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Activate iCloud Music Library
iCloud Music Library is similar to iTunes Match. It allows an Apple Music subscriber to store any music, even CDs imported into iTunes, in iCloud. From there, the music can be synced to any device that supports the Apple ecosystem — iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Windows PC. The iCloud Music Library must be activated to make music available offline.
You can activate the iCloud Music Library by tapping Settings > Music and switching on iCloud Music Library.
You may be prompted to replace or merge your existing local music library. Most people will want to merge their libraries, as this will preserve the downloaded albums and playlists they already have. This step could go awry. You backed up your iPhone and your music collection, right?
If you don’t activate iCloud Music Library explicitly, you will be prompted to do so when making music available offline. A dialog box will appear, which has an inter-app link to the setting.
Find Artists, Songs and Albums in Apple Music
Apple Music has more than 30 million songs, but it doesn’t have the entire iTunes Library, as Eddie Cue suggested at the keynote. The music selections are similar to other services, such as Spotify and Google Music. Don’t expect to find anything by the Beatles. It’s also missing some of the most popular albums by certain artists. They still want you to pay $10 or more for certain albums. Apple Music (and every other music subscription service) is not a comprehensive replacement for purchasing music. They do have an amazing selection that will save any music aficionado a lot of money.
Now that your expectations are set, let’s look at how to find music. It isn’t always easy. Like every music service, artists with similar names will show up when browsing albums by artists. When you tap on an artist and then their albums, you might not see them all, even if they are available on Apple Music. You might have to do some exploration to find these.
First, tap on the magnifying glass icon on the top right of any screen. If you don’t see it, you may have drilled down deep into the UI. Simply tap the back button at the top left of the screen until you see it.
Type an artist, album or song into the search field. You can also do a combination, but this doesn’t always work. For example, if you type in “Ornette Coleman shape” it will not display his album “The Shape of Jazz to Come”. You can actually type in “ornette coleman the shape of jazz to come” and see no results! Apple Music offers the album, it’s just that their search feature needs some work. When it comes to search functionality (or cloud services, for that matter), Apple is not as good as Google. Apple makes excellent hardware and the best operating systems. Their stock apps, such as Apple Music, are mediocre.
When you have found an acceptable search result, tap on it. You will see a screen with more detailed results, such as the artist or popular albums or songs by the artist. From here, you can tap on a result to display the artist, album or song.
You can play albums directly from this screen by selecting the “…” menu. Tapping on a song will play it.
If you choose the artist, you will see a screen with top songs, top albums and all albums.
Tapping on an album will display the album’s tracks.
From here, you can play the album by pressing the play button or tapping the first track. This will also add the entire album’s track to Now Playing, which is an ad hoc playlist. (continue…)
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