Apple Music and Beats 1 Launch with the Release of iOS 8.4

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today released iOS 8.4, bringing with it Apple’s new music streaming service and the usual "under the hood" fixes and enhancements.

The focus for this release has clearly been on making sure that everything is in place for the introduction of Apple Music and Beats 1. Consequently, we were not surprised to hear from Apple that it includes no accessibility-related changes or fixes.

What you will find in this update is a completely redesigned Music app. The layout and operation of this app has changed to accommodate the new music streaming service. It appears that Apple's Accessibility Team has worked hard to ensure that these changes do not negatively impact the usability of the app for VoiceOver users. What you will want to do, however, is to spend some time familiarizing yourself with the new interface and controls.

The areas of the Music app where you access and control Apple's new streaming service have not been available during the beta cycle, so we have not been able to test these for accessibility ahead of release. We shall update this post in due course with what we find. In the meantime, please do share your own experience of the accessibility of Apple Music.

One consequence of the changes to the Music app is that audiobooks have now been moved to the iBooks app. Again, this change appears to have been made with no detrimental accessibility effects, but here too we would appreciate your input.

We are relatively confident that the iOS 8.4 update should be a stable and painless experience for most people. It has spent several months in beta testing and is built upon the significant stability and performance improvements that came in iOS 8.3. However, as is the nature of these things, it is quite possible that new bugs may have been introduced and not detected during the beta cycle. So, if you do encounter any new bugs, please be sure to report them to Apple and to let us know about them in the comments.

iOS 8.4 is available via Over-the-Air Update (Settings > General > Software Update) or from iTunes on your Mac or PC.

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Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I genuinely don't understand this one at all. Nothing I've tried has worked, I consider this a major pain. You will occasionally encounter some issues with sounds being erratic, but this is off the scale. I suppose a full reset, removing data, may work, but seriously don't have the time or energy to try at this point. Do please let me know if any of you fall fowl of this in the future.

Submitted by Ricardo Herrera on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hi,
Worked perfectly the first time a tried it. Set up was easy, and the rest as they say is history. It is easy and accessible to add songs and albums to the library, and it all integrates quite nicely with my previous itunes library. I have had no accessibility issues thus far. The only thing I don't like is that it's not easy to find your previously created itunes radio stations. Besides this however, everythings works fine. As for the update itself, i updated 3 devices, all without problems. I added my family to family sharing, and we will subscribe to the $14.99 a month plan after the trial period is up.

Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

As well as my phone having lost keyboard clicking sounds and lock sound, it is now vibrating when connected to power. Can't explain this.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It shoudl vibrate when connected to power. No issues thus far. update is smooth. You might be th eodd one out. Again post the ios 8.4 blog post as that where they are collecting bugs.

Submitted by rdfreak on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I started my free trial this morning and briefly exploreed it though I know it's a lot more powerful than I'm aware at the moment.
I didn't know about the Siri option; that's awesome.
I wouldn't use it enough to justify paying for it in future though but all I can say is .. good job with VO integration from what I've seen and heard from others.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I Agree. It's awesome but I'd not use it that much so would not pay for it. How would someone go about canceling there subscription to this service? Thanks

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, July 2, 2015

Darren12, your phone is muted.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, July 2, 2015

to cancel your scription go to the music app, then my music, the account at the top, tap the email address that's your apple id, go to manage subscription and hit don't renew check box. It has an odd label but uncheck it, then flick to confirm and tap that. You cannot recheck that box btw.

Bood luck.

Submitted by Terra Syslo on Thursday, July 2, 2015

I have followed several artists, but I do not know how to access the artists that I followed. I click on connect and then on my account, and I see the artists on following, but I don't know how to get to their pages to listen to the music. What Point of following an artist, if you have to do a search every time you want to listen to that artist?

Submitted by Darren12 on Thursday, July 2, 2015

Pleased to confirm that my phone was in fact muted. Unfortunately this is what can happen when you allow a work colleague to have a play with Apple music and they mute the phone without telling you. I never mute my phone ordinarily, but very glad I checked this before going the whole way to a full reset and data erase. I'll be having words today. Cheers Usman. I'll be subscribing to Apple music, particularly enjoy the siri integration.

