Apple’s streaming music service celebrated its first anniversary last month and has amassed over 15 million subscribers to date. However, for a company servicing over 1 billion active devices, 15 million is a mere fraction of Apple’s customers.
If you are among those who have held off giving Apple Music a chance, there has never been a better time than now. The service has dramatically improved over the past year, and a major overhaul to Apple Music is slated for iOS 10. Most importantly, the Music app will see a much needed redesign to address complaints about the app’s confusing user interface and bloated design.
If you want to go ahead and get your hands on the redesigned app, you can install iOS 10 to your iPhone or iPad by joining Apple’s pubic beta program at beta.apple.com. However, be forewarned this is a beta version of iOS 10 and not everything will function as smoothly as iOS 9.
So, if you’re ready to dive into Apple Music, let’s take a look at how to setup and get started with the service.
The Easy Setup Process
It’s obviously in Apple’s best interest to make the getting started process as easy as possible and they have done just that. The first time you open up the Music app on a new iPhone or iPad you will be greeted with a message asking if you want to join Apple Music. If you have dismissed the message before you can find the option to sign up for the service in the For You section of the app.
If you have never subscribed to Apple Music before, you can give the service a try for 3-months free of charge. Just tap the option to start 3-month free trial in the For You section. Next, you need to choose a membership type between student, individual or family. Pricing for each tier is $4.99, $9.99 and $14.99 respectively per month.
Once subscribed, you will be guided through the initial setup where you will choose a few genres and artists you like. This is the first step of the service’s tailoring process which will continue the more you use Apple Music.
Using Apple Music
As mentioned, Apple has received plenty of flak about the Music app’s confusing layout. Thankfully, this will be fixed in iOS 10 but you can still dive into Apple Music now as long as you know a few basics.
Currently, the Music app is divided by the five tabs located at the bottom of the app. The Radio tab in the middle is self-explanatory and easy to figure out. My advice is to ignore the Connect tab. It will be gone in iOS 10 anyways. The For You tab is where personalized recommendations tailored “for you” live. The New tab houses suggestions based on what’s currently new and trending.
This leaves us with the My Music tab, where you will probably spend most of your time in the Music app. This is where your music lives and where Apple Music in its current iteration falls short. Without getting too into the weeds, suffice it to say Apple’s attempt to intermingle the personal libraries iTunes users have built up over the years with Apple Music has been a massive headache.
It seems Apple has fixed a lot of these issues and has promised to make the experience even better in iOS 10. However, it would still be a good idea to have your personal digital library backed up somewhere other than iTunes. Lastly, the ability to command Siri to begin playing any song in the Apple Music catalogue is an excellent and unique touch to the service.