Switching to Apple Music from Spotify and others could be about to get easier with a new playlist and library importer

Apple Music app on iPhone, across multiple devices
(Image credit: Apple)

If you've ever switched from one music streaming service to another you're likely all too aware of the absolute farce that can ensue. Losing access to all of your meticulously created playlists is a real pain and if you have a huge library of music recreating that on another streaming service can often take so much time that few of us actually ever bother. Some people even refuse to switch because of the work that would be required and Apple seems to be well aware of that fact.

Getting people to switch to Apple Music from competing music streaming services like Spotify and Tidal is something that Apple has been trying to do for years now, and while it's still a popular offering it can't compete with the biggest and the best. But for those who do want to switch, Apple now seems determined to make it as quick and easy as possible to that effect it's reportedly now working on a tool to make the move less of a pain.

According to a new report Apple is working with SongShift to create a new feature that will allow people to take the music library from a competitor's service and move it to Apple Music. The feature is being tested, but it isn't ready to go just yet. However, it now appears clear that work is underway to make switching to Apple Music easier.

Moving all the things

According to a new MacRumors report Apple is testing the feature currently and references were found in the latest Apple Music beta for Android. They were first spied by a Reddit user but have since been confirmed by the site after diving into the app's APK.

Notably, the feature appears to be part of a deal with SongShift, a third-party service that already allows people to move their music playlists and libraries between different music streaming services. References to the feature being "powered by SongShift" can be seen on screenshots alongside text that invites users to "Choose a service and transfer your library and playlists you made over to Apple Music."

There have long been options for people who want to go this route but they have been third-party versions and limited in some way. They often also cost money or in some instances require a subscription. That obviously wouldn't be the case with any Apple-backed alternative.

It isn't yet clear how long Apple Music switchers will have to wait for Apple to bring this feature to the masses, but it's surely one that Apple will want to offer as soon as possible. Not all of those testing the Apple Music beta app on Android are already seeing the feature as an option, suggesting that Apple is still very much in the testing phase and is trying to ensure a limited number of people put the switching tool through its paces.

Apple Music is currently available with a free one-month trial while six months of music streaming is also offered when people buy certain Apple hardware, too. Beyond the trial music fans pay $5.99 per month for a student account or $10.99 per month for a standard account. Families can pay $16.99 per month while Apple Music is also available via the Apple One subscription bundle, too. That's perhaps the better option because it includes subscriptions to Apple TV Plus, Apple Fitness Plus, and more.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.