16 Apple Music tips and tricks for iPhone (iOS 17 Updated)

By Moses Johnson - Managing Editor
9 Min Read

Think you’re already the master of the world’s most popular streaming service? Think again – here are our top 16 Apple Music tips and tricks for iPhone users.

Apple Music is an ad-free streaming music service that lets you listen to millions of songs and your music library. As a subscriber, you can listen any time—online or off—and create your own playlists, stream and download lossless and Dolby Atmos music, get personalized recommendations, receive notifications when a favorite artist releases new music, see music your friends are listening to, watch exclusive video content, and more. Here’s our guide to the best Apple Music tips and tricks for iPhone users.

Fancy searching for songs using lyrics in Apple Music? Customizing Apple Music with loves and dislikes? Or Creating your own Radio Station in Apple Music? Read on to discover how to do all this and more below.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some neat Apple Music tips and tricks every iPhone user should know to get more out of the service.

16 Best Apple Music Tips and Tricks for iPhone Users

1. Turn on Automatic Downloads for Songs

Normally when you add songs or albums from the Apple Music catalog to your library and then play them back, the tracks are streamed to your iPhone.

This avoids using up local storage, but it also has a major drawback –- the content becomes unavailable if you don’t have an active internet or cellular connection.

Thankfully, there’s a hidden Apple Music trick that lets you enable Automatic Downloads on iPhone. With this option turned on, ‌Apple Music‌ content automatically downloads to your iPhone when you add it to your Library.

  1. Start the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down and select Music in the apps list.
  3. Toggle on the switch next to Automatic Downloads.

2. Share Songs and Albums With Friends in Apple Music

As an Apple Music user, you can share songs and albums with friends who also subscribe to the streaming service.

This Apple Music‌ trick lets you share songs and albums over Messages, Mail, AirDrop, and more. This is also the method to use if you want to create a link to share on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

  1. Start the Music app on your iPhone.
  2. Find the song or album that you want to share.
  3. Tap the ellipsis (three dots) button to reveal the action menu.
  4. Tap Share Song…/Album… to bring up the Share Sheet and see your sharing options.

3. Set an Apple Music Song as an Alarm

If you use your iPhone as your alarm clock, there’s a high possibility that one of Apple’s default alarm sounds that gets you out of bed in the morning. But did you know that you can set any song in your ‌iPhone‌’s Apple Music library as an alarm to wake you from your slumber?

You can choose almost any song you can think of to be your alarm, so long as it’s included in ‌Apple Music‌’s 100-million strong music catalog. Here’s how it works.

  1. Start the native Clock app on your ‌iPhone‌ and then tap the Alarm tab at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Tap the plus ( ) button in the upper right of the screen to create a new alarm, or tap Edit in the upper left and then tap an existing alarm from the list that you want to add the song to.
  3. Tap Sound.
  4. Tap Pick a Song.
  5. Under Select Music, tap Songs.
  6. Locate and then tap a song you like in your music library.
  7. Tap Back in the upper left of the screen.
  8. Tap Save, and your done.

That’s it! Once you’ve set a song as your alarm, it’ll be played whenever the alarm is set to go off in the morning.

4. Limit How Much Space Apple Music Takes Up on Your iPhone

As an Apple Music subscriber, you’re able to download songs, playlists, and albums from the ‌Apple Music‌ catalog to your iPhone for offline listening, but this can gradually eat up your device’s storage space over time.

Thankfully, there’s a cool Apple Music trick that can spring into action whenever your iPhone’s storage space runs low, and automatically offload songs you haven’t played for a while in order to make space for newer ones.

It’s called Optimized Storage, and here’s how you can enable it.

  1. Start the Settings app on your ‌iPhone.
  2. Scroll down to the apps list and choose Music.
  3. Under Downloads section, select Optimized Storage.
  4. Toggle the Optimized Storage switch to the "on" position so that it shows green.
  5. Choose a minimum storage amount that you want to keep for music before downloaded songs start being removed from your iPhone.

5. Customize Apple Music With Loves and Dislikes

When you first subscribe to Apple Music, you’re asked to provide information about your favorite genres and artists so that it can offer you accurate suggestions and curated playlists as soon as you start using the service.

