Apple launched its Apple Music Voice Plan, a new subscription tier offering Siri-controlled music playback. For $4.99 per month, users get access to a large number of playlists exclusively via Siri. The service is designed so that subscribers can ask for music based on their current mood or activities. Of course, Apple Music subscribers on the individual or family plans can also listen to these curated playlists.
Playing music with Siri using your favorite streaming service just got easier. Instead of having to specify which service to use with each request, Siri can be preset to use any supported audio subscription by default. The days of ending song requests with "on Spotify" or "on Pandora" are now over. Siri can use services other than Apple Music without any extra direction.
Spotify continues to add features, making listening to streaming music more versatile across the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Sometimes there's one track that doesn't fit into an album or radio station, or that you just can't stand to hear. Hiding the song will prevent Spotify from playing it automatically by skipping that track. Once a song is hidden, Spotify will ignore that song in the album, radio station, or daily mix where it was hidden.
Like many streaming services, Spotify continues to play music after your album or playlist ends. Tracks similar to the songs you've already heard are picked by Spotify's algorithms to provide nonstop listening. Sometimes the automatic selections match so well that listeners don't even notice the playlist has ended. Some Spotify users prefer to hear an album or playlist and enjoy the silence when it's over. Autoplay settings can be customized in the Spotify app.
Apple is reportedly discussing whether to allow the HomePod to directly stream third-party music services such as Spotify or Pandora. Currently Apple Music is the default streaming service. Playlists from other services can only be opened by connecting to the HomePod via AirPlay.