If you are an Apple Music subscriber, at last, you can listen to Apple Music on the web, in your browser of choice, instead of needing an iOS or Android app, or iTunes app for Mac or Windows.
While iPhone users have traditionally been locked into using iTunes, Apple has never really made a credible argument for why non-Apple customers should make use of their software services. But nearly four years after introducing its music streaming service, Apple Music, back in 2015, a public beta version of Apple Music’s web interface has been rolled out by the Cupertino, California based tech giant which subscribers can access at beta.music.apple.com.
The web interface of the service will allow Apple Music subscribers to access their playlists, new songs, and radio stations without downloading the Apple Music or the iTunes app on their device.
Just like Spotify’s web player, the Apple web player works on any web browser on all platforms including macOS, Windows, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android.
Noticeably, the web player looks pretty similar to the new standalone Music app that replaces iTunes on the upcoming macOS Catalina later this year. The only difference is that instead of the app, the interface is accessible on the web.
Apple Music subscribers have access to the service’s entire streaming music collection and radio stations. The web player also syncs playlists and includes personalized recommendations in the “For You” tab just like in the apps.
The web-based interface is accessible not only on Apple’s web browser, Safari but also on other browsers including Google Chrome. Users should also be able to access the service on Android, Windows 10 and Chrome OS.
On the interface, the search bar and all the main sections of the music streaming service are neatly stacked on the left side of the window, while the midsection is reserved for the search results and recommendations, and the top is reserved for music controls and other settings.
Unfortunately, the site is not yet perfected to Apple standards as it lacks some of the features. For one, the web player is missing Apple Music’s Beats 1 live broadcast, Apple’s original music videos, and smart playlists.
As per a report by the Verge, users cannot access some of Apple’s original music video content, and smart playlists on the website yet. Additionally, one cannot sign in to the service directly from the site. To put it simply, if you are an Apple Music subscriber, you can access all your playlists on the web. But if you are not an Apple Music subscriber you will first have to log in from the app to be able to use the streaming service’s web-based interface.
Now that Apple TV streaming service is a few months away from release, it’s clear that the company has begun to start looking at ways its software can compete with competitors by looking beyond the current Apple audience.
Availability on different platforms is essential in today’s streaming market, as Apple Music faces competition from Spotify, Pandora/SiriusXM, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, and other local players.
From this roll-out, we can say that Apple is playing catch-up in the streaming market, with Spotify which at last count had 108 million paying subscribers in the quarter ending in June, and Apple Music topped 60 million subscribers in late June. We’ll just have to wait and see if they’re able to gain ground.
It’s definitely great to see Apple open up a little to non-Apple users, all that’s left now is for the company to do the same for Apple News+ and Apple TV+.