How to use playlists in Apple's new Music app

With Apple's new Music app, you can not only create and manage playlists, you can give them distinctive and easy to recognize thumbnails, quickly add music to them, queue them to Up Next, and a lot more.

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

How to access playlists

On iPhone:

  1. Tap the My Music tab at the bottom right.
  2. Tap the Playlist tab at the top.


On iPad:

  1. Tap the Playlist tab at the bottom.

How to play a playlist

You can also play a playlist in one of three ways:

  1. Tap the name of a playlist to play it immediately.
  2. Or, tap the More button (looks like •••) and then tap **Play Next* to add it to the beginning of your Up Next queue.
  3. Or, tap the More button (looks like •••) and then tap Add to Up Next to add it to the end of your Up Next queue.


How to create a new playlist

Playlists have more options than ever before, but they're still easy to create.

  1. Tap New.
  2. Enter a Title.
  3. Tap the Camera icon to choose a thumbnail.
  4. Enter a Description.
  5. Tap Add Songs to start adding tracks (see below).
  6. Tap Done, top right, to finish.


How to add tracks to a playlist

To add tracks from the playlist screen:

  1. Tap Edit.
  2. Tap Add Songs.
  3. Search or browse to the track you want to add.
  4. Tap the + button to add the track.
  5. Tap Done, top right, to finish.


To add tracks from anywhere in the Music app:

  1. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the track you want to add.
  2. Tap Add to Playlist...
  3. Tap the playlist you want to add it to..


How to reorder tracks on a playlist

  1. Go to the playlist you want to re-arrange.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Touch and hold down on the grabber button to the right of the track you want to move.
  4. Drag the track to it's new position, where ever you want it.
  5. Tap Done, top right, to finish.


How to remove tracks from a playlist

  1. Go to the playlist you want to remove the track from.
  2. Tap Edit.
  3. Tap the red - button to the left of the track.
  4. Tap the red Delete button. .


How to delete a playlist

You can delete a playlist from the main playlist screen:

  1. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the playlist.
  2. Tap Delete.
  3. Tap Delete Playlist to confirm..


You can also delete a playlist from the specific playlist screen itself:

  1. Tap the More button (looks like •••) to the right of the playlist.
  2. Tap Delete.
  3. Tap Delete Playlist to confirm..


How to create a Genius playlist

Genius playlists are still a thing, if you prefer to let the iTunes algorithms do your mixing and matching for you. If you don't see it enabled by default, however, you'll need to switch it on in Settings.

  1. Launch the Settings app.
  2. Tap on Music.
  3. Toggle Genius to on.
  4. Tap to Accept the terms and conditions.


Once that's done, Genius playlists are easy to create.

  1. Tap on the More button (looks like •••) to the right of a song.
  2. Tap on Create Genius Playlist.


You still have to have enough similar music for Genius to create the list, but if you do, you can listen, refresh, add to Up Next, or add to another playlist right from the More button at the top.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

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.

