Apple Music's web browser-based player launches
Following a months-long beta period, Apple this week launched an Apple Music streaming player for the web, enabling subscriber access to content libraries and curated playlists without a dedicated app.
Apple Music's web player initially debuted as a beta website in September, offering up the usual assortment of playlists, saved tracks and collections, albums, radio mixes and more directly from a browser.
This week, with the "beta" prefix removed from the music.apple.com site, the service officially launched as a public-facing product.
Visiting Apple Music on the web presents an experience similar to that of the Music app on Mac, complete with For You, Browse and Radio tabs arranged in an interactive sidebar. An option to open the Music app appears as a link at the bottom of the column, reading "Open in Music" on Safari and "Open in iTunes" on other browsers like Chrome.
Users visiting the site for the first time are presented an option to sign up for Apple Music's free trial offer, a process that is handled through the dedicated Music app or iTunes.
Existing subscribers can sign in using an Apple ID. Interestingly, authenticating an Apple ID grants access to "Apple Music players on this and other sites," suggesting Apple is working on future integrations beyond music.apple.com.
Once signed in, subscribers can play full songs and add them to their Apple Music library. Playlists and collections are also accessible through the web interface, as are songs, albums and artists added to Library on another platform.
Playing music brings up a user interface identical to that of the Music app on Mac, with playback controls, a scrub bar with album art, and a volume slider. When playing a track, users can add it to their library, add the track to Play Next or Play Later, "Love" or "Unlove," and "Suggest less like this." Common media attributes like track lists, song playback time, publication information and other data are displayed in the main playback window.
Apple continues to build out Apple Music's feature set as it competes with market leader Spotify. Beyond the web player, the upcoming iOS 13.4.5 update is expected to deliver new social media sharing options and integrations, a first for the streaming service.