It is not easy to choose an app for streaming music these days . Usually, subscription prices are the same, the music available does not vary much and apparently the services resemble each other.
But there are some important differences that define what the app is right for you.
Spotify and Apple Music are currently the two largest platforms available for music streaming. Here are the basic differences to know when you have to choose the platform that best suits your rhythm:
Subscriptions: Spotify offers a free version of its app while Apple Music is only available with subscription, after three months of free trial.
For the purposes of this article, we will compare the paid version of Spotify with Apple Music.
Apple Music first requires you to select the music genres and artists you like.
Once you’ve made your selection, Apple Music starts recommending playlists and musicians you think you might like. Spotify does not have this kind of function but learns, over time, from your listening habits. Both apps allow you to ‘like’ on a song, knowing that you’d like to hear more songs like your favorite ones.
Simply Spotify does a better job than Apple Music when you recommend something . Every Monday you receive a new ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist – 30 songs similar to the music you’ve listened to in the past, chosen using an algorithm. Spotify also has an entire ‘Discover’ page that gives advice based on the musicians you often listen to.
The two navigation bars are quite similar – they are the bases in which to find new music, playlists, videos and concerts.
Spotify presents you some ‘Daily Mix’ playlists made up of songs and musicians that you already know and that you listen to often. Usually, they are grouped by gender.
In addition Spotify takes the musicians that you have listened to a lot and recommends similar ones (as seen from the image on the right).
Spotify’s ‘Discover Weekly’ is one of its best features.
Discover Weekly, a playlist of 30 songs that updates every Monday, is one of the best parts of Spotify . It makes you know songs and musicians that you probably have not listened to yet based on your previous ratings and that you’ll probably love as well. It is a consistent and reliable way to discover music that you will like and probably every week you will end up waiting for the new version.
The Release Radar, in the image on the left, is a playlist that is updated with the music recently published by the musicians you listen to.
Apple Music gives advice and promotes musicians similar to those you already listen to , but it is not as exhaustive as the various ways in which Spotify offers you new music. Spotify clearly wins in this discipline.
But Apple beats Spotify in another field – the user interface.
When ‘saving’ songs, both in Spotify and in Apple Music, it means that you can access them later without having to search again on the artist page. Both services also provide you with the ability to download the music you have saved in your library.
But once you really go to the musician’s page, things change dramatically. The page of the musician in the Apple Music library is clean and simple to navigate – each album is shown separately with its own graphics, allowing you to quickly select the album to listen to.
Spotify, on the other hand, simply throws all the saved songs of a certain musician into a sort of playlist , without understanding when an album starts or ends. You can easily go to the musician’s online page (not in your library), where the layout is quite similar to that of Apple Music but this requires an internet connection and frustrates the saving of music in your library and above all the opportunity to download it.
Spotify wins in the quality of the audio options.
You can set an equalizer for both apps, but the one in Spotify is easier to find and, in addition to the preset equalizations, allows you to customize the actual frequency response curve. Apple’s equalization is outside the app, in the phone’s music settings, forcing you to exit the app to adjust it.
Spotify allows you to choose exactly the type of audio quality you want, both when you are streaming and when you are downloading.
With Spotify you can choose whether to download (which affects memory) or listen to streaming (thus affecting data roaming) music in low or high quality , with some intermediate settings; allowing you to decide if you prefer to have better listening quality or more space on your phone.
Apple automatically gives you music in the highest quality when connected to wifi , but you can also allow high quality streaming with data roaming. However, you can not check the details of the sound quality or file size.
Both apps have a radio, but in this case Apple wins.
If you use Spotify, you can safely ignore the radio function. You can choose between radios that are based on a musician, genre or song, but you’d probably be much better off making a playlist or using the ‘discover’ features, as Spotify’s radio tends to repeat itself if you listen to it for long or not. it offers you nothing really new.
Apple Music, however, has the same style of radio Spotify (based on musician, song or genre), as well as some radio stations with real DJs who choose and put the pieces, adding a personal and human element to the Apple radio that is absent in that of Spotify.
Spotify has podcasts integrated into the app.
The selection is not as extensive as that of Apple’s independent podcasting app, but you do not have to leave Spotify to listen to podcasts. You can add them to a playlist, or save them in your library along with the music.
Both apps have video sections – but nothing transcendental.
Spotify has some music videos and episodic content, but nothing very exciting. In this case, depending on the content available, the victory goes to Apple Music, but in both apps there is still no real reason to use the video bar.
The two apps have top charts, but Spotify is a little more detailed
The Spotify top chart allows you to search by country or globally, and also shows you the 50 ‘viral’. Apple Music has a single top chart, but lets you search by genre – no feature in Spotify.
Spotify is more social than Apple.
Both apps show you what your friends recently listened to and the playlists they posted. But Spotify lets you see in real time what your friends are listening to . On the desktop version of Spotify, the social bar on the right side shows you what all your friends are listening to or have listened to recently.
This feature can be turned off temporarily or permanently if you do not feel particularly inclined to share the embarrassing song you are listening to at full volume with others.
Regarding the interface of music reproduction, the two app are very similar.
But Spotify has more features – like moving drawings or Gif animation for some songs.
Spotify even has some ‘behind the text’ lyrics of Genius integrated into some songs.
Spotify will show you upcoming concerts nearby based on your listening habits.
Apple Music does not have this feature in the app but can be integrated into the Bandsintown app, which will determine your tastes directly from your Apple Music library.
If you really want your potential Tinder contact to know your musical tastes, the app includes Spotify integration
Tinder along with other apps like Bumble and Discord, includes a Spotify integration , allowing you to show off the recently listened artists on your app profiles by appointment and choose an anthem that best represents you.
From time to time, Apple Music has exclusive albums.
Although Apple and other streaming services are renouncing the exclusives on the albums , these sprout from time to time. The 2016 album by Drake ‘Views from the 6’ was initially an exclusive of Apple Music before moving on to other platforms.
Spotify has collaborative playlists – along with your friends you can add songs to the same playlist
It’s a fun way to collaborate with your friends in the endless search for the perfect playlist.
So: which app is the winner?
Spotify. It has its downsides, such as a confusing library interface and a dull radio, but the positives clearly offset the negative ones . The aspect of musical discovery is enough to classify Spotify in front of Apple Music – the algorithm is very effective and you probably will not be disappointed by the proposals of the app. The other differences, such as album art and audio quality options, are negligible but add up to a better overall subscription package and a better experience than that provided by Apple Music.
Obviously this is a very competitive market and the companies constantly update their apps adding new features: therefore, check if in the meantime our verdict has not already changed.