The Apple Music web player was apparently recently upgraded to allow subscribers to sign in with their accounts and play full songs and albums.
The new Apple Music browser player resulted in speculation that Apple will soon launch a full online client. Such a move would likely be made with the goal of catching up to the subscriber numbers of rival music streaming service Spotify.
New Apple Music Web Player
Apple Music has always provided an online tool for generating widgets, which can be embedded in websites and blogs to promote music from the streaming service. The Apple Music web player created by the widgets, however, was recently upgraded, as spotted by a Reddit user.
Previously, the embedded Apple Music online player only allowed people to play 30-second to 90-second previews of songs. The upgraded player, meanwhile, allows Apple Music subscribers to sign in with their accounts to be able to play full songs, albums, and playlists.
The Sign In option may be seen at the upper-right part of the embedded Apple Music player. Once logged in, playing full songs and albums will be unlocked. Clicking on the three dots will add the playlist to the user's library directly without having to open the Apple Music app.
The widget also comes with a pause/play button, a scrubber, and a next track button, making it very close to working as a full online Apple Music client. Only access to the user's library and the For You section are the major missing parts.
There is no sign that Apple will launch a dedicated Apple Music web client in the future. However, if Apple has such plans, announcing it WWDC will make sense.
Apple vs Spotify
In February, a report claimed that there was twice the number of paid Spotify subscribers compared to Apple Music. However, the Apple Music subscription rate was much faster, leading to predictions that it will take the lead over Spotify by the summer. Apple CEO Tim Cook said last month that Apple Music subscribers have surpassed 50 million, including users on the three-month free trial.
If Apple wants to catch up to Spotify, it will have to challenge its rival wherever it is available. This includes the web, so a dedicated online Apple Music player is not out of the question.
An Apple Music web client will also allow subscribers to use their accounts on devices where installing the app is impossible, such as on Chromebooks and work PCs.