How to Discover New Songs Using Apple Music Playlists and Stations

With so much music to discover on streaming services, it can seem daunting trying to find new songs, albums, and artists you’ll love.

The Music app on iPhone tries to bring up new and old music that suits your tastes, but for Apple Music subscribers, the app is often a mess of tabs, categories, stations, and playlists. constantly evolving.

Check out these tips to find your new favorite songs, dive deeper into your favorite artists, and see which hits are coming first on Apple Music.

Apple Music playlists vs stations

To make it easier to find music in the app outside of your library, it helps to divide it into two main categories: playlists and stations.

  • Playlists are predefined collections of songs based on artists, genres, moods and activities. You can view all songs in a playlist and play them at any time.
  • Stations are automatically generated and continuous mixes based on a song, artist or theme. You can skip songs as they appear, but you can’t see past the next song in the queue.

the Browse In the Music app, you will find many of the most popular playlists on Apple Music. Meanwhile, the stations mostly live in the Radio tongue.

Discover new music in Apple Music playlists

Apple Music offers several types of playlists that you can explore to find new songs and artists.

These playlists fall into a few distinct categories:

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1. Organized Playlists

Some of the first playlists you’ll see in the Browse are the playlists curated by Apple, which its publishers regularly update with new music.


apple music curated playlists ipad

Some of these playlists feature new and popular tracks, while others are based on styles and categories. For example, you can check out Apple’s Today’s Hits playlist to see some of the latest singles and hits from popular artists.

If you’re looking for something more specific (or maybe a little less mainstream), dive into a playlist for a specific genre, like the following:

Other curated playlists come directly from Apple Music 1 radio shows and their hosts. For example, Zane Lowe’s playlist is a collection of music that the host features on the Zane Lowe Show.

2. Custom Playlists

Some of Apple Music’s playlists are designed specifically for your tastes based on your tastes and listening habits. You will find them in the listen now tongue.

the New music mix weekly updates with new releases from artists you’ve already listened to and might like based on your existing library. the Mix of favorites also updates weekly with some of your most played tracks and similar songs in your library.

The more you listen to Apple Music, the better its recommendations will be.

Related: How to reset your Apple Music recommendations

Then there are your Replay playlists, which list your most played tracks each year. These playlists are updated weekly throughout the year and lock at the start of the new year. So you can go back and listen to your favorite songs from five years ago, or watch live what’s been repeated in the current year.


music playlists

3. Local Playlists

Maybe you would like to get an idea of ​​what music people in New York, Nashville, San Juan, Bangkok, Copenhagen or another city are enjoying right now.

Apple Music’s City Charts features the top 25 songs currently popular in cities around the world. Zoom out and you can explore the Top 100 daily playlists from every country (or world) to broaden your horizons and see what music from around the world has in common.


music city graphics local 100 ipad

4. Mood and Activity Playlists

Do you train, study, read or work? Apple Music offers curated playlists to create a soundtrack for a wide range of moods and activities, from Pure Workout for gym motivation to Study Beats for relaxing electronic grooves for focused work.

5. Artist Playlists

Did you hear about an artist from a friend and want to dive into their catalog? If they’ve been popular for a few years now, chances are Apple Music has an Essentials playlist for them.

These playlists bring together the artist’s greatest hits and most important tracks, a solid introduction for new listeners, and a kind of greatest hits compilation for fans.

For the most popular artists with many albums, Apple creates Essentials, Next Steps, and Deep Cuts playlists that give you an entry point and two levels of deeper dives into a specific artist’s career.

For example, if you already know Queen’s hits from TV shows and sports stadiums, but want to learn more, check out the Queen: Next Steps and Queen: Deep Cuts playlists.

You can also explore Queen: Influences to hear the artists who influenced Queen’s signature sound and Inspired by Queen to explore the band’s impact on modern acts.

When you search for an artist, you’ll see playlists right in the search results. You can also go to the artist’s page to view all their playlists under the Artist Playlists title.

Use Apple Music Stations to discover new music

Playlists are an important part of Apple Music’s catalog and a great way to find new music to love. Another major aspect of the service is its collection of stations, both those hosted by people and those automatically generated by the app.

1. Hosted stations

the Radio The Music app’s Music tab contains hundreds of stations, starting with the Apple Music 1 live station.

It’s Apple’s version of live radio – a 24/7 stream of shows hosted by DJs and artists, some based on new music, some based on genres. and regions of the world.

These shows are live on a schedule, but you can also catch up on past episodes in the archive. Let it be Ma, G! From J Balvin’s Radio, Elton John’s Rocket Hour, or one of dozens of other artist-hosted shows, listening to the songs your favorite artists are passionate about is a great way to discover new music.

2. Automatically generated stations

Most stations on Apple Music aren’t hosted by people or streamed live; they are automatically generated by the application on demand.

If you’re an alternative fan, The Mixtape is a station dedicated to streaming independent and alternative music both new and old. Jazz fans should try Pure Jazz for the classics or one of the other stations dedicated to the genre.


Similar to its playlists, Apple Music also includes stations based on styles and activities. The stations include:

3. Custom Stations

One of the best features of Apple Music is the ability to create custom stations based on songs and artists. These smart stations will continue playing music similar to your selection for as long as you want.

To create a station from an artist or song, touch the ellipse button and choose Create a station. Your new custom station will begin playing immediately and will continue to queue similar music.

You can search and continue listening to recent stations in the Radio of the Music application, under Recently Played.

In the listen now tab, there is also the tab Top Picks station: a station that is made for you based on your listening.

Find new favorites and expand your horizons with Apple Music

With huge and vast collections of playlists and stations available on Apple Music, you have plenty of options to find more music you love and expand your tastes. Once you understand the differences between playlists and stations, it becomes much easier to navigate the app and much more fun to explore.

For even more new music, check out Apple Music’s Up Next section to see the exciting new artists who are about to hit the charts.


apple music app
What is Apple Music’s “Up Next” feature?

Up Next helps you discover new artists on Apple Music. Here’s how to use these unique playlists.

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About the Author

George L. Hernandez