Submitted by Kristen on Thursday, July 2, 2015

I've played with it a bit more and the Siri integration is really winning me over.

So nice to just say like "Play me radio based on Pink" and it makes a radio based on the artist Pink and starts playing. That and being able to just play a specific song by telling it to. I know this is probably draining the heck out of my battery, though hoping they fix that soon enough.

Submitted by Mike Freeman on Thursday, July 2, 2015

In reply to by Ricardo Herrera

Did you, in fact, find the stations you had created or added under versions of iOS before 8.4? I can't figure out how to do this and one person opines that she read that this was one feature that was going away with the new Apple Music.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, July 2, 2015

I saw that yesterday, or was it the day before when it launched. They are very very good resources. and I hope to mark these in my rss reader I use for my computer. I also hope they get the battery drain fixed and a few other bugs, ike when you remove a song from off line and it says it is still there. That one is a bit annoying, not a game changer but yeah.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Thursday, July 2, 2015

But I am pretty sure you may have to create your stations again since the previous iTunes Radio is gone. This is different, with stations being programmed with more human input. That is my understanding.

Submitted by Hadi on Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hi
Actually, I think there's one big inaccessible element in apple music.
In the connect tab, You are supposed to see a page for each of your followed artists, that includes them posting updates like instagram and twitter.
But it doesn't work with voiceover.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Thursday, July 2, 2015

Actually it is twitter and other networks. According to the wwdc the artists can share their stuff with social networks. I do notice the accessibility thing of the page but what I do is click and the page will change. It's getting back that's the problem. It works.

I just can't unfollow artists though. And connect has its issues as well. I reported these 2 weeks ago and after hearing what I heard from someone in a very high place, they had better get the bug fixed. I can't reveal anymore then that and never will. Sorry all. I am swarn to secrecy on that statement

Hello

I'm experiencing the same problem. In my Following list, Voieover speaks "button" next to each of the artists I presume I'm following, but double-tapping that button doesn't do anything - in particular it doesn't unfollow the artist. The other issue is that there is a button called "automatically follow artists": Voiceover reports that it is a "switch button" but does not report the status of the switch (on or off). If you double-tap that hbutton the list of artists you're following disappears, so I presume that means that you've turned automctic following off, but Voiceover doesn't say that explicitly.

While on the subject of Apple Music, I haven't been able to cancel the automatic plan renewal using
Voiceover. According to what I've read elsewhere, there is supposed to be a button for doing this on the page that lists the various membership plans. I haven't found such a button, so I'm not sure what will happen after the end of the three-months trial - I doubt that I'll continue with the subscription so I'll want to cancel it+.

Bruce

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, July 3, 2015

  1. Go to your account page in the music app.
  2. go to the apple id button
  3. click manage subscription link
  4. click the check box and confirm.

Also to read the switch simply read word by word.

take care.

Has anyone found a way to delete recently heard stations and or stations created from the former iTunes Radio? Also, some stations aren't labeled properly, and the only work-around is restarting the music app.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Friday, July 3, 2015

I have found a minor bug in the 8.4 Music app. When you wish to change from the Library to the Playlists button, VO always reports Library button selected despite double tapping the Playlists button. However, if you double tap the Playlists button and then look at the displayed content below, you will see your playlists as you are supposed to. Conversely, if you wish to go back to the Library portion of the app, where you can see your artists listed, a double tap on the Library button does indeed change it back to the artists view.

Submitted by Mandy Palmer on Friday, July 3, 2015

In reply to by Toonhead

Thanks for that I have a lot of music on my phone, stuff I've purchased from iTunes and my own music that I've imported. Will I still be able to buy from ITunes as well as stream?

Submitted by Clare Page on Friday, July 3, 2015

I haven't tried out Apple Music yet, but I can confirm that the good old iTunes Store hasn't gone away, which means there's nothing to stop you continuing to buy songs or albums, even if you also stream music through Apple Music itself.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Friday, July 3, 2015

I have not enountered that bug of which one of the posters spoke wherein the button did not show selected or not selected. Maybe restarting the phone and stuff would work. So far I'm loving apple music. and I can't wait to get approved to connect so I can test for accessibility, if they can fix the bug where you cannot with out dificulty access the artist's page.

