Music streaming services offer a convenient way for people to listen to music on the go as it means being able to access a library of songs numbering in the tens or even hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately due to licensing reasons, as much as streaming services try, sometimes there will be instances that the song you want is not available. If you are an Apple Music user, this is how you go about adding songs to your library.

Adding Songs Directly From Apple Music

  1. Launch Apple Music and tap the Search icon on the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Type in the name of the artist or song that you are looking for and hit “Search”.
  3. Locate the song that you were searching for and press the “+” button.
  4. When the song has been successfully added to your library, you will get the confirmation checkmark.
  5. Go back to your Library and the song should be listed at the top.

For new iPhones or iPads, you might be prompted to enable the “Download” feature. Basically this means that whenever you add a song to your library, it will download the song at the same time for offline listening. Whether or not you want to do so is up to you, but you can enable/disable the feature later on by going to Settings > Music > Automatic Downloads (scroll down to the Downloads section) and turning it on or off.

Adding Songs From Your Own Collection To Apple Music

In the event that Apple Music does not have the artist/song/album that you want, not to worry as you’ll be able to upload your own music to Apple Music in which it will then sync across your devices, allowing you to stream them as part of your Apple Music library. This will require you to have the iTunes app installed along with an active Apple Music subscription.

  1. Add the song(s) you want to iTunes by either going to File > Add File (or Add Folder) to Library.
  2. Select the files that you want (you can select multiple files at once) and press Open.
  1. At this point Apple Music will try to match your songs to songs already available in its catalogue. For example if you’ve already amassed a collection of songs on your computer that you want to make part of your collection on Apple Music, this method will try to search for the exact same artist/song/album and add that to your library. This will save you time from having to track down every single artist/song/album and add it manually.
  2. In the event that Apple Music can’t find the song, it will instead upload that song to the cloud where only you will be able to access it through your Apple Music library. Once the songs have been added, you should be able to see it across your iOS and Mac devices that are using the same Apple Music account (note that there is a limit of 100,000 songs).

Difference Between iTunes Match & Apple Music

iTunes Match and Apple Music have similar concepts where they try to match your song upload to the iTune and Apple Music database. These songs can then be accessed by multiple devices that share the same iTunes/Apple ID account. So what’s the difference?

  1. Price – iTunes Match costs $24 a year while Apple Music is priced starting at $10 a month for individual accounts, $15 for family subscriptions (supports up to six), or $5 for college students.
  2. DRM (Digital rights management) – Songs matched using iTunes Match will be made available in in 256 kbit/s DRM-free AAC format, while songs that aren’t matched will be available in their original format and can be accessed on the device that they’ve been download onto even after your iTunes Match subscription has ended. Apple Music on the other hand relies on DRM-encrypted files, meaning that once your Apple Music subscription expires or is cancelled, you will not be able to access your library anymore, including downloaded songs.
  3. iTunes Match only works with your existing library of songs. This means that you can only match what you have, and adding new songs to your library means purchasing them digitally or ripping a CD on your computer and adding those files to iTunes.
  4. Apple Music lets you add songs whenever you want (see the method above on how to go about doing so). This means that if you’re out and suddenly want to listen to a song currently not part of your library, you can do so on the fly (assuming that Apple Music has the song in its catalogue)
  5. An Apple Music subscription also comes with other features such as access to music videos, video clips like Carpool Karaoke, and also live radio.

Filed in Apple >Audio. Read more about Apple Music, Entertainment and Music.

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