In short: Apple Music is not supported on Garmin watches, but songs that have been purchased from the iTunes Store are supported. The easiest thing you can do is to wear a FlipBelt, where you can listen to Apple Music from your phone instead.
It’s no secret that Garmin music watches support music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and Deezer. But what about Apple Music? Let’s talk about it.
Does Apple Music work with Garmin?
Unfortunately, Apple Music doesn’t work with Garmin music watches, although songs that have been purchased from the iTunes Store are supported on Garmin music watches.
To be clear, Apple Music is not the same as iTunes. Apple Music is a subscription-based music streaming service similar to services provided by Spotify or Amazon Music.
iTunes, on the other hand, is not a place where you can stream music, but it does have an iTunes store where you can buy media (songs and videos), download them, and listen offline.
If you want to learn more about the differences between Apple Music and iTunes, you should read this article, which will help you utilize your Garmin watch much better.
My experience with Apple Music and Garmin
Apple is an incredibly closed-off ecosystem. In fact, Apple doesn’t allow Garmin users to have quick responses to text messages nor allow offline music downloads like Spotify.
For someone who uses Apple Music, it’s tough to make the switch from the Apple Watch to a Garmin. I also use Spotify but I like to experiment with apps so here’s what I did:
For songs I own that I’ve manually imported into Apple Music, this is relatively easy. I just sync those songs in a dedicated running playlist, then connect my watch to my Mac and sync.
You can sync your watch with your iTunes library using Garmin Express on your computer.
However, most songs are DRM protected and not purchased from the iTunes Store. Although I don’t condone this tip, you can technically listen to Apple Music on the web and rip from there.
There are plenty of third-party apps that can convert Apple Music songs to MP3 format. Then, you can simply transfer them to your Garmin watch for playback.
Another method is to convert YouTube music videos into MP3 format, download them, and then import them into Apple Music and sync them via Garmin Express.
There is no easy way to do this, and honestly, I have been enjoying my FlipBelt and just listening to music from my phone. But the above tips are achievable as I’ve done it.
Wear a FlipBelt to listen to Apple Music on your phone
Personally, I love to keep things simple. I accept the fact that Apple Music doesn’t work with Garmin and I don’t like the idea of using a music-converting app to get songs.
Of course, I can use Spotify. But for days when I want to listen to Apple Music while running, I wear a FlipBelt, which is a running belt phone holder and carrier pouch for small vital essentials.
The design is stupidly simple. It’s a wide, tubular belt with a bunch of slits in it. After all, I’m a big believer in simplicity and like products to do what they’re supposed to do well.
The belt doesn’t budge. Believe me, I’ve run hundreds of miles with mine, and it has never once slipped, even when the belt was unbalanced by a big phone or wallet.
Don’t freak out about your stuff falling out. The belt fits tight and the thin slits work well to keep your snack bars and phone all contained. I’ve not had one issue of anything falling out of mine.
Ultimately, fitness is why I wear a smartwatch, so I switched to a Garmin. I care more about fitness tracking and detailed metrics, so I sacrificed the smart features of the Apple Watch.
If you want to listen to Apple Music while wearing a Garmin watch, just wear a FlipBelt. It gives you the best of worlds. It’s cheap, simple, and gets the job done.