Only interested in Apple customers?
60 million songs, selected playlists, own radio station-Apple Music is one of the major players in the music streaming market. But can the music service convince non-Apple customers? We tested Apple Music for you.
Test conclusion: a wide range of choices, first shining through human factors
By comparing or uploading your own music library, Apple Music is the most important. Apple Music can also be scored through its own music editing team and selected playlists (that is, human factors). The music selection is huge and the functions are diverse, so it is not only attractive to Apple users. Apple should only make some improvements in operation.
- Large iTunes music files
- Featured playlist
- Own music department
- Own live radio
- Can integrate up to 100,000 own songs
We don't like
- Sometimes difficult to operate
- Not a free variant
Music streaming service is being tested
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table of Contents
Fees and trial subscription
Processing and functions
Apple Music Artist
Advantages compared to other services
Although other music services (such as Deezer or Spotify) have already established a position in the music streaming market-both services started as early as the mid-2000s-Apple did not plunge until 2015, and started its own through Apple Music service. Although it was possible to pay for songs and albums through iTunes before, music could not be played. The music service now has about 60 million paying users, which initially sounded very similar. The top Spotify already has more than 120 million paying users, so Apple Music can't keep up with this step. Apple ’s streaming service should get the highest score for its rich music choices, curated playlists, and its own radio stations. You can read below whether this works.
The most important information at a glance
- Over 60 million songs, audio books and radio dramas
- Curated playlists by type, tone and company.
- Own live radio stations and other on-demand stations
- The media library can be synchronized with devices with the same Apple ID
- Own music can be easily integrated
- Large music video area
- Provide lyrics for many music tracks
- The monthly cost is between 5 and 15 euros
Fees and trial subscription
If you are interested in Apple Music, you can try Apple ’s new customer music service for three months for free. Subsequently, users will be charged a monthly fee of 9.99 euros. Students can access streaming services more cheaply; they only pay 4.99 euros per month. Apple specifically provides family subscriptions for families. The monthly fee is 14.99 Euros. Customers can access up to six people, each with their own account. In addition, content and iTunes purchases can be shared within the home. If you want to cancel Apple Music, you can read the steps in the link description.
|Subscription method||Monthly price||Trial phase|
|Apple Music Convention||10 Euro||3 months|
|Apple Music Family||15 Euro||3 months|
|Apple Music Student||5 Euro||3 months|
Apple Music pricing
As a new customer, you can regularly try Apple Music for three months for free. If you take a small detour through Saturn or Media Markt's online store, you can quickly and easily extend the trial period to four months. To make music services permanently cheap, we recommend using iTunes credits. Retailers regularly provide discounts or bonus points to iTunes cards. Therefore, in the long run, you can save a lot of money.
Apple Music is available for iTunes on Mac and Windows computers, and iOS devices for iOS 10, Apple Watch and HomePod. The service can also be used on smartphones and tablets without the iOS operating system. For example, in the fall of 2015, Android devices with Apple Music received the first Apple app. For example, you can use the AirPlay radio standard to stream Apple Music to entertainment devices. You can play music on compatible smart TVs, AV receivers and speakers through this interface. For Samsung smart TVs, there is also a separate application in the manufacturer ’s smart TV application store.
