iTunes is a bloated mess. It has so many features tacked onto it over the years that it's a chore to use. And when it comes to streaming Apple Music, the experience isn't that good obviously. It's resource-intensive, takes ages to load up your music library, and even fails to run properly at times.
But thanks to Apple’s release of MusicKit JS, third-party developers now have the option to create their web apps. Oh boy, and haven't they done just that. Listed below are three phenomenal Apple Music web players that we’re sure would be an absolute blast to use on a desktop.
Note: Security-wise, your credentials are authorized via Apple, so you should be fine signing into these web players using your Apple ID. But if you are concerned, either enable two-factor authentication or create an app-specific passcode via the Apple ID management portal.
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First on the list is feverTunes for a good reason. The user interface is big, bold, and beautiful, and the flaming dark theme really gels well with the album art. And the finely-positioned tabs and options allow for an intuitive experience with basically no learning curve whatsoever.
Sign in with your Apple ID, and all albums and playlists (from both purchases and your Apple Music subscription) should be readily accessible under Library. Simply click on an item, and you should be able to start streaming right away. A set of playback options will seamlessly show up to the bottom of the screen, which you can use to shuffle tracks, loop songs, etc.
The Browse and For You tabs work similar to iTunes — the former lets you browse top songs, albums, and playlists, while the latter features recommendations based on your music preferences. Also present is a Curators tab where you can find tons of curated playlists from any genre.
The Search option present within the web player works pretty smoothly for the most part — you can readily switch between searching for artists, albums, and songs on your music library or within Apple Music. feverTunes also lets you add items to your music library, which is kind of cool. However, it doesn't allow you to create custom playlists, so don't expect to ditch iTunes entirely just yet.
feverTunes features a nifty Settings panel as well, where you can switch to a light theme as well as specify the bit-rate that you want to stream at — yes, feverTunes does let you stream at the full 256-bit quality.
In a nutshell, feverTunes has everything going for it, and there's no doubt that you'll be using it for the long haul.
Musish is another fantastic alternative to iTunes. Although it doesn't feel quite as intuitive as feverTunes, the color theme is strikingly similar to that of the Apple Music app on iOS and Android, which is a good thing. But what strikes you the most is the amount of stuff that fits onto the screen. That makes Musish great for browsing Apple Music endlessly without the associated lag of iTunes.
The navigation pane to the left side of the web player provides easy access to your music, with your library broken down into neatly listed sub-sections. The Search feature, present to the upper-right corner of the screen, scans both your library and Apple Music simultaneously, hence reducing confusion.
Playback controls are relegated to the lower-left side of the screen, which features various options such as the ability to 'love' tracks, shuffle playlists, view lyrics, etc.
Musish offers one unique advantage over feverTunes — the ability to create playlists. If you rarely want to open iTunes, then this web player should fit you just fine.
ThinMusic fits its name perfectly. It's a minimalistic web player without the fancy bells and whistles of feverTunes or Musish. A dark grey theme combined with crisp controls means that it’s great for streaming tracks.
Rather than listing your music library outright, it presents you with three tabs — Browse, Queue, and Search. Browse contains your songs and playlists combined with a mishmash of Apple's recommendations. Queue, well, let's you queue songs, and the ability to drag and drop tracks easily depending on what order that you want to start playing them is fantastic.
The fact that ThinMusic doesn't list your entire music library means that you'll have to rely on Search most of the time. But considering how quickly the web player generates results to your queries and neatly breaks them down by song, album, and playlist, it doesn't feel limiting at all.
feverTunes, Musish, and ThinMusic are terrific web players both visually and performance-wise, and it's confounding that Apple doesn't provide us with something similar. Well, they provide the Apple Music Toolbox to stream music online, but it's not intended for mainstream usage and is pretty broken, to begin with.
So, what is your favorite player out of the lot? Have any other cool Apple Music web players that you would like us to know? Do drop in a comment.
Next up: Getting close to renewing your Apple Music subscription and having second thoughts? Click the link below to find three great reasons why you should give it another chance.