Apple today has officially released more information on the Apple Music API available in iOS 9.3. Entitled Apple Music Best Practices for App Developers, the documentation today solidifies what the Apple Music API can do and sets a precedent that developers of music apps should follow. At the original release of iOS 9.3, there seemed to be some confusion as to what the Apple Music API would entail exactly. We had reached out to Ben Dodson, developer of Music Tracker, to better understand the limitations and new features the API could introduce. Today’s document verifies our original thoughts.

The best practices guide released today reminds developers that there are limitations when using the Apple Music API and developers should review the App Store Review guidelines. Calling out sections such as 8.6 (Apps that include the ability to save or download music…without explicit authorization from those sources will be rejected), Apple makes clear the expectations they have of developers.

For those who may have missed our original article, we discussed the possibility of apps like Shazam discovering a song, and then adding it directly to the user’s Apple Music library. Just a month later, this is exactly what Shazam implemented. Today’s affiliate resources guide also explains that if a user does not currently subscribe to Apple Music, developers can earn a one-time commission when the user converts from an Apple Music trial membership to a paid plan.

The Apple Music API overview is added below, but head over to the official page for the full breakdown.

We are excited to announce that Apple Music API is now available on iOS 9.3. The Apple Music API allows developers to directly control Apple Music playback for Members among other features.

  • Developers can see if a user is currently a member
  • Developers can see which country the users account is based
  • Developers can queue up the next song or songs based on a song ID for playback
  • Developers can inspect playlists already in My Music or create a new playlists with a title and description (see App Store Review Guidelines for limitation)

We encourage developers to use the Apple Music API to provide a superior user experience by integrating these features in your app.

– Apple Music Best Practices for App Developers

Apple’s addition of an Apple Music API further closes the gap in differences between Beats Music and Apple Music. Beats Music also had an API that allowed developers to create ways to search through the Beats Music Catalog, play songs, and create, update, and show playlists. No longer available, ProgrammableWeb still displays a small sampling of what was possible with the Beats Music REST API.

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