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Apple Music year in review: How to get ‘Spotify Wrapped’ style round-up even if you don’t use it

The tool is relatively limited and comes with a host of important disclaimers

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 27 December 2018 11:03 GMT
Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York
Apple CEO Tim Cook presents new products, including new Macbook laptops, during a special event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York

Apple Music users have finally got one of Spotify’s most celebrated features – at least, sort of.

They can now get a round-up of who and what they’ve been streaming through 2018, including their most played tracks and just how long they spent listening to them. Spotify users have long been able to get a big summary of their activity through the year – but Apple Music has never offered such a tool.

But the feature comes with a whole host of caveats, needs a third-party app to work, and doesn’t offer anything like the in-depth data that is available to Spotify users.

Spotify Wrapped, which becomes available in early December every year, includes a whole host of information. It summarises people’s favourite tracks and genres, as well as giving them information about how long they spent listening and in what ways.

The new tool for Apple Music, called Year In Review, is far more simple: it offers only a users’ most played tracks and how long they’ve listened to them for. What’s more, there are privacy concerns about that app and some users claim it does not work at all.

It can be tried by heading to the App Store and downloading the app known as Apple Music Year In Review.

From there, the app should take you through all of the important parts: asking for an email address and access to your music, before generating three slides that can be easily shared onto social networks.

That is, if the tool actually works: the listing on the App Store include a whole host of negative reviews from users who claim the app crashed or otherwise failed to work. In testing by The Independent, however, the tool did seem to be working.

It isn’t clear what happens to the data collected by the app: there is no privacy policy on its website, and no clear explanation of why for instance it is gathering up people’s email addresses.

But the data it collects is also relatively limited. Users don’t necessarily have to put in an active email address, and the phone only gives the app access to users’ Apple Music history, and not any of the more private parts of the data on users’ phones.

Given that it is available on the App Store in the EU and so to European customers, the app will presumably be regulated by the GDPR data regulations, which force it to ensure that it stores and uses information responsibly and securely.

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