24 Comments
  • Any idea where the playlists from my Mac have gone on my iPhone? haha
  • I am not a fan of the way it seems to treat playlists on my iPad as non-local content. It was only by reading some articles that I found out that Apple expects you to use the control centre swipe up to do Airplay of your playlists now. Very unhandy indeed. I think they will change that soon.
  • And now I'm not able to add Apple Music songs to playlists on my iPhone. Seems like there's a few bugs!!
  • Am I missing a trick in the new app? I like to create playlists as-I-go but Music doesn't let you add a song to a playlist unless that playlist was already created
    ... In other words: CREATE NEW PLAYLIST should be added to the screen that pops up when you select ADD TO PLAYLIST. Tx Apple.
  • My playlists from my Mac did come over at all; I'm assuming that might be fixed when iTunes is updated. But more importantly, I AM able to add my own music to a playlist I create on the phone but NOT Apple Music. UGH!!!
  • Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. I though I was just an idiot who couldn't find the + button to add a new playlist... but no. No it's a super simple system. Let's say I find a new album I want to hear, like Thom Yorke's newest which I didn't know was coming out today. All I have to do to make a new playlist out of it is simply to go back to My Music, scroll to the top of the Playlists, click New, type the entire name of the artist and album (which I guess I have to remember), then go back to the tab I was on when I found the album in the first place, click Add to Playlist, find the playlist I just created and named, and tap it. Super quick! Seriously though, did nobody use this first?
  • Yes, I tried it. Whenever I attempt to create a new playlist on my iPhone 6 Plus, the music app hangs. (completely unresponsive) and I have to force quit. Great job of debugging Apple.
  • That's exactly the trouble I'm having. I've been using Google Play for a few years now and that is how they handle "on-the-go" playlists. I'm hoping Apple adds this feature. It is kinda a deal breaker for me if they don't.
  • When you press MY MUSIC the app only shows 4 recently added albums, you need to press unintuitively that textline ("Recently added") to find all your albums. Too many useless keypresses. Unclear. Frustrating as heck.
  • Songs you play disappear into thin air when you jump to another song/album. There is no history to find songs you just searched for and played. Again many useless key presses and clumsy. Oh, and no landscape mode, if you planned on using the app with navigation in a car, good luck.
  • There is a history of every song played partly or in full; when playing a song, open the full player in stead of the mini-player and then press the list icon (right to the FFWD icon) That will open a full list of ALL songs played.
  • One more thing - off topic but cannot find where else to put it - the equalizer is horrible. Only presets, no bands like in Spotify and most any other music app. So what, you think? Well go ahead and try adding some trebble. The entire soundfield changes, becomes less loud, less present, less fidelity and altogehter sounds just weird. Come on Tim, what are we doing here???
  • What is going with playlist. I created a Drake playlist. Then I seached for my favorite Dranke songs, added the tracks i want in the playlist. Then I go to drake playlist and its empty WTF!!! I done this over and over and its not adding the songs to my playlist. WTF!!!! FRUSTATING!!!!!
  • I know. That is a seriously big bug. It baffles me how these issues make it out the door. I know one reason. They didn't let any of the multitude of beta testers access this part of app before it came out. That would have been fixed Lickety split. Or at least we would have big reported it.
  • I found that if Make for offline. Then go back under and choose add to playlist it works. But. That's ridiculous. I don't want it offline. I want spotify functionality like at its even basic level.
  • Same here, wtf !! I've created 4 playlists and they are all empty.
  • I've lost Genius Playlists and the setting to enable it is missing for me in the settings app. I do have the menu item to create a genius playlist in the Music App, but the setting is missing. Any idea what's going on?
  • I'm having the same problem although as well as it not appearing in the settings, I also don't have the menu item inside the music app. I guess the one piece of good news is it sounds like that's an error rather than they've removed genius as a service (which I feared given the focus on streaming apps helping you discover new music which genius did quite nicely, albeit provided you had a large enough back catalogue). Anyone else had the same? Iphone 6 126gb, in case that makes any difference! Sent from the iMore App
  • Currently I use Match and create all my playlists in iTunes and they sync to all my devices via Match. Does this same functionality work within Apple Music? I cannot tell -- my Match subscription runs through November of this year so I have both Match and Apple Music right now...
  • Is there a way to "select all" when creating a playlist? I would like to create a playlist of everything that's downloaded on my iphone. This way, if I have to set up a new iphone, I can quickly add the playlist to the new iphone. It seems to me that an easy way to do this would be to create a playlist on the iphone and then "select all" when adding songs. However, when I go to add songs, it only allows one by one. Impossible when adding something like 1000+ songs. Adding artists or albums is a bit easier, but still way too much. Thanks for any insights...
  • WTF is wrong with the new Music app of Apple, The most frustrating thing is that you have to create a playlist just to shuffle all your songs, there is no section in app which lists all the songs, you compulsorily have to create a playlist and add thousand songs manually, i am so much frustrated by this, even if we tell siri to shuffle all songs, after "Up Next" list ends we cant play again all the songs, the concept of Up next and history is utterly meaningless... please tell me a way just to shuffle all my songs.. i dont wanna create a *** playlist