10 useful tips and tricks for Apple Music users

Apple’s stock Music app which comes preloaded on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Mac devices can be confusing at times even for experienced users, let alone beginners. To help our readers make the most from their Apple Music subscription, we’ve created a list of ten really useful tips for Apple Music that everyone should memorize.

Video how-to: 10 Apple Music tips

The impatient types can immediately watch our video tutorial that’s embedded ahead.

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Continue reading for more detailed tip descriptions.

10 useful tips for all Apple Music users

The video deals with the following tips:

  1. Download your whole music library: Apple doesn’t actually let you do this in iOS Music, but there’s a workaround that involves leveraging the Smart Playlist feature in the Music app on your Mac. Create a smart playlist that matches any songs with time greater than zero seconds, basically automatically collecting all existing and new songs you add to the library. Then, in the Music app on your iOS device select your smart playlist and choose the option to download the entire playlist to your device. The full instructions are available in a separate how-to.
  2. Yearly playlists with your top songs: You can create a playlist with your top Apple Music songs of the year by visiting replay.music.apple.com and singing in with your Apple Music account, then click the button Get Your Replay Mix and follow the instructions. Or simply read our tutorial that covers Apple Music Replay in greater detail.
  3. Organize your music systematically: Smart Playlists can only be created on the Mac, but they do sync across your devices via iCloud. If you invest time in the creation of multi-layered smart playlists which take advantage of multiple criteria, you can pretty much organize your music any way you like. For instance, you could create a smart playlist of loved songs or tracks in your library that are no longer available for streaming or your Shazamed songs and so forth. As a bonus, you can organize smart playlists themselves by filing them into folders.
  4. Love songs you like: Apple Music uses a combination of human curation and algorithms. To help the system better tailor music recommendation to your taste, you’re encouraged to use the share sheet options Love and Suggest Less Like This when listening to your music, which will result in better personalized suggestions. For additional information and concrete steps, read our separate tutorial on influencing Apple Music’s For You recommendations.
  5. Create stations: Should you prefer to listen to some tunes that are similar to the track being currently played, you’d be wise to choose the option Create Station from the three-dotted menu, which will let you hear other related songs (this is also a great way to expose yourself to new music you might like). Follow our dedicated tutorial for the complete instructions.
  6. Auto-download library songs: You can set your device to download all songs you add to the library in order to make them available for offline listening. To do so, visit Settings → Music and enable the option Automatic Downloads or read the full instructions in iDB’s dedicate tutorial.
  7. Stop playlist songs from flooding your library: By default, songs added to custom playlists get automatically added to your library. Thankfully, you can configure Apple Music to stop adding playlist tracks to your library by disabling the option Add Playlist Songs in your music settings. This will not only stop playlist songs from being added to your library, but also ensure that nothing from your playlists comes up in shuffle play because it’s not in your library.
  8. Wake up to any song: If you’re an Apple Music subscriber, go to the Alarm section of the Clock app and tap the plus sign to create a new alarm. Next, tap the Sound option to choose your alarm sound and you’ll notice that you can now select the new option to pick a song from your library that you’d like to wake up to. Our dedicated tutorial has the full instructions on that.
  9. Animated lyrics: You can view static lyrics across your iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, but why not actually sing along to your favorite tunes with animated time-synced lyrics? To do so, just hit the Lyrics icon on the Music app’s Now Playing screen to bring up the lyrics screen (pro tip: you can even find songs by their lyrics). For details, read iDB’s dedicated tutorial.
  10. Save battery: Streaming is taxing on the battery. What you might want to do instead is add songs you plan on listening on the go to a custom playlist and download the entire playlist to the device before unplugging. To only see songs that are available for offline listening, tap Downloaded Music underneath the Library tab (hit Edit if you don’t see the option).

If you’re an Apple Music user, you’ll want to know these 10 tips.

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