Apple Music Gains New ‘Replay’ Playlist With Your Top Songs Played in 2019

Apple Music was today updated with a new feature called Replay, which is designed to allow ‌Apple Music‌ subscribers to take a look at the music that they listened to most in 2019.

Available on the web, in the Mac Music app, and the Music app on iOS devices, the Replay feature aggregates top songs of the year, while also providing playlists for past years too.


Playlists are available for every year that an ‌Apple Music‌ subscriber has had the service, dating back to 2015. Replay playlists can be added to the ‌Apple Music‌ Library so they can be streamed right alongside other playlists and shared with others.


According to TechCrunch, Replay will continue to be updated throughout the year, changing and evolving as a person's musical tastes and interests shift.


Apple plans to update the Replay playlist each Sunday with new songs and data insights to reflect each person's current listening activity.

‌Apple Music‌ has never offered an aggregated year-end playlist with song data, something that Spotify has provided for years with its Wrapped experience. Apple now has an equivalent feature, and one that is perhaps more useful given the fact that it's updated on an ongoing basis.


‌Apple Music‌ subscribers can access Apple Music Replay on the web and add the playlists to iOS or Mac devices. Replay should also be available in the iOS and Mac Music apps without the need to use the feature on the web, but it's still in the early stages of rolling out and not available on every platform yet.


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‘The A-List: Country’ is the Next Apple Music Playlist to Receive a Name Change, Now ‘Today’s Country’

After updating its "The A-List" playlists for genres like alternative and hip-hop, Apple Music has now changed "The A-List: Country" to "Today's Country." This playlist will essentially be the same, keeping track of all of the latest songs coming out of the country music genre, updated every day, while simply ditching "The A-List" moniker that has been around essentially since ‌Apple Music‌ launched in 2015.


Apple began a large-scale playlist rebranding earlier in 2019, switching "The A-List: Dance" to "danceXL," "The A-List: Hip-Hop" to "Rap Life," "The A-List: Alternative" to "ALT CTRL," and "Best of the Week" to "New Music Daily." One of the few remaining playlists to retain the "A-List" branding is for the pop genre, which now has a simple "A-List Pop" title.

More niche sub-genres are still using the original A-List name style, like Bollywood, K-Pop, Classical, Mandopop, and Russian Hip-Hop. Apple has also launched brand-new playlists this year, like the Shazam Discovery Top 50, which is powered by shazams made around the world to highlight up-and-coming songs and artists that users are discovering any given week.


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Subscribers to Apple Music’s $4.99 Monthly Student Plan to Get Apple TV+ ‘for Free’

Subscribers to Apple Music's $4.99 student plan will get access to Apple TV+ at no additional charge when the streaming video service launches on November 1.


First spotted by 9to5Mac, the bundle deal was revealed in an Instagram Story by "Dickinson" star Hailee Steinfeld and later shared on the official ‌Apple TV‌ Instagram account.

Steinfeld's announcement is short on detail and simply reveals that ‌Apple Music‌ student subscribers will be able to access ‌Apple TV‌+ "for free" when the service launches this Friday, so we don't yet know if this is a time-limited offer or a permanent deal. We also don't know if it will include the Family Sharing feature that comes with all standard ‌Apple TV‌+ subscriptions and allows six members of a family to access TV+ content from the one subscription.

If it is a permanent deal, then it sounds very competitive – ‌Apple TV‌+ costs $4.99 per month alone, so offering students access to the ‌Apple Music‌ catalog as well as all ‌Apple TV‌+ originals for a combined $5 monthly fee would be a big draw.

Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported that Apple was in discussions with record labels about bundling ‌Apple Music‌ and ‌Apple TV‌+ as part of a "super-bundle of media content" for one flat monthly rate.

Again, it's not clear if this student-only offer is the first official "super-bundle" of its kind, but we'll update this article as soon as we learn more.

To clarify, ‌Apple Music‌ costs $9.99 per month for individuals in the United States, with a $4.99 tier for students and a family plan for $15 per month. ‌Apple TV‌+ will cost $4.99 per month and this tier also supports Family Sharing, so up to six members of a family can access content using the one subscription.

In addition, Apple is offering a free one-year subscription to customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, ‌Apple TV‌, iPod touch, or Mac as of September 10 and later.


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Spotify Reaches 113 Million Paying Subscribers, Says It’s Growing Twice as Fast as Apple Music

Spotify today announced that its streaming music service has reached 113 million paying subscribers as of September 30, up from 108 million as of June 30. Spotify's monthly active user count also increased to 248 million through September, inclusive of users listening to its free, ad-supported tier.


In a letter to shareholders, part of its third quarter earnings results, Spotify said that publicly available data indicates that it is adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as Apple Music:
We continue to feel very good about our competitive position in the market. Relative to Apple, the publicly available data shows that we are adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as they are. Additionally, we believe that our monthly engagement is roughly 2x as high and our churn is at half the rate.
‌Apple Music‌ had 60 million paying subscribers as of late June, according to Apple's services chief Eddy Cue. Spotify has remained nearly twice as large as ‌Apple Music‌ in terms of paying subscribers over the last year.


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Apple Employees Help Transcribe Music for iOS 13’s New Real-Time Lyrics Feature

In an interview with WIRED, Apple Music head Oliver Schusser has revealed that Apple has a team of employees listening to songs and transcribing the lyrics to ensure they are accurate for iOS 13's new real-time lyrics feature:
In probably the most bizarre example of Apple spending to get the experience right, Schusser says that Apple has "a team of people listening to music and transcribing the lyrics" to ensure they're accurate enough for Apple Music's new time synced lyrics feature; "we don't get them from the usual sites."
With iOS 13's real-time lyrics feature, each verse appears in time with the music so you can follow along as you listen. To jump to a certain verse, just scroll and tap any line. The feature is not available for all songs.

