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Apple Music on Apple TV: Why Siri support can't come soon enough

Caitlin McGarry | Nov. 24, 2015
Apple's streaming service gets a remote for its tvOS app, but without Siri's help, everything is more difficult.

apple tv music primary

When Apple Music launched in June, Apple TV owners noticed there was no app for it on their set-top boxes. That changed in October with the release of the fourth-generation Apple TV, which shipped with Apple Music preinstalled and ready to turn your TV into a makeshift stereo system.

If you’re anything like me, you rely on a Bluetooth speaker to fill the living room with music. The addition of Apple Music to the Apple TV is a welcome one, because your TV’s volume beats an inexpensive speaker’s any day. The app functions basically the same on the TV as it does on the phone, so finding new albums, searching for curated playlists, and playing a radio station are all familiar exercises for Apple Music subscribers. But like the iOS version, Apple Music’s tvOS app has some quirks that make little things like creating playlists and adding music to your queue a little more cumbersome than they need to be. At least on iOS, you get a helping hand from Siri. With Apple TV, you’re on your own—for now.

apple tv music now playing
The “More” icon at the top of the Now Playing screen unlocks tons of options.

Touchpad changes everything

Apple Music for iOS and tvOS have the same basic features, but using the new Siri remote (minus the Siri part to start) to navigate the app on your TV is slightly different.

On the Now Playing screen alone, which is where you are when a song begins to play, there are several touchpad gestures that give you more options than just listening to the song. You can lightly rest your finger on the touchpad to see how much time is left on the song, and if you press to the left or right of the touchpad while a song is playing, you’ll either return to the beginning or skip to the next song. If you press down and hold the left or right of the touchpad, you’ll reverse or fast forward to a specific point in the song. To see what’s up next, press the touchpad and you’ll see the array of songs queued up. Highlight the More icon at the top (denoted with the three dots) to access even more options, like starting a radio station, adding a song to a playlist, going to the album, or changing your speakers from Apple TV to a third-party audio set-up.

apple tv music up next
You can add songs to your queue in a slightly different way than on your iPhone.


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