Collaborate on playlists in Apple Music

I used to enjoy sharing my favorite new music with friends and family through a carefully curated piece of physical media. Unfortunately for those of us over a certain age, the move to digital and streaming music has made the mixtape (or the mix CD) obsolete. While streaming music apps may have killed the mixtape, they brought with them collaborative playlists: you can easily build a song list with other people, even if those people aren’t in the same physical place as you.

This is a feature that has been in Spotify for years, but has now arrived in Apple Music with iOS 17.3 and macOS 14.3. (So ​​make sure the software on your devices is up to date before you get started).

To start a new collaborative playlist in Apple Music for iOS:

  • Open the Library tab and then tap Playlists > New playlist.
  • Give your playlist a name.
  • Tap the camera icon to add an image to your playlist if desired. You can take a new image with your iPhone’s camera or choose an image from your photo library.
  • Crane To create to confirm.

The blank playlist will open, and if this is your first time using Apple Music with the ability to create collaborative playlists, you’ll see a popup advertising the feature. Existing playlists can also be turned into collaborative playlists: just open the playlist and follow the same directions:

  • Tap the icon in the top right corner that looks like a portrait of a person.
  • In the next dialog you can choose the name and photo that will be used for you in the playlist.
  • You can also use the Approve contributors option on. If you don’t want everyone to get involved, activating this means your employees won’t be able to distribute the link without your permission.
  • Crane Start working togetherand you can start inviting people to join.

There are various options for inviting people to a playlist: for example, you can send a link via AirDrop or via iMessage. Following the link will take other people to your playlist, and any contributor can pass the link elsewhere. Please note that the link is only valid for six days. Then you need to generate another link.

At this point, anyone you’ve invited (and, if you’ve enabled Approve Collaborators, approved) can start adding songs to the playlist. Next to each track, you’ll see the person who added it via their Apple ID avatar. If a tune is added that you don’t like, tap the three dots next to it and choose Remove from playlist. (This can only be done by the playlist creator.)

To make changes to how the playlist is shared, tap the collaboration icon or the three dots (both at the top right) and select Manage collaboration.

  • Crane Share the invitation link or QR code to share the playlist with more people.
  • Select Stop to disable collaboration for this playlist.
  • If you’re currently using someone else’s playlist, there’s one too To leave choice.
  • The Approve contributors Here too, the toggle switch appears again.

A nice touch you get with collaborative playlists is emoji reactions: you’ll see the emoji button below the album art for a song in the now full-screen view. Tap the button and choose an emoji to respond, which other people can see.

Collaborative playlists on Apple Music for macOS

Creating collaborative playlists on a Mac isn’t much different, aside from the desktop interface. Opening individual playlists will reveal the new collaboration icon – the same small portrait figure silhouette you get on iOS – and you can click it to invite people to work on playlists and access the Approve contributors choice.

The same button gives you access to the collaboration management page. From here you can approve or block collaborators, disable playlist collaboration, and generate a new invite link to send.

Emoji reactions are also available on collaborative playlists: you’ll see an emoji icon in the playback controls at the top of the interface that you can use, or you can click in the Reactions column (if it’s visible) in the list of tracks.

It’s worth noting that I initially had some trouble getting the collaboration feature to appear in Apple Music for macOS: the collaboration button didn’t appear for me. Finally I was able to solve it by following these steps:

  • Make sure you’ve created an Apple Music profile in iOS (on your account avatar, top right, tap the Listen now screen to check)
  • Sign out of the Apple Music app on macOS and restart the program
  • Finally, log in again.

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