Apple Music vs Spotify: Which Is Top?

By Ruchir C.

The music industry is always about competition. It's Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West, Tupac vs. Biggie, Eminem against... anyone? The growth of streaming music services in the past decade means that you have a brand new competition to the mix: Apple Music vs. Spotify.

Today's best music streaming services include more than just Apple Music and Spotify. However, most users will have to choose between these two choices. The Swedish-born Spotify offers a free music model, and Apple Music, the replacement to iTunes with exclusive albums and a massive 90 million songs in its library.

While the most up-to-date numbers of users aren't usually released, Spotify certainly appears to benefit from more users - it had 354 million people worldwide at the time of our last check. This is despite increasing opposition from Apple Music and Jay-Z-owned Tidal.

Streaming is responsible for more than half of the money generated worldwide by the music industry. It has surpassed this mark in the year. This figure increases to an astonishing 83 percent within the United States.

Anyone listening to music all day is faced with that same thing: which is the most reliable streaming platform? Which is most appropriate for my needs? We've tested Apple Music and Spotify for those of you.

Apple Music

Apple Music offers access to more than 90 million music tracks. It's made to mix the music you've bought from iTunes - and music that you've saved through Apple's cloud services within the Apple Music library, and also with the ability to stream without ads.

The catalog is vast. It also gives access to music-related videos and exclusive content by a few artists. Apple Music offers higher quality streaming, with Lossless or Hi-Res Lossless, extensively supported on all devices. At the same time, the latter requires higher-end equipment like the external DAC. Apple Music also supports spatial audio and can play Dolby Mixed tracks in Atmos.

It also has the Apple Music 1 radio station, which is an excellent way to find new music.

Spotify

Spotify has over 82 million tracks and 3.2 million episodes.

The steady flow of new tracks on Spotify throughout its history has helped propel its popularity into the upper echelons with a major emphasis on promoting the latest songs and emerging artists. The curated playlists are usually the first thing you'll notice when launching every version. The service can design playlists for almost every musical subgenre. These playlists are regularly updated, and your favorites will always be fresh after a long period of use.

Discover Weekly, the playlist based on your preferences for listening, has made leaps and bounds over the past few years, thanks to the subtleties of its recommendations. However, Apple's For You playlist (introduced in 2016) is now basically the same functionality, and it's different from the enticing feature it was in the past.

One of the primary reasons that Spotify has always kept Apple Music at bay is access to paid and free. While it's tested various versions throughout the decades, Spotify has always come back to its basic method that has proven to be the most effective anyone can join and use every song in the catalog at no cost.

Comparing Apple Music Vs. Spotify Premium

Now as we know about the basics of both these platforms, let us have a look at Spotify premium vs Apple Music.

You can listen to the radio without a subscription; however, if you'd like to access the other services, here's an overview of what the options for subscriptions cost:

  • £9.99/month or $9.99/month per user

  • £14.99/month for a family of six, or $14.99/month for a family of six

  • £99.99/year or $99.99/year

  • £4.99/month (or $4.99/month for students

  • £4.99/month (or $4.99/month to use the Voice Plan

If you're an Apple One subscriber, some bundles also offer Apple Music. If you're using any of the other subscription services offered by Apple, it could be a great option to cut costs. Find out the full details on Apple One here.

There is a free version of Spotify that includes advertisements. However, some features are not accessible. To cover all Spotify features available, here is an overview of fees for subscriptions:

  • £9.99/month (or $9.99/month for each user in Premium Tier

  • £14.99/month for a family of six or $14.99 for a group of six (have to share that same address)

  • £4.99/month for students, or $4.99/month for students

  • £12.99/month (or $12.99/month for "Duo" (2 premium accounts with identical addresses)

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Comparing the Major Differences Between Apple Music and Spotify

Each offers a variety of options regarding sounds and technologies, subscription packages, and interface. There's a lot you need to know and be aware of, but don't fret as we've gone through them all to let you relax, kick back, and pick the best choice.

Let's get right into the comparison of Spotify or Apple Music. We're sure you'll get an improved understanding after this post.

