How to save Apple Music’s auto-updating playlists forever


music launcher playlists
Grab Apple Music's ever-changing playlists and keep them forever, like a butterfly pinned to a board and kept in a locked drawer.
Photo: Cult of Mac

One of the neatest features in Apple Music is the For You tab. Specifically, the New Music Mix and My Favorites Mix playlists, which update every week with a whole new set of songs. But what if you dig one of these playlists so much that you want to save it? You can’t. Or at least you can’t unless you use an app like Music Launcher, which has a great kinda-hidden feature that saves Apple’s transient playlists in a permanent form.

Apple’s ever-changing playlists

Apple Music won’t let you save an auto-updating playlist. Or rather, it lets you save the playlist, but not the songs in it. It’s kind of like bookmarking a search page. You can quickly get back there with one click, but the contents will have changed. So, if you save your My Favorites Mixplaylist from this week, when you go to list to it next week, the songs will have changed.

That’s where Music Launcher comes in. Music Launcher’s stated function is to put shortcuts to playlists and albums in your Notification Center, along with a widget that lets you skip tracks and play/pause. But it has one great — and possibly unintentional — extra feature. When you save one of Apple Music’s auto-updating playlists, it solidifies it into a regular playlist. Thus, you can keep as many version of your Favorites mix as you like. And this also counts for any other Apple playlist you might like to keep.

Saving a playlist with Music Launcher

With Music Launcher, you save these special playlists the same way you’d save any playlist or album, so these instructions are universal.

The hardest part might be picking a name for your playlsit.
The hardest part might be picking a name for your playlist.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Step one, open the app and tap the little ⊕ button. Then, scroll down, and down, and down, until you reach the My Favorites or My New Music mixes, and tap the ⊕ next to the one you want to save. Than tap the ☑︎ to exit this screen. You’re now in the New Playlist screen, where you can rename the newly-created list, as well as rearrange tracks, and delete any you don’t like.

You can also add tracks here, which isn’t what we’re doing today, but is handy at other times. When you’re happy with the saved playlist, tap the ☑︎, and you go back to the main screen. Tap ☑︎ again, and you’re done.

Add Music Launcher to your Today view

You may have noticed one drawback with this method: You have to use the Music Launcher app to play the new playlist. However, seeing as that’s the actual point of the app, it’s a pretty good music launcher. To use it as intended, you should add its widget to your Notification Center. You can find instructions for that here. Now, whenever you want to listen to your new playlist, you just swipe down on any screen, and tap the playlist’s icon to start it.

You can get to your saved lists from the Today View, or with 3D Touch.
You can get to your saved lists from the Today View, or with 3D Touch.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Alternatively, you can just 3D Touch the app icon and access the widget from there.

It’d be nice if Apple Music would let us save these playlists inside the app, but Music Launcher does a fine job of it, along with its regular features. Its also free, with a $2 IAP to unlock pro mode which saves more lists, and enables playback controls on the widget. I use it all the time, because Apple’s Favorites mix is pretty great for me most weeks. The Mew Music Mix, on the other hand…


UPDATE: There’s a much easier way to do this, as pointed out by Peter Cole on Twitter:

save to playlist
In iOS 10, you can save a playlist right in the Music app.
Photo: Cult of Mac


This works in iOS 10 (and the iOS 11 beta). Thanks Peter!


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