277 Personalise playlists with photos
  • IMG 7278 Hear music better in loud places
  • IMG 7279 See the album, or more from the artist
  • IMG 7281 Use the “Up Next” option
  • IMG 7283 Claim your unique nickname
  • IMG 7286 Can’t find songs I’ve added to my music
  • IMG 7284 Remove the Connect tab
  • IMG 7285 Disable Apple Music completely
  • More stories
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Listen to Beats 1 Playlists off the air

Are you a fan of Zane Lowe, but missed his recent Beats 1 broadcasts? Don’t worry - there’s still a way that you can enjoy the songs he played live on air, by listening to his broadcast playlist. The playlist won’t include Zane presenting, but you’ll be able to listen to (and skip through) all the music played throughout his show. There are a handful of ways to access the playlist for Zane Lowe’s (or any other Beats 1 DJ for that matter) shows. 

The easiest has got to be using the Search menu, accessible via the magnifying glass icon visible throughout the Apple Music app. From here, search the name of the DJ that you want to find, then scroll down to the Curators subheading in the results. You should see something like “XX on Beats 1” - tap this and you’ll be taken to a page displaying all playlists from recent shows. If you want easy access to these playlists in future, simply follow the DJ and tap on their name in the Connect tab. 

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Next Prev IMG 7268

Are you a fan of Zane Lowe, but missed his recent Beats 1 broadcasts? Don’t worry - there’s still a way that you can enjoy the songs he played live on air, by listening to his broadcast playlist. The playlist won’t include Zane presenting, but you’ll be able to listen to (and skip through) all the music played throughout his show. There are a handful of ways to access the playlist for Zane Lowe’s (or any other Beats 1 DJ for that matter) shows. 

The easiest has got to be using the Search menu, accessible via the magnifying glass icon visible throughout the Apple Music app. From here, search the name of the DJ that you want to find, then scroll down to the Curators subheading in the results. You should see something like “XX on Beats 1” - tap this and you’ll be taken to a page displaying all playlists from recent shows. If you want easy access to these playlists in future, simply follow the DJ and tap on their name in the Connect tab. 

 

Step 2 of 12: Use Apple Music song for your alarm

One of the benefits of using Apple Music is that you can use any song from your music library to wake you up in the mornings.

To set your favourite song as your alarm tone, simply head over to the Clock app and either create a new alarm or edit an existing one. Select the Sound menu, and amongst the list of the standard alarms that you can choose from, you should also see “Pick a song”. Tapping this will open your music library and allow you to choose a song to set as your alarm tone - it’s that easy! 

 

Step 3 of 12: Use Siri to select and control music

Did you know that you can also use Siri to control your music? The best part is that the Music app doesn’t have to be open when you ask Siri to play a song for you - it’ll open the app, search for the song and start playing it instantly.

So, what kind of things can you ask Siri to do for you? As well as the standard controls like playing songs from a specific artist or album, if you’re listening to a song that you really enjoy, you can say “Play more like this one” to create a personalised playlist based on that song. You don’t even have to specify a song, as you can also say “Play some hip-hop” (or any other genre) and Siri will start playing the Hip-Hop radio station from within the Music app.

 

Step 4 of 12: Fine tune your recommendations

Apple put a huge focus on its “For You” section of the Music app, which (should) display albums and artists that you like and allow for a more personalised music exploration experience. With this being said, there’s always going to be room for improvement on what was initially generated from the initial setup. 

One way to let Apple know what kind of music you enjoy is to use the Heart icon, available on the player within the Music app, from the Control Centre and Lock Screen. It doesn’t just apply to individual songs either, as you can favourite entire playlists by tapping the Heart icon displayed at the top of the playlist. 

Alternatively, if you see an album or artist that you don’t like displayed in the For You section, you can let Apple know to improve your selection. This is done by long tapping the artist/album name and then selecting “I don’t like this suggestion” from the menu.

 

Step 5 of 12: Personalise playlists with photos

If you’re anything like us, you live your life creating playlists for anything and everything - parties, trips to the beach and we’ve even a playlist for winding down in the evenings. One great (but understated) feature of Apple Music is the ability to add custom images to each playlist, allowing you to quickly glance at your list of playlists (a playlist-list maybe? Who knows.) and select one based on the images chosen. Your beach playlist could use a photo of a beach, club playlist could have a photo of a dance floor, etc. 

A photo can be added when first creating a playlist, or simply by accessing an existing playlist and tapping the edit icon. In both cases, a camera icon should be displayed at the top of the page and tapping on this will present you with two options; take photo or use an existing photo. Once you’ve selected/taken a photo, you’ll have to crop it to a square (why didn’t the app allow you to take a Square photo?) and tap choose to save your selection.

