Using the iPhone Music App

Listen to your songs in style

The Music app is the built-in iOS app that is home to your music on the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. While there are plenty of apps that offer music, the Music app is the only one that many people need.

Information in this article applies to iPhones with iOS 10 through iOS 12.

Locate a Song or Album in the iOS Music App

Navigating the Music app can be a little confusing, but once you master it, it's easy to browse your music library until you find the song, album, or playlist you want to listen to and tap it to play.

  1. On the iPhone Home screen, tap the Music app.

  2. If the app doesn't open on the Library screen, tap Library at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Select one of the categories in the list — Playlists, Artists, or Albums, among others — to see the music options in your music library in that category.

    The Artists section on the Library tab of Apple Music
  4. For example, tap Artists to open a list of music artists. Tap an artist's name to view songs or albums that you have on your iPhone or in iCloud. Tap an album or song by the artist.

    Making selections in the Music app on iPhone
  5. Open any of the categories on the Library screen in the same way.

The Library screen is the home screen of the Music app. To return to it at any time, tap Library.

Play a Selection

To play music from the Music app:

  1. Locate a song you want to play and tap the name of the song. A bar at the bottom of the screen changes to the song name with a Play/Pause and Next control.

  2. Tap the song name at the bottom of the screen to open an information screen about the song along with traditional Play/Pause, Forward and Backward controls, and a volume slider.

  3. Tap the 3-dot More icon at the bottom of the screen for a pop-up window with options.

  4. Optionally, choose Remove, Add to a Playlist, or Share Song.

  5. Tap Love or Dislike to indicate whether you like the song.

    Song options in Apple Music on an iPhone

How the Controls Work

The controls available while a song is playing are familiar to most people and easy to pick up even if they aren't familiar.

Scrub Forward or Back in the Progress Bar

The progress bar under the album or song art shows how long the song has been playing and how much time it has left. Use it to move quickly forward or backward in the song, a technique called scrubbing. To move within a song, tap and hold the circle on the progress bar and drag it in the direction you want to move in the song.

Play/Pause and Forward and Back

Use the Play/Pause button — the large one between the Forward and Back buttons — to start or stop listening to the current song. The Forward and Back buttons move to the next or previous song.

Raise or Lower Volume

The bar near the bottom of the screen controls the song volume. To raise or lower the volume, either drag the slider or use the volume buttons built into the side of the iPhone.

Shuffle

The button labeled Shuffle on an album or playlist information screen plays the songs in random order. Tap it to shuffle the songs on the album or playlist that you're currently listening to.

Feel Like a Radio Station?

If you're looking for something a little different, check out the radio stations on your iPhone. Tap Radio at the bottom of the Library screen and select from one of the radio stations on the screen that opens.

Radio option in Apple Music on an iPhone

About Apple Music Subscriptions

Apple offers a premium streaming music service that expands the choices in the Music app to the tune of 50 million songs plus your entire music library. Following a free trial, student, individual, and family plans are available.

When you subscribe to Apple Music, a couple of new icons are added at the bottom of the Music App screen:

  • The For You screen contains music that Apple selects based on preferences you chose when you signed up for Apple Music.
  • Browse contains curated music in Top 100 lists, Hot Tracks, New Music, and other categories.

Although streaming music requires a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to the internet, you have the option to download as many songs as you like from Apple Music to your iPhone, so you can listen when a connection isn't available.

Apple Music app on an iPhone with the For You and Browse tabs highlighted

Settings for the Music App

Open Settings on the iPhone and choose Music to access the EQ controls, volume limits, listening history, storage optimization, and automatic downloads. Also, the Music Settings screen is where you opt whether to use cellular data for music or to show Apple Music in the Music app.

Music in the Settings app on an iPhone