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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Apple Music Replaces ‘Best of the Week’ Playlist With ‘New Music Daily’

Apple Music today launched a new curated playlist called "New Music Daily," which as the name suggests, is updated every day with fresh songs.


Made up of "new music you simply can't miss" from a broad range of genres spanning the globe, the new playlist replaces the service's long-established "Best of the Week" playlist, which was updated every Friday.

Today's U.K. mix consists of 62 songs lasting 3 hours and 38 minutes, and includes tracks from the likes of Taylor Swift, Kano, Ed Sheeran, Headie One, and Joesef. In other regions and territories, the New Music Daily playlist includes a unique selection of artists closer to home.


Just how thoroughly Apple Music's human curation team will refresh the mix of songs each day remains to be seen, but you'd think music-lovers can at least expect a regular sprinkling of new tracks among any lingering popular hits.

Spotify's Daily Mix serves up personalized playlists based on the listener's favorite songs and related music they might enjoy, but it's algorithmically generated, not human curated. The closest equivalent on the rival service is Daily Fresh Finds, which is updated by human hands with 10 new tracks every day.


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Apple Music Debuts New ‘Shazam Discovery’ Playlist, Updated With Emerging Tracks Every Tuesday

Apple Music today launched an all-new playlist of emerging songs that are receiving the most shazams around the world, called the "Shazam Discovery Top 50." The playlist will be updated every Tuesday with a new ranking (via Variety).


Shazam Discovery Top 50 will be focused on up-and-coming songs from breaking artists, so well-known musicians won't be as prevalent in the playlist. Apple Music told Variety that it will use "Shazam's proprietary algorithms [to offer] a unique predictive view on rising artists and reacting tracks to Apple Music subscribers."
"The ranked songs are all at different points in their individual lifecycle and the majority of artists represented are emerging and up-and-coming."

"All are experiencing a level of momentum indicative of future potential of hitting the top of Shazam’s Charts, and show any or all of the following patterns: moving quickly through Shazam’s charts, growing rapidly, steadily and/or geographically."
You can find the Shazam Discovery Top 50 playlist today by opening Apple Music on macOS or iOS, and navigating to the browse tab. Apple has highlighted the new playlist at the top of the page, and also included it in the "Fresh Cuts" section of Browse.

Apple acquired Shazam in 2018, and is now beginning to integrate some of the music-recognition app's features into Apple Music.


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Porsche Taycan EV to Include Integrated Apple Music App

Porsche has partnered with Apple to integrate Apple Music into its forthcoming Taycan EV, the German car manufacturer revealed on Monday (via TechCrunch).


The announcement means owners of the all-electric sports car will be able to access Apple's music streaming service via the car's touchscreen infotainment display without having to connect a smartphone.

This is the first time Apple Music will be available as a native app in any vehicle. Previously the only way to access the service was by pairing a phone via Apple's proprietary CarPlay dash interface.

Porsche says CarPlay will also be included in the Taycan EV, but customers will get direct access to Apple Music's library of songs, curated playlists, and Beats 1 radio station through the car's built-in cellular connection.

All they'll need to do is link their Apple ID with their Porsche account, after which they'll be able to control Apple Music using the Taycan's voice assistant system.

Porsche says users will also be able to create a custom Apple Music station from any song they hear while listening to broadcast radio. The German car manufacturer also plans to release exclusive playlists that will only be available through Apple Music.

Porsche intends to give new and existing customers free access to Apple Music for six months. TechCrunch reports that it also eventually plans to add the Apple Music app to all of its new vehicles that can support the service.

Apple Music costs $9.99 a month for an individual membership. The streaming service recently surpassed 60 million subscribers, and making it available natively in cars makes sense given Apple's increasing reliance on services as a source of revenue.

The partnership arguably mirrors the deal Apple has with Samsung to integrate iTunes movies and TV shows, as well as AirPlay 2 support, into its latest smart TVs.

The all-electric Porsche Taycan is set to be unveiled in early September, and should be on sale before the end of the year.


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Alexa to Support Apple Music Streaming in Germany From Today

Apple Music will be available to stream on German Echo devices via Alexa from today, reports regional tech blog ifun.de.


We've not received official confirmation, but if Germany's Alexa rollout follows a similar pattern to other countries, it should mean Apple Music subscribers who own an Echo device, Amazon Fire TV, or Alexa-enabled Sonos speaker will soon be able ask Alexa to play songs, artists, playlists, and more from Apple Music.

This functionality first launched in the United States in December of last year before expanding to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.

Read our guide on how to set up Apple Music in the Alexa app, including how to make it the default music service so that you don't have to say "on Apple Music" each time you ask Alexa to play something.


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‘Apple Music for Artists’ Analytics Dashboard Now Available for All Artists

Apple's "Apple Music for Artists" dashboard, aimed at musicians, is out of beta and now available for everyone, reports The Verge.

First launched in January 2018, Apple Music for Artists offers up a detailed dashboard with an artist's current number of plays, spins, song purchases, music video views, daily listeners, and album purchases, with built-in tools to provide data dating back to June 2015.


