In short: Apple Music often plays song previews on the web version because you’re accessing the web page from the wrong region or location. Make sure the URL is correct and turn off VPN.
You open Apple Music to play a song you like, only to have the app play the preview only. If this is happening to you, here are 5 reasons why Apple Music only plays previews.
1. Apple Music is running on another device
What type of Apple Music membership do you have? If you have the voice, student, or individual membership, you may have the app running in the background on another device.
The voice, student, and individual memberships only allow you to stream on a single device at a time, whereas the family membership allows you to stream on up to six devices at a time.
Check your devices (phones and computers). Apple Music may be running in the background, which is why it is only playing previews on your current device.
Close the app on the other device, then refresh the app or webpage.
If you want unlimited access to Apple Music for you and your family members, consider upgrading to the family plan. You will be able to stream on up to six devices at a time.
2. You are accessing the Apple Music version of a different country
Are you streaming Apple Music on your computer? Check the URL of the webpage. A lot of people don’t realize that they are trying to access Apple Music from a different country.
Apple Music will only play previews of songs if you are trying to access the Apple Music web page of a different country. You can only access the Apple Music webpage of your country.
3. You are using a VPN
Are you using a VPN? While it’s possible to use a VPN with other music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music is not compatible with any VPNs.
According to the Apple Media Services Terms and Conditions, you agree not to use or attempt to use the service from outside your location (the country in which your Apple ID is registered).
Apple may use technologies to verify your compliance.
Even if you maintain an internet connection using a VPN from the same country your Apple ID was registered from, Apple Music will only play previews of songs.
That’s the whole thing about VPNs, they hide your actual location.
I think this is Apple’s way of saying, “Don’t trust any connection coming from this IP address because it is a known VPN service and we don’t know where the person really is.”
I have to use a VPN for work and I have never been able to connect to Apple Music, no matter which country I choose. As soon as I turn off the VPN, Apple Music works normally.
If you use a VPN, turn it off. Apple Music should stream music properly.
4. Clear cache and cookies on your web browser
If you have been using Apple Music on your computer for a long time, try clearing the browsing data, including cache and cookies on your web browser.
When you use a browser, like Chrome, it saves some information from websites in its cache and cookies. Clearing them fixes certain problems, like loading or formatting issues on sites.
5. You are using an old iPhone
Are you using an old iPhone? If you are, you may wake up one morning only to find the Apple Music app playing previews of the song instead of the full version.
Here is what an Apple customer had to say regarding the issue:
“This just started to happen on my daughter’s iPhone 8 Plus this evening. The rest of us have newer phones and are not affected. She can listen just fine with her Apple ID on her laptop but not on her phone.”– Apple Music Family Plan subscriber
If you are using an old iPhone, then maybe you should consider retiring the device. Bugs and errors are often fixed with software updates, but older phones won’t have access to them.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 6, for example, both run iOS 12, which was last updated by Apple in July 2020. Specifically, the update was for devices that don’t support iOS 13.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus did not get upgraded to iOS 16 when it was released in late 2022.
To be able to enjoy the full benefits of Apple and its apps, consider upgrading your device to a newer model. I’m not telling you to buy one, but if you have the means, consider it.