The interview contains a few other notable tidbits from Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe, including the possibility of the Apple Music Festival returning in the future and "some big new names" who will accompany Ebro Darden, Julie Adenuga, Matt Wilkinson, and himself as Beats 1 hosts in the future.

Full Interview: More radio, more live: where Apple Music's headed in 2020


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Apple Looking to Bundle Services Like Apple Music and Apple TV+ for One Flat Monthly Rate

Apple is in early discussions with record labels about bundling Apple Music and Apple TV+ as part of a "super-bundle of media content" for one flat monthly rate, according to a report from the Financial Times.


While some record labels are said to be open to the idea, the report claims at least one big label has voiced concerns, adding that the industry is growing more wary about its relationship with Apple. In particular, the report claims record labels are worried that the bundle would lead to lost revenue.

The report adds that the two sides have not yet discussed a pricing formula, so it is unclear what Apple would charge for its Apple Music and Apple TV+ bundle. It is also unclear if the bundle would extend to Apple's other subscription-based offerings like Apple News+, Apple Arcade, AppleCare+, and iCloud storage.

Apple Music costs $9.99 per month for individuals in the United States, with a $4.99 tier for students. Apple TV+ will cost $4.99 per month, with a free one-year subscription available to customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, or Mac as of September 10 and later.

The total cost of Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple News+, and Apple Arcade rounds to $30 per month, so the bundle would presumably undercut that amount to incentivize customers to subscribe to all of the services.

Apple TV+ launches November 1.


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Apple Collaborates With Maroon 5 to Add ‘Memories’ Song to Photos App

Apple has teamed up with Maroon 5 to add the group's new song "Memories" to the Memories feature in the Photos app, allowing it to be used for photo slide show creations, reports Billboard.

"Memories" will be available as a soundtrack option for a limited time and it is available to iPhone and iPad users running the latest iOS 13 and iPadOS software.


Memories in the Photos app are created when iPhone and iPad users choose to play a curated memory option, which can be set to different soundtracks.

Maroon 5 has also created its own "Made with Memories" video that's available on Apple Music.


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Apple Music Launches ‘Lyrics to Live By’ Video Series to Promote New Real-Time Lyrics Feature

Apple Music has gained a new video page called "Lyrics to Live By" featuring interviews with popular artists, following the launch of its time-synced lyrics feature last week (via Billboard).


Part of iOS 13, which was released last week, real-time lyrics lets Apple Music listeners view song lyrics in a karaoke-style while songs are playing, and the new dedicated page serves to showcase the new feature.

According to the page's description, "Lyrics to Live By" is intended to "celebrate this new frontier in the listening experience."
"Whether it's today's biggest artists telling the personal stories behind the indelible lines that double as invaluable life advice, or robust playlists showcasing the sharpest lyricists in the history of music, you'll have a whole new appreciation for that your favorite artists are saying, not just how they're saying it."
The page also includes a "Modern Masters" playlist series with songbooks from a variety of artists, including Jack Antonoff, Benny Blanco, Brody Brown, J Kash, Bonnie McKee, Julia Michaels, Victoria Monet, Ed Sheeran, Sia, Chris Stapleton, Starrah and Ryan Tedder.

Lastly, further down the page there's a section called "Songwriting Gods and Goddesses" highlighting selections from Apple Music's "Essentials" playlists.

Related Roundups: iOS 13, iPadOS

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Apple Launches Apple Music on the Web Beta

Apple today launched a new Apple Music web experience, which is available to all users in a beta capacity.

The Apple Music website is similar to the Apple Music app on Macs, offering up dedicated "For You," "Browse," and Radio" sections, along with playlists, recommendations, and more.


Apple Music users can sign in to Apple Music to access their customized content, and Apple is offering free trials for those who are new to the service.

You do need to sign up for Apple Music through Android, iOS, or Mac, as at the current time, there is no option to sign up on the web. Apple does plan to offer web signups in the future.

Content played on Apple Music for web plays right in the web player, with access to the entire Apple Music library on the left side of the interface.


With Apple Music on the web, the Apple Music service is accessible on any device that has a web browser, including Windows 10, Linux, and ChromeOS machines. Apple is aiming to make Apple Music as widely available as possible, allowing the company to better compete with other services like Spotify.

According to TechCrunch, over the course of the beta testing period, Apple will be soliciting feedback from customers as it works to streamline features and take care of bugs.

Those who want to give the new Apple Music web experience a try can visit beta.music.apple.com.


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Apple Music Gaining Chromecast Support on Android

The latest beta version of Apple Music for Android includes Chromecast support, allowing users to stream songs and playlists from the service over Wi-Fi to Chromecast-enabled devices like the Google Home.

Image: Android Police

As noted by Android Police via AppleInsider, the cast icon will automatically appear on the now playing screen and elsewhere in the app if there is a compatible Chromecast-enabled speaker or TV connected to the same Wi-Fi network as the Android smartphone. Playback can still be controlled on the phone.

The latest beta of Apple Music for Android also provides access to over 100,000 broadcast radio stations from sources like TuneIn and iHeartRadio. And last month, in an earlier beta, the app gained a dark mode.

Android users can sign up for the beta via Google Play.


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