Apple Music Streaming App: The Essentials

Apple Music Streaming App

Unless you’ve been living under a rock there’s no doubt you’ve heard about the Apple Music Streaming App. This is Apple’s newest venture that is geared towards conquering yet another field, this time the streaming music model, much like Spotify and Pandora.

They tried it before with iTunes Radio but that turned out to be a bit of a dud. Apple Music is a broader venture, one that has innovative ideas integrated into it that might just flip the music industry upside down.

Now, in case you’re staring blankly at your iPhone or computer and thinking, “Where the hell do I start with Apple Music?”, we’ve put together this little “how-to” in order to get you going and answer some simple questions.

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So crack your knuckles, do a couple of jumping jacks, skip rope, whatever you’ve got to do to get ready to dive into this baby. Here we go!

Getting Started with the Apple Music Streaming App:

Depending on what device you’re using, getting started with Apple Music is going to be a little different. We’ll break it down by device to make it simple. Don’t worry, we got you!

Apple Music Streaming App On iPad and iPhone

First things first, you’re going to need to download iOS 8.4 by going to Settings, then to General, then Software Update. Once you’ve done the software update Apple Music will now be in your Music app. Simple!

Open the Music app (the app where all your own music is located). At the bottom of the screen you’ll see the following tabs:

For You – New – Radio – Connect – My Music


“My Music” is where your music library is located, obviously.

“For You” is where you’ll go to sign up for the Apple Music Streaming. Click on “Start 3-Month Free Trial” to start…well, a free 3-month trial of Apple Music. You then choose your plan that will automatically renew at the end of 3 months unless you turn off automatic renewal in your Apple Music account.

The plan options are either Individual for $9.99 a month or a Family Plan which covers up to 6 people (6 different Apple IDs) for $14.99 a month.

Once you select the plan you’ll then see a screen that resembles something out of the “99 Red Balloons” music video. You have the option here of selecting what genres you like (one tap) or genres you love (two taps).



Once done then hit “Next.” You can now choose three or more of your favorite artists, hitting “More Artists” for more suggestions until you’re satisfied. Then hit “Done.”

Your “For You” page will now show several Apple Music playlists based off the artists you like.

“New” is where you’ll find new curated playlists and content from Apple Music. For example, I just clicked on “Apple Editor’s Playlists” and then on the genre “Hip-Hop” where I found a bunch of playlists like “Intro to Naughty By Nature” and “The Evolution of White Rappers.”

“Radio” is your Pandora-like feature where you can create and listen to stations based off artists or genres. This is also where you’ll listen to the new Beats 1 station with celeb DJs like Dr. Dre and Elton John. Even if you don’t subscribe to Apple Music you can use this function but you’ll have limited skip-forward capability and consistent ads.


“Connect” is the social function of Apple Music that connects musicians and artists with their fans. This is where you’ll see announcements and behind-the-scenes videos with the option to comment or like their posts.


The best way to create playlists and to find music to stream is to hit the search icon in the top right of every page in the Music app. Then you can search for whatever you like and select if you want to find that artist or song in your own music library or in the Apple Music library.

Once you find a song or album hit the “…” symbol in the top right and you’ll see a list of options including “Add to a Playlist”, “Start Station” and “Make Available Offline.”

PC or Mac

To access Apple Music on your PC or Mac just make sure to run the newest version of iTunes by updating the iTunes app and you’ll have access to the same features as described above in the iPhone and iPad section.

Whether you sign up for Apple Music through your computer or other device, your iTunes on your computer will pop up with a message to send your music to the iCloud Library which is an awesome bonus with Apple Music and was only available as a feature before with iTunes Match. Trust me say “Yes!” so that all your music including those not bought through iTunes will now be available anywhere from any device.

Apple Watch

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Apple Music is also available on your Apple Watch with the 1.0.1 update or later. It’s limited here as most features are limited on the Apple Watch. Why? because it’s a watch, what do ya expect?


Basically you can sync any playlist from your Apple Music to your Apple Watch so you’ll have to do that first before you can play the playlists.

Is it worth it?

My musical taste is very specific and includes mainly old-school hip-hop which tends to not be represented properly in streaming services but Apple Music does it justice. Somehow I feel I have Dr. Dre to thank for that.

My suggestion to you is to follow the directions above to get started with the Apple Music Streaming App.

The 3-month trial is free which is a substantial trial period to find out if you like it and again, it’s free so nothing to lose. Once you’ve gotten started, explore it. There’s a lot there and don’t be surprised if you’re not pleasantly surprised. Is that an oxymoron?

Also be aware that the Apple Music Streaming App will use a lot of data if you’re not using it on Wi-Fi, we found this post on iGeeksBlog that shows you how you can save your data when using the Apple Music App.