HomePod Music Streams Don't Count Toward Apple Music and iTunes Device Limits

Yesterday, reviews for the HomePod launched online and with them new details about Apple's smart speaker began emerging ahead of its release date on February 9. One new tidbit of information came from Rene Ritchie's review of the speaker on iMore, which confirmed that any music streamed via HomePod does not count toward an Apple Music subscription's device streaming limit. Additionally, HomePod does not count toward the 10 device limit placed on devices associated with an Apple ID.


This means that subscribers with single memberships to Apple Music will be able to ask Siri to play a song on HomePod while listening to music on another iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Prior to HomePod, if single membership users streamed Apple Music on an iPhone and then began listening to music on a Mac, for example, the iPhone would disconnect from the music and serve up a warning about the new stream.

When users get their HomePods this weekend, it appears that they won't have to worry about the speaker taking up similar streaming limits on their Apple Music accounts. Apple Music family plans already support simultaneous streaming across multiple devices, but the HomePod feature should work the same for those users as well.

That includes HomePod not counting against any Apple Music device or concurrent stream limit — set it up one or more HomePods with your iPhone or iPad, leave the house with that device, and anyone who stays or comes home can still listen to Apple Music on any or all the HomePods you've set up.

Another small tidbit relates to how HomePod affects each user's music recommendations within the "For You" tab of Apple Music. According to The Loop's Jim Dalrymple, there's a toggle in the HomePod section of the Home app (where the speaker will be controlled on iOS devices), and turning it off allows users to prevent the HomePod's streams from impacting how Apple Music's algorithms recommend new music.

When using the feature, no music streamed via HomePod will count towards the subscriber's overall taste profile, but if users want HomePod streams to affect recommendations they can ignore the setting.

One thing about having multiple people access the HomePod that bothered me was that it would affect my “For You” section in Apple Music.

When you love songs, play songs and add songs to your library, Apple Music will suggest similar music, assuming that is what you want. If someone else, or a group of people come over and start playing genres you don’t like, it would screw everything up.

Well, it turns out I didn’t have to worry about that after all. There is a setting in the Home app that allows you to prevent the music played on HomePod from affecting the “For You” section of Apple Music.

This way, when users know a lot of people will be around the HomePod -- at a party, for example -- they can toggle the setting off. Then, if other people begin asking HomePod to play music that doesn't particularly align with the tastes of the main account, that Apple Music subscriber's New Music Mix and other song/artist recommendations won't be thrown off.

The same setting will also control the albums and playlists that appear on an Apple Music profile. In leaked screenshots posted by iGen in January, it was confirmed that turning off this one setting will prevent both music recommendations from being affected as well as "Listening To" history from being updated. It also synchronizes the playback status of podcasts on all devices connected to the same Apple ID.

If you're interested in reading up on everything else we know about the HomePod so far, be sure to check out our full HomePod Roundup.

Related Roundup: HomePod
Buyer's Guide: HomePod (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
32 months ago
Can't wait to see how commentors on here manage to turn this into bad news.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

This means that subscribers with single memberships to Apple Music will be able to ask Siri to play a song on HomePod while listening to music on another iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Prior to HomePod, if single membership users streamed Apple Music on an iPhone and then began listening to music on a Mac, for example, the iPhone would disconnect from the music and serve up a warning about the new stream.

Makes sense really, you wouldn't want your music in the car to be cut off if your partner or your kids start playing music on your HomePod.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
I didn't even know about the Streaming Limits.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
Well, I should think not!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago

Device limits are arbitrary and ridiculous. Devices don’t count.... or do they? It’s kinda confusing.... but computers do. And if you’re like me with multiple computers you’ve got to pick which machines to work with Apple Music and which don’t get music on them at all. I have 3 machines; 1 iMac and 2 MBP’s that are all used for very different reasons and each of those dualboots into windows for software compatibility purposes. So even though I’ve given Apple more money than others I still can’t use all my devices equally. I don’t expect the opposite.... to be treated better.... equally would be nice!

When I worked at Sony I used to fight against their decisions to limit the amount of PlayStations one could install software onto per account. All the excuses were laughable.

