In short: Apple Music crossfade only works if you let the whole song play through. Don’t skip ahead near the end of the song. The crossfade feature also doesn’t work with AirPlay and Lossless Audio so disable both of them.
Apple Music has finally added a feature that has been available on Spotify. It has existed on the Android version of Apple Music for a while, but it was finally released after the iOS 17 update.
That’s right, Apple Music finally added the option to crossfade songs, which allows a song to fade in (gradually increase its volume) while the previous song is fading out.
To enable crossfade, open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Scroll down and tap on Music. Toggle the switch next to Crossfade so that it’s in the green ON position.
Now you can adjust the slider below to choose the number of seconds in which the crossfade is active across consecutive songs (from 1 up to 12 seconds).
However, you should expect Apple Music crossfade not to work in the beginning since it’s a new feature. Here are some of the possible workarounds to solve the issue.
Let the whole song play through
If you notice that Apple Music crossfade is not working, don’t skip ahead near the end of the song. Crossfade works only if you let the whole song play through.
You’re probably curious and you want to try the crossfade feature, so you test it by skipping ahead to the end of the song. However, doing this won’t make the song crossfade.
This took me longer than it should have to figure out. Hopefully, you can learn from my experience and allow the Apple Music crossfade to do its thing.
Crossfade doesn’t work together with AirPlay
Are you using AirPlay? After many hours of troubleshooting, as well as plenty of trials and errors, I’m pretty sure Apple Music crossfade doesn’t work when AirPlay is active.
When I play Apple Music through the computer speakers or through the audio plug, crossfade works. However, when I play Apple Music through the HomePod, crossfade doesn’t work.
I’m sure down the line Apple should be able to improve upon this, but it seems like the AirPlay protocol doesn’t support crossfading since it’s a relatively new feature.
Crossfade won’t work together with gapless playback
Some people believe that crossfade on Apple Music doesn’t work if tracks are played based on the album’s chronological order. The thing is, you’re looking at gapless playback, not crossfade.
Crossfade is a feature that allows the next song to fade in (gradually increase its volume) while the previous song is fading out (gradually decreasing its volume).
On the other hand, gapless playback is a feature that lets you listen to an album in chronological order without any pauses between each track. The songs become one continuous track.
Crossfade will be disabled when Apple Music plays consecutive songs from the same album, which makes sense because albums are created to be listened to as the artist created them.
Crossfade is reserved for only playlists and radio stations, or for shuffling. With gaps of silence and instrumentals, crossfade may sound weird on certain tracks.
The point is that you shouldn’t expect crossfade when you’re listening to songs that are played based on the album’s chronological order. That would be gapless playback.
Crossfade doesn’t work with Lossless Audio
Unfortunately, Apple Music crossfade also doesn’t work with Lossless Audio. I have to disable the Lossless Audio setting and set the audio to High Quality to enjoy crossfade.
To disable Lossless Audio, open your iPhone’s Settings app and scroll down to tap Music. Under AUDIO, tap Audio Quality, then make sure the Lossless Audio toggle is off.
You should also set the audio quality for Cellular Streaming, Wi-Fi Streaming, and Downloads to High Quality (make sure NOT TO CHOOSE either Lossless or High-Resolution Lossless).
I’ve tried to fix this issue but nothing works. I’ve tried unchecking it and then closing out of preferences, but crossfade only works great when playing non-lossless music.
I’m going to give Apple the benefit of the doubt. You should expect some hiccups since the crossfade feature on Apple Music is relatively new.
You need to force-close Apple Music
If you’ve disabled AirPlay and Lossless Audio, but Apple Music crossfade is still not working, one advice is to close the Apple Music app from the background.
As Apple states, the only time you should close an app is if it has become unresponsive. This means the app has frozen, isn’t working correctly, or otherwise can’t be used.
You can do this on the iPhone by navigating to all of your background apps, which can be done on the iPhone X and later by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
On earlier iPhone models, you’ll need to double-press the Home button. From this screen, you can find the app that is not working properly, then swipe up on it to force it to close.
Expect this behavior, since Apple Music crossfade is still a mess
When Apple Music crossfade works, it’s a thing of beauty. I tried it on iOS 17 with 9 seconds of crossfade and it seamlessly transitioned to the next song.
However, the feature is still a mess on different platforms, especially with Lossless and AirPlay. Here’s my observation of Apple Music crossfade on different devices:
Crossfade on iOS
- Crossfade works with Lossless
- Crossfade doesn’t work with AirPlay
Crossfade on Mac
- Crossfade doesn’t work at all (in my case).
Crossfade on Android
- There is a smart crossfade that adjusts crossfade length for each song.
- AirPlay is not supported at all.
Crossfade on Windows
- Apple Music Preview crossfade works only with Lossless turned off.
- Crossfade works with AirPlay but only if Lossless is turned off.