|Platforms and equipment||Play options|
|Windows 7, 8 and 10||ITunes|
|Linux||iTunes (via Wine)|
|iMac, Macbook (Pro / Air), Mac Pro||Via pre-installed music apps and Siri|
|iPhone||With pre-installed music app and all models of Siri-iPhone 4S|
|IPad||All models with pre-installed music app and Siri-iPad 2 and iPad mini (first generation)|
|iPod touch||All models with pre-installed music app and Siri-iPod touch (5th generation)|
|Apple Watch||Via pre-installed music apps and Siri|
|Apple TV (4K)||Through pre-installed music apps, AirPlay and Siri|
|Amazon Echo speakers and fire TV||Via the Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet|
|Car games||IPhone and Siri connected|
|HomePod||Use Siri and AirPlay|
|Android system||Apple Music App|
|Android Auto||Apple Music app and connected smartphone|
|Various networks and smart speakers||About AirPlay and Alexa: Sonos, Raumfeld, Bose, Bang & Olufsen, Bowers & Wilkins, Libratone, Yamaha, etc.|
|Smart TV supporting AirPlay||About AirPlay: Current models of LG, Sony and Vizio. Now, there is a separate application in the Smart TV App Store for Samsung TV.|
|voice assistant||Siri and Amazon Alexa (on compatible devices)|
|Google Chromecast||no way|
|Samsung Tizen Smart Watch||no way|
|NVIDIA shield||Via Apple Music Android app|
Apple Music Device
Otherwise, the AirPort network adapter is also suitable for converting analog devices such as stereo systems into AirPlay receivers. Sonos ’multi-room speakers are also supported by official apps. You can also control Apple Music through Amazon Alexa. Apple TV 4 and Apple TV (4K) streaming players have their own Apple Music app, which can be connected to stereo systems and AV receivers. Apple Music also flows into cars from manufacturers that support Carplay or Android Auto. Apple also provides the Apple Music app for Apple Watch. With the LTE model, it can not only be used as a remote control, but also stream and play songs without an iPhone. In addition, music can also be downloaded to a smart watch and played offline.
Apple Music supports access to the iTunes directory from the mentioned mobile device applications and fixed access via iTunes. There are currently about 60 million songs. The provider has almost all the albums and songs we were looking for in its library test, and we were unable to find any major flaws. The range of different genres is comparable to music streaming competitions. You may not find some independent artists or underground DJs on Apple Music, such as The Outlawz's Kadafi or Defined Print. Nonetheless, overall the choice is still very good. In addition to music, there are a large number of radio dramas and audio books, but like other services, these things are not always easy to find. If you should hear language content more often, you should suggest more content in the "For You" section. Otherwise, you can find the "Audiobook" category in the "Discovery" area. However, in most cases, direct search of the title will better reach the destination.
Apple Music streams at 256 KB per second, which is the quality of iTunes downloads. Like iTunes, AAC is used as a codec. In contrast, if you use the premium version, Apple Music will be lower than Spotify: Swedish companies and other services (such as Napster) have a maximum mobile streaming speed of 320 kb per second on the desktop. Here we cannot understand why Apple did not provide at least several quality levels. The highest quality of the compressed format should be 320 kb per second. Unfortunately, does low quality affect hearing?
It is actually marginal, which may also be due to the difference in audio codec. Apple Music uses the AAC format, while Spotify uses OGG. We did not find any obvious difference in the test. HiFi enthusiasts should notice the difference at best. But one thing is certain: listening to a CD or LP through a good system or headphones will be different, and the sound quality is higher. Therefore, if you want more, you must stay on old media or subscribe to one of the streaming services that provides uncompressed data. Among other things, tidal is recommended here. Deezer also offers the option of streaming music in the uncompressed FLAC format, and Amazon has been using Amazon Music HD for some time.
Processing and functions
After some criticism, Apple Music was redesigned for desktops as well as smartphones and tablets. For example, Apple has invested in improving user guides and clarity. The apps for iOS and Android and Apple Music in iTunes use a unified design language, and the service has been integrated into the music app on Apple devices. The offers are divided into "Media Library", "For You", "Discovery" and "Broadcast" sections.
The media library contains all iTunes titles as well as songs and albums stored in it through Apple Music. You can also sync local music from your computer and save it in the media library. Activating the iCloud music library ensures that music content is available on all connected iOS devices, PC and Co. Not only will the titles of Apple Music be compared, but the entire music library will also be compared. If the missing song is not in the iTunes directory, Apple will upload it to iCloud. Up to 100,000 songs can be compared or uploaded. Compare: With Spotify, you can only integrate your own music library by detouring. Google Play Music can upload 50,000 songs.
Apple Music in the picture
The "For You" section contains suggestions from Apple Music.
