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Apple Music review: Pricing, features and devices

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With over 50 million songs, Apple Music has struck a chord with music lovers around the world.

Apple Music features a vast library of songs that can be streamed to a variety of modern devices wherever and whenever you want. But while it works with a wide range of devices, it operates best with iOS devices.

3 Months

Free trial length

$9.99

Individual plan price

50 Million

Library size

Details

Streaming quality 320 kbps
Available offline Yes
Library size 50 Million
Basic subscription $9.99
Free trial Yes
Free trial length 3 Months
Family plan offered Yes
Family plan device limit 6
Family plan price $14.99

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Seamless integration across iOS devices
  • Available on a variety of Android and smart home devices
  • Large music library

Cons

  • Needs to be played through iTunes on a Windows PC
  • No free subscription option

What features does Apple Music offer?

Curated playlists

One of Apple Music’s greatest strengths is its range of curated playlists put together by Apple’s team of music experts. With playlists for gym junkies, golden oldies and the most selective of audiophiles, there’s plenty available for music lovers of all tastes.

Apple Music also enables users to keep up with current releases with playlists like Future Hits, Best of the Week or Today’s Hits, making it easy for you to discover new favorites. As an added bonus, you can also follow the lyrics to the songs you’re listening to right in the app.

Custom playlists

Personalised curation is another area where Apple Music proves its worth. Like Spotify, it builds a custom playlist for you every week based on what you’ve been listening to. And Apple Music has a wider variety of new and undiscovered artists, so there’s a greater chance you’ll stumble across something you’ve never heard before.

Social sharing

You can connect with your friends on Apple Music and see what they’re listening to. And you can create your own playlists and share them with the world.

Offline listening

Apple Music also enables you to download songs, albums, or playlists to your device, so you can listen while on the go without burning through your mobile data allowance. You can store up to 100,000 songs at a time offline.

What music is available on Apple Music?

Apple Music boasts one of the largest streaming music libraries out there, with over 50 million tracks in its catalog. There’s not much you won’t find in there, with everything from the latest hip-hop hits to the hardest classic rock.

As a bonus, any music in your iTunes library regardless of whether it was purchased from iTunes or ripped from a CD can be played through Apple Music, saving you from having to maintain multiple libraries for all your music.

What devices are compatible with Apple Music?

Apple Music works with a number of different devices both inside and outside the Apple ecosystem. For the best support, you’ll want to update your device with the most recent software available.

Mobile devices

  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • iPod touch
  • Apple Watch
  • Android smartphones and tablets

Computers

  • Windows PC
  • Mac

Smart home devices

  • Alexa-enabled Sonos speaker
  • Amazon Echo
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Apple TV

Other devices

  • Cars with CarPlay support

How much does Apple Music cost?

TierCost per monthFeatures
Student$4.99
  • Ad-free
  • Offline listening
  • Access full library
  • Access on multiple devices, one at a time
Individual$9.99
  • Ad-free
  • Offline listening
  • Access full library
  • Access on multiple devices, one at a time
Family$14.99
  • Ad-free
  • Offline listening
  • Access full library
  • Access for up to 6 people
  • Personal accounts for each family member

Compare over 10 music streaming services

Updated January 27th, 2020
Name Product Free trial length Library size Streaming quality Offline availability Individual plan price
Amazon Music Unlimited
30 Days
50 Million
256 kbps
Yes
$9.99
Apple Music
3 Months
50 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$9.99
Tidal Premium
30 Days
25 Million
320 kbps
Mobile only
$10
Tidal HiFi
Tidal HiFi
30 Days
25 Million
1411 kbps
Mobile only
$20
Deezer
30 Days
56 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$9.99
Spotify Premium
3 Months
50 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$9.99
SoundCloud Go+
30 Days
120 Million
Not revealed
Yes
$9.99
Pandora Plus
30 Days
30 Million
320 kbps
Yes
$4.99
Pandora Premium
60 Days
30 Million
160 kbps
Yes
$9.99
iHeartRadio
30 Days
30 Million
128 kbps
Yes
$5.99
Google Play Music
30 Days
35 Million
320 kbps
Mobile only
$9.99
YouTube Music
30 Days
30 Million
128 kbps
Yes
$11.99
SiriusXM Radio
3 Months
Not revealed
Yes
$8
LiveXLive
4 Months
128 kbps
Yes
$3.99

Compare up to 4 providers

Case study: Anna's experience

Anna Serio<br> profile photo
Anna Serio
Staff Writer
I’m one of those weirdos that still uses an iPod to keep my music separate from my phone. I’m generally resistant to change — especially when it comes to tech. So I was skeptical when I had to switch from iTunes to Apple Music when I finally replaced a dying iPod Nano with an iPod Touch earlier this year (I know). But after the initial adjustment period, I have to say I’m happy I was forced to make the change. It’s easier to navigate than iTunes and I love that I can find most of the bands I listen with a few taps. Another plus: I got to keep the music I’d had on iTunes, including songs I’d recorded myself. I’ve written off streaming services in the past — even those that allow downloads. But I’m happy this one’s in my life.

Bottom line

Apple Music offers and impressive library and seamless integration across iOS devices. But if you’re listening primarily on a Windows PC, you’ll need to download iTunes — which Apple is no longer updating. If you’re not an Apple device-user, you may want to compare other streaming services.

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