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Spotify and Apple Music share most of the streaming music market, with a market share of 46% and 18% respectively. In 2018, however, there was an important advance of Amazon Music Unlimited , the service of the e-commerce giant that stands as a more credible alternative to the other two mentioned. Each of them presents characteristics and functionality in some ways unique, integrating more or less effectively with the different platforms. As always in these cases, we analyze everything proceeding in order.
Let’s start with Spotify. It is possible to install the service in the form of a real application both on Windows (2000 or later) and on MacOS (10.5 or later). Starting from 10 June 2016, a version has also been released for GNU / Linux systems on which it is supported (such as Debian, Ubuntu and derivatives, Fedora, etc.). However, nobody forbids using it via browser simply by going to the official portal at this link and logging in with your account. But that is not all.
Spotify is obviously also available on the Android Play Store and on the iOS App Store . It is also available in the form of “universal app” in the Microsoft Store, so it can be installed in this capacity both on smartphones equipped with Windows Phone and on devices (PC, notebook, convertible, 2 in 1 etc …) based on Windows 10 In short, really a broad compatibility.
Let’s move on to Apple Music. The Cupertino company music streaming service is included directly in iTunes , so to use it on the desktop platform you need to install the program in question. On MacOS you will find it by default, while on Windows you need to download from this link , with compatibility guaranteed by Windows 7 and later versions.
There is no version of iTunes specifically created for GNU / Linux systems, just as Apple Music is not a service designed to be used through browsers. Obviously there is the possibility to install the appropriate application both on Android (find it at this link ) and on iOS (find it at this link ). It is not present on the Microsoft Store in the form of “universal app”.
Finally, Amazon Music Unlimited. In this case the e-commerce giant offers the user the maximum choice, a bit as seen with Spotify: it is possible to install the appropriate application both on macOS and on Windows (you can find it at this link ); present in the “universal app” version on the Windows Store; You can use the service via browser simply by connecting to this link and logging in with your account; present the appropriate app both on the Play Store (find it here ) and on the App Store (find it here ).
There is no special version for GNU / Linux systems, on which it is however possible to use the service via browser.
An important aspect to consider regarding these services is undoubtedly the catalog of music tracks offered. From this point of view, it is important to underline how the number of tracks, in itself per se, can be considered relative, as the exclusives often make the difference, a bit like what happens in video streaming platforms.
Having clarified this aspect, Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited officially make available “more than 50 million songs”, as reported on the official portals, while Spotify makes “over 35 million” available. The organization in genres and playlists is obviously different from service to service, but from this point of view it comes down to subjective tastes.
Different discourse regarding the quality of the streaming offered. In this sense, we usually refer to the bit rate , ie the amount of data that is processed in a given period of time. On paper, the higher the bit rate, the higher the quality of the streaming, resulting in higher data consumption. In reality, however, services often use different formats, so making a “numerical” comparison is not always sensible.
In any case, Spotify makes available three different bit rates, which are 128, 256 and 320 Kbps respectively , while the format used is Ogg Vorbis. Apple instead adopts the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) format at 256 Kbps, which is the same format as the songs on iTunes. Amazon Music Unlimited instead uses the 256 Kbps mp3 format.
Finally, chapter costs.Also in this case we start from Spotify, which offers three types of subscription: the free one, therefore without costs, which however gives access to the random reproduction of the tracks (there is no possibility of choice) with advertising breaks every “tot” minutes of listening and audio quality limited to 128 Kbps; the premium one – with a cost of 9.99 euros per month – with which you can listen to any song you want, without advertising breaks, at the highest quality (up to 360 Kbps) and with the possibility of downloading the songs so you can also enjoy offline; the family one, identical to the premium one in terms of functionality but that gives the possibility to share it up to 6 members of one’s family, so people who must have the same residence (the cost goes up to 14.99 euros per month, however).
Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited lists are virtually identical . Both are in fact basically available in two season tickets: one individual from 9.99 euros per month, which allows you to use the catalog at will; one for the family, which can be shared with up to 6 members (here too we talk about “family members”) at a cost of 14.99 euros per month, with the same functionality as the individual one in the song catalog.
Important to point out a possibility offered by Amazon. In fact, if you had an Echo speaker, you can subscribe to Music Unlimited at a cost of € 3.99 per month , but you can only use it through these devices.