Music lovers are spoiled for choice when it comes to streaming platforms. While Deezer, Tidal and Pandora are moderately popular, there is no doubt that the battle for the top spot is between Spotify and Apple Music. While you may assume that Apple Music is confined to Apple devices, you can listen on Windows, too. While it requires a $10 monthly subscription, you can sign up for a free trial and blast your favorite music on Windows in no time. Here we show you how to listen to Apple Music on Windows.
1. Listen on iTunes
iTunes is Apple’s default music and podcast player on macOS, but a robust Windows app has been available for several years. In addition to organizing and listening to your downloaded songs and MP3s, you can also use iTunes to listen to Apple Music. It can be downloaded through the Microsoft Store, but it’s not as smooth as it could be. For example, there are complaints of it crashing often and data getting mixed up.
Note: iTunes is available for both Windows 10 and 11, and the most current version is 18.104.22.168.
- Open the Microsoft Store app on your computer, search for iTunes and click on click on “Get.”
- Click on “Open” when done.
- To access Apple Music, you must sign in to your Apple account. Click on “Account” in the top ribbon and then on “Sign In.”
- Click on Browse to start listening.
- If you don’t have an Apple Music subscription yet, or just want to try it out, click on “For You” and then “Try it Now,” and you’ll be prompted to select your subscription level. Then you can go back to Browse or search for your favorite artists directly.
Tip: Here is an easy way to find and delete duplicates in Apple Music on Mac.
2. Try the Apple Music Web Player
Listening to music through iTunes is relatively easy, but if you don’t have that installed on the machine you are working on, you can also listen through the web player. It gives you the same functionality as the PC app, but there are slight design differences.
- Navigate to the web player and if you already have an Apple Music subscription, click on the top-right profile icon to sign in. To jump straight in, click on “Listen Now.”
- If you just want to poke around to see what is available and to get a preview of the content, click on Browse in the left panel. If you like what you hear, you can sign up for a free trial.
Immediately, you’ll notice that the web player responds faster than iTunes, and songs, playlists and artists are much easier to discover through the “Browse” section.
The Radio portion of the web player is where you’ll find all the podcasts and live radio broadcasts from creators and news organizations. However, if you want to discover new artists and the latest releases, the “Listen Now” section is your best option.
You can easily browse the web player, but if you want to listen to music through an app (either iTunes or Apple Music), there is an “Open in Music” button in the bottom-left corner.
3. Use the Apple Music App for PC
If you were wondering if there’s a dedicated Apple Music desktop app, the answer is yes. Apple Music Preview can be downloaded from the Microsoft Store and is available for Windows 10 (version 19045.0 or higher) and 11.
But before you download it, you must know a few things. It will replace your iTunes experience (which will no longer function), and all audiobooks or podcasts will open in the Apple Music app instead. Here’s how to get it:
- Open the Microsoft Store app on your computer and search for Apple Music Preview. Click on “Install” to start the process. It’s about 170MB in size and will install automatically. When it is finished, click on “Open.”
- This brings up an advisory that Apple Music for Windows is still in the preview phase. This means that iTunes will no longer open if you have it installed. If you are alright with that, click on “Continue” and then “Agree” on the next window.
- To sign into your Apple account, click on the profile icon in the lower left corner and then click on Sign In.
- On the left panel, click on “Listen Now” or browse directly for your chosen artists or songs.
The app is nearly identical to the Apple Music web player, with the added benefit that you can import your local music library and organize your audio collection the same way you would in iTunes.
Note: the only way to go back to listening to music on iTunes is to uninstall the Apple Music app.
Good to know: want to experience Apple Music for free? Check out these promotions!
4. Using a Third-Party App
If the previous options didn’t strike your fancy, you can listen to Apple Music through the third-party app Cider. It started as an alternative to Apple Music’s desktop client, but an upcoming update will turn it into a one-stop destination for all your streaming platforms by combining them into a single app. It is available for $3.99 in the Microsoft Store.
Cider is an open-source software from a passionate music community. It’s not affiliated with Apple but uses the Apple Music API MusicKit, several software development kits (SDK) and other APIs to plug the content into the platform.
In addition to giving access to Apple Music, the sleek dashboard is customizable, supports spatial audio, and integrates with Discord, Last.FM and Spotify. You still need an Apple Music subscription, and the sign-in process on Cider is similar to Apple.
Good to know: learn how to transfer a Spotify playlist to Apple Music.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of quality can you expect from Apple Music on Windows?
By default, Apple Music streams audio in the AAC format. However, in the Apple Music app, there is a sound enhancer to improve the audio quality. There is also an option to switch to high-resolution lossless audio, which uses a lot more bandwidth.
Apple Music has lossless audio tracks, but it’s not available to everyone. If you have a voice-only subscription, you can listen to music in the standard streaming format. The full catalog of lossless audio is available for Student, Individual and Family subscriptions.
Is Apple Music the same as iTunes on PC?
Essentially, Apple Music has the same functionality as iTunes, but it looks a lot sleeker and easier to navigate. You can still import your downloaded songs from your hard drive (just like in iTunes) and listen to them offline.
Does Apple Music have advertising?
No, since there isn’t a free streaming option, there is no advertising that plays when listing to music.
What’s the difference between Apple Music and Apple Music Classical?
The apps are essentially the same. Apple Music Classical only makes classical music available for listening. You won’t find any Taylor Swift or Jay-Z here, as it’s all about Bach, Mozart and Chopin. It is available as a free companion app for Individual, Family, and Student subscribers, as well as Apple One.
Image credit: Freepik. All screenshots by Charlie Fripp.
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