Apple Music & iCloud: 9 Common Questions (Answered)

Apple Music has become one of the best music streaming services around and that has a great deal to do with the fantastic set of features that users have access to.

Apple has always prided itself in terms of its interconnectivity between its products, and Apple Music is no exception.

In this article, we’ll take you through how Apple Music and iCloud interconnect and dive into the most common questions that surround the two.

This is How Apple Music & iCloud Work Together:

Apple Music and iCloud allow users to access their Apple Music libraries from multiple devices. iCloud Music Library is enabled by toggling the feature in Apple Music settings called ‘Sync Library’. When this feature is enabled, users can download songs, albums, and playlists for offline listening.

Apple macbok open beside apple watch and iphone with Apple Music playlist open

1. Does Apple Music Require iCloud?

It can be a little confusing to understand whether or not Apple Music requires iCloud.

However, first and foremost, it’s important to realize that users who have subscribed to Apple Music are given what’s called an iCloud Music Library.

  • The iCloud Music Library is a subsection of iCloud.
  • iCloud stores anything and everything, from photos to files, and more.
  • iCloud allows users to access these files from multiple devices because they are stored online in the ‘cloud’.
  • iCloud Music Library, which is included with Apple Music, allows you to store all of your music in the cloud.

So, now that you understand that Apple Music includes iCloud, or at least iCloud Music Library, you may be wondering whether you’re required to use it, and the answer depends on one major factor – whether you want to access your library from multiple devices.

Moreover, if you want to take your Apple Music experience offline, and download tracks to listen to without the need for streaming, then you’ll be tied into using iCloud Music Library.

Therefore, if you want to take full advantage of everything that Apple Music can provide, it’s likely that you’ll require the iCloud Music Library feature enabled.

Enabling iCloud Music Library requires users to toggle the option to ‘Sync Library’ to its ON position within Apple Music’s settings.

‘Sync Library’ is fundamentally allowing iCloud to store your Apple Music data and any other music you have on your device and allow you to retrieve it for streaming or downloading on another.

Remember, even downloading songs from Apple Music is restricted unless you have ‘Sync Library’ enabled. Apple support page states that:

“You must turn on Sync Library to download music from Apple Music to your library (go to Settings > Music, then turn on Sync Library).”


2. Is Apple Music Stored in iCloud?

It’s crucial that you make the distinction between tracks stored on iCloud and the audio-fingerprinting of Apple Music tracks that are held in iCloud.

  • iCloud Music Library will only store songs that are not available in the iTunes Store or Apple Music.
  • In other words, iCloud Music Library simply registers your songs and matches them up with the tracks within its own library from either Apple Music or the iTunes Store.
  • This audio fingerprint of each one of your tracks allows your iCloud Music Library to provide you access to your entire music collection by connecting it with your Apple Music subscription package.
  • If you want to listen to a song from your music library and even download it to any one of your devices, you can do so without any problems via iCloud.

3. Does Apple Music Take Up iCloud Storage?

If you already have iCloud storage, then you may be wondering whether your Apple Music data is going to eat into your iCloud space.

iCloud storage space is not unlimited, in fact, iCloud allows you to store up to 5GB of data. However, when it comes to Apple Music and iCloud Music Library there is some good news.

Your Apple Music subscription allows you to have additional storage space within your iCloud due to the inclusion of the iCloud Music Library.

The iCloud Music Library allows you to store up to 100,000 Apple Music song titles via the cloud and access them from multiple devices.

It’s also worth noting that any tracks that were bought from iTunes that are synced in your music library will not count towards this maximum of 100,000 tracks.

4. Do I have to Buy More iCloud Storage to Save Apple Music?

In order to use Apple Music and take advantage of its 100 million-strong library of songs, you’ll need to pay a subscription fee.

There are different subscription plans available for Apple Music, such as ‘Individual’ or ‘Family’. But, what’s important to note is that your subscription automatically entitles you to additional storage space in iCloud due to the inclusion of the iCloud Music Library.

It is, therefore, not necessary to purchase more iCloud storage space in order to begin saving Apple Music tracks or downloading them onto your devices.

Apple has ensured that Apple Music subscribers can hit the ground running and sync their libraries, allowing them to take all of their music (whether found on Apple Music or not) and access it from multiple devices.