This personalization gradually improves as you continue to use ‌Apple Music‌, and the best way to influence it is to generously use the Love and Dislike buttons.

Next time you’re playing a song or listening to a custom-generated or live radio station, tap the ellipsis button at the bottom right of the screen.

This brings up an additional options pane, at the bottom of which you’ll see Love and Dislike buttons. You can tap either of these, and ‌Apple Music‌ will use your preference to guide its recommendation algorithms going forward.

You can also access these buttons to indicate whether you enjoy an album or not. From any album screen, tap the red ellipsis button in the upper right area of the screen.

This brings up a smaller pane of options, but you’ll still find the Love and Dislike buttons at the bottom.

6. Search for Songs Using Lyrics in Apple Music

Have you recently found yourself singing some song lyrics only to discover that you’re unable to remember the actual name of the song they belong to?

You’ll be happy to know there’s an Apple Music trick that allows you to quickly search the entire ‌Music‌ catalog using just a short lyric phrase, allowing you to find a particular song and add it to your library or your favorite playlist for safekeeping. Here’s how it works.

  1. Start the Music app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the Search tab.
  3. Type in the lyric phrase you can remember into the search field at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap Search.
  5. Tap a song in the list to play it, or tap the plus ( ) button to add it straight to your library.

7. See Song Lyrics in Apple Music

There’s a hidden Apple Music trick that lets you view the lyrics for your favorite songs right from within the Music app on your iPhone.

  1. First, you’ll need to start playing a song in the ‌Apple Music‌ catalog or in your library. Once a song is playing, tap on the song’s banner just above the ‌Apple Music‌ menu bar at the bottom to reveal the full song interface.
  2. Tap the ellipsis (three dots) button in the bottom right corner of the screen to access the action menu pane.
  3. Tap the Lyrics option just above the Love and Dislike buttons. Songs with available lyrics will have this option displayed, while songs without lyrics available will not.
  4. The lyrics will pop up over the track screen. Scroll down to view the rest of the lyrics.

Alternatively, scroll down while in the full song interface.
You should see Lyrics listed directly above the Up Next feature for songs that have lyrics available. Tap Show alongside it to show the song’s lyrics.
Note: If you’re in the album view you can long press on a listed track to bring up the action menu pane, where the Lyrics option is also available.

8. Create Your Own Radio Station in Apple Music

Apple Music offers subscribers several radio station options including its flagship Beats 1 live station, but thanks to this Apple Music trick you can also create automated, personalized stations on the fly based on the kind of music you like.

Here’s how to create your own ‌Apple Music‌ station on your iPhone:

  1. Start the Music app on your iPhone.
  2. Find a song you like, then tap and hold on it in the list. If you’re already playing the song and the song card is displayed, tap the ellipsis (three dots) button in the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Select Create Station from the action menu that pops up.
  4. A new station based on your song selection will begin playing.

9. Customize Your Apple Music Library

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the main sections of the Apple Music app, there are a few options that you can customize which can enhance your enjoyment of the streaming service.

These are essentially tweaks to the Music app’s Library section that can make navigating your music easier.

Customize the Library View

In the ‌Apple Music‌ app, the top of Library view displays the default headings Playlists, Artists, Albums, Genres, and Downloaded Music, in that order.

You can customize the headings that are displayed at the top of your library and use additional headings that aren’t immediately obvious.

Tap the Library tab, and then tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen, and you’ll see the list of headings expand to include Songs, Music Videos, Compilations and Composers.

Tap the boxes next to the headings to include or exclude them. You can also re-arrange the order in which they appear by dragging the bars on the far right.

Customize the Albums and Songs Views

The Albums and Songs views include several sorting options that you can choose from to make browsing your music library more convenient.

Simply tap Sort in the upper right corner of the Album or Songs screen and select Artist, Title, or Recently Added from the pop-up menu.

10. Add Photos to Playlists in Apple Music

Once you’ve created a playlist in Apple Music on your iPhone, adding a cover image of your own is easy. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Start the Music app on your iPhone and navigate to the playlist you want to add a picture to.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap the cover image.
  4. Choose Take Photo or Choose Photo from the pop-up menu.
  5. Take the photo with your iPhone’s camera, or choose a photo from your photo albums.
  6. Tap Done.