User Interface

In terms of UI, Spotify has the most intuitive user interface. Its layout is cleaner and organized in comparison to Apple Music. Its home page Spotify provides immediate access to music. When you launch the app, it displays recent playlists and songs. It also offers suggestions based on your music habits.

Apple Music is extremely well-designed. However, all the different tabs at the lower right of the screen tend to block the path in accessing the content. The interface of Apple Music divides the features into different sections instead of uniting them into one page that can be scrolled as Spotify. But the vibrant artwork makes Apple Music quite attractive to the eye.

Sound Quality

In the past, the quality-standard Apple Music tracks came in in 256kbps AAC files, the same format as tracks bought from iTunes. In the year 2000, Apple Music updated its entire catalog. It is encoded with ALAC with resolutions ranging between 16-bit/44.1kHz (CD-quality) and 24-bit/192kHz (high-quality audio).

Spotify plays music at three speeds (96kbps, 160kbps, 320kbps, and 160kbps), all of which are in Ogg Vorbis format. However, the highest quality content is restricted to paid subscribers. This is set to change when Spotify's delayed HiFi service launches. Still, in terms of bit rate and resolution, the Apple Music library of lossless content currently beats Spotify ahead of the pack.

It's not that speakers and headphones don't have an impact on standard resolutions but keep in mind that today's Bluetooth technology isn't able to handle high-resolution audio.

Like hearing lossless stream without compromising, Spotify HiFi will also likely require wired headphones to be able to hear the benefits. However, Spotify mentions that Spotify Connect-enabled speakers can allow it.

Social Media

One of the biggest advantages of Spotify is its wide array of social sharing tools. It's easy to post Spotify content via Instagram or Facebook stories, share album artwork on Snapchat (which is then linked to your followers and friends to the music) as well as create hyperlinks and scannable QR-like Spotify codes that allow you to share your playlists and music across every messaging app.

Apple Music lets you share playlists with registered users via AirDrop or create content links that you can post anywhere you'd like. However, its integration with social media is less sophisticated than Spotify's. If you're not too keen about sharing your playlists with the rest of the world, this will likely be fine.

Podcast and Other Content

The two companies, Apple and Spotify, are both familiar with podcasts as long-form media that they can offer customers. However, they operate differently.

In the beginning, Spotify offers podcasts within its application, specifically podcasts. How they are structured, podcasts on the platform Apple are an independent entity inside iTunes' Podcasts app.

Each has unique content that no other can and many podcasts from third-party sources to listen to.

Suppose we restrict this to the Apple Music application. In that case, you may conclude that the catch-up shows on radio stations are comparable to exclusive podcasts, even if they're not, in fact, the same thing. Also, on-demand artists can be found in interviews or profiles and different types of shows other than playback of songs.

Apple is a bit more video content, including music videos in addition to documents, tracks, and other media. Spotify provides a few video features like playing back video podcasts and some exclusive content. However, it's less advanced than Apple's offer.

Connectivity

Although you may think from the title that Apple Music is for iPhones and Macs only, Apple has wisely decided that winning the streaming war also opens the doors for Android or PC-based users. There are apps available for iOS, Android, Mac, and PC, and access to the library is available using your web browser. Apple recently announced the PS5 application, which seems like the company has yet to decide to rest on its achievements.

It's best to be part of the Apple ecosystem, which includes Apple TV, Apple Watch, and HomePod support. It's particularly useful for the latter as you can play audio via your iPhone or request Siri to play the selected music (or even ask them esoteric questions such as "Siri is a drummer" on this?" ?"). However, Amazon Echo users can choose Apple Music as their player, should they prefer mixing and matching your device makers.

The best part is that Spotify Connect is a feature called Spotify Connect, which lets you transfer music between different devices and still control it on the primary device. That is, you could be listening to music on your computer and then pick your kitchen speaker on the Spotify Connect bar, continuing to manage the selection on your desktop.

Radio

In the application, Spotify did away with the Radio tab from the past. Still, it offers the option of creating radio modes for any particular artist, album, playlist, or track. Click on the three-dot menu icon, then select the radio option to create a radio station. The radio "stations" can be saved to libraries as playlists.

