Beats 1 and Radio
Apple is now a broadcaster thanks to its worldwide internet radio station, fronted by renowned music DJs like Zane Lowe
An Apple Music subscription is not required to listen to Beats 1, but is needed for other radio features
The centrepiece of Apple Music’s radio features is Beats 1, a radio station that broadcasts exclusively over the internet. If it doesn’t suit your mood, you can listen to genre-based stations that play continuous mixes, or identify a sound you like to hear a personalised station that fits your mood.
Worldwide, always on
Naturally, Beats 1 is the top item on the Radio page. You can start listening to it right away using the Listen Now button or, on iOS, tap any other part of the banner to find out what’s playing right now, over the next few hours, and to read about regular shows.
At the top of that page, tap Complete Schedule and you’ll be taken out to http://applemusic.tumblr.com. Scroll down past the station anchors and other details that are also presented in the Music app and you’ll find a listing of forthcoming guest presenters.
Apple says Beats 1 isn’t dedicated to a particular kind of music, just stuff that is new and great. There are a few ways to go if the station isn’t playing the sort of things you want to hear.
You can try to influence what Beats 1 plays by requesting a song, but only in a rather old-fashioned way: by picking up the phone and calling in to an automated system that records your name, location and the song you want to hear. Apple provides local numbers for countries where you can do this, which are listed at http://applemusic.tumblr.com/requests.
Scroll down the Beats 1 page in iOS’s Music app to find featured shows. (This is one of the things that’s currently missing from iTunes on the Mac.) Tap one of these shows and you’ll be shown a list of previous episodes; they’re labelled as playlists because you can’t listen to the whole show with presenter commentary, but you can see what the presenter played and add an entire playlist or cool individual tracks you discover to your music library for easy access in future.
Note that Beats 1 presenters are able to post to Connect. Tap the Connect tab at the top of their show page to see what they’ve posted in the past, and tap the Follow button if you want to see their posts alongside those of artists in the Connect tab without returning here.
Further down the Radio page you’ll find a selection of themed and genre-- oriented stations that play continuous mixes. These are a good way to revisit classics you might have forgotten about, and to discover new things.
When listening to these stations or Beats 1, remember that you can send feedback to Apple about tracks they play, just like you would for tracks you find by searching manually or in the New or For You pages; use the heart icon in the Now Playing view (on iOS) or at the top-right of iTunes’ status area, or use the More Options button if you simply want to add a track to your music library without it influencing future suggestions.
We’ve found it useful to create at least one playlist with a name like ‘Music from Radio’ and add individual tracks to it. This still adds them to your library, but it gives you a consolidated list of all those one-offs you might later want to remove from your library. To quickly do that, open the playlist in iTunes on your Mac, select some or all of the tracks in it, then press å+∫ and confirm their – not just from the playlist, but from your library and all devices to which the tracks have already been downloaded.
Make your own station
There is one more type of station, and it gives you more direct influence over the kinds of things it plays. Use the More Options button next to an item, or in iOS’s Mini Player or iTunes’ status area (when you place the pointer over it) and you’ll find an option to start a station. (iTunes provides two options: New Station from Artist and New Station from Song). This tells Apple to use that song the basis for a station that plays a continuous mix of other tunes which Apple’s analysis of people’s listening habits suggests will go well with your choice.
Unlike Genius Playlists, these stations play tracks from Apple’s library rather than your own, which makes them a good way to match your mood while also hearing a mix of the familiar and stuff that’s new to you.
You can offer feedback if you find that some tracks served up don’t hit the mark. When listening to a personalised station, the playback controls include a star icon. Interacting with the star reveals several actions you can take. The option to add the current track to your Wish List is an odd throwback to when the feature was known as iTunes Radio (and available only in the US and Australia). Open Up Next while and you‘ll see that it doesn’t show much. That’s because at any time you can influence future songs the station will play by using the other options behind the star button to give feedback about the current song.
At the top of the Radio page on iOS, tap the link that says ‘Complete Schedule’ or go to http://applemusic. tumblr.com on a Mac. The interesting thing here is near the bottom of the page: a line-up of guests who will host Beats 1 shows over the next few weeks.