Apple Music and iOS 8.4: when will new operating system and streaming service be available?

iOS 8.4, which brings the new Music app, will be released in the late afternoon, and the radio station will be turned on an hour later

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 30 June 2015 09:56
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Apple has said exactly when iOS 8.4, which will bring with it Apple Music, will become available — and when the Beats 1 radio station that is launching alongside it will go live.

The iOS 8.4 update will become available at 8am pacific time, or 4pm in the UK. An hour later, Apple’s Beats 1 radio station will start streaming.

The timing is slightly earlier than usual, with Apple tending to make updates available at 10am pacific time. The change might be at least partly to give time for Beats 1 to launch an hour later, after everyone has signed up.

To update iPhones and iPads, users can head to "General" in Settings, and click "Software Update". New releases of iOS sometimes put a load on Apple’s servers, and the downloads can be slower than they would usually be — Apple doesn't usually notify users about the update until demand has died down a little.

The company has also clarified exactly how Apple Music and iTunes Match — Apple’s previous streaming music service, which only let users listen to tracks they already owned — will work together.

Customers won’t have to buy a subscription to both, since Apple Music will integrate all the functionality of its predecessor. Initially, users will be able to upload 25,000 extra songs that they can stream alongside Apple’s library in Music, and that will be increased to 100,000 when iOS 9 comes out in Autumn.

The new service is being offered free to users for the first three months. Last week it had a change of heart about royalties during that period when Taylor Swift stepped in and threatened to withhold her music if the company didn't pay out.

Following Swift's public opposition, Apple changed its policy and has reached an agreement with independent record labels to join the service too.

The deal means Apple Music will now be well-placed to take on rival service Spotify, which recently announced it had reached 20 million paid subscribers, a number Apple hopes to cut into by opening Music to everyone at launch.

Swift has agreed to let Apple Music be the only service to stream her album 1989. She withdrew her music from Spotify in November over the existence of a free version of the service.

After the three-month trial period Apple Music will cost 9.99 dollars (£6.37) a month in the US - the same as the paid tier of Spotify. The UK price is yet to be confirmed but will likely be the same in pounds.

As well as the more than 30 million songs in its iTunes library, Apple Music will also contain a 24-hour radio station called Beats 1 that is being anchored by former BBC Radio One DJ Zane Lowe, and a social area called Connect, where artists can share images, video, sound clips and other media with their fans.

At the unveiling of the new service earlier this month, Apple said: "Apple Music is a revolutionary streaming music service, a pioneering worldwide live radio station from Apple broadcasting 24 hours a day and a great new way for music fans to connect with their favourite artists."

The app, which will also become the first Apple-designed software to make the move to Google's Android operating system, is the result of Apple purchasing Beats Audio last year. The Dr Dre-founded company's headphones are now on sale in Apple retail stores, and Apple Music is set to be the replacement for the Beats Music app.

Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine said: "Apple Music is really going to move the needle for fans and artists.

"Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites. Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate."

Apple Music is set to be rolled out as an update to the Music app that comes built into every iPhone and iPad. The app will also work on Apple Watch, as well as on Mac desktops and PCs.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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