How to stop other HomePod users from polluting your Apple Music recommendations

As part of setting up your new HomePod, you’re being asked to sign in to Apple Music.

As you know, Apple Music learns your taste and uses it to choose which songs to play for you, based on your listening history and interactions such as liking or disliking a song. For instance, any songs requested through Siri on your HomePod influence your future recommendations found in Apple Music’s “For You” section.

The problem is, HomePod is tied to one person’s Apple Music library and doesn’t recognize multiple users by their voice. This means that anyone who can access your HomePod and requests a song will unknowingly add that tune to your listening history and thereby inadvertently affect the personal curation algorithms that powers your recommendations.

As a result, the “For You” section will start serving up new songs you might not like.

Additionally, personalized playlists like New Music and Chill Mix that show up in the Music app every week and any playlists Siri generates at your request won’t be aligned with your musical tastes. Plus, you’ll dislike what you hear upon saying “Hey Siri, play some music”.

If you’re not the only member in your household who’s using your HomePod, do yourself a favor and prevent your kids and other family members from polluting your future recommendations.

Thankfully, Apple allows HomePod owners to disable their listening history via the handy option labeled Use Listening History. When it’s off, you can still request any song from the Apple Music catalog, like or dislike individual tunes and so forth, but those interactions won’t affect the recommendations engine.

Listening history is on by default, here’s how to turn it off.

How to turn off HomePod listening history

You can turn your HomePod listening history off in two ways, using Siri or the Home app.

Asking Siri to disable your listening history

To disable your listening history hands-free, say something along the lines of, “Hey Siri, turn off Use Listening History”, “Hey Siri, stop using listening history” or similar. To indicate that Siri’s done what you’ve asked her to do, she says “I turned off Use Listening History”.

Conversely, you can re-enable your listening history at any time by saying, “Hey Siri turn on Use Listening History”, “Hey Siri, start using listening history” or similar.

To check whether listening history is currently on or off, ask “Hey Siri, are you using listening history?”, “Hey Siri, is Use Listening History on?” or something along those lines.

Disabling listening history in the Home app

You can also tap your way through the Home app to disable listening history.

1) Open the Home app on your iOS device.

2) Press your HomePod with 3D Touch or long-tap it.

3) Tap the button Details in the lower-right corner.

4) Slide the button labeled Use Listening History underneath the Music & Podcasts section to the OFF position to disable listening history on this HomePod.

Until HomePod is able to recognize multiple users by their voice and support multiple Apple Music accounts, this is the only way of truly ensuring that future music recommendations remain tailored to your personal tastes.

TIP: To help Apple Music learn what you like and fine-tune recommendations, say something like “Hey Siri, I like this” when you hear a song you’d like to add to your preferences.

Things to know about HomePod listening history

When listening history is off, other HomePod users can continue to play whatever they like from your Apple Music account, it’s just that those plays will no longer be polluting your future music recommendations.

Until Apple updates HomePod to recognize the voices of various users, you’re wholeheartedly recommended to disable listening history unless you’re cool with the “For You” section curating songs that don’t align with your tastes.

It’s important to reiterate the downside of disabling HomePod listening history.

Not only does turning that setting off stop your For You recommendations from being affected by other users, it also prevents Apple Music from recommending music based on what you listen to on your HomePod.

For those wondering, disabling listening history will also stop podcast play history syncing so you won’t be able to resume where you left off like you normally would.

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