How to use Apple Music on Mac


Apple Music is one of the most popular music streaming services in the world. While you can spend most of your time listening to your favorite tunes on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV, the service is also available on other devices, including Macs.

Integrated with the Music application (formerly iTunes), Apple Music on Mac lets you listen to millions of songs from the service’s catalog. As a subscriber, you also get personalized recommendations, access to exclusive video content, and more.

Signing up for Apple Music on macOS

(Image credit: Future)

Signing up for Apple Music on Mac

If you’re not already an Apple Music subscriber, you can subscribe in the macOS Music app. To subscribe, click the Music app on your computer, then choose Account> Join Apple Music from the menu bar.

Follow the onscreen instructions, which include signing in to your Apple ID. If you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one during the setup process.


Apple Music lets you play unlimited content on various platforms including Mac, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Apple Watch, Android, and the web. It’s also available through supported HomePod players and smart TVs.

The Music app on Mac is also where you’ll find iTunes music purchases and other audio content. The iTunes Store is also in the Music app in macOS Big Sur.

Apple Music content is divided into three main sections on Mac: Listen Now, Browse, and Radio. There is also a search box located at the top left of the Music app.

Use the “Search” field to find music. Use it quickly to switch between finding your own music library and the Apple Music catalog. Search by lyrics, browse categories, and get suggestions as you type.

Apple Music Summary on Mac

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Listen now

In the Apple Music app, click “Listen Now” on the left side of the app. In this section, you’ll find a mix of historical and recommended content that changes over time and often, depending on your listening habits.

Note: Historical and recommended content is based on your Apple Music experience across multiple platforms and devices. In other words, not just what you are doing on your computer.

Under “Listen Now” you will find different subsections including “Top Picks”, “Recently Played”, “Made for You” and others. “Top Picks” includes a bit of everything, such as playlists, new albums, and favorite artists. “Recently Played” is where you’ll find quick access to the songs and albums you’ve listened to most recently.

Apple Music `` made for you ''

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“Made for You”, meanwhile, offers links to mixes created by Apple that change weekly. Each playlist includes a nice mix of favorite and recommended songs related to the topic of the playlist. The current Apple Music mixes are “Get Up!”, “Chill”, “New Music”, “Friends” and “Favorites”.

As you scroll down, “Listen Now” includes additional content largely based on your listening habits, new music, and the time of day or year. Under “Stations for you” you will find radio stations created automatically based on your favorite songs, artists and playlists. There is also categorized music.

Apple Music Reruns

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The “Listen Now” section ends with Apple Music’s “Replays”. This is where Apple offers a list of your most played songs for each year that you have subscribed to Apple Music. A “Replay” for the current year is displayed first.

Most Apple Music listeners will start each day in the “What to Listen to” section, as this is the one most influenced by your listening experience. This is also where you’ll find quick links to your most recent content, new music, and recommendations.

Browse Apple Music on Mac section

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Apple Music’s “ Browse ” section relies slightly less on your listening experiences to post content. Instead, this section relies heavily on recently released content, publisher recommendations, and top new songs. “Browse” also includes Apple Radio episodes, mood-based music, and newly added content.

Under “More to explore” you will find additional links including video clips, graphics and music by category.

Top 100 Apple Music

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Under “Browse,” you’ll also find lists of Apple Music’s Top 100 Dailies. From here, you can find the top 100 songs from an ever-growing list of countries across the world.

Apple Music Radio section

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When the iPhone maker first launched Apple Music in 1995, one of its main selling points was the “Beats 1” radio channel. Now called “Apple Music 1”, the 24/7 radio station is broadcast worldwide and features presenters in Los Angeles, London, New York and Nashville.

“Apple Music 1” isn’t the only Apple Music radio station. There is also the 24/7 “Today’s Music” and “Music Country”.

The “Radio” section of Apple Music also lists local stations and stations you have created (see below).

Apple Music Now Playing

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Play music

Each song, album, and playlist in Apple Music has various tools and options that are the same depending on the type of content. Reading the content requires clicking on it. Active content is displayed in the music player at the top of the Music app on macOS. From there you can play / pause and fast forward / rewind content.

Most of Apple Music’s magic happens behind the scenes when you right-click content to bring up a new menu.

Apple Music song options

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Song options

When you right-click on a song in Apple Music, you are presented with various options, including:

  • Add to Library: This allows you to add the song to your overall music library.
  • Download: The song is downloaded to your Mac.
  • Add to playlist: Place the song in an existing or new Apple Music playlist.
  • Read more: the song becomes the next one to play.
  • Play Later: Add the song to your playlist. The queue is the list of songs that will be played.
  • Create Station: Apple will create a special channel based on the song.
  • Get Info: Everything you ever wanted to know about a song is here.
  • Love: When you “like” a song, it becomes part of your future recommendations.
  • Dislike: Apple will no longer play this song and will try to remove similar songs from future recommendations, mixes, and playlists.
  • Show in Apple Music: The main locations of the song (albums, playlists) are displayed.
  • View in iTunes Store: You can purchase the song directly from the Music app.
  • Share: Tell your friends about this song via email, messages or copied link.

Apple Music album options

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Album options

The options available when you right-click albums follow a format similar to songs. However, there aren’t as many options. These include:

  • Download
  • Add to playlist
  • Play next
  • You will play later
  • Create a station
  • Love
  • Do not like
  • Show album in library
  • Share
  • Remove from Library: Removes the album from your library, if applicable.

Apple Music playlist options

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For Apple Music playlists and mixes, you will find limited options when you right click. These include the following:

  • Add to library
  • Play next
  • You will play later
  • Love
  • Do not like
  • View in Apple Music
  • Share

Apple Music icons on the right

(Image credit: Future)

Three important icons

The Music app on Mac includes three icons at the top right of the app. Each offers additional options in Apple Music that are worth considering.

The first icon, when clicked, lets you decide where to play music on your Mac. By default, content is played on your computer. You can also choose from any other compatible device such as a HomePod or Apple TV. These devices appear automatically, assuming they are using the same Wi-Fi network as your Mac.

The “Lyrics” icon is as follows; it provides a running list of song lyrics.

Then there is the “Queue” icon. Perhaps the most useful of the three, this is where you can see the current queue of songs. You can move the songs to different stops in the queue or delete them from there. You will also see an “AutoPlay” icon. When this icon is enabled, the Music app will continue to play songs even when the queue is empty based on your previous music.

The “queue” also includes a tab displaying a history of your music listening. The service uses this information to recommend future songs.

Apple Music through the Music app on macOS is a powerful service that lets you listen to your favorite songs, albums, playlists and radio stations 24/7. Subscribe today to start listening .


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