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 sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I'm anxious to get to play around with Apple Music. I can see myself ditching Rhapsody if it is everything it claims to be. I'm really anxious for it to make itsway to AppleTV.

Submitted by Pavel Ondra on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

well apple music seems quite accessible and fine. but i can not add music from apple music to my own playlist, since it tells me that i dont have music icloud library on.

Submitted by Santiago on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I cannot seem to be able to unfollow artists on Apple Music, which are followed automatically every time you play/add tracks to your library. Has anyone found a solution to this? Either this section of the app is not fully accessible, or I'm not doing something right.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Apple Music is just now coming online. You may not have had access to these features before now as Apple Music wasn't online.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

To clarify the previous, Apple Music wasn't scheduled to be available until 9:00 PST, noon EST. Therefore, it probably meant that a lot of the features wouldn't be available until that time.

Submitted by Special K on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I just ditched Spotify after playing with this for 20 minutes! It's better, and more accessible. Also, iTunes' music library is far bigger!

Submitted by DudeLove721 on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I am having the same issue as an above poster. Unless I'm doing something wrong, there appears to be no way to manually follow or unfollow an artist. I am guessing this isn't by design and if it isn't, I hope it's not an accessibility issue. Any help would be greatly appreciated if anyone else has had any luck with this.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I wonder if all artists are able to be followed? Haven't had a chance to play around with this yet. Darned work. Hah.

Submitted by Santiago on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I think you can follow all artists, as they are being followed by default when ever you play a track by that artist.

Submitted by Steve Holmes on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

From what I've seen far, while in the For Yuu tab, I can double tap the artist button and VO will tell you if you "love" "verry love" or "not love" that artist. Is this what you mean? I still have lots to learn about the new music but it looks to be lots of fun.

Submitted by April on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

When you first go to the Connect tab it says that you're already following some of your favorites, but then gives you a list of suggestions that you might want to click. That first line will always be there, so it's a little misleading.
You have to tap follo. below one you like, or search for one and follow it. At this point the follow button changes to following. You can undo it if you want. then tap done, then the rest of the mess will clear out.

Submitted by DudeLove721 on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Thanks for the tip, I just wish there was an easier way to do this. My list of followed artists is at 58 and many of those are people I don't care to follow. It's a pain to have to search one, unfollow them and then go back to the list in my account to see who else I need to remove.

Submitted by April on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

I've had a couple of little problems with the app, but nothing world-shattering for day one release. I like it, in general.
It crashed when I was setting it up, between the two For you screens and I had to start over, but worked fine the second time.
I also encountered a couple of unlabeled buttons that I think were an artist and song name. Well fine, I won't listen to that one. :)
I noticed that the volume of my music isn't dropping when I'm reading an e-mail, but it is when I'm doing other things. I honestly couldn't tell you if this was the case previously, though, because this has made me hop on board when I didn't use my phone for music before.
All in all pretty great, I'd say.

Submitted by Jim D on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

If I select the Connect tab, activate the my account button and then double tap on the word following, I'm presented with a switch which says "Automatically follow artists." The description of this switch indicates that when enabled, I will automatically follow artists when they are added to my music library. The only problem, VO does not report the status of this switch control, so you don't know if it is on or off. Just reported this bug to Apple Accessibility.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I temporarily removed a couple of personal playlists to ensure enough room was available for the updating process. After updateing was completed, I then synchronized with iTuines via my Windows PC. After that was done, I tried to add those playlists back by doing the following without success:

With iPhone connected and sync complete, I located the Music from the treeview.
Then I tried both tabbing and using the more common F6 to jump over to the playlists and artists listviews. They can no longer be located.

I also noticed that there is a second music icon below the one that goes to the iPhone, which shows the music as if iPhone isn't connected. The Playlists and Artists listviews are not seen here, either.

I rebooted PC in hopes that iTunes would sort itself out without success. After re-syncing the iPhone, I then checked as above and cannot locate the playlists and artists listviews.

Any ideas?

Submitted by Krister Ekstrom on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I don't know what obvious thing i've been missing, but when i search for Apple Music in the Music app, nothing is found, there are only three tabs, my music, playlists and radio a tab which is empty. I don't know if it's me who does something stupid or if i should assume that as usual when it comes to Apple, and despite the fact that Apple music is said to be launched in 100 countries, little insignificant Sweden isn't amongst the countries where Apple music is launched. Oh well, shrug...