11. Use Apple Music Sing on iPhone

Apple Music Sing allows user to sing along to their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and real-time lyrics within theMusic app on iPhone.

As the name suggests, real-time lyrics makes it easy for listeners to sing along to their favorite songs with animated lyrics that “dance to the rhythm of the vocals.” For those wanting to sing the background vocals, vocal lines sung simultaneously can animate independently from the main vocals to make it easier for users to follow.

Here’s how to use Apple Music Sing karaoke feature on iPhone

  1. Open the Music app and start playing the song you wish to sing to
  2. Tap the Lyrics button in the fullscreen playback view
  3. Press the Sing button on the right, above the scrub bar

If you don’t see the Sing button (the mic and stars) in the Lyrics view, then Apple Music Sing isn’t available on that particular song.

Apple Music Sing is available on the iPhone 11 upwards.

12. Manage storage settings for lossless audio

In Settings > Music > Audio Quality, turn on lossless audio. Similar to RAW images, the lossless audio format preserves every detail of the original audio (24-bit/192 kHz) without clipping out hard-to-hear frequencies.

Almost the entire Apple Music catalog is available in this format. On the downside, lossless streaming over cellular or Wi-Fi connections consumes significantly more bandwidth.

In other words, storing higher-resolution songs for offline listening is definitely going to take up significantly more storage space on your device.

Thankfully, you can manage audio quality separately for offline downloads, cellular and 5G/Wi-Fi streaming after enabling lossless audio in Settings. You could, for instance, configure your iPhone so that it never downloads music in the lossless format and only stream lossless audio over cellular.

Lossless only works with wired headphones. Leave it off if you have AirPods or other wireless headphones because it’s not worth the extra space and bandwidth.

13. Adjust your EQ settings

Not many users are even aware that they can change the way music sounds on their iPhone and iPad by adjusting an equalization (EQ) setting. In Settings > Music > EQ, you can choose between various audio presets.

These include Pop, Hip-Hop and Rock, to mention but a few. Apple also provides EQ presets–like Increase Bass, Reduce Bass, Small Speakers, Treble Booster, Vocal Booster and Spoken World–that are tailor-made for specific scenarios.

The equalizer is turned off by default. We recommend switching between the different equalizer settings whilst listening to a song to instantly hear the difference.

14. Turn on spatial audio

The vast majority of Apple Music catalog is available in Dolby Atmos. Artist have re-mixed much of their old work for Dolby’s multi-channel audio format, with new albums being recorded in this format as well.

This lets you enjoy Apple Music in spatial audio, which applies audio filters and effects for a better separation of vocals and instruments.

In Settings > Music > Dolby Atmos, choose Automatic to turn spatial audio on.

This will prompt the Music app to play a song’s Dolby Atmos version when using compatible headphones such as the AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max and some Beats products (spatial audio doesn’t support the iPhone speaker). To control spatial audio, press and hold the volume slider in Control Center to access a hidden toggle.

15. Sort your playlists

Folks who have lots of playlists might want to sort them alphabetically for easier browsing. Hit the three-dotted (…) menu on the playlist screen and choose Sort By, then select how you’d like to sort your playlists: Playlist Order, Title, Artists, Album or Release Date.

Sorting playlists requires iOS 16.0 or later. Before iOS 16, you could only browse your playlist in the order you’ve added them but now you can choose a custom sort order.

16. Jump to a song’s album quickly

Whenever you’d like to see the album a song originates from, just press and hold a song in any view and choose Show Album or hit album artwork displayed at the top of the contextual menu. This will show you a list of songs from that album which are present in your library. To reveal the entire album track list, hit Show Complete Album at the bottom of the list.

Master Apple Music Tricks for Better Listening on iPhone

Now you know some of the best tricks for a better Apple Music experience on iPhone. They’re easy to put into practice and you might not have known about them yet! Whats your favorite Apple Music tips and tricks? Drop a comment and let us know.

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By Moses Johnson Managing Editor
Moses Johnson is the Editorial Director of GeeksModo.com, who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. Moses is commonly referred to online as The Professor, with decades of experience in tech under his belt.
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