How to add, cache, search for, and delete songs from Apple's new Music app

For some, the advent of Apple Music will mean their own personal collections will become small seas in the giant oceans of the full iTunes catalog. For others, however, who don't want streaming, Music is still the place or organize and enjoy all your iTunes—and iTunes Match music. That includes adding music, searching for it, caching it for local playback, removing it from cache, and deleting it from your library.

Note: To use Apple's new Music app, you need to be running iOS 8.4 or later.

How to add songs to Music

There are four ways to add music to Apple's new Music app.

Purchase music

You can buy songs or albums from the iTunes Store; once they've downloaded, the tracks will appear in the Music app. And if you've bought songs on another device, you'll have those available to you to download via iCloud.

Use the Apple Music catalog

If you're subscribed to Apple Music, you can add music to your library by tapping the More button (it looks like an ellipses) next to a track, then tapping Add to My Music.

Use iTunes Match

If you use iTunes Match, you can enable it on your Mac to match and upload your songs to Apple's servers; from there, you can access it in the Music app.

Use iTunes Sync

If you're not using iCloud Music Library, you can use iTunes to manually sync your songs to the Music app on your device.

There's still no way to add non-iTunes music directly to the Music app, but there are other apps that can either play music from online storage services, or stream it from your computer.

How to search for songs in Music

There's a new, universal search in the Music app that can find songs both locally on your device and in Apple's online services. If you don't subscribe to Apple Music, that includes the free radio channels.

  1. Tap the magnifying glass button at the top right.
  2. Tap the My Music tab, also top right.
  3. Enter the name of the song you want to find. If you don't remember the song title, enter the name of the artist or album and go from there.

You can also access recent searches to find something again:

  1. Tap the magnifying glass button at the top right.
  2. Tap the clock icon at the right of the search bar.
  3. Tap any recent result to repeat the search.
  4. Tap Clear at the top left, and tap Clear Recent Searches to remove the results list.

How to browse for songs in Music

There aren't separate tabs in the new Music app for categories like artists, songs, or albums, but you can access all those categories and more with just a couple of taps.

  1. Tap on the My Music tab.
  2. Tap on category button (it defaults to Artists) at the top of the song list.
  3. Tap on the category you want to sort by (albums, songs, music videos, genres, composers, or compilations).

How to download songs for local playback

If you're going to be going offline, including flights or subways or inter-regional travel without Wi-Fi access, you can download songs, albums, playlists, or entire artists locally to your device to make sure they're available for playback anywhere, any time.

  1. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the artist, album, playlist, or song.
  2. Tap the Make Available Offline button.
  3. Tap the Downloads tab to see and manage the caching.

Music available for offline playback has a small device icon at the top right of the More button.

How to remove downloaded songs from cache

If you ever decide you don't want downloaded music on your device, for example, to save on storage space, you can remove it from the local cache.

  1. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the artist, album, or song you want to remove.
  2. Tap the Remove Download button.

Once music is removed from the local cache, the device icon will disappear from it's former place, at the top right of the More button.

How to delete songs from your Music library

If you want to delete a song completely from your library, such that it doesn't even appear as an entry any more. (You'll still be able to restore it later, should you ever want to, from the deleted purchases section of iTunes on your desktop.)

  1. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the artist, album, or song.
  2. Tap the Delete button.
  3. Tap the Delete Purchase button.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.