How to use the Music app for iPhone and iPad
Music app for iPhone and iPad is a one-stop-shop for your locally downloaded music, songs from your Mac through iCloud Music Library, Apple Music service, Apple Music 1 Radio, and a top-notch search option to find music. good music and playlists.
The Music app is available on the best iPhones and iPads and other Apple devices including Mac, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Here’s what it looks like and where to find it all.
Meet the interface
Like many other Apple apps, the Music interface presents itself as a single main screen on the iPhone, with tabs at the bottom of the screen to switch between its various features. Unfortunately, these tabs can vary slightly depending on whether or not you have an Apple Music subscription: all users have access to the Library and Search tabs, but the Listen Now, Browse, and Radio tabs won’t let you play anything without an Apple Music Subscription (although you can browse the content).
Many tabs have submenus, which can quickly get you bogged down in the Music app interface. Remember: if you get lost, you can always press any of the tabs to return to the top-level menu; otherwise, you can level up by tapping the back button in the upper left corner of the screen.
This tab contains suggestions, playlists and songs personalized to suit your musical tastes; it is only available if you have an active Apple Music subscription. For You is divided into several horizontally scrolling sections, with the Connect social feed at the bottom of the screen.
Best choices is at the top of the Listen Now section and has a mix of weekly updated playlists and recommended content based on your listening habits.
Recently played highlights your most recent playlists and albums from Apple Music; you can display up to 40 by pressing See everything.
Made for you links to Apple’s ever-growing list of weekly updated playlists, including Get Up !, Chill Mix, New Music Mix, Friends Mix, and Favorites Mix.
Stations for you offers suggested radio stations based on your most recent listening history.
Replay: Apple Music now keeps track of your most played songs every year. As long as you continue to subscribe to Apple Music, a new list is created.
Below Listen now, you will find other sections, in particular New versions, Spotlight on artists, and more. This changes often and is different for every Apple Music subscriber.
Apple Music’s heart in the Music app, Browse, lets you view the entire subscription service catalog. It is organized into six sections:
The carousel is updated daily and highlights specific artists, playlists, and albums on the Apple Music service.
Featured playlists is Apple Music’s premier catalog of handmade playlists. Like the other Browse sections, it begins with a carousel; from there, it has sections for must-haves, music by mood, essential decades, start the day, curators, and playlists by genre. They are dotted throughout the section for your reading.
New music presents the newly added music to the Apple Music catalog.
Videos highlights videos uploaded to Apple Music service. It includes new videos, festival performances and the best music videos.
Live 24/7 features various stations including Apple Music TV, Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, etc.
City maps offers real-time previews of the 25 most popular songs in cities around the world.
Daily Top 100 details the most popular songs in each country with Apple Music.
Genres provides a complete list of the different genres in the Apple Music catalog; it first displays the genres you are following, followed by a list of all genres.
The Radio tab provides a window to the always active Apple Music 1 radio station 24/7 and various algorithm generated stations. Similar to Listen Now and Browse, you’ll need an Apple Music account to listen. The radio is organized into various sections which tend to change often. Among those are links to the service’s three still-active radio stations, including Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country. Under Radio you will also find:
Recently played offers quick access to the latest radio stations or on-demand Apple Music 1 specialty shows that you have listened to recently.
New episodes offer links to recent episodes of Apple Music 1 and other radio stations.
The radio also includes content based on genre, international and local broadcasters, and much more.
This tab contains all the songs, albums and playlists from your personal music collection. Depending on how you listen to music, this may contain:
- Songs you purchased from the iTunes Store
- Songs you bought, synced through iCloud Music Library
- Songs you recorded from the Apple Music catalog (these are considered “yours” for the duration of your Apple Music subscription)
- If you haven’t turned on iCloud Music Library or Apple Music, songs on your Mac that you downloaded manually using iTunes
By default, the Library tab displays five sections: Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, Designed for You, and Downloaded; you can also press the Edit in the upper right corner to add Music Videos, Genres, Compilations, Composers and Home Sharing categories.
In the next section of the main Library screen, you’ll also find links to your album and your most recent song additions.
Reading lists displays each playlist you’ve created on your iPhone, synced to iTunes or iCloud Music Library, and saved from Apple Music (if applicable). You can sort playlists by type, title, recently added or recently played.
Artists, albums and songs are different popular types for the music in your collection. All are sorted alphabetically by default, although you can reorder albums or songs by title, artist, or recently added.
Videos, genres, compilations and composers are sorted alphabetically if you have enabled them.
Downloaded music appears under the other categories once you’ve downloaded music locally to your iPhone or iPad. As the name suggests, this section contains all of your downloaded music; it looks identical to the Library screen, with Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, and Recently Added sections, with one main difference: Everything in these categories has been downloaded locally to your device.
Recently added displays the songs and albums you’ve recently listened to in an art grid of 2 below the different music categories. Plus, it will showcase up to 30 songs of the music you’ve most recently listened to on your iPhone – if you’ve listened to other songs on your Mac, those songs won’t sync here.
Made for you is another place for your Replay lists: each keeps track of your most played songs each year.
To look for
If you are looking for a specific song or playlist, the search screen can help you find it. Unfortunately, the search is quite spartan compared to other tabs in the Music app: it features a giant search bar, recent past searches, and searches that are currently trending on the Apple Music platform.
When you tap on the search bar, you have the option to search your library or (if you are a subscriber) the Apple Music service.
When you tap a song from your library or Apple Music catalog, it starts playing and displays in a mini player that sits above the tabbed interface. The mini player features the song title and album art on the left side, with the Play / Pause and Forward buttons on the right side of the player.
You can tap the player to expand it in the full player interface, or 3D Tap the player to access options for downloading the song, removing it from your library (if applicable), adding it to a playlist, create an automated station based on the song, share it, get the song lyrics, rate the song or like / dislike it.
Once the Mini Player is extended, you can do the following:
- see the album cover of the song
- browse the timeline
- go back to the song album by tapping on its title
- Go to the previous or next song
- Adjust volume
- Download or delete the song
- AirPlay song
- Press the Following button (•••) to access the same options as the 3D Touch interface
- Mix songs or repeat them
- View lyrics (if applicable)
- See your queue Up Next
You can find more information about the Mini Player elsewhere on our site.
To play or interact with a song, you can access it from any tab in the Music app, either by tapping on a specific song, selecting an album, or searching for it. Once you tap on a song, it starts playing.
You can do a lot of things just by interacting with the songs in the Music app.
Looking to find, organize or control your playlists? Yes, we have a great resource for that!
Up Next is like a secondary playlist that you can add music to without erasing what’s already playing. This is a powerful feature of the Music app.
Do you need help finding something else?
Do you need help finding other features in the Music app? Let us know in the comments!
Updated July 2021: Update for iOS 14 and 15.
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