Apple Music review

Apple Music burst into the music streaming scene in 2015 and has quickly made its mark with its competitors. The streaming service, available on all iOS and Android devices, has 60 million songs available for unlimited listening at one low monthly price. What makes this platform unique is that it creates curated daily playlists based on your personal preferences and is readily available every time you sign in. The service also features access to Beats 1, a 24/7 live radio station curated by well-known DJs like Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga, as well as many others.

Apple Music has come a long way since its release back in June of 2015. When the platform first became available, it received mixed reviews from subscribers, and its user interface left much to be desired. After the release of iOS 10 in September 2016, the user interface received a significant overhaul, improving navigation and overall functionality while quickly gaining popularity as a top media streaming service. 

It only took six months for the service to hit 10 million subscribers, and today, the streaming service has more than 60 million subscribers around the world. 

Compare Apple Music plans

There are currently three different subscription plans customers can choose from: Apple Music individual, student and family.

IndividualStudentFamily
Monthly price$9.99/mo.$4.99/mo.$14.99/mo.
Free trial length3 months6 months3 months
Number of songs60 million60 million60 million
Number of users11Up to 6
Ad-free streamingYesYesYes

How much is Apple Music compared to competitors?

Apple Music is competitively priced from $4.99/mo. to $14.99/mo., depending on the plan option you choose. Spotify has virtually the same pricing structure for its plans, while Tidal charges customers $9.99/mo. to $19.99/mo. for its music streaming services.

Why Apple Music may be the right streaming service for you

While Apple Music was a relatively late arrival to media streaming, it has quickly evolved into a top contender when it comes to features. The streaming service now has one of the largest music libraries available, featuring 60 million songs. Since the iOS 13 release, subscribers also have access to over 100,000 live radio stations from around the world. There’s an option for subscribers to store media on their devices for offline playback as well. This means customers can play music whenever convenient, without worrying about mobile data restrictions. 

User experience

Apple Music is available on Apple TV, desktop applications and mobile devices. The company has worked hard to ensure that users get the same experience, regardless of how they choose to listen to music. 

While there are multiple devices you can use with the platform, the streaming service’s mobility experience is what sets it apart. Song lyrics are displayed on mobile devices in real-time while listening to music, and subscribers can even download and listen to songs on the go without using mobile data. You can also ask Siri to search for songs you want to listen to simply by saying the lyrics.

Although not available on individual plans, customers who subscribe to family plans will be able to share music playlists with up to five other people. And other family members’ playlists are easy to share and access on your device.

Device compatibility

Apple Music is compatible with the following devices:

  • Amazon Echo
  • Android devices running version 4.3 or later.
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Apple HomePod
  • Apple TV
  • Apple Watch
  • iOS devices running version 8.4 or later.
  • macOS
  • Sonos speakers
  • Windows PCs

Apple Music features

The platform lets subscribers customize their listening experience to get the most out of their subscription. Here are some essential customization features:

Library customization

Organize your music preferences by playlist, artist, album, songs and downloaded music.

For You curation

Subscribers can opt to receive up-to-date, custom playlists from DJs, artists and other curators.

Love and Dislike settings

Users can choose to Love or Dislike anything they’re listening to improve the accuracy of personalized music lists. 

Playback modes

Swipe on your screen to shuffle or repeat playlists. 

Song lyrics

Subscribers can follow along with their favorite songs while lyrics are displayed and perfectly timed as you listen. This feature is accessible through the menu button on the main screen.

Playlist photos

Add photos to make it easier to organize your customized playlists.

What to listen to on Apple Music

Apple Music subscribers receive access to a large catalog of music and podcasts across multiple genres. Subscribers can access various music genres, including:

  • Alternative
  • Country
  • Dance
  • Electronic
  • Grunge
  • House
  • Jazz
  • Pop
  • Rap

Subscribers can also search for music by listening mood. This can be romantic, lively, upbeat or warm. There are kid-friendly playlists available for parents looking for a family-friendly listening experience. Apple Music also gives subscribers early access to albums before their release to other streaming services. Some of these have included Freedom by Pharrell Williams and Views From the 6 by Drake

In addition to one of the largest music streaming libraries, users also have access to an extensive list of on-demand radio stations and podcasts, such as Beats 1 Live, Dateline NBC, Phil in the Blanks, Radiolab, TED Talks Daily and hundreds more.

How to sign up for Apple Music

The Apple Music sign up process is relatively simple. If you’re interested in trying the service, follow these steps.

  1. Visit the iTunes store and download the application.
  2. Enter your basic user information, and the interface will prompt you to start a trial offer.
  3. Choose whether you’d like to subscribe to an individual, student or family plan. 
  4. Link your Apple Music account with your Apple ID and password.
  5. Validate your account and move to the billing area.
  6. Enter your payment information. 
  7. Once your payment method is verified, you should have full account access. 

The takeaway

Apple Music has quickly become a top competitor of other popular streaming services like Spotify and Tidal. The application’s customization options and personally curated playlists make it an excellent choice for users looking to find new artists and songs. For customers who prefer not to pay to stream music, a free, ad-supported tier from another service might be a better option. However, Apple Music’s extensive library and intuitive interface make it an excellent choice for both Apple and Android users.