HomePod Owners With an iTunes Match or Apple Music Subscription Can Access Their iCloud Music Library Using Siri

homepodwhiteApple began taking pre-orders for its HomePod on Friday, but the company has remained unusually reticent regarding some of the Siri-based smart speaker's finer functions.

Last week we learned that HomePod can play songs purchased through iTunes Music as well as stream podcasts and Beats 1 radio, but Apple didn't address questions about the device's handling of iTunes Match content stored in iCloud Music Libraries.

For those unaware, iCloud Music Library lets users upload or "match" up to 100,000 songs from their personal music library with the DRM-free iTunes Store catalog, without eating into their standard iCloud storage allocation. The feature comes as part of Apple's iTunes Match service ($24.99 a year) and is also included with every Apple Music subscription ($9.99 monthly).

As it turns out, both iTunes Match and Apple Music subscribers will be able to use HomePod's Siri voice-based activation to access tracks stored in iCloud Music Library. The detail was seemingly confirmed on Sunday by Apple, as relayed by iMore's Serenity Caldwell in a tweet. Also Sunday, Daring Fireball's John Gruber reported hearing similar iCloud Music Library support from "a friend seeded with HomePod", although how Siri works with cloud-stored tracks not matched with the official iTunes Store catalog remains unknown.


To reiterate, the user whose iCloud account is linked to HomePod can access their Apple Music subscription, tracks stored in their Cloud Music Library, and iTunes Store purchases via Siri. However, Siri will not be able to control any content streamed over AirPlay from supporting devices.

Meanwhile, HomePod owners without an Apple Music or iTunes Match subscription can still play music they've purchased on iTunes, as well as stream podcasts and Beats 1 radio, but Siri requests for playing songs by name, genre, artist, and so on will not be available. Apple has still to clarify how HomePod handles Family Sharing subscriptions to Apple Music, and whether the speaker's Bluetooth 5.0 specification means it will accept pairing requests from devices over the Bluetooth protocol.

Apple has positioned the HomePod as a speaker that can stream Apple Music, but with built-in Siri, users can also send messages, set timers and reminders, check the news, control HomeKit-enabled smart home accessories, and complete several other tasks without needing to take out their iPhone. The speaker is equipped with spatial awareness and Apple-engineered audio technology, including a seven‑tweeter array and high-excursion woofer. It stands almost seven inches tall and is powered by Apple's A8 chip.

HomePod is available in the United States ($349), UK (£319), and Australia ($499). Apple is currently taking pre-orders for the HomePod, with the device set to ship on Friday, February 9.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

keysofanxiety Avatar
81 months ago
What would you suggest as an alternative to "hey"?
- Good morrow, Siri
- Bleedin' 'eck Siri
- Spit spod Siri
- Bugger'ooney Siri
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mike Oxard Avatar
81 months ago
Can you access Siri without having to say "Hey" - British people don't tend to use the word unless someone bumps into you in the street...
Yep, the UK trigger phrase should be "Oi, Siri" or maybe "Now then Siri"
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Duncan-UK Avatar
81 months ago
Can you access Siri without having to say "Hey" - British people don't tend to use the word unless someone bumps into you in the street...
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Wanted797 Avatar
81 months ago
Can you access Siri without having to say "Hey" - British people don't tend to use the word unless someone bumps into you in the street...
Here in Yorkshire, Siri should respond to "Ey-up Siri!"
Yep, the UK trigger phrase should be "Oi, Siri" or maybe "Now then Siri"
Us Australians better get “G’day Siri” and “Siri mate”.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
groovyf Avatar
81 months ago
Yep, the UK trigger phrase should be "Oi, Siri" or maybe "Now then Siri"
Here in Yorkshire, Siri should respond to "Ey-up Siri!"
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OllyW Avatar
81 months ago
Here in Yorkshire, Siri should respond to "Ey-up Siri!"
"Ow bin ya Siri" here in the Black Country. :D
[doublepost=1517220896][/doublepost]
Apple has still to clarify how HomePod handles Family Sharing subscriptions to Apple Music, and whether the speaker's Bluetooth 5.0 specification means it will accept pairing requests from devices over the Bluetooth protocol.
Good news about iTunes Match but I still don't understand why Apple are being so cagey about the HomePod's functionality.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...