(Source: Apple Music screenshot)
The "For You" view contains personal suggestions, content extracted from songs and albums you have listened to, and algorithmic Apple Music suggestions: recently played albums, playlists of artists and songs, and newly released songs. Square tiles are used to adapt yourself to the game. The playlist, which is updated several times a day, is particularly striking. For users who want to learn about new music and need to browse a large number of music files, the "Discovery" area is especially interesting. Similarly, listeners who want to know what other editorial departments recommend and like the entire album can also benefit from the selected music.
Many featured playlists
Curated playlists are sorted by events and mood, festivals, curators and music playlists. You can also find playlists for romantic moments, parties or workouts. That's what the game does or something similar. You can also filter music in the discovery view by new music and popular leaderboards and genres. Playlists such as "Top 100 Daily" are particularly topical.
Various music videos
Music videos also play an increasingly important role in Apple Music. In addition to music clips, subscribers can also access branches of popular Carpool Karaoke programs or various music documentaries on demand. Apple ’s Beats 1 radio station and some live channels can still be used for free on iTunes. However, Apple Music subscribers can access other on-demand radio DJ stations, and they can easily create their own radio stations. The latter is easy in the detailed view submenu of the iOS application or in the menu display at the top of the iTunes screen. In cooperation with TuneIn, you can also access various radio stations around the world, including many regional radio stations.
Apple Music Ranking
Apple Music offers "Top 100 of the day" in the "Discovery" section. Chart playlists are available globally on the one hand, and on the other hand you can listen to popular lists in various countries, including Germany, United States, United Kingdom, France, etc. The playlist is updated and rearranged daily.
The search function is good, but the disadvantages are small
The integrated search works well, can provide suggestions for what to look for, and can find individual songs very reliably. You can also use each text paragraph in the lyrics to find the song. This function is effective in the application and iTunes on Windows. Not only can playlists be created in the media library, they can now be created directly from songs and albums. If necessary, you can optimize the algorithm through the sub-menu and adjust your channel or playlist more flexibly according to your habits-as appropriate, this function is marked with a heart-shaped symbol of "I like" or "I don't like" Cross heart mark. However, even after a major redesign of Apple Music some time ago: especially on iTunes on the PC, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the user guide.
For example, what works perfectly with Spotify, Deezer or Google Play Music is the product's seamless navigation. The details page of the artist or album is always linked, so you can browse the archives easily, purposefully and quickly. There must be further optimization needs. For example, on Apple Music, we must navigate to the corresponding album or artist in the media library through a nested submenu.
Listen to Apple Music offline
As with standard music streaming services, you can also listen to songs, albums and playlists offline on Apple Music-for example, to save on data costs. You can also use multiple devices to access music files through one account and transfer different songs in parallel in this way. With iCloud Music Library, you can access the entire music archive across devices with the same Apple ID.
The family plan allows six people to use Apple Music. It is based on the family sharing feature, which also enables photos, calendar items and purchases to be shared in the App Store. A good addition to the record with the update is the lyrics view. Previously, lyrics could only be displayed with a separate application.
Apple Music Artist
Artists can easily sign up for Apple Music, use their music on the platform and share it with the world. Apple provides musician tools that artists can use to determine, for example, in which playlist and which target group their music plays. You can also check in which country you hear music. You can register on the separate Apple Music website.
Advantages compared to other services
The following briefly summarizes the advantages of Apple Music over other music services (such as Spotify, Deezer, and Co.):
- You can upload up to 100,000 of your own songs
- No other apps are required on Apple devices
- Large selection of music video area
- Own radio station
- By integrating various local radio stations of TuneIn
Information about tested products
You can find more information about how we use test products, how we conduct tests, and general guidelines for editors in our transparency guide.
Apple Music Alternative
Apple Music has been ranked in the following online music service rankings.
Audio, Apple iPhone, Apple, Apple iPad, streaming music, Apple iOS-iPhone, Apple Watch, manufacturer, Apple Music, music streaming comparison instructions: 11 best providers under test, iOS tablets and smartphones and Apple HomePod
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