An insights panel highlights milestones like all time number of plays, playlists a song has been added to, purchases of specific songs, and cumulative purchases, while a global map is designed to allow musicians to click on any of the 115 countries where Apple Music/iTunes is available to see purchase history.

Data for individual cities is included, such as top songs in each city, with further demographic breakdowns available, and another feature lists all of the Apple-curated playlists where an artist's songs appear.

During the beta testing period, Apple added integration with Shazam, allowing artists to see their Shazam info like the top shazamed cities and countries.

When the Apple Music for Artists feature first launched, Apple invited a few thousand artists to test it out, but now, it's available to all artists that have content on the Apple Music and iTunes platforms.

Along with the web dashboard that displays analytics info, Apple has also released a standalone Apple Music for Artists app on the iPhone, which is designed to let their artists view their stats anywhere.


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Apple Music Launches ‘Digital Masters’ Initiative Out of Old ‘Mastered for iTunes’ Program

Apple Music today announced a new initiative called the "Apple Digital Masters" program, which aims to combine all of its "Mastered for iTunes" songs into one streaming catalog (via Billboard).


According to Apple, it's slowly been introducing Mastered for iTunes songs into Apple Music for some time. The company said that 75 percent of the Top 100 songs in the U.S. are Apple Digital Masters, and 71 percent of the Top 100 global songs are also part of the new program.

Apple began the Mastered for iTunes program in 2012, allowing engineers to optimize music for the digital download format by encoding from high-resolution masters. This placed the iTunes songs as close to possible as the original master recordings, and were designated specially as "Mastered for iTunes" in the store.

In Apple Music, Apple doesn't designate whether a song is under its Digital Masters program or not. Still, for people who care about lossless audio, it's a good sign that the company has formally acknowledged a plan to move forward with adding more high-quality audio tracks to Apple Music.

Numerous other streaming music services have lossless audio plans that are priced separately from the standard streaming tiers. Namely, Tidal offers a HiFi subscription for $19.99/month (compared to the base $9.99/month plan) that lets users stream lossless audio on demand.


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Apple Music Renames ‘The A-List: Alternative’ Playlist to ‘ALT CTRL’ and Updates ‘Essentials’ With Cover Art Shot on iPhone

Apple Music today released a new playlist called "ALT CTRL," which is a rebranded version of its previous "The A-List: Alternative" playlist. This list of songs includes alternative bands and is currently headlined by HAIM's new single, "Summer Girl" (via Billboard).


ALT CTRL's playlist art will showcase a new artist each week, starting with HAIM. The playlist includes artists like Twenty One Pilots, The Black Keys, Dominic Fike, Lana Del Rey, and Vampire Weekend.
"Alternative is more an attitude than a sound -- music that colors just a bit outside the lines. ALT CTRL, formerly known as The A-List: Alternative, is where you'll find the best of those new left-of-center tunes."
Apple has slowly been rebranding its "The A-List" playlists, which now also includes "The A-List: Hip-Hop" changing to "Rap Life" in July and "The A-List: Dance" changing to "danceXL" in March. Other playlists still categorized as "The A-List" include genres like Pop, Country, R&B, Christian, Classical, Bollywood, African, K-Pop, Telugu, Khaleeji, Mandopop, J-Pop, Russian Hip-Hop, and more.


Amid the ongoing rebranding of its A-List playlists, Apple has also updated a few "Essentials" playlists with new Shot on iPhone cover art. Artists include Lizzo; Travis Scott; Kacey Musgraves; Tyler, The Creator; Tierra Whack; IDLES; Leon Bridges; Skrillex; and CHAI.


Each playlist showcases an image of the artist shot on an iPhone on their tour, and some artist's profile images have also been updated with similar Shot on iPhone iconography, including Lizzo and Kacey Musgraves. Apple has highlighted a few artists in a similar fashion with its "Shot on iPhone on Tour" video series, including artists like Florence Welch and FKA Twigs.


Apple Music has continued to grow over the years, and in June the streaming music service was reported to have just over 60 million paid subscribers. Earlier this week Spotify reported on its own paid subscriber count, which broke 108 million globally in Q2 2019.


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Apple Announces New Music Lab Sessions Featuring Partnership With Billie Eilish

After teaming up with Madonna for new Apple Music Lab classes at its retail stores, Apple today announced a set of Music Lab classes in partnership with Billie Eilish (via Mac Otakara).


In the Music Lab, customers will have a chance to go hands-on with Eilish's song "you should see me in a crown." Participants will be able to create their own mixes of the track and find out what inspired Eilish to write the song from her latest album, "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?"
Exclusively in Apple Stores, get hands-on with tracks direct from your favorite Apple Music artists. In this session, you’ll deconstruct Billie Eilish’s song “you should see me in a crown,” find out what inspired her, and create your own version of the song using GarageBand on iPhone. Devices will be provided.
Apple announced the new Music Lab today, and sessions will begin worldwide tomorrow, August 2. Head to Apple.com to check out more information on the Billie Eilish Music Lab and find an Apple Store near you that will be hosting the session.


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