Apple has launched a web version of Apple Music. Available in a beta version at beta.music.apple.com, this provides much of the Apple Music experience.
It’s not hard for Apple to provide web access: Apple Music pages in iTunes are just HTML – or web pages – displayed in that app. The web version is more limited than iTunes. Not everything is available: you cannot create or delete playlists, you cannot view smart playlists that you have created in iTunes, and you cannot use Genius to get suggestions and to start Genius playlists. But you can play music, add music to your iCloud Music Library, love and dislike music, and more.
You can access For You, you can browse Apple Music, and you can use Apple Music Radio. There are four ways to view your library: Recently Added, Artists, Albums, and Songs.
The question is why is Apple doing this? I don’t think the goal is to provide a fully functional player, but rather to provide a way for people who don’t have Apple Music to follow a link they see on social media, or an artist websites, even if they are not on an Apple device. But if you do want to use Apple Music without iTunes, and your needs are limited, this is a good way to do so.
(A friend pointed out that Linux users are happy about this, since there is obviously no iTunes on Linux. As this is going to be the year of Linux on the desktop, this is a Very Good Thing.)