Generally they have to do with whatever deal was worked out with the record companies for licensing. It’s a bargaining chip for both sides.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
32 months ago
Well done Apple, for once!
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Warns Against Closing MacBooks With a Cover Over the Camera

Friday July 10, 2020 11:12 am PDT by
Apple this month published a support document that warns customers against closing their Mac notebooks with a cover over the camera as it can lead to display damage. Image via Reddit Apple says that the clearance between the display and the keyboard is designed to very tight tolerances, which can be problematic. Covering the camera can also cause issues with automatic brightness and True Tone....

iPhone 12 Sizes Compared with iPhone SE, 7, 8, SE 2, X, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max [Update]

Tuesday July 7, 2020 6:49 pm PDT by
Apple is planning on launching the iPhone 12 this fall which is rumored to be coming in 3 different sizes: 5.4", 6.1" and 6.7". The middle size (6.1") matches up with the currently shipping iPhone 11, but the other two sizes will be entirely new. Over the weekend, there was some excitement about how well the new 5.4" iPhone 12 compares to the original iPhone SE. Those who have been hoping...

Leaker: 'iPhone 12 Pro' to Come With 6GB of RAM

Friday July 10, 2020 1:59 am PDT by
Later this year, Apple is expected to release four OLED iPhones in three display sizes, including 5.4, 6.7, and two 6.1-inch models. Rumors suggest the 6.7-inch iPhone and one 6.1-inch model will be higher-end devices, and now leaker @L0vetodream has corroborated previous rumors about the internal specs of Apple's upcoming lineup. Rumors suggest Apple will use 5-nanometer A14 chips in its...

Apple Seeds First Betas of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 to Public Beta Testers

Thursday July 9, 2020 10:14 am PDT by
Apple today seeded the first public betas of upcoming iOS and iPadOS 14 updates to its public beta testing group, two weeks after first providing the updates to developers after the WWDC keynote and a day after seeding the second developer betas. Public beta testers who have signed up for Apple's beta testing program can download the iOS/‌iPadOS‌ 14 updates over the air after installing ...

Apple Moving Forward on Semitransparent Lenses for Upcoming AR Headset

Friday July 10, 2020 7:24 am PDT by
Apple and Foxconn have reached a key milestone in the development of Apple's long-rumored augmented reality headset, with the semitransparent lenses for the device moving from prototype to trial production, reports The Information. Apple is developing the lenses on a single production line at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu in southwestern China, where most of Apple’s iPad production is...

Kuo: Apple Silicon Macs to Include 13-inch MacBook Pro and MacBook Air This Year, 14.1-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro Models Next Year

Friday July 10, 2020 2:58 am PDT by
At last month's WWDC, Apple officially announced that its Mac computers will be transitioned from Intel x86 to homegrown Apple Silicon chips. Apple said it plans to deliver the first Apple Silicon Mac by the end of the year and complete the transition in about two years. According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a 13.3-inch MacBook Pro with a form factor similar to the current 13.3-inch...

Apple's Arm-Based Macs With Apple Silicon Chips Will Support Thunderbolt

Wednesday July 8, 2020 3:14 pm PDT by
Apple is working on Macs that use its custom Apple-designed Apple Silicon chips instead of Intel chips, but Apple has committed to continuing to support Thunderbolt, reports The Verge. In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said that Apple's upcoming machines will offer support for Intel's Thunderbolt USB-C standard. "Over a decade ago, Apple partnered with Intel to design and develop...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 2: New Calendar Icon, Files Widget and More

Tuesday July 7, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
Apple today released the second beta of iOS 14 to developers for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features that are coming in the update. Below, we've rounded up all of the changes that we found in the second beta. - Calendar icon - There's a new Calendar app icon in iOS 14 beta 2, with the day of the week abbreviated rather than spelled out. - Clock icon - The clock...

Analyst Believes iPhone 12 Pricing Will Start $50 Higher Even Without EarPods or Charger in Box

Wednesday July 8, 2020 9:35 am PDT by
Despite multiple reports indicating that Apple will not include EarPods or a wall charger with iPhone 12 models this year, one analyst believes that pricing will still increase slightly compared to the iPhone 11 lineup. In a research note provided to MacRumors, analyst Jeff Pu forecasted that iPhone 12 pricing will start at $749 for a new 5.4-inch model, an increase of $50 over the base...

Hands-On With tvOS 14: Picture in Picture, 4K YouTube, HomeKit and More

Thursday July 9, 2020 12:48 pm PDT by
Apple at WWDC introduced a new version of tvOS, the software that's designed to run on the fourth and fifth-generation Apple TV models. tvOS updates are often more minor in scale than iOS, watchOS, and macOS updates, but tvOS 14 has some useful new features. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple in tvOS 13 introduced a Picture in Picture option for the Apple TV...