Apple Music

Apple Music is a music streaming service that allows users to stream individual music tracks and music videos on demand and listen to preprogrammed playlists, live radio, and radio shows. The service currently claims over 90 million songs and 30,000 playlists.

Current Apple Music users will find the Roku app to be similar to the service's website and apps on other devices. Here is what you'll find in the app's main menu:

  • Listen Now - A personalized starting point with playlists and albums based on your favorite genres and artists. To populate this menu option, though, you will need to open Apple Music on your phone or in a web browser and select from a list of genres, then a list of artists - this cannot be completed with the Roku app. The list of artists you can select from is fairly limited, even with continuing to select the "show more".
  • Browse - The content here is not personalized based on your listening habits. Content categories include Radio Episodes, Playlists to Live By, New Music, Apple Music Radio Shows, and Music by Mood (Sleep, Feel Good, Chill, etc.). Also available are City Charts with Top 25 songs for cities worldwide, from Los Angeles, Nashville, and Atlanta, to Auckland, Bangkok, and Bengaluru.
  • Videos - Also not personalized, you'll find New Videos, Music Video Playlists, Artist Essentials, and videos by music genre.
  • Radio - Browse new episodes of radio shows, browse by host, listen to artist interviews, or hear entire series.
  • Library - Here you'll find the playlists that you've created and artists you follow, along with the albums and songs you've added to your library.
  • Now Playing - You can return here to show album art and karaoke-style time-synced lyrics for the track currently playing in the app, but this is also where you'll find several options related to the current track. Highlight the current song and click on the 3-dot icon below the album art to access features that include Go to Album, Go to Artist, Add to a Playlist, Create Station, and more.
  • Search - If you're looking for something specific, this is where you can search all of Apple Music or just Your Library by artist, song title or lyrics. Instead of searching, you can browse by category, which includes a wide range of genres, including specialized ones like Decades, Fitness, and Party, in addition to music genres such as Country, Hip-Hop, Pop, R&B, and Christian. Note that browse option here is much more limited than the main-menu Browse feature.
  • Settings - The Settings options allow you to change the app's language, set parental controls and allow or block explicit content, set accessibility preferences, and set your privacy preferences, including clearing your search history and listening history.

If you're not a subscriber, the Apple Music Roku app doesn't provide any free content or any way to try out the features. Apple Music does offer a one-month free trial, but you'll need to provide billing information and you'll be automatically billed if you don't cancel before the end of the trial period.

The sign-up process can be a bit arduous if you aren't already part of the Apple ecosystem with a functioning Apple ID. Before you can sign up for Apple Music, you will be required to sign in with your Apple ID; if you don't have an Apple ID, you will be directed to create one from a web browser, provide credit card billing information, and verify your email address. Only after doing that can you proceed with getting your free one-month Apple Music trial.

(To be fair, other multi-service providers require you to log into their main system to gain access to specific services. Amazon's Prime Video and Prime Music apps, for example, require you to log into your Amazon account - you can't simply sign up for just Prime Video or Amazon Music Unlimited, you first need a free Amazon account.)

If you've invested in a high-quality sound system for your Roku device, you may be disappointed to find that Apple Music's Roku app doesn't currently support features like lossless or spatial audio. However, here are some additional features of the app, as provided by Apple Music:

  • Stream millions of songs, all ad-free.
  • Enjoy 4K music videos on your big screen and check out curated music video playlists.
  • Follow along to your favorite songs with time-synced lyrics.
  • Create unlimited playlists or get personalized mixes and top picks based on the music you love.
  • Tune in to live radio stations hosted by artists on Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country.
  • Search for music by lyrics right in the app.
  • New members get one month free.

Although the Apple Music Roku app is available worldwide, Apple notes that availability and features may vary by country or region.

-- Information is current as of May 4, 2022

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