Using Apple Music With Apple Watch? (6 Common Questions)

The Apple Watch is a versatile piece of smart technology that can act as a workout aid, music player, and, of course, a watch, among other things.

Given its music-playing functionality, it’s natural to wonder how the Apple Watch might work when it comes to Apple’s most popular subscription service: Apple Music.

If you’re curious to learn more about how Apple Music and the Apple Watch work together, keep reading because that’s exactly what we’ll be discussing today!

Here’s How Music on Apple Watch Works:

The Apple Watch is a multipurpose wrist-mounted smart device capable of playing music, in addition to other functions. Apple Music is a subscription-based music streaming service. Using a connection to an iPhone, the Apple Watch can stream content from Apple Music.

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

Does Apple Music Work on Apple Watch without iPhone?

A lot of the Apple Watch’s functionality is tied to having an active Bluetooth connection with your iPhone.

That way, you can put your phone in your pocket, or somewhere else out of the way, and control Apple Music playback via the more convenient watch.

This is great for when you’re exercising or on the go and don’t want to fiddle with your phone every time you want to skip a track, change the volume, etc.

However, you might also be wondering if your Apple Watch could play content from Apple Music without your iPhone involved.

The answer is yes, sort of, but the functionality is very limited.

If you have an active Apple Music subscription, you can download music to your Apple Watch for offline listening.

Then you will be able to listen to that music, even without your iPhone, directly from the Apple Watch.

However, it is not possible to stream music from Apple Music with the watch alone.

In order to stream from Apple Music using an Apple Watch, an iPhone or other compatible device with an internet connection is required.

The Apple Watch is designed around the idea of having a compatible Apple Device on hand for optimal use.

For this reason, you will find many features are lacking without a nearby iPhone or another device to connect to, not just Apple Music.

This is because the Apple Watch is small and has less storage space, processing capacity, and so on; it can only do so much on its own.

For the best experience, keep your iPhone in your pocket and connected to your Apple Watch.

Does Apple Music Work with Older Apple Watch Generations?

In theory, yes, but it can be a bit tricky to make it work.

The software is more important than the hardware in this case, from what we can tell.

That is to say; even if you have an old Apple Watch that came out just before Apple Music existed, you should still be able to use Apple Music on it if you can update the software.

That’s where it gets a little tricky because older generations of Apple Watch have more limited storage space.

The latest software updates, by comparison, usually expect you to be using a newer generation of Apple Watch, and accordingly, take up a larger amount of memory.

Newer generations of Apple Watch have more storage space, and so the latest updates in turn, take up more space, leaving little room to work with when updating an old one.

For some more tips on exactly how to accomplish this, see the last link under “sources” below for a more detailed look at updating old Apple Watches.

Now, assuming you’re able to get the latest software update to take hold on your older-gen Apple Watch, you should then be able to use all the latest features.

This of course, includes Apple Music, which should function on your watch as long as the latest software update is installed, no matter how old the Apple Watch generation.

That being said, if you manage to update an old Apple Watch, you’ll probably be basically out of storage space at that point, since the update will take up so much of it.

This means you won’t really have any room for downloading music for offline listening, but you should be able to stream from your iPhone just fine.

Will Apple Music Download Music to an Apple Watch?

Yes, and as discussed above, this is the only way to use Apple Music without an iPhone.

As long as you’re a paid Apple Music subscriber, to any plan that allows offline listening (so, any plan other than “Voice”), you can download Apple Music content to your Apple Watch.

You can then freely listen to the downloaded content, with or without a connected iPhone.

If you want to stream anything from Apple Music or download additional content to your Apple Watch, you will require an internet connection and paired iPhone.

However, once the content is downloaded, all you’ll need on hand is your Apple Watch if you want to listen to what you downloaded.

Can You Listen to Apple Music on Apple Watch without Internet Connection?

Much like listening without an iPhone on hand, listening to tracks on Apple Music without an internet connection means you can only listen to the content you’ve already downloaded.

If you do have a paired iPhone on hand, but no internet connection, you’ll be able to listen to any music already downloaded to either the iPhone or the Apple Watch.

However, if you want to stream content from Apple Music, that is to say, to listen to anything other than what you’ve already downloaded, an internet connection is required.

Please also note that if you are using the Apple Music Voice plan, you will not be allowed to download any music at all for offline listening, and therefore cannot use Apple Music offline.

Is Apple Music Free with Apple Watch?

Apple Music is not free with anything.

To use Apple Music, in any way, always requires a paid subscription.

There are basically no exceptions to this; the closest thing is the occasional offer of free months with certain purchases, and other such deals.

However, even in those cases, you’re just getting a limited amount of free time, after which you will be expected to pay for your subscription.

So no, Apple Music is not free with the Apple Watch.

Apple Music is never free and always requires a paid subscription.

How Much Apple Music Content Can an Apple Watch Hold?

This depends on which generation of Apple Watch you’re using, as each has a different storage capacity.

Apple Watch Series 7, the latest model, features 32 GB of storage space.

Now, keep in mind that a significant percentage of that space will be occupied by application data, software updates, and so on.

However, 32 GB is still fairly generous, and you should be able to store a decent number of songs with the leftover space.

The older your Apple Watch generation is, however, the less storage space it will have.

It’s impossible to say exactly how many songs you’ll be able to store because it depends on how much free space you have, and the file size of the songs in question.

Not every song takes up the same amount of file space, after all, as the amount of data varies based on format, track length, and other details.

It is not recommended to store lossless-format music on your Apple Watch, as the lossless format takes up significantly more space, something your tiny Apple Watch only has so much of.

All that being said, if you’re using one of the newer Apple Watch models, and manage your storage space well, you should be able to keep quite a healthy selection of music on hand.


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