If you are subscribed to Apple Music, try asking to play “my station”!
I love listening to my entire music library on shuffle; I always have. But with a library of 6,000+ tracks, an increasing number of them are things that I don’t actually want to listen to except in special cases. There’s a lot of Christmas music that I always have to skip, some spoken audio, classical music, stuff from work, and then a bunch of music that I can’t bring myself to remove for sentimental reasons but I’m still not interested in listening to most of the time.
I don’t remember how I stumbled across this but it seems to be the best-kept feature of Apple Music because I can’t find anything about it so I wonder how many others know about it: it’s just called “my station” or “[your name]’s station”. I can never find it anywhere in the interface itself but asking Siri (or Alexa if you have Apple Music added there) to play it will bring it up reliably. If you can’t tell where I’m going with this… I LOVE this station and I now use it for 99% of my music listening. Here’s why:
1. It largely plays music that’s already in my library, although I think it’s technically still pulling them directly from Apple Music because I don’t think I’ve ever heard it play anything that wouldn’t be available to stream. I would say around to 75% of the content is music that I already know/have.
2. It NEVER plays the music that I would skip anyway. I don’t think I used the station close to Christmas but at least outside of the Christmas season it never goes to holiday music.
3. It gently introduces me to new music that’s in line with what I already love. New music by the same artists, new artists that are similar. I would say that I like literally 99% of the music it adds, unlike Pandora which might be the service I’m familiar with that’s most similar.
4. It does a great job with variety. Again contrasting this with Pandora, where one station would seem to get stuck in little loops. Having listened to this station for countless hours I can vouch for its ability to keep things fresh.
5. It has a pleasant way of phasing through genres. Several tracks in a row will be “of a kind”, but then it will move on. It’s timed really well; in general listening it’s just the right amount of time in a genre without becoming a genre station, but if there’s something you really don’t feel like listening to at the moment (like sometimes mine ends up on contemporary piano instrumental music), you can easily skip ahead a few times and you’ll be somewhere new.
Sorry if this is all already well-known and I’m just oblivious, but as someone who has never had any strong feelings about Apple Music one way or the other this is a fantastic feature. It’s so refreshing to have a feature that matches my needs so perfectly, hopefully you’ll find the same!