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Posts tagged with "Apple Music"

Winners of the Second Annual Apple Music Awards Announced

Last year, Apple announced the winners of its first-ever Apple Music Awards, honoring artists in five categories who received a unique award featuring a 12-inch silicon wafer suspended between a sheet of glass and anodized aluminum. The announcement of last year’s awards was followed by a performance by Billie Eilish at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, California.

The Apple Music Awards are back for 2020 with the same award categories as 2019. According to Apple’s press release:

The Apple Music Awards honor achievements in music across five distinct categories, and winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple Music’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are loving most. The winners for global Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Breakthrough Artist of the Year were hand-selected by Apple Music’s global editorial team of world-class experts and tastemakers, and the awards for Top Song of the Year and Top Album of the Year are based on streaming data that is reflective of what Apple Music subscribers have been listening to this year.

The 2020 Apple Music Awards winners are:

Apple has more in store for music fans in December. To celebrate the Apple Music Awards, the company has it will kick off “a week of special performances, fan events, interviews, and more, streaming worldwide on Apple Music, Apple Music TV, and the Apple TV app” beginning December 14, 2020.

The Apple Music Awards strike a nice balance between editorial picks and awards based on streaming statistics. I’m eager to see what Apple has planned for December because last year’s performance by Billie Eilish was excellent. Although Apple’s press release is short on specifics, it suggests music fans are in for a treat with an expansion of last year’s festivities.


MusicBot 1.1 Brings Shazam Integration, Music News and Reviews, Release Dates, Compact UI, and More

In December 2019, I published MusicBot, my all-in-one Apple Music shortcut to play music, get quick access to favorite albums and new releases, rediscover old gems in your music library, and lots more. MusicBot is one of the most complex shortcuts I’ve ever created and, along with Apple Frames, it’s among the shortcuts I use the most on a daily basis.

Over the past 11 months, MusicBot has been downloaded thousands of times from the MacStories Shortcuts Archive, and I’ve been saving a variety of ideas and user requests for features that would extend MusicBot’s capabilities and make it easier to use on iOS and iPadOS 14.

The result is MusicBot 1.1, the first substantial update to the original shortcut that introduces full support for iOS 14’s compact UI and Home Screen widgets, Shazam integration, the ability to read music news and check release dates inside MusicBot, plus other fixes and enhancements.

Let’s dive in.

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Apple One Subscription Bundles Are Now Available

Today, Apple launched its previously-announced Apple One subscription bundles, which offer the following three combinations of services:

  • Individual – Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage for $14.95
  • Family – Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of shared iCloud storage for $19.95 for up to six family members
  • Premier – Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Fitness+, Apple News+, and 2TB of shared iCloud storage for $29.95 for up to six family members

Compared to paying for each service separately, the Individual plan saves users $6, the Family plan saves $8, and the Premier plan has the greatest savings at $25 but is only available in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia because News+ is limited to those countries. Apple is also offering a 30-day free trial and 3% cash back if you use the Apple Card.

The Apple One bundle signup flow.

The Apple One bundle signup flow.

You can currently sign up for an Apple One bundle by going to the App Store on an iOS or iPadOS device and tapping your profile picture in the top right corner of the screen. Tap on your profile at the top of the next screen and then Subscriptions, where you should find a banner promoting Apple One.

Moving iCloud Storage from one Apple ID to the another.

Moving iCloud Storage from one Apple ID to the another.

If like me, you have separate Apple IDs for iCloud and media purchases, you will be asked to move your storage plan to the Apple ID you use for iCloud, which cancels the old iCloud Storage subscription.

Signing up for the Premier tier was a no-brainer as someone who already paid for 2TB of storage, a Family Apple Music subscription, and Apple Arcade. News+ isn’t something I was willing to pay for separately, but it’s nice to have, and I’m very interested in trying Fitness+ as the weather gets colder here in Chicago, making outdoor walks and runs more difficult.


Using Soor’s Widgets and Magic Mixes

Soor's iOS 14 widgets.

Soor’s iOS 14 widgets.

As I detailed in a recent episode of AppStories, I’ve spent several weeks tweaking my iPhone’s Home Screen and playing around with different approaches to widgets and app icons. The layout I eventually settled on (which you can find in the AppStories show notes) takes advantage of dark mode to create the illusion of widgets “blending” into the wallpaper – specifically, the Soor widgets at the top of the page. Given how I believe Soor’s developer Tanmay Sonawane has taught Apple a lesson when it comes to building Apple Music widgets for iOS 14, and considering the app’s most recent update, I thought I’d write about these widgets in more detail.

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Porsche Adds Apple Podcasts and Apple Music Time-Synced Lyrics Support to Its Taycan EV

Source: Porsche

Source: Porsche

Last year, we reported Porsche’s partnership with Apple to directly support Apple Music as part of its Taycan entertainment system. Yesterday, Porsche announced that it’s expanding the relationship to include the Apple Podcasts app and expanded Apple Music support.

According to a press release from Porsche:

From the touchscreen display of the Porsche Advanced Cockpit, drivers can stream over 1.5 million shows from Apple Podcasts, the world’s leading podcast platform. This is the first-ever full integration of Apple Podcasts in any vehicle, and it includes the entire catalog-of-record with programming in 100 languages plus Top Charts for shows and episodes.

Porsche also revealed that its Apple Music integration would add support for Time-Synced Lyrics on the Taycan’s passenger-side display. The new features are already available for new Taycan owners. However, existing customers will have to wait until January for the new functionality.

