Apple Music

How to make a shared, collaborative Apple Music Playlist

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Playlists With Your Friends
Come together.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

A hot new feature in iOS 17.3 is Apple Music playlist collaboration. In advance of a party, road trip or any kind of themed event, you and others organizing the music can build a playlist together.

This isn’t to be confused with a similar feature, SharePlay, which lets people in the same room add songs to a live queue. SharePlay is more ephemeral; it lets others nearby play songs in the car or to a Bluetooth speaker without passing around your unlocked phone.

A shared Apple Music playlist is saved and can be replayed at any time. To find out everything you need to know about Apple Music playlist collaboration, keep reading or watch our quick how-to video

Apple Music Replay 24 debuts with fun new feature

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Apple Music Replay 24 with new monthly archive
"See, I told you I loved that album. Here it is with 1 minute of listening in May, 2021!"
Photo: Apple

Tuesday is the first day Apple Music users can see their Apple Music Replay 24 favorites so far for the new year — but that’s not all. There’s a fresh new feature to help you obsess over past listening.

Apple Music Replay now gives you monthly stats, including month-by-month lists of your top artists, albums and songs going back to through your history with Replay. So now you have even more proof of your listening habits (good or bad).

Get to know Usher before his Super Bowl halftime show

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Usher at Apple's Super Bowl halftime show
If you didn't already know all about Usher, you will now.
Photo: Apple

Before Usher plays the Apple Music Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show on Sunday in Las Vegas, Apple made sure everyone knows all about the R&B superstar Monday with word of a press conference coming on Thursday and a host of Usher tunes and information available now on Apple Music, including the artists “My Road to Halftime” playlist.

Indie record labels say Apple’s Spatial Audio payment plan will hurt them

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Spatial Audio
Spatial Audio from Dolby Atmos technology creates surround-sound.
Photo: Apple

Independent record labels say Apple’s recent promise to pay 10% more for Dolby Atmos tracks in Spatial Audio will take money away from them and give it to major labels and their stars, according to a new report Friday.

“It’s literally going to take the money out of independent labels and their artists, to benefit the biggest companies in the marketplace,” said a senior executive at one of the bigger independent record companies.

Adding Spatial Audio earns musicians more money

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Apple Spatial Audio technology
Spatial Audio puts users in the middle of their music.
Image: Apple

Apple Music reportedly will pay artists 10% more for tracks that use Spatial Audio, which offers a surround sound-like experience without requiring additional speakers.

Theoretically, more music that offers Spatial Audio should persuade more consumers to buy Apple products that support the feature.

What to try first in iOS 17.3

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iOS 17.3
iOS 17.3 introduces a major new security feature for iPhones.
Image: Cult of Mac

iOS 17.3, the third major release of iOS 17, arrived Monday. It packs several new features, one of which is Stolen Device Protection. It also brings the much-delayed Apple Music playlist collaboration.

Once you install iOS 17.3 on your iPhone, check out the new features you must try below.

Apple CEO meets with EU competition chief to talk sideloading iPhone apps

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European Union's commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager and APple CEO Tim Cook.
Margrethe Vestager and Tim Cook had an in-person meeting with some weighty issues on the table.
Photo: Margrethe Vestager

Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner for competition, met with Apple CEO Tim Cook on Thursday to discuss the upcoming EU requirement that iPhone users be able to install applications from outside the App Store, aka sideloading.

Vestager also says the two discussed the EU’s investigation into whether Apple Music is anticompetitive.

Hands-on with the 10 best new features in iOS 17.2

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iOS 17 promotion artwork with a sticky note that says
A bunch of new features are coming in this big update to Apple’s latest.
Image: Apple/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

iOS 17 brought dozens of great features and changes, but the latest 17.2 update adds even more.

The headline feature is the new Journal app — other new tweaks come to iMessage stickers, NameDrop and Apple Music. If you have a new iPhone 15 Pro, you can record Spatial Videos and use the Translate app directly from the Action button. You can also customize more notification sounds and StandBy.

Here are the ten best features in 17.2.

iPhone’s collaborative playlists and AirPlay in hotel rooms on hold until 2024

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iPhone’s collaborative music playlists
Collaborative music playlists will be brilliant ... when they finally arrive.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The wait goes on for two features that Apple promised to add to iOS 17. The iPhone-maker committed itself to collaborative music playlists and AirPlay in hotel rooms but now says these won’t be available before 2024.

These are the last significant additions expected for iOS 17.

Apple may pay artists more to use Dolby Atmos

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Spatial audio with head tracking
Artists might profit more from mixing tunes with Dolby Atmos.
Photo: Apple

Apple plans to offer financial incentives to artists and record labels who mix songs using surround-sound Spatial Audio technology Dolby Atmos, sources close to the matter said Monday.

Greater weighting placed on those audio streams starting in 2024 will likely mean higher royalties paid out.

How to find your music stats with Apple Music Replay

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An iPhone showing the Apple Music app with Apple Replay.
Apple Music Replay is a great way to see your favorite music over the last year.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple Music Replay is a great way to find your music stats for the past year: the most played songs, artists and albums in the last 12 months. Similar to Spotify Wrapped and the like, your annual Apple replay is a fun way to see what tracks you listened to most in 2023.

Fun fact: Apple usually publicizes Apple Music Replay in November, but it’s actually updated weekly and available throughout the year. However, it’s buried in the Apple Music app. We’ll show you how to find it.

