How to see what you recently listened to on Apple Music, Beats 1 Radio and more

By , Dec 31, 2015

iTunes recently played songs Mac screenshot 003

Both iTunes and iOS’s Music app include a handy feature called Up Next, basically a queue of all of the songs that you’ve selected for your listening sessions. You can queue hundreds of songs in Up Next, play other songs while preserving the queue, reorder and move items around and much more.

As a cool bonus, Up Next also keeps track of your play history, allowing you to easily find that awesome song your heard on Apple Music yesterday.

By following a few simple steps laid out in this tutorial, you will learn how to access not just a list of tracks you recently enjoyed on Apple Music, but also those heard on Beats 1 Radio and other radio stations.

Before we get to it, let me quickly get you up to speed on play history.

About play histories

For starters, your play history captures the following:

  • Tracks streamed through Apple Music
  • Songs played from your personal music library
  • Tracks you listen to on Beats 1 Radio
  • Songs you listen to on Apple Music radio stations

Unfortunately, the list of songs heard on Beats 1 Radio and Apple Music radio stations is stored separately from the history of tracks played from your personal music collection and those you listen to on Apple Music.

Played history for Apple Music and personal libraries doesn’t sync via iCloud, is local to each device and cannot be deleted from iOS devices like in desktop iTunes. Contrast this to your radio play history which is synced rather than being local to each device and accessible in desktop iTunes and iOS’s iTunes Store app.

How to view music play history on iOS

To see the songs that you streamed via Apple Music or played from the personal music library on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Launch Music on your iOS device.

Step 2: Play any song, or access the currently playing track by tapping the mini-player at the bottom.

iOS 9 Music recently played songs iPhone screenshot 001

Step 3: On the Now Playing screen, tap the Up Next icon which looks like three horizontal lines.

Step 4: Your Up Next queue will show up. To access your play history, simply swipe down.

iOS 9 Music recently played songs iPhone screenshot 002

As mentioned, played history for Apple Music songs and personal libraries is local to each device and cannot be manually deleted from your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad like in desktop iTunes.

How to view music play history on OS X

To see the songs that you streamed via Apple Music or played from the personal music library on your Mac, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Open iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.

Step 2: Click the Up Next list icon located to the left of the search field.

iTunes recently played songs Mac screenshot 002

Step 3: In the drop-down menu, click the tiny clock icon.

iTunes recently played songs Mac screenshot 001

Step 4: There you go—now you can browse the songs, playlists and albums you recently listened to on Apple Music or played from your personal library.

To return to your Up Next queue, just click the clock icon again. You can delete play history on this Mac by clicking the Clear button.

Here’s a snapshot of songs and albums I recently heard on Apple Music.

iTunes recently played songs Mac screenshot 004

How to view radio play history on iOS

To see the songs that you listened to on Beats 1 Radio or Apple Music radio stations on an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac, follow the steps outlined below.

Step 1: Launch iTunes Store on your iOS device.

Step 2: Tap the Wish List button that looks like three horizontal lines.

Step 3: Now tap the Radio button. This will list any songs you listened to on Beats 1 and other Apple Music radio stations.

iTunes recently played songs Mac screenshot 005

Step 4: Tap Done when finished.

How to view radio play history on OS X

To see the tracks that you listened to on Beats 1 Radio or Apple Music radio stations on an iPhone, iPod touch, iPad or Mac, follow the steps outlined below.

Step 1: Launch iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC.

Step 2: Click Music and then Radio.

Step 3: Now start playing Beats 1 Radio, or any Apple Music radio station for that matter.

iOS 9 Music recently played songs iPhone screenshot 003

Step 4: Click the Up Next list icon located to the left of the search field.

Step 5: In the drop-down menu, click the tiny clock icon.

You should see a list of songs heard on Beats 1 Radio and other Apple Music radio stations, divided into per-device sections. As the screenshot above attests, I recently heard Drake’s “Shut It Down” via Beats 1 Radio on my Mac.

Play histories are interactive

Your play histories are interactive to a certain extent.

For instance, for your library’s play history you can hit the ellipsis icon in iOS’s Music app and desktop iTunes next to each item to reveal additional options, including Genius suggestions, starting a station based on this song, sharing features and much more.

As for your radio play history, iOS’s iTunes Store app and desktop iTunes include a Buy button for song downloads available on the iTunes Store, or Add button for tracks available for streaming on Apple Music.

If all of this sounds overly complicated, that’s because it is. iTunes has been mess for quite a few years now and the addition of Apple Music to iOS’s stock Music app and desktop iTunes has only made things worse from a user experience standpoint.

It’s not just that Apple Music is a bit rough around the edges: there’s clearly a lot more work to be done until Apple consolidates its multiple music-related services and apps into a cohesive, coherent experience.

Submit your feedback and tutorial ideas at tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

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  • the hood

    If you are/were subscribed to itunes match prior to Apple music commencing, your saves radio stations are located under ‘recently played’.

  • How do you view play history on ios 10? It’s a bit different.

    • Andrew Craftsmaster

      Can’t find it either.

    • KaseiYuu

      If you go to the messages app, pretend like you’re messaging someone (select a contact), hit the app store icon, then the music/itunes icon to bring up the music “window”. It should have currently playing and recently played music there.
      A very roundabout way….