Although the features announced by Porsche are limited to just one vehicle made by one manufacturer, it’s good to see because if it’s successful, Porsche’s early adoption will likely lead to other carmakers jumping on board.


Apple Debuts New Music Video Streaming Service Called Apple Music TV

This morning Apple debuted a new video streaming service dedicated to music called Apple Music TV. According to an announcement sent by Apple to Variety, the free service will stream:

exclusive new music videos and premiers, special curated music video blocks, and live shows and events as well as chart countdowns and guests.

The service, which is available through Apple’s Music and TV apps, is currently US-only.

To kick things off, Apple Music TV is streaming the top 100 videos streamed on Apple Music. According to Variety, the service plans to debut new videos every Friday:

It will also have two exclusive video premieres on Friday at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, Joji’s “777” and Saint Jhn’s “Gorgeous”; the channel will premiere new videos every Friday at that time.

Apple also told Variety that there will be an all-day Bruce Springsteen takeover of the service on October 22nd to celebrate the release of Springsteen’s latest album, which will includes videos and an interview with Apple Music 1 DJ Zane Lowe.

Variety says there is no word from Apple about whether the service will include documentaries like the recently-announced film by Billie Eilish, which is coming early next year.

Music videos have long felt like an afterthought to Apple. As Federico asked in his iOS and iPadOS 14 review:

The question remains though: is there more Apple could do to surface Apple Music’s catalog of non-music material, such as radio stations, interviews, and music videos?

With so much music video content available, it’s terrific to see Apple giving it a dedicated place inside both the Music and TV apps.



Apple One: The Long-Awaited Services Bundle Is Coming Soon in Three Tiers

Today during an event in which Apple revealed new Apple Watch and iPad models, the company also had some big services news to share: to increase adoption of the company’s growing slate of services, a new Apple One bundle will be launching soon to bring together multiple paid services at a discounted price.

Although Apple One doesn’t carry an official release date yet besides simply ‘fall,’ Apple did detail the breakdown of pricing and included services across three different Apple One tiers:

  • Individual: Includes Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, and 50 GB of iCloud storage for an individual at $14.95/month, a savings of $6/month.
  • Family: Also includes Apple Music, TV+, and Arcade, but with 200 GB of iCloud storage and Family Sharing for all services, at $19.95/month for savings of $8/month.
  • Premier: This is the big bundle, including Apple Music, TV+, Arcade, News+, the newly announced Fitness+, as well as 2 TB of iCloud storage for $29.95/month, a savings of $25/month.

The Individual and Family tiers of Apple One will be launching in over 100 countries to reach the widest number of users possible. Premier, however, since it includes services like News+ which are only available in limited territories, will only be available in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia at launch.

When Apple One launches, users will be able to try any of the three tiers with a 30-day free trial for services that they aren’t already paying for. It’s also worth noting that according to Apple’s website, Fitness+ likely won’t be available until after Apple One debuts, since it carries a launch window of ‘Late 2020’ while Apple One is ‘Coming this fall.’

Apple One’s tiered structure makes a lot of sense, and the savings seem pretty enticing, especially for the Premier plan. As someone who already subscribes to every Apple service, Premier will be a no-brainer to me as I’ll gain Fitness+ and a higher iCloud storage plan for less than the $38/month I’m paying right now.


You can follow all of our September event coverage through our September 2020 event hub, or subscribe to the dedicated RSS feed.


Apple Rebrands Beats 1 as Apple Music 1, Launches New Global Radio Stations with Fresh Hosts and Shows

Today Apple announced an expansion and rebranding for Apple Music’s radio efforts. The flagship worldwide radio station Beats 1 is being renamed Apple Music 1 while retaining the same content as before.

Joining Apple Music 1 in Apple’s lineup of global radio stations will be two new stations: Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country. The former is dedicated to well-known and well-loved songs from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s, while the latter highlights modern and classic country music.

Like Apple Music 1’s roster of hosts and presenters, which includes Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Brooke Reese, Apple’s two new stations will have daily on-air hosts as well. For Apple Music Hits this includes Jayde Donovan, Estelle, Lowkey, and more; Apple Music Country will be hosted by Kelleigh Bannen, Ty Bentli, and Bree, among others.

One of the unique strengths of Apple Music 1, besides its strong team of hosts, is the periodic shows by artists such as Billie Eilish, Elton John, and Frank Ocean. Apple has assembled just as impressive an assortment of shows for its new stations. Per Apple’s press release, Apple Music Hits will feature exclusive shows from “Backstreet Boys, Ciara, Mark Hoppus, Huey Lewis, Alanis Morissette, Snoop Dogg, Meghan Trainor, Shania Twain, and more.” For Apple Music Country the list of shows is even longer, featuring:

Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Morgan Evans, Florida Georgia Line, Pat Green, Willie Jones, Chrissy Metz, Midland, Rissi Palmer, The Shires, Carrie Underwood, and Morgan Wallen, alongside exclusive shows from legendary producers and songwriters like Dave Cobb, Jesse Frasure, and Luke Laird, and journalist Hunter Kelly.

Apple Music hasn’t changed its radio product much over the years, so today’s announcements represent a significant move for the company. While I still wish the Music app provided better tools for informing me when a new radio show I may be interested in is coming up, such as push notifications as a show’s starting, perhaps today’s moves are just the beginning. Now that the content side of radio has been enhanced, perhaps this fall’s updated Music app will offer improvements to the software side of the radio experience.