What to Expect From Apple's Music Streaming Service

Now you can stream music from Apple, but what does their service offer?

Apple Music Service
Apple Music on iPhone. Image Courtesy of Apple

Apple Music

Before acquiring Beats Electronics (including Beats Music) for a reported $3 billion USD, the only way to get songs from Apple was to download tracks from the iTunes Store. Now that the company has launched a full-fledged streaming service, you now have an all you can eat option if you don't want to buy tracks to download.

But, how does Apple Music stack up against the other major forces in the music streaming market such as Spotify, and others?

In this frequently asked questions article we explore some of the major considerations that are almost a necessity when choosing a streaming music service and whether Apple Music checks all the boxes.

What Are Some of its Main Features?

Apple Music is of course a streaming service much like its competitors, but what features does it offer?

  • Unlimited music streaming.
  • Professionally curated radio stations from top DJs.
  • Music recommendations based on your listening.
  • Expert music selections.
  • Beats Connect: a social tool for artists so they can share exclusive media with fans.

Does Apple Music Offer a Free Account to Stream?

The digital music streaming market is a very competitive place indeed. So, you might think that Apple would follow others by offering a free account to entice you to subscribe. This type of streaming level is typically supported by advertisements and comes with less features than a paid-for subscription tier.

Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music, and a few others do it, but what about Apple Music?

Unfortunately there's no free account at the moment on Apple Music. Instead, the company has elected to offer new customers a three-month trial. You get to experience the full benefit of Apple's streaming service before having to commit to a subscription, but only while the trial lasts.

Competing services that offer a free ad-supported account could sway music fans into using them instead -- especially if three months seems too short to fully get to grips with a service.  

Is it Available in my Country?

When Apple Music first launched (June 30, 2015), it was available in one hundred countries. For the latest information, see Apple Music's availability Web page to check that you can get it in your country / region.

What Are The Subscription Options?

There are two ways to sign up to Apple Music.

  • Standard Subscription This currently costs $9.99 per month and gives you full access to Apple's music library and all of its features.
  • Family Membership If there's more than one person in your family that wants to subscribe to Apple Music then the family membership plan (costing $14.99 per month) is a better option. This uses Family Sharing to give up to six people access to Apple Music from their registered iOS devices.

What Can I Use to Access Apple Music?

As well as being able to access the service on a PC or Mac you can use iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch. If using an iOS device you'll need at least version 8.4

Can I listen Offline (on my Apple Watch etc.)?

Music fans these days want to be able to listen to their music even if they aren't connected to the Internet.

More streaming services are now offering an offline mode. This enables you to download music files (with DRM copy protection) so that you can carry your favorite tracks around and not have to worry about whether you can get online.

Apple Music has this feature so you can store music on iOS devices including the Apple Watch. You can sync playlists that you have created or even professionally curated ones too.

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