While Apple is late to the music streaming game, it enters the market with one huge advantage: With more than 800 million iTunes accounts, Apple Music has the opportunity to quickly amass a following.
Also launching today is Apple's Beats 1 radio station, a 24/7 broadcast experience where DJ Zane Lowe said the mandate is to "move the needle," pushing incredible music that may not otherwise get as much airtime on traditional radio to the forefront for Beats 1 listeners.
How to Get Apple Music
In order to check out Apple Music, users will need to first upgrade their phones to iOS 8.4, which can be downloaded by going to settings, general and then software update. From there, users will need download the latest operating system, which will allow them to check out Apple Music and listen to Beats 1.
Apple Music will first be available on iOS, watchOS, Mac and Windows, with an Android version coming in the fall.
What to Expect
Your existing iTunes music library will live alongside the tens of millions of songs in Apple's catalog. Apple Music members will be able to add to their collection and save songs for offline listening or quickly share favorite music with friends on social media.
Apple Music users can get a three-month free membership, after which a $9.99 per month subscription fee will apply. There will also be a family plan providing service for up to six family members available for $14.99 per month.
No membership is necessary to listen to Beats 1 radio and the advertising supported stations or to see what artists post in a special Connect section where they can communicate with fans.
Play With Siri
Once you're all set up with a trial membership, try asking Siri, Apple's virtual personal assistant, to be your DJ. As her questions such as "play me the best songs from 2000" or "What was the No. 1 song in January 1988?"
What Else Is New in iOS 8.4
Aside from Apple Music, expect iOS 8.4 to also fix that pesky bug making the rounds last month that caused some iPhones to reboot after receiving a specific string of unicode characters. Also expect iBooks improvements and a fix to an issue where some deleted Apple Watch apps could re-install.