Did you know that you can use the queue in the Apple Music app to see a list of upcoming songs, add songs and videos to the queue, and see what you’ve recently played?
To add a song to a queue on Apple Music, choose between “Play Next” which adds the song right after the currently playing item, or “Play Last” which adds the song to the end of the queue.
Unfortunately, there have been reports of the Apple Music queue not working. If you’re experiencing issues with the Apple Music queue, here are some things to look for.
Apple Music is connected to your car via USB
Whenever you connect your iPhone to your car via USB, the Apple Music queue won’t work. You’ll lose the ability to “Play Next”, “Play Last”, and to edit the existing queue.
You also cannot use Siri to add to or edit the queue.
This happens because the car is essentially seeing your phone as an iPod, and the iPod never had a “Play Next” or “Play Last” feature, so it’s disabled while connected via USB.
You’ll get the “Limited Queueing” message, which means some or all queuing may be disabled when playing radio stations or connected to a car or other accessory.
This problem won’t happen when you connect your iPhone to your car via Bluetooth. So if you have trouble with the Apple Music queue not working in your car, use Bluetooth instead.
However, if you prefer using the USB connection for better audio quality, the solution is to create a special playlist on the Apple Music app for the car and just play it once.
Newer vehicles using CarPlay don’t have this problem as the phone runs the whole show.
Choosing “Play Next” from a different playlist
When you’re listening to a playlist and then select another song from a different playlist (tapping on Play Next) the Apple Music app often doesn’t play the selected song next.
I’ve had this “queue not working” issue with both non-downloaded as well as downloaded songs, so it doesn’t seem to be dependent on whether or not it’s in my Apple Music library.
None of these songs have been purchased from iTunes. It’s all purely issues while streaming or playing downloaded playlists from within the Apple Music app.
I’ve tried a few other music streaming services and they’re all pretty intuitive and work in a straight-forward way as far as using the “Play Next” feature goes, but it rarely works here.
It’s too bad that Apple Music’s queueing system is limited compared to other music streaming apps. The only workaround I can recommend is to use “Play Next” on songs not on a playlist.
Or, just tap on a playlist and let the songs play.
The queue clears during inactivity or when the app is closed
Many people using the Apple Music app have had the same issue where the queue on Apple Music deletes itself for seemingly no reason other than inactivity.
Sometimes, the app will force close while in use, and the queue is gone. There’s nothing you can do about it and you don’t know when it’s going to happen. It just does.
Considering the effort it takes to find some songs and add them to the queue, the whole thing really shouldn’t be so easy to lose time and time again.
Here’s what one Apple Music user had to say about this issue:
“As of this past weekend, my iPhone has started to randomly delete my queue after exiting from the mobile app. I’m not positive if I am using the correct terminology, but prior to this past weekend, every time I would reopen Apple Music, I could resume playing music, playlists, etc. from where I previously left off. Now, at least 50% of the time I reopen the app, the queue is empty.”– Ryan (Apple Music user)
My biggest issue is that the Apple Music queue clears every time you close the app, which is especially frustrating whenever you accidentally close it.
I wish the queue on Apple Music was persistent and you could use it as this constantly growing thing where you can add and remove songs from over time. One can only dream.
If you don’t want the Apple Music app to close randomly and clear its queue in the process, keep the apps running in the background to a minimum and keep your queue short.
You’re playing music not in your queue
If you play music that’s not in your queue, you’ll see an option to clear your music queue. If you choose Clear, then the music in your queue is replaced with the music you’ve selected to play.
It could be that you’ve been playing music not in your queue. If this is the case, then it’s the reason why it seems like the Apple Music queue is not working.
Related: How to clear the Apple Music queue
A brief explanation of the Apple Music queue
I’m new to Apple Music but I realized it’s just a matter of being familiar with the UI. And, there are certain benefits to both Spotify and Apple’s approaches to the queuing system.
Anyway, the best way to address the issue is to start from scratch.
Clear the queue by playing the last song in any playlist or album. Tap the song and you’ll get a menu asking if you want to keep the songs in line to play next or clear them. Clear them.
Now look at the queue. It’s clear.
However, if you have Autoplay on (in place of the user-generated queue), you’ll have a list of similar music that will keep playing once your selection finishes.
It helped my visual experience to turn Autoplay off while experimenting but it doesn’t really matter. Autoplay is the little infinity symbol on the right-hand side of the queue screen.
Once you have an empty queue you should be able to add songs to play next or last without any confusion. The slide and three-dot methods do the same thing.
Now that you have a new “user-generated” queue, you’ll be asked if you want to keep the current queue going when the song is over or not if you push play on a track.
If you choose to keep it, the track will play and your old queue will follow.
On Spotify, you wouldn’t have this option.
There, if you outright push play on a track, it simply jumps to the top of the queue. The rest of whatever album or playlist the song is from will be played when the queue is over automatically.
Ostensibly, Spotify’s system seems to make more sense. It’s certainly simpler. However, Apple offers the choice of adding songs to the top or bottom of the queue.
And, they seem to be trying to ensure the user has continuous music. On Spotify, it’s not too difficult to reach the end of the queue and the music will simply stop abruptly.
For instance, if you have a short Spotify queue and then play a song toward the end of an album or playlist, you’ll run out of music within just a few tracks.
Apple’s system has features that aim to prevent unexpected silence.