5. Can you use Apple Music Offline Without iCloud?

Downloading tracks for offline play is a fundamental feature that music streaming services employ to allow their users to freedom to take their music wherever they go – even when they are no longer connected to the internet.

Apple Music is no exception and tracks can be downloaded onto multiple devices so long as they have the Apple Music app installed, are signed into the same Apple ID, and have the ‘Sync Library’ feature enabled.

As previously mentioned, ‘Sync Library’ will enable iCloud Music Library to manage and collate all of the music data from your Apple Music app as well as any other music on that specific device.

To download music for offline play, users must ensure that ‘Sync Library’ is toggled on. Once this setting is active, users can add tracks, playlists, or albums to their personal library and then download the content to their devices.

The importance of this fact cannot be understated, as folks at point out. They explain that without iCloud Music Library:

“You can’t download Apple Music content and sync it between devices. You can’t access Apple Music offline either.”


6. Is the iCloud Music Library the Same as Apple Music?

Your iCloud Music Library is not the same as Apple Music. Apple Music is an app that allows you to search, discover, stream, and download music via a subscription to its service.

The iCloud Music Library is an online storage system that holds your personal music data, which can include your Apple Music tracks.

These two Apple products work seamlessly together in order to provide users the ability to access tracks found in Apple Music and their previously purchased music all in one place via the Apple Music app.

But moreover, they provide the ability to download that music onto multiple devices.

7. Does Apple Music Include iCloud Storage?

Apple Music does not include iCloud storage in the conventional sense. Instead, what it allows is a new segment of iCloud in the form of the iCloud Music Library. The iCloud Music Library can only be used for – and you’ve probably guessed it – just music.

Signing up for Apple Music will not increase your general iCloud storage space, but what it will give you is access to iCloud Music Library which can hold up to 100,000 songs.

However, there are some limitations to the iCloud Music Library and some things to note, such as:

  • The files of each song cannot exceed 200MB.
  • iCloud Music Library will store any music videos you have bought in the iTunes Store.
  • It will hold your playlists and Smart Playlist rules.
  • Matched tracks will be at a quality of DRM-free, 256kbps, AAC format.
  • The iCloud Music Library is not in any way a backup of your music collection and merely allows you to sync songs across all devices.

8. Can I put my entire Apple Music Library on iCloud?

If you’ve spent any time with a service such as Apple Music, you’ll have quickly realized how easy it is to find yourself discovering new music at a rapid rate.

Part of the appeal of Apple Music, and the gigantic library of music it provides, is giving users the ability to add music to a personal library.

These personal libraries within Apple Music give users a space in which to collect and organize the music they’ve come to love. Users can create their own playlists with a mix of their favorite tracks or choose to add full albums that they cannot get enough of.

It stands to reason then that many users want to access all of that data from multiple devices, and with iCloud and iCloud Music Library, users can do just that.

However, as mentioned, there is a limit on the amount of data that can be stored. The iCloud Music Library can hold up to 100,000 tracks and those tracks can only be shared on up to 10 devices.

This means that you should be aware that anything over that limit will not be able to be stored on iCloud, but so long as your entire collection does not exceed that number, you’ll have no issues whatsoever.

9. Does iCloud Plus Include Apple Music?

iCloud+ takes everything you have come to love about iCloud and makes it bigger and better.

Upgrading to iCloud+ will involve picking a plan, each with a different subscription fee and perks. You’ll get to choose from 50GB of storage to 2TB worth, have access to iCloud Private Relay, a custom email domain, and much more.

You won’t, however, be offered a free subscription to Apple Music. As disappointing as that may be, there is another option that does include both iCloud+ and Apple Music.

If you want both these great Apple products and more, try signing up for a subscription with Apple One. The subscription includes:

  • Apple Music
  • Apple TV+
  • Apple Arcade
  • Apple Cloud+
  • Apple News+
  • Apple Fitness+

You can pick up a subscription to all of the Apple products mentioned above for as little as $15 a month. That’s a great price when you consider that Apple Music alone is worth $10.99 per month.

If expanding your iCloud storage is important to you, and you want to take advantage of all of Apple’s most sought-after apps, then upgrading to Apple One may well be the right choice.


Everything you need to know about iCloud Music Library

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How to use Apple Music without iCloud Music Library

How to Use iCloud Music Library – An Ultimate Guide

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