When you updated your iPhone to iOS 8.4, you were greeted with a new Music app with a brand new colorful icon. It was intriguing. You clicked it. It asked you to try out Apple Music streaming service. 30 million songs for 3 months, all for free. So you signed up. But now there’s all this new stuff everywhere. Everything in Apple Music is trapped in one single window. That’s a lot. Yes, Apple Music is complicated. But it’s not a mess. I will tell you why.
The days where apps, services, and OS’ were simple are gone. Now, everything is feature rich and it comes at the expense of simplicity. At least, Apple Music has a good enough UI that you can wrap your head around. Did I mention that it also includes a 24/7 live radio station along with artist and genre-based stations, plus a mini-social network for artists? I didn’t? Oh.
Thankfully, once you figure it out, the app is easy to get around. Follow our guide below.
Basic Tips and Tricks for Using the New Apple Music App
Apple Music is crowded with a lot of stuff. That means that things won’t be obvious at first glance. Other than the 5 tabs in the bottom of the app, look out for the Apple Music and My Music sections. They’ll show up when you’re searching or when you’ve selected an artist.
Also, whenever visible, tap the three dotted menu buttons. This is where you’ll find all the important options to download music for offline use, adding songs to playlists and more.
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How to Search for Songs
You’ll find a magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner. Tap it and the search bar will show up. Below which you’ll see two sections – Apple Music and My Music. The one in red is the selected one. Depending on where you want to search, choose the particular option.
In the search bar, you’ll see a clock icon, this will bring up your previous searches.
When you search in Apple Music, you’ll get sections for songs, artists, stations and also playlists created by Apple’s music editors. These playlists are a great way to get started with a new artist.
How to Use Playlists
In Apple Music, there are two kinds of playlists. One is in My Music, these are the playlists that you created. They will be visible by going to the My Music tab and then from the top tab, select Playlists.
In Apple Music, you’ll also find playlists created by Apple music editors (Apple Music Playlists). There is no one place to find all these playlists at the same place. But they’ll show up in the For You section and in search results. When you come across one such playlist that you like, tap the Plus icon. This will add the playlist to your music. Now, this playlist will show up in the My Music section. Yes, it sounds confusing but you’ll get used to it.
In the Playlists section, you’ll see another option in the bottom half called All Playlists beside which you’ll see a drop-down menu. This is where you’ll find a hidden menu (there are lots of them in Apple Music). This option will let you switch to just Apple Music Playlists, only your playlists and just music that’s available offline (useful when you’re out on a trip).
How to Create Your Own Playlists and Add Songs to It
You can’t make a playlist from anywhere in the app. No, you need to navigate to the Playlists section in My Music and tap the New button. In the next screen, you can give the playlist a title, description, and even a cover photo.
Now, you can either tap Done or choose Add Songs which will bring up a picker that includes your entire library. You can add albums or songs you want. But you don’t have to do it all here.
One good thing in Apple Music is that it’s possible to add a song/album to a playlist from almost anywhere. Whenever you see a three dotted menu, tap it and in there you’ll see an Add to a Playlist option. Select your playlist and you’re done.
How to Use Up Next to Create On-The-Fly Playlists
The new Music app includes a very useful Up Next feature that I love to use in the iTunes app. Basically, it’s a queue of currently playing songs that you can control. If you don’t want to create a playlist but want to set up 10-20 songs, this is the best way to do it.
Similar to the Playlists option, this too is hidden in the three dotted menu button. Tap it and you’ll see two options – Play Next and Add to Up Next. Play Next will add the song to the top of the queue, and Add to Up Next will add the song to the bottom of the list.
To access your Up Next queue, go to the currently playing music using the mini player and tap the List icon beside below seeker. From here you can rearrange the songs, clear the queue and scrolling up will show your song history.
How to Download Apple Music Songs for Offline Use
One of the perks of using Apple Music is that you can download any available song for offline use. Yes, that also includes Apple Music Playlists. But doing so isn’t clear at first glance.
Let’s say I’m browsing the For You section and I come across a playlist called “Intro to Arcade Fire”. Great, I’ve been meaning to check them out for a while now. I’d like to listen to it on my drive today. Better download it first.
After clicking, I can do two things, I can either click the Plus button to add the playlist to my music (but that won’t download the songs). Or I can tap the three dotted menu button and tap Make Available Offline.
Now, when I go to My Music section, I can see that the songs are downloading, plus, the playlist is already in my library. Neat!
What’s Your Favorite Thing About Apple Music?
So far I’m a big fan of the Beats 1 radio. What about you? What’s the one thing you love about Apple Music? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.