Does Capo work with Apple Music?

Apple Music provides access to both your previous iTunes purchases as well as songs that you have ripped from CDs. A subscription to Apple Music also gives you access to stream millions of songs whether or not you are online. We love Apple Music because it gives users a way to discover and listen to new music from both new and familiar artists.

Capo (or any other application, for that matter) cannot load songs that are only available for streaming, but will happily load the songs you have purchased from iTunes in the past.

As a musician that is looking to improve your ear and your skills, a nearly-unlimited collection of material is exciting! However, there is an important point to understand here.

Just because you can stream and listen to the music, it doesn’t mean that you own it. Even though you can download the song to make it available for offline listening, you do not have the same rights to that music that you have to your purchases on the iTunes store.

For example, you can’t burn it to a CD for use in the car, you can’t drag the songs into an iMovie to add a backing track for your home video, and so on.

Supporting the artists

When you listen to a song on Apple Music, a tiny fraction of a penny is sent to the publisher, and an even tinier fraction makes it to the artist. Listen to it a few thousand or so times, and maybe the artist will end up with a penny.

When you buy a song for $1.29, $0.90 gets split between the publisher and the artist. But now you own a DRM-free copy of the song that you can effectively do what you like with. Again: burn CDs for the car, throw a backing track down under your home movie, and most importantly: load it into Capo for further analysis and learning.

Working with Capo

Unfortunately, it is not easy to tell whether or not you own a song using the Music app on iOS. To be frank, that is sort of the point—Apple Music was designed to keep things simple for the average user.

With that said, Capo will always show you the music that you own, and is available on your device.

If you already have songs that you purchased in “My Music”

  1. Locate the song you wish to make available to Capo in the Music app
  2. Tap the ‘•••’ button at the right of the song to show the menu
  3. Tap ‘Make Available Offline’
  4. Wait for the song to become available

Note: Step 4 is important. We have found in our testing that sometimes the track may appear to be available with the triangular “on device” icon, however the song has not yet completed its download. Just give it a minute or so until it starts to appear in Capo’s list of Artists, Albums, or Songs view.

If you encounter a song that can only be streamed in “My Music”

  1. Locate the song you wish to make available to Capo in the Music app
  2. Tap the ‘•••’ button at the right of the song to show the menu
  3. Tap ‘Show in iTunes Store’
  4. Purchase the song
  5. Wait for the song to become available

Just as with the steps above, it’s important to wait for the song to arrive and the system to make the song available to Capo.

If you have trouble finding songs you purchased using Music

  1. Launch the iTunes Store on your device
  2. Choose the ‘More’ tab at the bottom
  3. Select Purchased, then Music
  4. Choose the ‘Not on This iPhone’ tab at the top
  5. Locate the songs you wish to download
  6. Either tap the ‘cloud download’ icon, or ‘Download All’ at the top right of your screen


I purchased the song, but it still doesn’t appear in Capo’s list!

We haven’t seen this happen in the wild yet, however it’s possible that if you previously chose to make a song ‘Available Offline’, the Music app may not replace the “streamable” version with the “owned” version of the track. In this case, try the following:

  1. Locate the song you need to re-download in the Music app
  2. Tap the ‘•••’ button at the right of the song to show the menu
  3. Tap ‘Remove Download’
  4. Wait a little while
  5. Tap the ‘•••’ button again for the song at a later time
  6. Tap ‘Make Available Offline’
  7. Wait for the song to become available to Capo

Again, the steps above should not be necessary in practice. We’re including them in case the Music app does something screwy in the interest of saving download bandwidth.