Has anyone reported any of this to accessibility@apple.com?

Take care

Submitted by Tiffany J. Kim on Saturday, July 4, 2015

This is random and unrelated to accessibility, but I found it to be quirky. I asked Siri to play the number one song on January 13, 1968. She said, "Sorry Tiffany. I can't stream Hello, Goodbye by the Beatles." On a whim, I decided to test to see what would happen if I purchased the title and owned it in my music collection. After my investment of $1.29, I asked her the same question and received the reply, "Sorry. I don't have charts for that date."

Submitted by alex wallis on Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hi I just found a bug when clearing notifications from the notification center. This bug is when you tap to confirm you want to clear all notifications for a given app as soon as you tap confirm clear section VoiceOver reads you some kind of hint that says something like double tap to confirm clear all notifications, this is after I tap the button labelled as confirm clear section so they are cleared by this point anyway and also I have hints disabled so it shouldn't read at all. I am going to email this to apple accessibility.

Submitted by Irlanda on Saturday, July 4, 2015

I love music a lot. And when I am listening to a station and I know I don't have the money I always add it to the wish list. But with the new redesigned apple music I can't find where it says like or dislike and from there it would have given you options and if you wanted to add it to your wish list. Now I cannot find it. But I do like apple music.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hello Irlanda. there is two ways to like or dislike songs and to add them to your wishlist.

1. Assuming you have currently playing screen in full view, then you can like or dislike a song by double tapping the Love Not Set button. This opens the area where you can tell it to play more or play less like this. Also, you will see the add to wishlist button here.

2. Again assuming you have the now playing screen expanded, then locate the More button in the lower lefthand corner of the screen. This button gives many options including showing the song in the iTunes Store, where you can add the song to your Wishlist, add the song to your music, add to playlist, etc. It should be noted that, should you add the song to your music, this doesn't mean that you own the rites to the song or album. It just means you will have access to it as long as you have a valid subscription to Apple Music..

HTH

Submitted by Jalys Ortiz on Saturday, July 4, 2015

Hi, guys!
Even though a few of you have helped provide some answers about Apple Music, I've got a few more that may be useful, as I have been playing with it since Thursday and love it.
You pay $9.99, and basically, the entire iTunes library is at your disposal. There is a button near the top of an album that says "add to library", which does as it says (it adds the music to your library). When you're trying to add a single track, however, you must tap "more", then "add to music". You aren't paying for the songs/albums you download in addition to the $9.99; so, in essence, you're paying $9.99 in order to have unlimited music in your library.

Submitted by Toonhead on Saturday, July 4, 2015

I think wishlist might be the wrong term here, because with Apple music, the entire iTunes library is at your disposal, it's not limited to the songs you have on your device or in your own iTunes library of stuff you've downloaded or added your own self. So I think playlist is the term to use here.

Submitted by Jalys Ortiz on Saturday, July 4, 2015

I think there is, in fact, a wishlist feature if you tap "more". I don't see why you'd want to buy music, though, as the whole iTunes library is there.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, July 4, 2015

Call me old school but I like to own my music. That doesn't mean I don't use the new Apple Music feature of adding albums to the Library because I love this; however, if I want to actually manipulate the album or track in some manner, say creating a workout playlist, then I will purchase the song. If I just want to listen to the album or track then I'll add it to the Library inside the music app.

Submitted by David on Saturday, July 4, 2015

I know that audio books are now moved to IBooks, but this is a bit of a disappointment for Apple Watch owners I think. Unless someone can correct me, it would have been possible to add audio books to a playlist in the old music app and sync them with a watch. But now, I don't think I can sync audio books to the watch any more. If anyone kdoes know of a way to do this with IOS 8.4 I'd like to hear about it.

Submitted by Toonhead on Sunday, July 5, 2015

The music you've purchased and added to your phone should be available under the my music tab in the music app. You will see all your playlists if you hhave them, followed by recently purchased songs or other content, and then if you keep swiping to the right you should see all your previously purchased stuff. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Usman on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

I noticed my pre-existing music on my phone doesn't seem to be there anymore along with all my created playlists. I had over 20 playlists on my phone at one point and now I'm only seeing recently added and purchased. How would one see everything on the device?

