Apple Music: What You Need to Know

Apple Music is set to launch on Tuesday, June 30, and that means we're getting a new way to listen to music on our iPhone, iPads, Macs, and more. It also means there are new questions about just exactly what Apple Music gets us, so we rounded up some answers for you.

Here's what you need to know about Apple MusicHere's what you need to know about Apple Music

What is Apple Music?

Apple Music is a new streaming music service that's built from Beats Music. Apple bought Beats Music and Beats Electronics last year, and has been working on converting that purchase into its own Internet-based streaming music service.

Apple Music includes three components:

  • Beats 1 An Internet radio station with real DJs, artists, and celebrities putting together the playlists you hear—much like traditional radio.
  • Apple Music Stations Streaming music stations, much like the iTunes Radio stations you can hear in iTunes and on Apple TV.
  • Connect A sort of social networking system where artists can share news and behind the scenes information with their fans.

What Do I Get With Apple Music?

Apple Music is available as a free or paid service through a monthly subscription. Everyone can get full access for free, however, during the three-month trial period. Once you hit the end of the free trial you'll have to decide if it's worth paying to keep all of Apple Music's features.

Apple Music Free (signed in with Apple ID)
You'll need to sign into Apple Music with your Apple ID. If you choose not to pay for the service, you can view artist feeds and follow artists on Connect, listen to the Beats 1 Internet radio station, and listen to Apple Music radio stations with limited song skipping.

Apple Music paid subscription
If you pay for Apple Music, you get access to everything non-paid subscribers do, plus unlimited song skipping, the ability to play and save Connect content, like Connect content and radio songs, unlimited access to the Apple Music library, add Apple Music content to your library, save for offline listening, and expert music recommendations.

How Much Does Apple Music Cost?

Apple Music is priced in line with other online streaming music services at US$9.99 a month for a single user.

Apple also offers a group plan that costs $14.99 as a family subscription up to six people. The catch is that the group deal requires everyone be part of the same iCloud Family Sharing plan.

I'm a Beats Music Subscriber. What Happens to Me?

Beats Music subscribers can transition to Apple Music without too much hassle. The Beats Music app will walk you through joining Apple Music and will move your playlists and albums for you.

What's the Deal with Matched Tracks?

Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue took to Twitter to clear up confirm that Apple Music will include iTunes Match-like track matching. That means Apple Music can scan your iTunes music library and upload your songs to your iCloud account. That music will be available for streaming to all of your iTunes-compatible devices.

Mr. Cue said Apple Music's track matching will launch with a 25,000 track limit, just like iTunes Match. That number will to jump up to 100,000 tracks when iOS 9 launches this fall.

Which Devices Work With Apple Music?

Apple Music supports the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch running iOS 8.4 which will come out just before the streaming music service launches on June 30. Apple TV support will be coming this fall.

Mac and Windows PCs users can get in on the Apple Music action, too. Apple will be releasing a compatibility update for iTunes ahead of the Apple Music launch.

Can Android Users Subscribe to Apple Music?

The good news is that Android users can get in on the Apple Music action. The bad news is that they'll have to wait until fall. Apple promises support is coming, but it won't be there on launch day.

When Does Beats Music Launch?

Apple Music is almost here. It launches at 9AM pacific time on June 30. That little tidbit comes courtesy of Apple Music senior director Ian Rogers.