Making the most of Apple Music in India

Whether you’re a recent subscriber coming on board to experience lossless or a long-time user, there’s something in here for you

author_img Tushar Kanwar Published :  06th August 2021 04:18 PM   |   Published :   |  06th August 2021 04:18 PM
Apple Music

Apple Music

Ever since it launched in 2015, Apple Music has been steadily making big strides into delivering a seamless streaming experience, helped undoubtedly by the growth of Apple’s Mac and iOS product lines. The recent addition of lossless and spatial audio to its catalog has only brought the spotlight back onto the service, but if you peer beneath the gloss(less)y surface, there’s a lot to unwrap for Indian listeners. No matter whether you’re a recent subscriber coming on board to experience lossless or a long-time user, there’s something in here for you.

Apple Music

Being Human: Whether it’s stuff you’re recommended on Amazon or Instagram or videos you watch on YouTube, algorithms are taking over our lives with each passing day. Since inception, Apple’s approach has been to shift the focus from ‘bits-and-bytes’ to ‘art and craft’ by way of human curated playlists. Apple Music editors around the world curate over 30,000 playlists across genres and moods, so whether it’s Dylan or Imagine Dragons, you’ll start noticing that playlists on Apple Music won’t leave you stuck in a certain era or a certain sound, as is typical for most algorithm-heavy services. For instance, open Apple Music and search for an ‘Essentials’ collection for your favorite artist, and you’ll see it goes beyond the greatest hits to bring out the full range of an artists’ discography. It's the kind of playlist that you'd get from a fan of the artist's music, and will serve as an excellent introduction to the artist. If there’s a secret sauce for Apple Music, this is it.

Think Global, Act Local: What if Dylan or Jackson is not your scene, and something a little more local is? In India, Apple Music offers an impressive bouquet of playlists across eight languages, from Punjabi, Hindi, Marathi and Bengali to Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada, and this list is growing year on year. I’ve often stumbled onto some real gems (even in languages I don’t understand) simply by tuning into these language playlists, a welcome departure from seeking fresh music recommendations from friends from all these states. Popular genres? No surprises there - Bollywood, pop, hip hop/rap, Indian pop and dance!

Back in 2018, Apple introduced the Daily Top 100 charts spanning more than 115 countries and regions, but if you’re more about tuning into the vibes of India’s big cities, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru have their own City Charts which rank the top 25 songs that are popular with listeners in these cities. These daily charts, computed for 100 cities individually, combine how often songs are played along with local popularity to rank songs within a city, often surfacing local artists that would otherwise be hard to find. Speaking of, the Apple Music editorial team selects and uses the strength of the platform to promote local talent, folks like Mali, Prabh Deep and KRSNA, via their Up Next Local Artist Program, and even tie up with local artists to release their music exclusively on Apple Music via the ‘Hear it Here. First’ initiative.

Share it Forward: Sharing good music with your friends has always been a thing to do, and on Apple Music, you can follow your friends’ profiles, if they’re sharing them publicly. Tap ‘Listen Now’, tap your profile and head to ‘See what friends are listening to’. No, this is not a social network in the traditional sense – there’s no wall, no chatting or interacting with your friends – but following your friends allows you discover new music they’re listening to or jump onto their profile and look at their favorite albums or curated playlists. Add their playlists to your followed playlists, and every time they update the playlist, you’ll see the new music on your device as well.  Beyond Apple Music, you can share stuff like your favorite lyrics outside of the service onto Facebook and Instagram through the new lyrics sharing feature.

Tune In: What if you’re just in the mood to have someone play some music for you? Apple Music’s live radio stations bring the notion of the DJ back into the equation, allowing you to discover lesser-known music that hit a certain mood and context instead of songs being played simply because they’re hits at the moment. Sample Apple Music Hits (songs from the 80’s, 90s and 2000s), Apple Music Country or the broad yet often eclectic appeal of Apple Music One, but these three are far from the only radio stations available to you. Tap the Radio tab at the bottom, were you’ll see a bunch of new stations alongside dedicated artists' stations and local or national radio broadcasters from the region. Want something more personalized to your tastes? If you swipe across the Recently Played list at the top of the app, you'll find your own personal station, based on songs Apple Music’s profile of the music you’ve played so far. Or just holler at Siri to “play something I’ll like”

Level Up: Apple doesn’t allow adjustments to equalizer settings from within the app, but you can pick from a bunch of different EQ presets based on your listening preferences. Head over to Settings > Music > select the EQ tab. Now, whether you want more or less bass or treble, or want to cater to specific genres of music like jazz, rock or hip hop, it’s but a selection away. Also, if you download a lot of songs and playlists for offline use, keep in mind it will start encroaching on your phone’s storage. Apple Music has a neat ‘Optimize Storage’ feature that will automatically off load any music you haven’t listened to in a while if your phone starts running out of storage. Just select the Optimize Storage option and select the minimum storage threshold.