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Actually I noticed this to. I created a play list but it never showed up on my device. I tried to add somethingn to connect but the song nevr showed up even though I added it ot my library in itunes. Music library is on on both devices but it throws up because I have over 25 thousand songs. I have about 225 thousand.

Take care.

Submitted by Orko on Sunday, July 12, 2015

The first thing I did when I heard about this being a part of iOS 8.4 was to go into setting and turn off Apple Music, which I thought would give me the old Music app, wrong!

Instead I still have the new app but without Apple Music. Unfortunately it also looks like I also don't have the ability to browse my music library by album or song title. And Apple thinks this is an improvement?

It's silly decision like this about what they think their customers want that make me lament the demise of Microsoft's Zune media player, that was a fine product despite its lack of accessibility features.

Submitted by Clare Page on Saturday, July 11, 2015

Curiosity got the better of me at last, and on 6 July i subscribed to Apple Music, to the three-month trial to begin with, of course. Talking of that, the trial ends exactly three months after you sign up, not necessarily at the end of September 2015: mine will end on 6 October. I'm already impressed with Apple Music so far. I like the genre-based stations in the Radio tab, which I had no access to before as iTunes Radio never came to France. I also enjoy recommended playlists in the For You tab, for particular artists or genres, or even on particular themes, for example a playlist of songs about space was recommended in my For you tab for some reason, although I haven't yet listened to that. When i signed up for Apple Music I was so convinced that I would only want to try it for three months that I turned off auto-renewal quite quickly. However, I am now already beginning to wonder if I can opt back into auto-renewal at some point. In the meantime, as i prefer to own music I particularly like, I have bought music from the iTunes store which I've heard on Apple Music since I joined: that way, if I do finally decide to drop Apple music, i'll still have any good music I've discovered or rediscovered there in my iTunes library.

Submitted by Orko on Saturday, July 11, 2015

You're right, so I toned it down a bit, please understand that I didn't think there was anything wrong with the music app the way it was. Nor do I mind that they added their new music streaming service to it. What irritates me is the loss of features I used and to be told that this is an improvement over what I already had.

Well, now I have egg on my face, thanks for the tip about the category button. It's not as good as the tabs the old app had, but it works.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Saturday, July 11, 2015

I don't know if this has been answered, but does anyoone know if ther is a limit to how many songs you have in yoru library? and i meant he ones you can add to apple music?

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Saturday, July 11, 2015

According to the forums I have been reading, there are some limitations. Currently, you can have 25,000 songs in your Apple Music Library, which do not include previous iTunes purchases. However, with the release of iOS 9, they are saying we will have 100,000 songs. The other limitations include only songs under 200 MB or less than 2 hours are uploaded. If you are like myself, I have a multitude of descriptive vidios from the Blind Mice Megamall which are longer than 2 hours so these won't be available in the cloud.

Hope this gives you at least some insight.

Submitted by Usman on Saturday, July 11, 2015

How can I get my previously created playlists? I put in a lot of time creating them and I wish to have access to them.

Submitted by Alex K on Saturday, July 11, 2015

According to reviews and descriptions of the app, it should be possible to access curated playlists in the New tab using three options: Apple Music Editors, Activity Playlists, and Curators. These options are not appearing for me in the iOS Music app, but do appear in iTunes on the PC. Has anyone else had any luck accessing these playlists?

Submitted by Orko on Sunday, July 12, 2015

Is anyone else seeing this? Every time I try to use the index, as soon as I try to move from one letter to another, the music app crashes to the home screen. This is very reliable in that it happens every time.

For now, a simple work around is to set VO's rotor to headings in the music app.

Submitted by Usman on Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hi everyone,
As the subject states, I'm not seeing all the stations pop up on the mac that I see on my iPhone. Some of the missing stations include my local NPR, as well as iTunes weekly top 50. As I stated, I see them on my iPhone but not on the Mac. Am I doing anything wrong here? How do I get them to appear on the mac as well.
Many thanks.