Do more with your mu­sic

Go­ing so­cial and get­ting col­lab­o­ra­tive – sounds good to us

Mac|Life - - FEATURE -

Ap­ple seems to have re­al­ized that, for many of us, the so­cial side of mu­sic is much more per­sonal than fol­low­ing fa­vorite artists or cu­ra­tors and read­ing what they post to Ap­ple Mu­sic’s Con­nect ser­vice. So in iOS 11’s Mu­sic app, as long as you have an Ap­ple Mu­sic sub­scrip­tion, you can stay up to date with what your real friends are lis­ten­ing to by look­ing un­der the head­ing “Friends are lis­ten­ing to” in the For You page.

This fea­ture at last puts your cus­tom­iz­a­ble Ap­ple Mu­sic profile to more use than just for the at­tri­bu­tion of your com­ments on artists’ posts. You can set your profile to be pri­vate or pub­lic, choose which playlists are shared with friends, and your and your friends’ cho­sen profile pictures are dis­played as at­tri­bu­tion on items in the afore­men­tioned row in For You.

The big­gest news con­cern­ing mu­sic is the an­nounce­ment of a new Ap­ple-branded speaker called HomePod. This is the first speaker un­der the Ap­ple brand since 2006’s short-lived iPod Hi-Fi. As well as put­ting out room-fill­ing sound, HomePod con­tains an ar­ray of six mi­cro­phones that en­able you to give com­mands by speak­ing to Siri. HomePod also sup­ports AirPlay 2, an up­dated ver­sion of Ap­ple’s me­dia-stream­ing pro­to­col that sup­ports mul­ti­room au­dio. You can read more about HomePod start­ing on page 68.

An Ap­ple Mu­sic sub also un­locks col­lab­o­ra­tive playlist cre­ation when you have a friend vis­it­ing; sev­eral peo­ple can queue tracks over AirPlay 2 with­out in­ter­rupt­ing what you’re lis­ten­ing to.

Ap­ple has also an­nounced that AirPlay 2 will be sup­ported by Ap­ple TV, on which you’ll be able to con­trol mul­ti­room mu­sic play­back from the Siri Re­mote or by speak­ing to the vir­tual as­sis­tant.

Fi­nally, Ap­ple has in­tro­duced a new frame­work for app de­vel­op­ers, Mu­sicKit, that en­ables their apps and games to be given full ac­cess to your li­brary, in­clud­ing tracks that are stored in the cloud. Apps will be able to create playlists, add to your li­brary, plus search playlists, sta­tions, and Ap­ple Mu­sic’s 40-mil­lion strong cat­a­log (if you sub­scribe to the ser­vice). We’re hop­ing this en­hance­ment spurs de­vel­op­ers into of­fer­ing stronger, more ca­pa­ble al­ter­na­tives to iOS’s built-in Mu­sic app.

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