There is nothing worse than random playback interruptions or slow download speeds, whether it is Apple Music, Spotify, or any other music streaming service. It can be a total buzz kill when you want to listen to your favorite tracks.
But why is Apple Music so slow?
Apple Music is slow when your device doesn’t have sufficient bandwidth, a strong signal, a steady internet connection, insufficient storage, or has inappropriate settings that prevent optimal performance of the app.
Apple Music connects to the Apple servers to draw data for streaming music.
We are referring to the app itself running slow on iPhone and Android. Scrolling playlists, loading songs, and navigating the app can become a painful task. The app may freeze if you click on songs, or it may take a long time for the search bar to load.
Many Apple music users have complained about the Apple music app being slow or sluggish.
Thankfully, there are several easy fixes to stop the app from lagging.
In this article, we will discuss what you can do to troubleshoot it.
What is needed to speed up the Apple Music?
Like all music streaming platforms, Apple music uses network-related features. We established how it works in our article titled – ‘Does Apple Music Use Data?‘ Here, we discuss why the app struggles with fluid operations, which can be equally frustrating.
You need a strong signal and steady connection for fast downloads and uninterrupted streaming. The app won’t be up-to-speed if that’s not the case.
Access to cellular data or a Wi-Fi network is not enough. Speed and signal strength are imperative for data-heavy apps to perform well.
You can run a speed test to check your Wi-Fi speed. Open the App Store on your iPhone or Apple device. Download and install a ‘speed test’ app like Speed Test by Xtreme Labs Inc. or Global Internet Speed Test by Cisco Systems. ‘Run’ the test and follow the prompts.
In the next section, we will discuss the non-network-related workarounds to fix this issue.
How do you speed up Apple Music App and service?
Something is not right when the Apple Music app starts crashing, freezing, lagging, or running slow. While navigating the Apple Music app, any lag can render the user experience unbearable. It may also become unresponsive for a while before it un-freezes.
The artwork, search bar, and music should load fast.
You should be able to scroll through songs without lag or unwanted buffering. The first thing to do is to check if the app is up-to-date and run a clean install. That generally fixes these issues.
If that doesn’t work, here are a few ways to speed up the Apple Music App and service:
#1. Close/terminate the app and reopen it:
Temporary glitches or bugs can cause problems in the smooth operation of the app. Terminating the Apple Music program and reopening it may fix any issues with lag or slowness. You can also clear other apps running simultaneously to free up memory and Apple Music enough RAM to operate smoothly on your Android or iPhone.
#2. Clear or delete cache files
Apple Music and iTunes hold onto cache files. They ensure that a song loads faster and plays more efficiently the next time you play it. However, these cache files use a lot of space and/or may get damaged over time.
Damaged, overloaded, or corrupt cache files are a common culprit of sluggishness. Apple Music cache files can reach up to enormous amounts if you use the app a lot.
There is no option to limit how much iTunes and Apple Music can rack up, but you can reclaim the space by clearing the cache.
iPhone and iOS users can clear the cache via Settings > Music > Sync Library (iCloud Music Library before iOS 13). Toggle off ‘Sync Library’ and turn it on again after 5 minutes. It will clear the cache.
On Windows, go to you’re Apple Music/iTunes directory (C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Local\Apple Computer\iTunes). The music files are stored in a folder titled ‘SubscriptionPlayCache,‘ and album artwork is stored in ‘fsCachedData.’
Delete the artwork folder. iTunes will recreate the folder when you re-launch it.
#3 Check background data usage
We use many apps on our devices. They use background data when unused. It can add up and strain the performance of data-heavy apps like Apple Music. The next time Apple Music is slow, terminate the Apple Music app, exit out of all unused apps, and reopen Apple Music again.
Here’s how: Double tap the ‘Home’ button on your device. Scroll left/right to check which apps are running in the background. Scroll or swipe up on the apps to exit out. While you are at it, ensure you have deactivated Apple Music from battery optimization or power-saving apps.
#4 Delete Duplicate Playlists
Apple Music and iTunes are notorious for duplicating playlists when you edit/modifies playlists and sync them to other Apple devices. Often, these playlists are empty or have only a few songs from the original. Some users also report the issue after changing song info on the tracks.
Try to delete duplicate playlists as it may be the reason why Apple music streaming is slow. However, we don’t have a one-size-fits-all solution. If the problem persists, contact Apple Support to resolve the issue.
Why is my Apple Music acting weird?
The Apple Music app can act weird on older iOS devices right after updates roll out or Apple Music is down. If the service is down, wait for Apple to fix the outage. But low storage space and bugs could be other reasons why the app works slow or crashes unexpectedly.
Some of these lagging issues may also occur when you add/remove headphones and connect/disconnect to a Bluetooth speaker. They are temporary and should be fixed by terminating and reopening the app.
Here are a few things you can do to fix the issue:
Update to the latest versions
Outdated or damaged versions of iTunes, iOS, or macOS may result in the Apple Music app acting weird. You need to update the newest version of the software and install them. Sign in to all your devices and check if that resolves the issue.
If updating the software doesn’t work, reboot your phone and try again. If the app is still having issues, you may need to delete and reinstall the Apple Music app and/or reset your iPhone settings. These steps generally resolve the problem and restore smooth operation.
Check your storage space on your Apple device
Your iPhone may start having issues if there isn’t enough storage space on your device. Songs, albums, or playlists downloaded using Apple Music take up internal storage on your device. A thousand downloaded tracks can easily take up two gigabytes of space on your phone.
For iPhone and iPad, go to the ‘Settings‘ app and tap/select General > [Device] Storage. It shows how much storage space is used and available in a color-coded bar. You will also find recommendations to free up space and optimize storage.
Secondly, you can disable ‘Automatic downloads’ (if applicable), manually remove downloaded songs, and/or enable ‘Optimized Storage’ to allow Apple to offload pieces when your storage space is running low. It will only delete songs you have not listened to in a while.
Check if Apple Music is down
The Apple servers may be down on rare occasions, which can cause the Apple Music app to have issues. Check the status at Apple System Status. A green or red dot next to Apple Music indicates it is available or down. Let Apple resolve the issue before using the app.
Is the Spotify app faster than Apple Music?
Spotify is generally considered faster than Apple Music, but there are no sufficient data to support such a claim.
There are lots of user reports of the Apple Music app acting sluggish. But even Spotify is susceptible to lagging, freezing, or running slow. There is no way to measure them head-to-head as the performance depends on the device’s software, hardware, and network-related parameters.
The Spotify app has a vastly different UI and audio streaming quality, which can be the reason people feel songs load faster on Spotify.
Apple Music offers spatial audio lossless streaming, which is significantly better than Spotify (at least until Spotify launches HiFi).
Higher audio quality is one of the top reasons people prefer Apple Music over Spotify (read: audiophiles). However, this may result in unwanted buffering and longer loading times on 3G or 4G networks. It can also be more demanding on the cache and RAM of your device.
For more information, please take a look on this Youtube video about the detailed comparison between Spotify and Apple Music.
Apple Music has an excellent catalog of artists and songs. But it’s had its share of bugs, especially when they roll out new updates or features. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with some simple but effective workarounds to deal with the app running slow or freezing.