Collaboration is available in many different Apple apps, from Notes and Reminders to Photos, Freeform, and even Files. And now you can add to the list Apple Music, which lets you collaborate on playlists with friends.
While it wasn't ready for Apple's major software releases in September, Apple Music playlist collaboration is finally available starting on iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, and macOS 14.2 Sonoma, currently in beta. You can't invite or participate in someone else's playlist unless you're running one of these and have "Sync Library" enabled. And if you invite somebody with a device that isn't updated yet and who's not syncing their library, they will only be able to see and play music in the playlist.
Anyone in a collaborative playlist can add, reorder, and remove songs like in any other custom playlist in the Music app. Still, the playlist's cover art can only be customized by the owner.
To start a collaborative playlist, create a new playlist or open one you've already made. Afterward, tap the Collaborate button or hit the ellipsis (•••) and then "Collaborate."
On the Invite Friends to Join prompt, you can turn on "Approve Collaborators" to approve anyone who tries to join the playlist, even if you invite them. Leave it off if you're OK with anyone being able to join who has the link. You can also tap "Edit" next to your name to change your name or photo that others see.
When ready, tap "Start Collaboration."
You can share the invite link to your playlist from the share sheet via Messages, AirPlay, Mail, and so on, or by copying the link to paste elsewhere.
When you've invited a collaborator, the Collaborate button will become a Manage Collaboration button, with two people outlined instead of just one. Tap that or hit the ellipsis (•••) and then "Manage Collaboration" to see the playlist's collaboration settings.
As the playlist owner, you can change the "Approve Collaborators" option here whenever needed. If you have it on, you'll need to hit the white-and-green checkmark button next to their name to approve them after they've tried to join. Or you can tap the red-and-white X to reject them.
You can also share an invite from the playlist's settings or show its QR code for people to scan. The link expires after a week. Playlist participants can only see these share links when "Approve Collaborators" is disabled.
As the playlist owner, you can tap "generate a new link" to prevent more people from joining the playlist using the link you already sent out, which will give you a new link to share with other people. Participants can't generate a new link, but they can share the updated link.
Once there are approved collaborators, the owner's name under the playlist's name will change to say how many others are authorized to manage the playlist. The album covers for each song will also change so that the profile photo of whoever added the song will appear on top for easy recognition.
Scrolling down to the end of the playlist will show song suggestions, which have been available since iOS 17.1 and iPadOS 17.1, as well as quick links to all the collaborators and artists featured in the playlist.
If you want to stop collaborating on a playlist, tap "Stop" next to Collaboration in the Manage Collaboration settings. It will warn you that if you stop the collaboration, other people will no longer be able to edit the playlist. However, anything they've already added or changed will be unaffected.
When you're a participant in somebody else's playlist, the "Stop" button will say "Leave" instead, and you can leave the playlist at any time. Your edits to the playlist will remain intact.
To delete someone from a collaborative playlist, swipe left on their name in the Manage Collaboration settings, then tap "Remove."
One thing that's not currently working for playlist collaboration on Apple Music is emoji reactions. Apple says that you'll be able to use emoji from the Now Playing screen to react to the song choices from playlist participants, but it doesn't appear to be live yet.
It's also yet unknown if collaborative playlists are coming to the Apple Music app for Android devices, which isn't updated as often as Apple Music on Apple's own platforms.
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