Apple Music to Add Support for ‘Passthrough’ Feature, Smart Audio Transitions with iOS 18: Report

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Apple Music will receive upgrades that improve the performance of the app on iOS 18 and macOS 15 later this year, according to a report. The company’s upcoming operating system updates are expected to bring revamped versions of Apple Music and QuickTime, the company audio and video playback apps. Apple Music could improve support for its existing crossfade feature. Meanwhile the iPhone maker is also reportedly testing a new ‘Passthrough’ that is said to be available on supported devices later this year.

An AppleInsider report, citing people aware of the company’s plans, states that new versions of the Apple Music and QuickTime apps are currently being tested internally. These apps are said to offer improvements to media playback and are expected to be introduced later this year when the company rolls out its iOS 18 and macOS 15 software updates to eligible iPhone models and Mac computers.

The first feature that is reportedly coming to Apple Music with iOS 18 and macOS 15 is called “smart song transitions”. It is said to be an improved version of the existing crossfade feature for Apple Music that lowers the volume of a track a few seconds before it ends, while starting playback of the next song and ramping up the volume so that there’s no silence between the two tracks.

While users can already adjust the crossfade setting on Apple Music to a higher or lower value (in seconds) to increase or decrease the time spent seamlessly switching between tracks, the smart song transitions might be able to dynamically adjust the transition time between tracks. A screenshot of the purported feature on Apple Music for iOS also shows a new “Smart” transition option above the existing crossfade slider that offers up to 12 seconds to seamlessly switch to the next track.

The “Passthrough” feature that is said to be coming to iOS 18 and macOS 18 will only be accessible on specific models, according to the report. While there’s no word on what the feature does, or whether it’s a rebrand of an existing feature such as Spatial Audio or Transparency mode, the publication states that it will “only be available on supported hardware”.

We can expect to hear more about Apple’s upcoming software features at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2024) that is scheduled to begin on June 10. This year, the company is said to be working on integrating several AI features into its iOS, iPadOS, and macOS operating systems for iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers, respectively.


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