What is absolutely left out of the comparison is that, if you can gather a “family” of six people who need not be related or live under the same roof, the best options is to simply purchase Apple One which — for $30 a month — includes all of this: Apple TV+ (the streaming channel), Apple Music, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, Apple Fitness+, location sharing for those who select that option, and two terabytes of iCloud storage with each individual having their own, private access to whatever portion of that storage is used by that person.
But first a description of how the plan works: 9to5mac.com/2021/10/18/what-is-the-apple-music-voice-plan/
– Oct. 18th 2021 12:39 pm PT
As part of its October ‘Unleashed’ Apple event, the company announced a new cheaper plan for Apple Music called the Apple Music Voice Plan.
Apple Music usually costs $9.99 per month for individuals or $14.99 per month for families. A discounted plan for students is available at $4.99 per month. The Voice Plan will cost $4.99 per month, for anyone, but what’s the catch?
The Apple Music Voice Plan is compatible with any Siri-enabled device that can play Apple Music. That means iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV, HomePod, CarPlay, and AirPods are in… but third-party integrations like Apple Music for Echo or Samsung Smart TVs are not supported.
What can you listen to with Apple Music Voice Plan?
The Apple Music Voice Plan gives full access to the Apple Music catalog. You can ask to play any song in the library, or play any of the available playlists or radio stations. There is no limit on song choice. It’s not like Pandora where you only have a limited number of skips.
In addition to being able to request specific songs or albums, Apple is dramatically expanding the themed playlists exposed to Siri, so you’ll be able to ask things like ‘Play the dinner party playlist’ and get instant streaming music.
What can’t you do with the Apple Music Voice Plan?
The catch with the Voice Plan is you cannot use Apple Music through the apps, you have to control music playback solely with your voice using Siri. So if you want to play the latest song by Ed Sheeran, rather than navigating the UI in the Music app on your phone, you would have to invoke Siri and say ‘Play the new Ed Sheeran song.’
Some other features are also not available on the Voice Plan, including Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio, Lossless music, Music Videos, and Lyrics.
What can I do in the Music app if I have the Voice Plan?
As the tier prohibits visual UI for music playback, the Music app will show a very different interface if you are on the Voice Plan. It will be stripped back and include suggestions about what to ask Siri to play, in addition to recent listening history. There will also be a special section to help users learn how to interact with Apple Music via Siri.
How can I sign up to the Apple Music Voice Plan?
The Apple Music Voice Plan will be available later this year in seventeen countries: US, UK, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and Taiwan.
You will be able to sign up through the Music app or directly with Siri by saying ‘Hey Siri, start my Apple Music Voice trial’.
Is there a free trial of the Voice Plan?
For each Apple ID, a customer can redeem a free seven-day trial of the Apple Music Voice Plan. Unusually, this trial does not auto-renew. So after the end of the seven-day period, customers will be prompted again to either pay $4.99 for the Voice Plan or choose one of the other full-featured Apple Music tiers.
How does Voice Plan stack up against the competition?
There isn’t a direct competitor to the Voice Plan from streaming music services like Spotify or Amazon. Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube Music offer free (ad-supported) options that typically limit the available catalog and are designed as ‘radio music’ services, so you don’t get to always choose exactly what you want to listen to.
Amazon Music offers a Single Device Plan for $3.99 per month. This is similar to the Apple Music Voice Plan in that you can only control the music with your voice using Amazon Alexa. However, the Single Device Plan is limited to one Echo or Fire TV device only. Apple Music Voice Plan costs a dollar more, at $4.99 per month, but you will be able to listen on every Apple device you own – as long as you use Siri to do it.
Compared: Apple Music Voice Plan versus Individual Plan versus Family Plan
Mike Peterson | Oct 18, 2021
With the introduction of the Voice Plan, there are now three different Apple Music subscription tiers. Here are the differences between them.
Apple on Monday unveiled a new Apple Music Voice Plan for $4.99 a month. The cheaper subscription tier offers access to the full Apple Music catalog to anyone — with the one caveat being that the catalog can only be accessed via Siri voice commands
The differences between Voice, Individual, and Family Apple Music subscriptions
|Voice Plan||Individual Plan||Family Plan|
|Apple Music Catalog||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio||No||Yes||Yes|
|Third-party platform support||No||Yes||Yes|
|In-App UI||Stripped-down UI||Full UI||Full UI|
Basically, the Voice Plan is a pared-down version of Apple Music that only allows users to interact with the streaming platform via voice commands.
On the Voice Plan, you’ll get access to the full range of Apple Music, including 90 million songs, 30,000 pre-populated playlists, genre stations, and Apple Music Radio. The catch is that you can’t interact with any of these elements through a traditional user interface.
In other words, you can ask Siri to play anything — including individual tracks or playlists. But you won’t be able to search for and play a specific track through the iPhone’s or Mac’s Music app.
You won’t have a full UI in the Voice Plan. Open up the Apple Music app, and you’ll basically be greeted only with voice command suggestions and a list of recently played tracks. There will be a section instructing users on how to optimize Siri with Apple Music.
The Apple Music Individual Plan provides the traditional Apple Music experience, and also includes premium features like lossless audio and Dolby Atmos.
The only difference between the Individual Plan and the Family Plan is that the latter subscription allows you to provide up to five other family members their own Apple Music account for $14.99 a month.
Additionally, there’s also a Student Plan available only to students that costs $4.99 a month but is otherwise identical to the Individual Plan.
What devices can use Apple Music Voice Plan?
If you have a pair of AirPods, you can also use Siri voice commands to control playback on a connected device.
However, you won’t be able to use the Voice Plan with third-party integrations with Apple Music for Amazon Echo or Apple Music for Samsung Smart TVs.
What features are available on the Apple Music Voice Plan?
As stated earlier, you can play any track, album, or playlist on the Voice Plan. You won’t be limited by skips either.
In addition, Apple has also significantly expanded the number of themed playlists available on Apple Music. That means you’ll be able to ask Siri for the perfect playlist for a hike, dinner party, or relaxing before bed.
Apple says that users will be able to get “original shows, concerts, and exclusives” on the Apple Music Voice Plan, but it isn’t currently clear how that will work without a full user interface.
What features are not available on the Apple Music Voice Plan?
Dolby Atmos Spatial Audio, Lossless streaming, Music Videos, and lyrics are not available on the Apple Music Voice Plan.
Again, you also won’t be able to navigate to specific genres, artists, or playlists from within an app. Controlling Apple Music on the Voice Plan can only be done through Siri voice commands.
Users also won’t be able to download tracks to their personal library on the Voice Plan. It’ll be streaming only, and tough luck if you don’t have an internet connection.