Apple Music's sharing experience isn't quite as seamless as Spotify's, but it's still possible.

Maybe you've made the perfect playlist for your workout group — or you want to make a mix tape for a special someone. Whatever the case, you can absolutely make and share public playlists with your friends and family on Apple Music... it's just not quite as seamless an experience as it should be.

How to create a playlist with Apple Music tracks

Creating a playlist on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac that you want to share is similar to creating a mix that's just for you. The only difference: You'll want to make sure that any songs you add are songs that can be streamed on Apple Music.

On your iPhone or iPad

  1. Go to the My Music tab in the Music app.
  2. Select the Playlists tab.
  3. Tap on New Playlist.
  4. Add a title and description (and photo, if you want).
  5. Tap on Add Songs to select tracks from your library.

  6. If you want to, rearrange the order of the songs in your playlist by dragging on the edit handles to the right of the track.
  7. Tap Done when you're finished. You can edit these tracks at any point by returning to the playlist screen and tapping Edit.

On your Mac

  1. In the menu bar, go to File > New Playlist. Once a playlist is created, you can name it by
  2. Click on the Edit Playlist button.
  3. Add any songs or albums by dragging them to the right-side column, then pressing Done.

  4. You can edit these tracks at any point by returning to the playlist screen and clicking on Edit.

How to share a playlist

In theory, playlist sharing should be a simple experience: All your playlists (on iOS and Mac) have a Share button; you should be able to just select and share, right?

Sort of. Apple Music playlists aren't built to be publicly searchable or accessible like their Spotify counterparts; as such, there's no way to see all the playlists my co-worker Mikah has made, for instance. The only way for him to send me a playlist would be to copy the link and send it to me via Messages, email, or another service.

There's additionally no way for you to recognize whether your friends can actually play the tracks that you've selected in their country or region: Though non-Apple Music tracks are sometimes grayed out, I've also seen unauthorized tracks disappear entirely from the track list. It's a pain.

My last caveat on playlist sharing: You can only share a static version of the playlist when first created. As such, if you save your friend's playlist and they then update it, you won't be able to see those updates; they'll actually have to send you a separate second playlist with any new songs (or rearrangements).

I'm hoping Apple addresses these complaints in iOS 10 and macOS Sierra, but until then, if you want a surefire way of sharing a playlist, you'll have to resort to a different music service, or use a third-party app like SoundShare, which hooks in to Apple Music, Spotify, and SoundCloud to let you create playlists from multiple services — though creating a playlist through SoundShare means you're limited to playing it within the app.

Playlist sharing not working?

Unfortunately, Apple Music's social sharing features have never been 100 percent reliable; you may well find that a playlist is giving you an error when you attempt to share it. Here are some of the most common problems we've seen:

Missing items in your playlist

You likely are trying to share items that aren't available in the Apple Music catalog. Unlike iCloud Music Library, shared playlists won't automatically "upload" a non-AM song for your friends to listen to. (Yes, that means no sharing your copy of Lemonade with your friends.)

"Item not available"

This error can appear if all the tracks you've selected are invalid in the receiving user's home country. It can also display if Apple Music is having trouble syncing the playlist on its backend; the only solution currently is to reboot your devices, wait, and try again.

The share button has disappeared

I've personally only seen this on OS X, and only after sharing a playlist for the first time. If you find that the Share button seems to be missing, restart iTunes; that usually does the trick.

Other questions?

Let us know in the comments.