If there’s anything that iOS 15 made better on your iPhone, it must be the FaceTime app. FaceTime on iOS 15 comes with all-new features like Portrait mode, Grid view, Spatial audio, Voice Isolation, Wide Spectrum, and web integration but the most significant one of them is SharePlay. SharePlay makes video calls more interactive by letting you share and stream supported content like movies, TV shows, music, and other stuff over FaceTime with anyone on call.
With SharePlay, you no longer have to use third-party apps or another video calling service to stream stuff together with your friends remotely at the same time. All you need is your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV to connect to someone over FaceTime and then you can play any kind of content together with others on a call as long as the shared app supports SharePlay.
If you wish to play your favorite music tracks and listen to them with your friends and family, then this post will help you do that on FaceTime via the new SharePlay feature.
How to listen to music on FaceTime
The only way you can listen to music or stream content on FaceTime is through SharePlay. When you listen to music with others on a FaceTime call, anyone can pause content, control playback, and change what’s being streamed; all while being in a video call and continuously talking to each other. To listen to music on a FaceTime call, follow the steps below.
Before you can stream music with others using SharePlay, you need to make sure you and your FaceTime call participants have the following things sorted:
- iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs of all participants should be updated to iOS 15.1, iPadOS 15.1, and tvOS 15.1 respectively
- FaceTime app signed in with your Apple ID
- An active subscription on everyone’s device of Apple Music or the app you want to listen to music from (yes, not only the host, but the participants also need active subscription)
The aforementioned requirements apply to all the participants of the FaceTime call, including the person who will initiate SharePlay.
Once you’ve made sure of these prerequisites, you can proceed to follow Steps 1 and 2, if you’re the host of the FaceTime call and SharePlay. However, if you’re already on a FaceTime call and you want to join someone else’s SharePlay, you can do so by following Step 3.
Step 1: Start a FaceTime call [For host only]
If you’re the host of the video call, you need to first initiate it from your phone. For this, open the FaceTime app on your iPhone and either tap on the ‘New FaceTime’ button or select the contacts you may have recently contacted on FaceTime.
When you create a new FaceTime call, you can search for the contacts you want to start a video call with or select the required people from the list of suggestions.
To initiate the call with the selected people, tap on the ‘FaceTime’ button at the bottom.
When the call gets connected, you’ll see FaceTime’s new control bar at the top of the screen. You’ve now successfully initiated a call on FaceTime and it’s now time to head over to the music app you want to stream from.
With the FaceTime call connected and ready, you can straight away start playing an audio track in a SharePlay-supported app. In this instance, we’re using the Apple Music app but there are more apps that support SharePlay on iOS. We’ll share more on that further down this post.
When you launch the Apple Music or a SharePlay-supported music app, you should see the “Choose Content to Use SharePlay” message at the top of the screen.
Tapping on this message will offer you different options to start SharePlay for the app’s content – SharePlay Automatically and Ask Next time.
SharePlay Automatically – This will trigger SharePlay every time you open Apple Music or a supported app during a FaceTime call.
Ask Next time – Lets you choose if you want to use SharePlay the next time you play content on Apple Music or a supported app.
Now, select the song/audio you want to stream together with your family or friends on FaceTime.
When you start playing a song on the streaming app, a prompt will appear asking you whether or not you wish to SharePlay the selected content. To play this song for everyone, tap on ‘SharePlay’.
When the song starts playing, you should see a message at the top that reads “Started <song title>”.
With the media playback screen in the foreground, you’ll see the video call screen appear as a floating window at all times, unless it’s hidden manually.
When SharePlay is initiated by someone in a FaceTime call, you can see what song is being played within the video call’s controls at the top. This is indicated by a music note icon that should appear below the participants’ names along with the name of the song or audio that’s playing.
You can start listening to music that’s being played here by tapping on the ‘Open’ button adjacent to ‘Join SharePlay’ inside FaceTime’s video controls at the top. You’ll also see the app where a song is streamed from by looking for its app icon on the left side of the ‘Join SharePlay’ section.
When you join someone’s SharePlay activity, iOS will open the app that’s playing the song. To listen to this song on your iPhone, tap on the ‘Join SharePlay’ option in the prompt that appears on the screen.
SharePlay will now start playing the song that’s being shared for everyone in this video call.
When the song starts playing, you’ll enter the app’s playback screen with various controls, the number of listeners who are actively streaming through SharePlay, and a floating window that shows participants of your FaceTime call.
You should use the media controls with caution as changing a setting will affect playback on others’ iPhones as well.
Regardless of who started it on a video call, anyone on FaceTime can stop the current SharePlay session at any time. However, when you opt to leave a session, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to remove yourself from the SharePlay streaming or stop it for all.
You can end SharePlay when streaming music on a FaceTime call by tapping the green clock pill or SharePlay icon at the top left corner of your screen.
When FaceTime controls appear, tap on the SharePlay icon.
In the dropdown menu that appears, select ‘End SharePlay’.
You’ll now see a dialog box on the screen asking whether you wish to stop SharePlay for everyone or just you. Tap on your preferred option.
When you end SharePlay for yourself, you will be removed from the SharePlay activity but others will continue with the activity. When SharePlay is stopped for everyone, you will see who stopped it on your iPhone.
The ability to play music directly on FaceTime is only possible with apps that support SharePlay. Since the feature is relatively new, you can only listen to audio using SharePlay on Apple Music, Digital Concert Hall, Relax Melodies, Moon FM, and Vinyls.
Sadly, SharePlay is currently not available on Spotify or YouTube Music but we can expect to see more apps that support it across multiple platforms as SharePlay gains more popularity. Besides the aforementioned apps, you can check out the complete list of apps that support SharePlay on FaceTime in the post linked below.
That’s all you know about listening to music via SharePlay on FaceTime.