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5 Things About Today’s Apple Music Launch

Ryan Rozsnaki

Apple Music Officially Launches Today – 5 Things You Need to Know

Okay folks, the wait is finally over, Apple Music is officially available to the public, well at least those who own an iPhone, iPad or Mac. The new streaming service is built to be a rival to Spotify and just about every other major streaming music option out there.

But before you jump into the latest installment of Apple’s product line, there are a few things you need to know.

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1. Apple Vs. Everybody

Apple Music will allow customers to stream songs and albums on demand, the same as you can do on Spotify, Rdio, Tidal, Google Play Music and other services. If you’re not in the mood to select your own music, Apple Music also offers more than 50 human-curated radio channels to compete with the likes of Pandora.

“Beats1” is Apple Music’s 24-hour, ad-free, live online radio station, featuring programs and sets hosted by renowned DJs Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga. Musicians such as Pharrell, Dr. Dre, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Jaden Smith will also have exclusive content up on Beats 1 but it isn’t sure how long these big names will be appearing on the station.

Beats 1 will be free to all users, regardless of whether they’re subscribing to Apple Music or not. The 50 other stations will only be available to paying subscribers worldwide, unless you’re in the U.S. or Australia, where there will be free ad-supported versions of those stations.

A new feature that will help bridge artists and their fans through uploaded content via Connect, where artists can deliver new songs, remixes and other media directly to their fans. (Yes, just like SoundCloud.)

 2. Get Ready to Download

If you want take the leap and be an Apple Music user, you’re in for some software updates. And, given that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, will be doing the same, this could take awhile. On iPhones and iPads, you can only get the Apple Music app (which will replace the existing iOS Music app) with an update to iOS 8.4.

On a Mac or PC, if you want Apple Music, you’ll have to update your iTunes. Just launch the app, then click iTunes in the menu bar, and click Check for Updates. A pop-up window will let you download iTunes 12.2, which has Apple Music built in.

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3. The Doctor and Tay Swift

Apple Music will be the only streaming music service where you can find all Dr. Dre’s catalog and Taylor Swift’s latest album, “1989.” Swift’s back catalog, which can be found on another streaming service, Tidal, will be on Apple Music, too.

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4. To Pay or not to Pay

The first 3 months of Apple Music are free. After that, Apple will automatically start billing you $10 per month for the service. There’s also a $15-per-month family plan, which will let you share the service with as many as six different users.

5. What About Android?

Like Beats Music, an Apple Music Android app will be released this fall. But, at launch, Android users will be left out.