Sunday, September 20, 2020

Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which Should You Subscribe To?

December 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( Apple Music and Spotify are pretty much the two top music streaming services out there. You also have Tidal, Pandora, Amazon, and Google’s music offerings but Apple and Spotify are really where it’s at.

While you could drop the cash for a subscription to both, this isn’t a difference between Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video we’re talking about here. Apple Music and Spotify are very similar in the artists and albums they offer, so what it comes down to is how they present it and pricing.

So, which one should you run with: Apple Music or Spotify? Let’s put them in the ring and let them duke it out.

Availability: Spotify

I’ll have to give this Spotify. Apple Music is pretty much behind a subscription wall. You’re not going to get you ears on all of that audio goodness without paying for an individual plan or a family plan. Meanwhile, the green goblin Spotify has its free option available for listeners. Mind you, you’ll have to deal with ads and on the mobile app, you have no control over skipping songs or picking what you want to listen to on an album.

Spotify takes this one purely on having a good free option.

Desktop: Spotify

So, let’s say Apple Music has a free option. You’ll have to use iTunes to listen to it. If you’re on mobile, you’re good. Same with Spotify off the bat. However, if you’re like me and you enjoy using the desktop version, you better know how to find Apple Music through it because it’s not readily accessible.

Trust me, you can listen to Apple Music on iTunes’ desktop version but Spotify’s get you there smoothly. Spotify doesn’t offer a ton of extra stuff like iTunes does. You can do roughly anything entertainment related via iTunes but a little more navigation is required.

Spotify takes round two.

Mobile: Apple Music

This is where Apple Music shines. The Apple Music app is smooth visually. Spotify’s is functional. You can do what you need to do and if all you need to do is find and listen to music, Spotify is highly effective but you can do that with a better layout with Apple’s offering. I will say that the iOS version of the Apple Music app is the superior version because the Android version has me grumbling at least thrice a week over closing out, a problem I don’t get from Spotify.

That said, I had a smoother experience adding tracks to a playlist out of Apple Music.

Pricing: Tie

Usually, pricing would be the deciding feature but Apple Music and Spotify Premium have identical pricing for individual, family and student plans. I will say that if you’re on the student plan, you would get Showtime and Hulu with Spotify but this is pretty much a tie between the two.

Sound Quality: Apple Music

I really enjoy listening to my tunes on Apple Music because Apple optimizes music for its platform and devices. Spotify uses different encoding (OGG) and depending on what you listen to and on what, it will sound better than Apple Music. I tend to listen to stuff with earbuds in most of the time and there’s little difference. When I’m listening to car audio, speakers on my PC, or house devices it varies.

However, when you factor the AirPods, things get dicey for Spotify.

Discovery: Apple Music

I was going to just go ahead and mark this as a tie but that’s to be expected. When it comes to discovering new artists, I give it to Apple Music. It’s a blast discovering new artists and diving into their catalogue on this platform. Also, while Apple Music does have a general “who is hot” method of showcasing new music and artists, I can find new stuff from what I tend to listen to easily.

I don’t get that same joy from Spotify. At all. Also, the weekly album releases on Apple Music have become a thing with me and my brother. Game set match: Apple Music.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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