How to Start Using Apple Music Playlists

Modern streaming services like Apple Music can help you build a playlist of your favorite tunes. Maybe one for moving in the gym, and one for focusing and being more productive at work.

In this article, we explore how to create, populate, share, and discover Apple Music playlists. In the end, you will be a pro who can fully utilize the power of Apple Music.

How to Create an Apple Music Playlist

The procedure for creating a playlist on Apple Music differs depending on whether you are using a mobile device or a computer.

On iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices, follow these steps to create a new playlist:

  1. Launch it Music app and press the Library tongue.
  2. In the list of categories, choose Playlists.
  3. Faucet New playlist.
  4. Enter a name and optional description for your new playlist.
  5. If desired, press the Camera to use a new photo or photo from your library as the cover artwork for the reading list.
  6. Use the labeled toggle Show on My Profile and in Search to determine if your playlist will be visible on your public Apple Music profile.
  7. Faucet Add music to browse the Apple Music catalog and search your collection for songs and albums to add.
  8. When you are done, press Do to save your playlist.

Here’s how to create a playlist in the Music app for Mac or iTunes for Windows:

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  1. Launch the Music app and click File > New > Reading List (or use the keyboard shortcut Command + N).
  2. Give your playlist a name and press the Enter key or click outside the text field.

music mac new playlist

How to Add Songs to an Apple Music Playlist

On an iPhone, iPad, or other mobile device, you can add songs using the following methods:

  • Find your playlist under Library > Reading Lists then touch Edit followed by Add music. This allows you to continue adding tracks until you press Do.
  • When browsing albums or tracks in other playlists, long press on a track and choose Add to Reading List.
  • From Now Playing the screen, touch the ellipse () button. So choose Add to Reading List to add the current song.
  • Download the Shazam app, identify a song, then tap Add to and choose an Apple Music playlist.


In Music for Mac or iTunes for Windows, there are several ways to populate your playlists:

  • When browsing albums and tracks, click and drag your song from the left sidebar and drop it onto the chosen playlist.
  • When browsing albums and tracks, right click on a song and choose Add to Reading List > [Playlist Name].
  • In the Now Playing area, hover over the runway name. Then click on the ellipse () and choose Add to Reading List > [Playlist Name].

mac add song to playlist

How to Share Apple Music Playlists

To share a playlist on an iPhone, iPad, or other mobile platforms, follow these steps:

  1. Head toward Library > Reading Lists and find your playlist.
  2. Long press on the playlist to display the menu.
  3. So choose Share Playlist.
  4. Finally, choose how you want to share a link to your reading list.

Here’s how to share a playlist on Mac and Windows:

  1. Find your playlist in the sidebar on the Library tab, right-click on it and choose Share Playlist.
  2. When in the Library > Reading List view, scroll up and press the ellipse () then choose Share Playlist.

mac playlist share dropdown menu

Both of these methods will generate a link that you can freely share via Messages, Facebook, AirDrop, etc. There’s no way to revoke access to the URL at this time, so if you want to stop sharing your playlist, it’s best to duplicate it and delete the old one.

How to share playlists on your public Apple Music profile

It’s also possible to display playlists that subscribers can see on your public Apple Music profile.

  1. Go to the listen now and tap your user icon (or profile picture).
  2. Then press the button that displays your name and See profile.
  3. Press the Edit button.
  4. Select the playlists you want to be visible on your profile.
  5. Finally, touch Do to save your changes.

Can you create collaborative Apple Music playlists?

Unfortunately, you can’t create collaborative playlists on Apple Music.

How to Subscribe to an Apple Music Playlist

To subscribe to a friend’s playlist, request a link via the sharing methods described above. These links will open in the Music app on iOS and macOS or in iTunes on Windows. To subscribe, open the Reading List and tap the To add button to add it to your library, where it will receive automatic updates.


iPadOS Subscribe Reading List

All playlists, including those you’ve created and those you’ve subscribed to, appear in a single list under Library > Reading Lists on iOS and in the sidebar on desktop devices.

How to Discover New Playlists in Apple Music

Head to the listen now tab on any platform to see recommendations based on your listening habits. Many of these playlists are auto-generated based on what Apple Music thinks you like, including a favorites mix, new music mix, and playlists based on the genres you listen to the most.



macos music listen now playlists

These playlists will be updated regularly as new music becomes available and your listening habits change. Also on this page, you’ll find more generic (but curated) playlist recommendations, including Artist Spotlight playlists and a list of new releases relevant to your library.


macos music like dislike playlist

As detailed in our article on essential Apple Music tricks, you can train Apple Music using the To like and Do not like buttons hidden under the ellipse () menu. If you like or dislike a suggested playlist, Apple Music will take it into account and adjust future suggestions based on your feedback.


macos create station from song

Another way to find similar music is to create a radio station based on a particular song. To do this, find the track you want your playlist to be based on. Then, long press on the track or press the ellipse () and choose Create a station. This will automatically queue similar music from your library and the wider Apple Music library, helping you listen to the songs you love and discover new ones.

Don’t forget to search for playlists too

Did you know that Apple Music is curated by human beings? While the focus is on predictive suggestions based on listening habits, a team of curators also updates and creates playlists for your listening pleasure.

To find something specific, just search. Try searching for a genre, band or producer, album, or even a particular vibe or activity. Scroll through your results until you find Suggested Playlists. Here are some good examples we found:

Explore Apple Music or try something different

You’ve come to the end of this introduction to Apple Music! If you’re new to Apple Music, this should help you create, share, and discover playlists. And if you are an Apple Music veteran, maybe the recommended playlists will bring you joy.

Apple Music is just one of many top music streaming services, all of which have pros and cons. If you don’t just own Apple gadgets and are wondering if you want to try another streaming service, feel free to check out Spotify or Google Play Music.


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About the Author

George L. Hernandez