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I have been using the new Apple Music Beats 1 radio station since they went live. The first DJ did announce that Beats 1 is in Stalkholm, Sweden. Assuming that you have completed the 8.4 update, then simply try rebooting your iDevice and see if that resolves it for you.


Try reading the switch word by word You should then get the status. I have been doing this since ios 8.1 for most switches that dont' read. I also eeported this to apple accessibility 6 months ago. I'm sure it will be fixed in ios 9.

Submitted by Santiago on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So, what's the work-around for unfollowing artists, since we obviously can't do it easily with VoiceOver until Apple fixes that bug.

Submitted by Pavel Ondra on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

hi, i just dont know if i am missing something. but where do i find genres, charts etc? is there such think?

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I did a tiny demo of my first thoughts and impressions on apple music. it went smoother then I thought it would. Lol! Here's the link I shared some tracks and a bit more. The swipe actiosn are really cool for downloading albums and stuff.

I hope I make it to connect as I'm an indi artist and I submitted my request to apple about 2 weeks ago. We'll see.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

You can find genres under the New tab. It is near the top. Also, as a user said earlier, to check the status of whether or not follow artists is on, go to the "for you" tab, choose "my account", and then the follow button. Double tap on that. You will find a switch button that does not report whether it is on or off. If you swipe down by character on the switch, it will tell you the status. A pain in the astronaut, but doable. Hope this helps someone.

Submitted by Greg Wocher on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

So far I am using Apple Music with no major issues except on my battery. I am going to have to get myself a battery case and I am even using a 6+. LOL. I have seen an unlabeled button or two when using Beats1 but other than that it seems to be accessible.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Is Beats 1 just a single radio station?

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hello sockhopsinger. The actual Beats 1 music station is a single station that plays 24-7, with two-hour slots having live DJ's, and alternating one-hour slots with what I think they are calling city blocks, (not certain of that one, though_. Otherwise, the other radio stations that Apple has had previously are still there, at least as far as I can tell.


Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hey, can someone go over again how to unfollow an artist in connect/ I just don't wwant to see their stuff. It's not them, it's me. Lol! and yeah you are right. It's eating my battery for lunch, and I'm not even listening right now. I think it's caching some of the files off line even if you don't download them. I'm not sure though.

Submitted by riyu12345 (not verified) on Tuesday, June 30, 2015


I personally think for a mini demo that voiceover was way to fast. But that could just be me. I don't think I'll be using this service since like the poster who made the demo, I don't put music on my phone. I usually use my phone for phoning and apps and some radio, but strangely no music.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sorry about that. Lol! I did slow it down tward the end, actually tward the beginning when I said somethingn like I'm going to be nice. Lol! I think this could be a good service because I don't put music on my phone. it's just there, and we have how ever large the itunes library is to play with.

Take care.

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

I've not tried the service yet but I am going to download the update tomorrow and see what the new app is all about.

Submitted by 3BlindMice on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I just want to make sure I have everything straight. When I download the new 8.4, I will be using the new Apple Music. What happens to music already on my phone, especially what I have that I didn't purchase from iTunes? Will it play as it does now, or will things be changed? Will I have a mess of music I stream with music I already have? I think my main concern there is when I am in a place without WiFi or data, which is happening very soon. Also, what will I pay for? From what I've been reading, I can stream anything in the iTunes library, but if I choose to download anything, I will pay. Also, what's in it for the kids? Are there safeties I can set up so the kids can use it for kids music and stuff I'm comfortable with them listening to, but keep it clean?

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I do not see it. I first did not want to sign now that I change my mind, I do not see it. I see music, radio and follow. Help.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

since itunes does the censored version of everything that is clean, your kids might be able to liten to th emusic. I don't remember paying anything when I downloaded some songs. Where did you hear this?

Take care.

Submitted by 3BlindMice on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I thought I saw that, but that is why I asked because I wasn't sure.

Submitted by John Lipsey on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

So far, I'm loving Apple music! However, I've found a problem with the radio section.
I never tried this before, so it may not be a new problem, but now it's annoying. I've a couple stations I tried to create that don't actually play for some reason. I can't find a way, using voiceover on my mac or iOS device, to remove any stations from the radio section of Apple Music. Has anybody been able to do this? Has anybody else tried?
Let me know. And thanks in advance!

Submitted by Toonhead on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hi. Ok, lets see if we can clear some of this up...
1. Beats1 is a single radio station available as of today, it has several djs and artists doing shows, and the music seems to be different for each show. Looks like the people doing this have finally caught up to what a lot of blind folks like myself have been doing for the last 15 or so years, only it's on a more professional scale. The presentation and imaging are nicely done, although from early reports I'm getting some folks don't dig the djs talking all over the music.