Adding a photo will not only add an image to your playlist, but will also transform the look of the playlist too. Apple takes the main colour of the image you’ve selected and applies it to the theme of the playlist. It’s a really nice, personal touch and is one that people need to know about. 

 

Step 6 of 12: Hear music better in loud places

Apple has thought of everything when it came to Apple Music, and that includes a special EQ mode to be used in loud spaces such as the tube or on a plane. To access this mode, open up the Settings app, then head to Music and then tap on the EQ menu. From here, you can choose from a variety of different EQ modes for varying types of music, but the one you want to select is called Late Night. 

According to Apple, Late Night will “compress the dynamic range of audio output,” which should automatically tone down loud sounds to not be so loud, and amplify the sound on quiet parts to provide a digital noise cancelling process, so to speak. It also means that if you listen to music when falling asleep, an unnaturally heavy bass shouldn’t wake you up.

 

Step 7 of 12: See the album, or more from the artist

What if you’ve found a song you really like, and want to explore more songs from that album and by that artist? There’s an easy way to access that information even though at a glance, you wouldn’t think it’s possible. If you’re listening to a song and want to browse the whole album simply tap the ellipses (menu) button next to the song and tap on the name of the song/album/artist at the top of the menu. 

This should display the specified album, but what if you want to go one further and find all songs created by that particular artist? From within the album, simply tap the name of the artist at the top of the page to take you to a page listing all their songs, albums, etc.

Ever wondered what's better, Spotify or Apple Music? You can check out our comparison right here.

 

Step 8 of 12: Use the “Up Next” option

If you don’t want to create specific playlists for your morning commute, but instead want to queue up a set of songs to play in succession, that’s possible with Apple Music. Once you’ve found a song you want to add to your queue, tap the ellipses button next to the song and tap “Add to Up Next”. If you want to hear a particular song next instead of adding it to the end of the queue, simply tap “Play next”.

If you want to take a look at, and rearrange your queue, that’s also possible via the full screen now playing window. With the full screen now playing window open, simply tap the list icon to the right of the media controls. From here you can add songs, rearrange the order of the songs, or if you’ve changed your mind you can completely clear your whole queue by tapping Clear.

 

Step 9 of 12: Claim your unique nickname

One thing you should definitely do before it’s too late is claim your @ nickname for Apple Music. Your @ nickname will be used whenever you comment on anything that an artist shares from within Connect, and will be visible to everyone else that uses the service. We don’t think anyone will want the handle @L3w1s53563456 if all other combinations of @Lewis are taken, right? 

Access your account by tapping on the profile icon in the top left hand corner of any tap within Apple Music, and then tap your name to enter your @ nickname. Once you’ve entered your name, simply click Done to save! 

 

Step 10 of 12: Can’t find songs I’ve added to my music

This is an issue that we experienced when we first used Apple Music, and is one that users are still complaining about now. We found that we’d add songs to our music libraries, but they wouldn’t appear in the My Music section of the app. What we later realised is that if you tap the label that sorts your music by artist, song, album, etc. at the bottom you’ll see a toggle for “Show Music Available Offline” and for some reason, that was turned on by default for us.

When enabled, this will only display locally saved music (from both iTunes and Apple Music) for offline playback, so if you want to see your streaming selection, simply toggle the option off and they should appear.

 

Step 11 of 12: Get rid of Connect and bring back Playlists

Many Apple fans have compared the newly announced Connect service to Apple’s failed attempt at a music/social hybrid, Ping. Connect allows you to follow artists and comment on photos, videos and songs that the artists publishes in a similar fashion to Instagram and Facebook. But what about if you don’t want to use the service? There’s a way to disable it and replace it with the Playlists tab, a tab that long-time Music app lovers have been missing since the introduction of Apple Music with iOS 8.4.  

If you’re not a fan of Apple’s Connect social service, there’s a way you can disable it and replace it with a dedicated Playlists tab. Go to Settings > General > Restrictions and turn off “Apple Music Connect”.

 

Step 12 of 12: Disable Apple Music and revert back to old Music app

If all the features of Apple Music are a bit much for you, and you want to revert back to a music app with only iTunes purchases and locally stored songs, that option is available to you. Simply open the Settings app, head to Music and deactivate the “Show Apple Music” switch. That should replace most of the new tabs, with the exception of the Connect tab - if you want to get rid of that, it you’ll have to follow the instructions in our previous tip.

Disabling Apple Music won’t completely remove everything, though - there will still be tabs that allow you to listen to the various Apple-curated Radio Stations available.

If you've still got questions about Apple Music, check out our FAQ and complete guide to the music streaming service.

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