Back in 2014, I outlined what I thought an Apple streaming music service might look like. My prediction was pretty close to Apple Music, but there’s a major feature missing. I said:
You should be able to access a full history of what you have listened to. […] This Recently Played playlist should contain everything I’ve listened to with my account, from every device, and should be available on every device as well.
Alas, this isn’t the case. If you listen to music on your Mac – music that you’ve added to My Music, and that shows up in your iTunes library – then it shows up in a Recently Played playlist, if you have one. (iTunes creates this by default, but you may have deleted it. See below for instructions on how to create it again.) However, if you stream music through iTunes, or on an iOS device, it doesn’t get added to this playlist.
This is a huge mistake. If I’ve listened to some music through a playlist on Apple Music, I may want to go back and check what I heard, to listen to certain songs again, add them to my music library, or check out more music by some of the artists I heard. Especially if I’m listening on a mobile device and didn’t have time to note what I heard.
Also, there should be a list of tracks you mark as Loved. The little heart icon – you tap or click this to say that you Love a track, album, or artist – is a great way of marking music you like. Except there is no way you can find what you have loved, unless it’s music in your iTunes library.
Apple is missing out on a very useful feature here. This should be fixed.
Note: if you no longer have a Recently Played playlist, you can create one. Choose File > New > Smart Playlist, and add the following rules:
[Last Played] [in the last] 2 [weeks]
[Media Kind] [is] [Music]