It also allows assisted playlist creation for a more customized option than full-radio mode. For use, suppose you'd like to create a playlist that you can use during your exercises. By using assisted playlisting, Spotify will use the name you've assigned to the list (like "Workout"), take suggestions based on your previous listening habits, and provide suggestions based on music that others have included in their similar playlists. It is possible to continue filling your playlists with tracks, or Spotify will autofill them after you've picked a few songs. Users can also browse and preview tracks before adding them to playlists.

This feature comes in conjunction with the previously discussed free-tier playlists option, which provides users free access to more than forty hours' worth of songs in 15 playlists based on their music preferences that they can enjoy for up to 24 hours.

The experience is different from traditional radio listening. Although it offers more control over your discovery and customization, this is no longer the channel-based, simple approach.

In addition to Apple Music 1, Apple Music includes a range of general radio stations for people who would like to listen to, for use, classic jazz, rock, and Top 40 hits. Other stations are not music like BBC News and ESPN, offering a variety of choices that are impossible to beat.

Downloads and Offline Usage

Apple Music is streets ahead in this area. It allows users to download and save more than 100,000 songs which can be played across 10 different devices.

Spotify is way further behind. It allows a maximum of 10,000 songs to be downloaded and shared across five devices. It's still around 1000 albums of music. That's enough for the majority of listeners' needs. However, it's odd that they've yet to be able to get a grip compared to their streaming competitor.

Cloud Capabilities

One of the most useful benefits that come with Apple Music can be found in its iCloud Music Library. This allows you to access the library of iTunes that you purchased. Additionally, you can access any music you purchase directly through Apple music. You can do this anywhere, no matter whether the device you're using is equipped with the songs saved.

This is an extremely useful feature and one that Spotify is yet to perfect. It's a win-win in favor of Apple Music.

Mobile, Desktop, and Web Apps

It is possible to access the Apple Music catalog can be accessible via music. It is accessible through the Music application and comes with an elegant white interface. It comes pre-installed for every iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch device and also as an additional downloadable application for Android devices. Spotify's apps feature a striking, consistent black interface. They can be downloaded on iOS as well as Android.

Apple Music mobile application is organized into tabs. Apple Music mobile app is divided into tabs that let you connect to the music collection, explore the Apple Music catalog, and listen to radio stations. A "For You" tab lets you browse suggestions based on your music preferences. It's similar to Spotify's app for mobile. Spotify mobile app follows the same tabbed layout that gives you access to music recommendations, a catalog search function, and your library.

The two apps are both easy to navigate and feature fullscreen media players that display your album's artwork while you listen. They also offer add-to-playlist sharing, song queuing, sharing, and audio device options in your reach. Apple Music offers the benefit that it comes with 3D Touch support on compatible devices, allowing users to access menus that are more easily accessible.

Contrary to the Apple Music app, a notable drawback of the Spotify program on iOS is that it doesn't combine local music stored on your device and your Spotify library. Instead, you need to use the Local files feature of the desktop app to transfer with your computer. Unfortunately, it's less effective than iTunes' iCloud Music Library feature.

Spotify also has apps available for Mac as well as PC. They can recreate the mobile experience for desktops well and are lighter and simpler to use than iTunes, which is bloated by comparison.

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Apple Music Vs. Spotify: Which One is Best?

Is Spotify better than apple music? An in-depth analysis of Apple Music vs. Spotify Shows that both offer useful features. Although Apple Music has an aesthetic interface, high-resolution streaming of exclusive music content, live radio programming, and much more, Spotify offers flexibility, advantages, diversity of content, user-friendly controls, and highly customized music suggestions.

The technical features of both apps are similar. However, the difference lies in the format and style of the content. However, here lies subjectivity. Users have different needs that an application can meet. So, comparing which one is the best.

This thorough analysis gave you the required knowledge. You are welcome to reach out to the experts from Idea2App to assist you with creating a music streaming application that is beneficial for you.

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