How to configure the ‘For You’ recommendation engine in Apple Music

Apple Music logo

Apple’s new music service, aptly named Apple Music, launched yesterday with the debut of iOS 8.4 which contained the revamped Music app. Once you install the update, you can open the music app and start configuring it to your preferences using.

Configuring For You

One of the centerpieces of Apple Music is the recommendation engine that resides in the “For You” section of the new Music app. The engine combines human curation with algorithms to help you discover new music that matches your personal tastes. When creating a custom music stream, the service takes into account both your recent purchases in the iTunes music store and the music you’ve recently played in iTunes.

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The new Apple Music borrows heavily from Beats Music, using a setup process to help the app learn your musical tastes. When you first open the “For You” section, the app asks you to select those genres of music that you enjoy. A single tap will mark the styles you like, a double tap indicates you love the genre and a tap-hold gesture will remove the type from the list. When you are done with the genre selection, tap “Next” to go to the next screen.

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Once you’ve selected the genres, you are then taken to an artists screen where you can select three or more individual artists that are pulled from the genres you selected in the first step. You should spend some time in this section, using a single tap to choose the musicians you like, a double tap for the bands you love and a tap-hold gesture to remove the artists you don’t like. You need at least three and can click on the “More Artists” button in the bottom if you want a larger selection of artists. Tap “Next” when you are done selecting your favorite musicians

Using “For You”

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Once you have selected genres and musicians, Apple Music will provide a list of curated playlists based on your choices during the configuration steps. You can select a playlist and advance through the songs as part of the music streaming service. When listening to a playlist, you can favorite a song and add it to your My Music collection. Most of the playlists were basic at first, but the recommendations should improve as Apple Music learns more about your music preferences by tracking your listening habits.

Resetting “For You”

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If you want to change your music recommendations, you can select your music profile in the upper left corner of the app. In the profile view, you can select “Choose Artists For You” and reconfigure your favorite genres and artists by taping and holding on the genre or artist to remove them, and then tapping on different ones to add them.

Have you configured Apple’s recommendation service? What do you think of Apple’s first selections? Let us know what you think in the comments.