Roku users can now play Apple Music songs and videos on their TVs, streaming players, or Roku soundbars. Roku announced Monday that the “app will be available for download later today.”
It has taken a while for Apple’s music service to become one of the most popular smart TV platforms. It was ported to Amazon’s Fire TV in 2019 and has since landed on at least one game console: the PS5 (although it doesn’t appear to be supported on Xbox or Switch). However, in my opinion, streaming music services makes a lot of sense on TVs. If someone has a nice set of speakers, chances are they’re hooked up to the TV, and displaying album art on such a big screen is a treat for most of us, who usually only see it in thumbnail form.
Unfortunately, Apple Music on Roku doesn’t “currently” support features like lossless or spatial audio,” Roku spokesperson Sophia Economou told me. The edge in an email. While Apple doesn’t stick these features to its own platforms (they’re available in the Android Apple Music app), they don’t seem to be very common on platforms meant to plug into TVs. (I couldn’t find any mention of them in the PS5 version of the Apple Music app.) Sure, they’re supported on the Apple TV 4K, though that box has certain limits when it comes to the highest lossless resolution files.
On the one hand, it makes sense, given the wide variety of hardware that Roku apps can run on and the fact that both functions are likely wasted on TV speakers. But then again, it can certainly be a bummer for anyone who has a sound system plugged into their Roku device.
Roku users can sign in to the app if they have an existing Apple Music subscription or subscribe to the service through the Roku channel store.