Apple Music is getting a big expansion today with a new web interface that will let subscribers stream music directly from a browser without having to install iTunes or a separate Apple Music app. The new web interface launches today as a public beta for subscribers at beta.music.apple.com.
The interface looks a lot like Apple’s new standalone Music app that the company is launching with macOS Catalina later this year, except it runs inside a web browser. Apple says that it should work in all browsers, including Google Chrome, and on all devices, including Windows 10, Chrome OS, and even mobile platforms like Android.
Apple Music, minus the app
The site offers access to the entire Apple Music catalog as well as any tracks users have synced to their libraries that aren’t on Apple Music. Playlists — including Apple’s personalized “For You” recommendations — and Apple Music’s radio stations will be available as part of the beta, too.
The beta site will be missing some features, including the flagship Beats 1 live broadcast, some of Apple’s original music video content, and smart playlists. But Apple says it’ll continue to build out the website over time. Additionally, you’ll eventually be able to sign up for Apple Music directly from the web, although that won’t be available in this version of the beta.
As for the logic of adding a web interface, the move allows Apple to bring Apple Music to other platforms — like Chrome OS or Linux — without having to develop and support a custom app for each platform. Web support also puts Apple on par with its biggest competitor in the music sphere: Spotify. The Swedish streaming service, which became the first platform to hit 100 million paid subscribers earlier this year, has offered a web player for years that allows subscribers to access music without having to install a full-fledged app.