Apple Music Classical expands to iPad

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Apple Music Classical for iPad
The Apple Music Classical application now supports large tablet screens.
Photo: Apple

The Apple Music Classical app that launched for iPhone earlier this year has been updated with support for the larger screens on iPads.

The app offers access to the world’s largest classical music catalog, with more than 5 million tracks. It’s free for Apple Music subscribers.

PlayStation 5 owners get 6 months of free Apple Music subscription

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Apple Music noted its most popular song and artists of 2022.
Offer is only applicable for new and returning users though.
Photo: Apple Music

Apple and Sony have teamed up to offer six months of Apple Music free to PlayStation 5 owners. The offer is only valid for new or qualified returning users, not existing subscribers.

Apple’s music streaming now comes with a relatively short one-month trial period. So, this promotion could be a boon for users on the fence about trying Apple Music.

iOS 17.2 beta 3: All the features and changes

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iOS 17.2 release notes
Time to try out iOS 17.2 beta on your iPhone!
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A week after seeding the second iOS 17.2 beta, Apple has released the third beta of the OS. The first two beta builds were loaded with new features, and iOS 17.2 beta 3 is no different.

Below are all the changes and enhancements we have found in iOS 17.2 beta 3 so far.

Save tunes you hear on TikTok straight to Apple Music

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TikTok Add to Music App
If you come across a cool tune, you can add it to your library with a click.
Photo: TikTok

Even if you only hear a snippet of a tune on TikTok, now you can add the whole song directly to Apple Music or another music-streaming service.

TikTok’s new Add to Music App launched Tuesday in the United States and the United Kingdom. It works with Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and other music streamers.

Taylor Swift named Apple Music’s Artist of the Year

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Taylor Swift named Apple Music’s Artist of the Year
This seems inevitable.
Image: Apple

Apple Music joined the ranks of the Swifties. Taylor Swift was picked to be Apple Music’s Artist of the Year for 2023.

“I am so honored to be Apple Music’s Artist of the Year,” said Swift. “Thank you to every single one of you for making this year the most incredible, joyful, celebratory year ever. From streaming the music nonstop to screaming it together in real life at the shows, dancing chaotically in movie theaters, none of this would have been possible without you. Thank you so much.”

Apple quietly nixes the cheapest Apple Music plan

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Apple Music noted its most popular song and artists of 2022.
RIP, Apple Music Voice Plan!
Photo: Apple Music

Apple has quietly discontinued the Apple Music Voice Plan nearly two years after its release. The $5 plan was the cheapest way to subscribe to the company’s music streaming service.

Going forward, you cannot subscribe to the Apple Music Voice Plan. If you are an existing subscriber, your membership will expire at the end of your current billing cycle.

Find live music with Shazam’s new Concerts feature

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Shazam app
Now you can see live-music recommendations right in Apple's Shazam app.
Photo: Apple

Apple-owned music-identification app Shazam now lets users find live music through a new feature called Concerts, the company said Wednesday.

It surfaces shows in the iOS app’s My Music section based on a user’s Shazam history.

Know Apple Music’s next song at a glance with LivePod app [Awesome Apps]

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LivePod iOS app for Apple Music
With LivePod, you'll never have to open Apple Music to know what song is coming.
Photo: LivePod

Awesome AppsWish you didn’t have to open the Apple Music app to see what song will play next? The new iOS app LivePod turns your Apple Music Up Next queue into a Live Activity on your Lock Screen. And with newer iPhones, it shows up in the Dynamic Island.

You can use it for free on a limited basis.

Today in Apple history: The Beatles beat Apple in court

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Beatles
Apple vs. The Beatles is one of the less likely feuds in Apple history.
Photo: Apple Corps.

October 9: Today in Apple history: The Beatles beat Apple in court October 9, 1991: A court orders Apple to pay $26.5 million to Apple Corps, The Beatles’ record label and holding company, for trademark infringement.

This marks the second time Apple is forced to pay The Beatles. And the ruling comes a decade after Apple swore it would never get into the music business.

Apple adds 100+ podcasts with improved access

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iOS 17 gives Apple Podcasts users a refreshed player and queue, episode art, search filters and the ability to connect subscriptions to top apps.
iOS 17 gives Apple Podcasts users a refreshed player and queue, episode art, search filters and the ability to connect subscriptions to top apps.
Photo: Apple

Now you can listen to more than 100 new podcasts from various apps and services in Apple Podcasts, the company said Tuesday.

“Subscribers to Apple Music, Apple News+ and participating apps like Calm and Lingokids can connect their subscriptions to access new shows and more,” Apple noted.

These iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 features won’t arrive till later this year

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The first iOS 17 public build will miss out on these features.
iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, but without these features.
Image: Rajesh Pandey/Cult of Mac

Apple finally released iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 to the public, but you won’t get to enjoy all the new features and enhancements immediately.

Certain features will be released in a future point release of the OS. Below is a look at all such iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 features that won’t be available at launch.

tvOS 17 brings FaceTime to Apple TV 4K

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With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
With the tvOS 17 update, FaceTime comes to Apple TV 4K for the first time.
Photo: Apple

Apple TV 4K became a more versatile living room device with Monday’s launch of FaceTime on tvOS 17, Apple said, referring to it as “a powerful integration of hardware and software.”

“Users can make calls directly from Apple TV 4K, or start calls on iPhone or iPad, and hand them off to Apple TV 4K,” Apple noted. “FaceTime on Apple TV 4K takes advantage of Continuity Camera support to wirelessly connect to iPhone or iPad, and leverages the devices’ cameras and microphones to bring participants together on the TV.”