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Apple Music FAQ: The ins and outs of Apple's streaming music service

What kind of playlists can I create? Will Apple Music replace iTunes? We have the answers, and more.

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Will standalone iTunes Radio remain a free service? Will iTunes Radio stations sponsored by record labels be moving to Apple Music, or will they be dropped? Beats 1 and Apple Music’s radio stations are free to anyone with an Apple ID—though the genre- and artist-based radio stations will be ad-supported and have a limit on song skips. If you created your own stations, they’ll sync over, and you can find them in the Radio tab. However, many of iTunes Radio’s former stations sponsored by record labels have disappeared, so you may be out of luck.

For more, check out our how-to on personalizing your own Apple Music radio stations

What genres does Beats 1 focus on? Actually, Beats 1 doesn’t really focus on one specific genre like traditional AM/FM radio stations do. On any given day, you’ll hear a healthy mix of indie rock, hip-hop, pop, funk, electronic, classic rock, dance music, and more, all artfully woven together in a way that doesn’t sound like a hot mess. DJ Zane Lowe mentioned in the station’s opening remarks that Beats 1 is simply about great music, and it serves as a solid jumping off point for discovery.

The Beats 1 DJs also select one track as their daily World Record, and that song gets played hourly on the half-hour mark.

Besides the daily rotation of DJs, Beats 1 includes special programming from other artists as well—like exclusive content and interviews from DJ Khaled. You can check out a full monthly schedule over at Beats’ guide page.

How do I add songs from Beats 1 to playlists? Heard a song on Beats 1 that’s so good, you know you’ll want to listen to it again? Tap “+” in the bottom left corner while a song is playing to add it to your Library. Or tap the More button (which looks like “...”) in the bottom right corner to add it to a playlist, create a station of similar-sounding songs, share the song with a friend, or view the song’s lyrics. 

Will Apple Music have the ability to make Genius playlists with saved music from the service, like I can do with my own music in iTunes? Maybe. Our friends over at iMore report that you just need to configure this in iOS’s settings, however not all of us at Macworld have the Genius option on our devices.

Is there a limit to the number of songs you can have in a playlist? Not that we’re aware of! Add away.

How do you tell it what songs you don’t like? When listening to a playlist or radio station, you can skip any song you don’t like (except for in Beats 1, which is live). While this should signal to Apple Music that you don’t want to hear that song or artist again, it might be finicky at times. Alternatively, tap the “heart” icon next to any song you really like.

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Make note of which songs you like—this will help Apple Music find the best recommendations for you.

When a song is playing, how can you go to that artist page, or album? This used to be quite complicated, but Apple has since made it much easier—just tap on the artist’s name.

Where do songs or artists show up when you add them to my Library? They automatically appear in the Library tab, where you can sort your collection alphabetically by artist, album, or song title. You’ll also find all of your playlists, and your list of downloaded music saved for offline listening. Scroll down to find your recently added music.

I’ve been hearing a bunch of hullabaloo about Apple not paying artists royalties during the three month trial period. What’s up with that? Will Apple be paying Apple Music artists royalties? Of course Apple will be paying artists royalties, but this hax been a hot topic in the weeks leading up to Apple Music’s launch. We’ve covered the great Apple versus Taylor Swift showdown of 2015 extensively, so here’s a quick recap: Originally, Apple wasn’t going to pay record labels and artists any royalties during Apple Music’s three-month free trial period, but that didn’t go over well with independent labels… or Taylor Swift. Swift and select indie labels declined to join Apple Music, and Swift published an open letter to Apple expressing her disappointment with the company. Apple responded to the letter by agreeing to pay royalties, and Swift in turn agreed to give Apple Music subscribers access to her album 1989—which she has kept from all other streaming services. Those indie labels jumped on board as well.

Now, artists will receive a small royalty for each song that is streamed for free during the three-month trial, and the full royalty agreement began when the initial trial period ended on September 30, 2015.

Whew. 

Do Apple Music subscribers have access to the entire iTunes catalogue? Which artists are missing? Apple Music has a library of roughly 30 million songs. iTunes? Its store sells 43 million songs worldwide. There are many artists still holding out on streaming services, but most have joined in.

So, why is there stuff on the iTunes Store that isn’t on Apple Music? It all comes down to the deals Apple has made with various artists and record labels. 

What about podcasts? Apple Music currently doesn’t offer any support for podcasts (boo!). 

How do I cancel my three-month free trial subscription before Apple charges my credit card? You can’t end the free trial, but you can prevent Apple Music from automatically charging you once the trial is over. Just toggle off the auto-renewal button from Apple Music’s account settings. (We’ve got a complete how-to, if you’d like the play-by-play.)

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