2. As far as Apple Music itself goes, everyone gets it free to try for 3 months, so feel free to try it til the end of September. It's $9.99 for a single user, or $14.95 for a family of up to 6 people. Not too shabby. Just remember you don't start paying til the end of September, so give it a shot.

3. You must be using iOS 8.4 to get all these new things. So if you're still running 8.3 you will not see it until you update to 8.4. The 8.4 update presents no accessibility problems, so update with confidence. Apple has done a fine job with the music service. My favorite thing to do is ask Siri to play a specific song, and most times, it'll do it. For example, you can ask it to play the number 1 song from a specific year, and it'll play it right away. pretty cool. As for music you already have on your phone, it's fine. It'll stay exactly as it is, your current music is not effected by Apple music. When you use Apple music, you're streaming the songs available in the iTunes library. So even if you don't have something on your phone you can still listen to it as many times as you want and the quality is perfect. I hope that answers a few of the questions.

Submitted by Kristen on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Just have to say I like the "Up Next" button on the "Now Playing" popup for the Radio - it has a list of songs that have played recently (so if you were busy with something and missed what the name of a song was, you can go back and add it to your music or read through the list - as far as I know Spotify does not have an equivalent feature.)

I've noticed the "Love It" or whatever it is feature does not work on the Lock screen - I have to unlock to say I love a song or add it to my music.

And did someone say they can create radio stations on their own? Where is this feature?

Submitted by Kelly Ford on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I have to say the message if you scroll the artists or genres when indicating what you like in this experience is unique. You get a message like "pushing circles to the left, drifting back to center."

One thing I don't find here that would be nice is the ability to easily see other music from artists in your existing collection. For example suppose I have four albums of my personal music. I see those albums but to find other music from that same artist I seem to have to use the search functionality to find other albums from the same artist that might not be in my personal collection.

I don't know if I'm missing something or not.

I do use the XBox music app from Microsoft on my phone as well and in that app, you first see albums from your own music collection and then all albums available from the article when you are viewing an artist.

The updated music app is working nicely with VO.

Submitted by Orinks on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hi everyone,
I'm liking Apple Music so far. I do have a problem though--I wonder how many songs you can share in a single playlist. I took my purchased songs, used the "Add to" >New Playlist" option to make a playlist intending to share my 800+ songs currently in my purchased playlist with people. I had it create a new playlist and the share option does not exist. This is on iTunes 12.2 on the Mac.
I then tried sharing an album. The share button was there, but pressing VO space, mouse clicking or pressing return did nothing and as a result, nothing was shared.
Has anyone tried iTunes 12.2? I know most users are using the music phone app, but this is a big reason to switch to Apple Music, it is the first service where you won't need specialized software like SpotImc, the Spotify hack, and numerous alternatives to actually get a streaming service working on your computer. A streaming playlist in iTunes looks like any other playlist. Songs added to your music library appear right alongside your purchased and Matched music. I can just hit right and left arrow to skim a playlist at will. To this date, no streaming service has the accessibility of Apple Music, and none of the other services have a three month trial, either.

Submitted by Clare Page on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hi! I am not subscribed to Apple Music yet, in fact I don't know whether i will do so, given that I'm already zsubscribed to iTunes Match, with a music collection including plenty of tracks not available from iTunes. Of course, that might not stop me from perhaps doing a trial of Apple Music, just to get an idea how it works. In the meantime, I am not happy that Apple has me following 103 artists from my iTunes library without me giving them permission to do so: I would have assumed that any following could only be done after signing up to Apple Music, which I haven't as I already said. Do they assume everyone with an Apple ID who likes music will want to join Apple Music? I hope not! I find iTunes Match suits me fine so far, so at least they are not getting rid of that! To end on a more positive note, eeven though the built-in Music app in IOS 8.4 has changed a lot, it didn't take long to get the hang of using it for playing music from my own iTunes library, so I definitely have no complaints about that.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I think what apple did is wonderful and correct. Many people complain about how they hate playing it on iTunes. well then I say use your iOs device if you have one, and if not then adapt. We must adapt if we are to succeed and do well in the world of apple. If you cannot adept, you will be left behind.

I love the sound of apple music and with a bit more tinkering I think it will be my choice of listening even though I don't really listen to music anymore. I record too much of it to appreciate for what it really sounds like.

