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What Does the Dot Next to a Song in Apple Music Mean?

Photo by James Lee / Unsplash

Dots, stars, notes, arrows... There are plenty of signs Apple Music labels songs with. But in 2024, a new sign appeared that is not even yet described in the Apple Music symbols list. At least not at the time of this explainer being written. So, in this short piece, we'll figure out what this little dot next to an Apple Music track means.

Recently, we've told you what that tiny E means and what the difference is between the songs that have one and the ones that don't. So take a look if you're interested.

Dot next to a song in Apple Music—what does it mean?

If you've noticed this grey dot next to a song on Apple Music (like in the screenshot above), you should know that it's how the top songs of the album are now labelled; previously, they were labelled as stars. Or rather, that's how they will be labelled after Apple Music's introduction of the Favourites feature that allows you to add songs you like in a separate playlist by pressing on the star icon. So, to allow users to differentiate between the two, the top album songs are now labelled with dots.

You've also noticed that the dot turns a star on the second screenshot. That's because I've added the song to my Favourites.

If top songs are still stars on your Apple Music, it means the new label hasn't been rolled out for all users so far. This change has been in place since the iOS 17.1 beta was released.

How does Apple Music select the top songs of the album?

Songs labelled with a new dot icon (previously star) are the most streamed songs of the album.

What are Favourites on Apple Music?

The Apple Music Favourites feature allows users to mark songs, albums, artists, or playlists as favourites, making them easier to find and adding them to a "Favourite Songs" playlist. The Apple Music Favourites feature was rolled out as part of the iOS 17 update, which was made available for download on September 18, 2023.

When an item is added to favourites, it's also added to your library, and you can receive notifications when your favourite artists release new music. You can also filter your library to show only your favourite items and improve your music recommendations in the "Listen Now" section.