Buying albums with Apple Music on Mac
April 30, 2020 4:11 AM   Subscribe

This is a really dumb question, I hope, but please be gentle. I've been buying albums from iTunes for years. I want to continue doing so from Apple Music. I can't find how to do it on a Mac. So tell me how, please.

First, I am buying classical albums. I have no great interest in buying single tracks.
Second, I am committed to the Apple ecosystem. No others need apply.
Now with that out of the way ...
Once upon a time, I just searched in iTunes and found an album, and when I clicked the link in the search I would get presented with some artwork, a list of tracks and a Buy button. On the iPhone I still get that. On the Mac, I don't get any "Buy" button or anything like it. Apple's help still talks about a Buy button that doesn't seem to exist any longer. All the google hits seem to assume that the Buy button is still there or can be brought up.

I can still buy albums on the phone, but then there may be an extra step to get them onto the Mac as well. Incidentally, I just checked a specific album and I can buy it without any trouble on the phone but not on the Mac. (Under current conditions, I also have no way of buying CDs, so ripping is out.)

Help please?
posted by Logophiliac to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Which operating system are you using? I know that Apple changed a bunch of stuff concerning how music is stored & accessed in the latest version of the OS. (But I haven't upgraded yet myself, so I can't help beyond knowing that your OS version might be an important detail.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 4:25 AM on April 30, 2020

Here is Apple's support document for buying music in MacOS Catalina. I am not running Catalina so I can't confirm this, but it looks like it is possible.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 4:30 AM on April 30, 2020

And here's another one.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 4:31 AM on April 30, 2020

Best answer: On my old (2012) iMac running Catalina (10.15.4) I use the search box at the upper left of Music. On the upper right there are tabs for Apple Music, Your Library, and iTunes Store. Choosing the latter brings back a whole lot of results. To the right of those results are options to filter by all, albums, songs and music videos. When I filter by albums the results just show albums. Clicking on an album brings up a page that looks pretty much like the previous versions of the iTunes Store with the album cover on the left and the option to buy that album below it. To the right are the individual track listings with options to buy by track.
posted by plastic_animals at 4:36 AM on April 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: About This Mac says Catalina 10.15.4.
plastic_animals gets best answer. The tabs turn out to be the key. I didn't have them shown and I don't know why, and now I do have them shown and I have Buy buttons. I have no idea how I got the tabs showing though.
posted by Logophiliac at 5:23 AM on April 30, 2020

Response by poster: Thanks all. Marking this one as Resolved.
posted by Logophiliac at 5:25 AM on April 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

(By the way, you definitely shouldn't feel dumb about this. In the last few years, Apple has definitely started in on the "tweaking the interface just to tweak" approach, and I still have to think for a minute when doing anything with Music.)
posted by praemunire at 8:14 AM on April 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

Splitting iTunes into TV/Music/Podcasts was much more than “a tweak”.
posted by sideshow at 9:01 AM on April 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

Just want to second what praemunire wrote. Some of the changes Apple has made to iTunes and now Music over the past couple of years have made the interface less intuitive and I've shared the "This should be easy, I can't be this dumb" feeling.
posted by plastic_animals at 10:34 AM on April 30, 2020 [2 favorites]

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