I have not had a chance to explore all of beats 1 and wonderhow the requests will work. I hope to do this tomorrow while working at the computer. I also hope they get the battery drainign issues fixed as well as that one, even though it keeps my phone nice and warm for me in the winter, is not a good idea. I have my external pack, but I don't really want to carry that around 100 percent of the time Lol!

Siri's intagration is cool. Try asking siri to play the number one song on yoru birth date. Not all of the music will be there to stream, but I'm sure that will change as more artists get abord. I can say one thing about the connect sign up though. It's finiki and very difficalt to do on the mac. Forget about safari, and chrome, as in chrome, all the form fields are unlabeled. I emailed them about this and hope they will fix this for the next batch of artists to come along.

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

I've been using it for the last hour or two and think it's really nice how you can play any song you'd like. The price isn't to bad, I do wonder where the money goes though. As in what exactly am I paying for? i can understand paying for artists which is no problem for me, but what am I paying for when i sign up to apples music app?

Submitted by splyt on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Is batery levels draining quickly for those who have made the update but are not subscribing to the music service?


Submitted by Patrick Hurst on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Indeed, the new Apple Music experience is great, but when offline, I notice my "iTunes Library" previously stored on my phone just seems not to be there anymore. When then going to "Settings, General, Info", it tells me there are only 2 music tracks on my device.
Did anyone else have that issue? How to restore / resolve this?

Submitted by dvdmth on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

I only used the service for a short time yesterday, but I already know I will become a paid subscriber. The VoiceOver experience, for the most part, has been great on my iPad, though not quite as smooth in iTunes on my computer.

I ran across one catch to the service, which is that music downloaded through the Apple Music service cannot be loaded onto a traditional iPod, such as my iPod shuffle. Not a surprise, but a little disappointing since I like the tactile controls on the iPod shuffle and still use it specifically for that reason.

Someone earlier was having problems loading music onto their device through iTunes after upgrading. If you are an Apple Music subscriber, a feature called iCloud Music Library is included, which is basically a rebranding of iTunes Match. One consequence of this is that you cannot sync music to your iOS device through iTunes. You must instead enable the feature in iTunes, wait for iTunes to put your library into the cloud, then access your library on the device through the cloud. The advantage is that you have access to your entire music collection anywhere, without needing to use up space on the device, but the disadvantage, at least at the beginning, is that you must wait for your library to become available in the cloud before you can access it on your device. In my case, I have a number of old time radio files that need to be uploaded, since they aren't in the iTunes Store, and that will take a number of hours to complete. I also have to convert some files to a higher bit rate, because Apple won't upload anything below 96 kbps for some reason.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Hello dvdmth

I am one who has had problems and confusion for re-syncing some temporarily deleted playlist so as to allow enough room for the update. I did turn on the Music Library iCloud feature for a bit yesterday. I turned it off, though, because it appeared to be duplicating every playlist but then putting a number one after each playlist. Of course, since I'm a memory hog user, to begin with, I certainly didn't want duplicates. Any suggestions as to how to handle this properly is greatly appreciated.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Not only that, but wouldn't it be crazily inefficient to play all of your music from the Cloud? I mean: a) Won't you be charged for Cloud storage space, b) Won't you use an ungodly amount of data, and c) won't it chew through a battery? Just a few concerns I have, and I haven't been able to find the answers yet.

I had the same problem where my library disappeared offline. You can get it back by turning off "iCloud music library" in Settings>Music, and re-syncing your phone. I believe that turning on iCloud music library will replace your stored library with the music stored in the cloud. This worked for me. You can still have access to Apple Music by making sure that Show Apple Music is selected in Settings>Music. Good luck..

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

As for data, no it will not eat it, if you download some tracks for listening off line. and for cloud storage space you're not charged for that. It's like iTunes match where it stores the first hundred thousand songs in your library. I think I might try this out actually

Submitted by Wayne A on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Club AppleVis Member

Since the launch of Apple Music, the organization of my music on Apple TV seems to be fooled up. When searching by Artist, many artists are missing yet the albums are there. For example, I have 29 Beatles albums yet only three show up under Beatles. However, all of the albums are still there when searched by album name. Maybe, they are in the process of updating Apple TV, which is causing the problem. I'm not sure.

Submitted by Darren12 on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I like Apple music so far. Since this evening, however, I have lost both the usual lock sound and the keyboard clicks when entering text. Has anyone seen this?. I've tried toggling VO off and on, rebooting and resetting all settings to defaults, but no joy. I consider this very strange, as this didn't happen when I originally updated yesterday evening. #Very strange indeed. Any suggestions?.