On the Apple developer forum, the company confirmed that iOS 15.5 beta 4 re-introduces the API to let Apple Music third-party apps control or set playback speed. The latest iOS 15.5 beta 4 was released last week, along with the fourth developer beta for iPadOS 15.5, macOS Monterey 12.4, tvOS 15.5, and watchOS 8.6.
MusicKit is an Apple API that allows developers to create apps with access to Apple Music. In iOS 15.4, the company removed the ability to control playback speed for third-party apps for unknown reasons stating that it was a bug.
iOS 15.5 beta 4 re-enables API that several Apple Music third-party apps rely on
When the issue was raised on the Apple Developer Forum a month ago, a company engineer said that the playback rate in MusicKit only applied to content owned by the user like the songs bought via iTunes Store, and “If it was possible to do it in earlier releases, it was a bug, and we’ve fixed it in iOS 15.4.”
However, unamused by the response and the limitation, developers continued to highlight the impact of the restrictive change. @florom wrote:
Removing the possibility to be able change the speed of Apple Music contents affects many many apps and many many thousands of users. My mailbox was flooded this morning with complaints and customers asking for a refund since my app is now useless. This can’t be a bug fix, it’s removing of a feature that has been available for at least the last three years, since iOS 13 or even earlier. Please tell us developers that this is actually bug introduced with iOS 15.4 so we can tell our (and Apple’s) customers that it will work again in a soon to come update. This isn’t what we expect from Apple!
Luckily for the affected developers, Apple revised its decision and reintroduced the API after a month in iOS 15.5 beta 4.
We have re-evaluated our previous decision to disable changing the playback rate for subscription content from Apple Music in third-party applications, and we came to the conclusion that we could safely enable that functionality again, just like before the release of iOS 15.4.
As such, this issue is fixed in iOS 15.5 beta 4.
At the moment is not known what is included in the latest iOS beta version. The previous beta updates of iOS 15.5 featured a workaround for Universal Control between macOS 12.4 beta and iOS 15.5, references to the new Apple Classical app, improvements to Apple Pay Cash and the Home app, reference to SportsKit development, and rebranding of “iTunes Pass” as “Apple Account Card” and Apple Card renamed as “Titanium Card” in the Wallet app.