I’ve been a dedicated Spotify listener for years. All the music and podcasts I need are there, that’s what my friends use, and I couldn’t possibly deal with FOMO if I didn’t have a fancy Spotify wrapped up with my top performers posting them on their social media in the end every year. But then I listened to one of my favorite albums in Spatial Audio Apple Music and for a few minutes my world changed. Have I missed all this time?
To answer that question, I made Apple Music my primary music streaming app for most of the week. But while Apple’s audio service has many big advantages over Spotify and other popular competitors, they just weren’t enough for me to switch permanently. Here’s why.
A few weeks ago, when I was testing AirPods Max, I decided to launch Apple Music to see how the company’s impressive 360-degree Spatial Audio technology sticks to high-end headphones. I nodded calmly at Turnstile’s “Glow On” – an album I’ve listened to dozens of times – when I was suddenly struck like a truck by the tumultuous anthem of the stormy punk song “Endless.”
Not only did Spatial Audio follow the movements of my head – holding each instrument in a fixed place as if I were at a live concert – it also highlighted vocal harmonies and small background instruments that I never noticed while listening to Spotify. I quickly became obsessed with learning which of my favorite albums were mixed in Dolby Atmos for impressive spatial listening, and I enjoyed listening to everything from chill indie to explosive hard rock from a new perspective.
Of course, you will need a supported pair of Apple headphones (such as AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, AirPods 3 or Beats Fit Pro) to take advantage of this benefit. I’ve found that Spatial Audio makes a much bigger difference on AirPods Max over the ears than on headphones like the Beats Fit Pro, but the effect is still impressive no matter what you wear. Speakers on newer Mac models such as the 24-inch iMac and 14-inch MacBook Pro also support surround audio, but you won’t get exactly the same impressive head-tracking experience.
Even if you’re not part of the AirPods army, Apple Music has another big advantage over Spotify: lossless high-resolution sound. Lossless sound essentially avoids much of the data loss that occurs when songs are compressed from the original source, giving you CD-quality sound from a digital file. Certain Apple Music albums even offer Hi-Res Lossless, which is an even richer audio resolution that brings you closer to studio quality. On top of all this, selected boards are available as Apple Digital Masters, which Apple says provide “the highest possible sound quality.”
All of this means that Apple Music should sound better than Spotify to many listeners, although your mileage may vary. You’ll need to wear wired headphones to reap the benefits of lossless sound, and even then you’ll need a pretty shrewd ear to notice the differences. However, even when I listened primarily on wireless headphones while using the iPhone, I found that most songs sound louder and brighter on Apple Music compared to Spotify.
The lossless sound eventually comes to Spotify via Spotify HiFi, but there’s still no clear word on when. Rival Tidal is known for its Hi-Fi listening support, which starts at $ 10 a month, although you’ll have to pay an expensive $ 20 a month to access formats like Dolby Atmos and Master Quality audio – two things available on Apple Music from the very beginning. Tidal’s $ 20 HiFi Plus plan offers a wider overall range of audio formats (including Sony 360 Reality Audio for those on Sony headphones and mega-high-quality songs of 9,216 kpbs), but for people with a slightly perceptive ear, Apple Music offers a lot for money.
While I find Spotify to be much easier to navigate than Apple Music (more on that later), the Apple Music app has a lot of little details that make my inner music nerd happy. Certain pages of the album contain animated illustrations, and some are even accompanied by an entire article that provides a deeper immersion in music directly from the artist. When browsing the artist catalog, you will also see links to all Apple Music radio shows in which they are featured. As someone who likes to fiddle with their favorite bands, I was thrilled to find a full detailed review of Julien Baker’s songs for “Little Oblivions” on the album page or discover a recent radio interview in which Turnstile dived into their new record.
Speaking of which, Apple Music Radio is one of the best features of the service. You’ll get live radio shows from industry leaders such as Zane Lowe and Ebro, as well as on-demand interviews to discover from big and small artists. I haven’t delved too much into the radio offering of this app, but shows like After School Radio (with my own Mark Hoppus from Blink 182) are enough to make me sign up at least from time to time. Spotify offers auto-generated radio stations based on specific artists and genres, as well as pre-recorded podcasts with mixed songs, but it doesn’t have exactly the same type of live content – or the same big names.
Apple Music starts at $ 9.99 per month, which is pretty standard for a music streaming service. But it’s especially great value if you get the Apple One package, which gives you Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple Arcade and iCloud + with 50GB of storage for $ 14.99. If you own an Apple device and plan to use the company’s various subscription services, it’s easy.
Apple Music and Spotify family plans are generally comparable, allowing up to six users to share an account for $ 15 to $ 16 a month. But if you want more than music for your money, Apple has the best deal right now.
Here’s the biggest reason I couldn’t wait to get back to Spotify after a few weeks of Apple Music: The latter just isn’t that nice to navigate. Although Apple Music has all the music I need, along with some clever recommendations and selected playlists based on my listening history, it makes it hard for me to actually find all of these things. While the Spotify homepage shows me my six latest albums / playlists, and still leaves room for recommendations and new releases, Apple Music has a lot of lost space, with huge blocks of artwork that require a lot of browsing before I get to what I’m looking for. Doing everything from finding a new playlist to simply pressing the “Like” button on a song is simply bulkier in Apple’s app.
Music and podcasts in one place
I listen to music and podcasts pretty much equally, and Spotify is the only app of the two that offers both in one place. I know some people like to keep the two separate – and have other podcasts they swear by – but I prefer to have one place for all my listening needs. Spotify is doing a great job of releasing new releases for both music and podcasts, while making it easier to get back to the shows I’m currently listening to, while Apple Music listeners will have to look elsewhere. Since the Apple Music and Apple Podcast apps look and look almost identical, I can’t help but wonder why they’re not merged into one.
Perhaps the biggest thing that keeps me on Spotify is the fact that almost all my friends use it. I like being able to see what my friends are listening to while I’m in the desktop app, and literally whenever someone sends me a song, it’s a Spotify link. On the same subject : Four Tet wins a royal battle over streaming music. More importantly, I have a few collaborative playlists with friends to whom we all constantly add songs to show each other new things. It’s something you just can’t do on Apple Music.
Spotify also has a number of great algorithmic features such as Blend, which automatically creates a common playlist between you and the other person based on your individual listening habits. I think his referral mechanism is the best and I’ve found some of my favorite artists both through my Discover Weekly playlist and the artist radio that automatically turns on every time you finish an album.
Finally, I’m just too attached to my Spotify Wrapped, which is an end-of-year user summary of the top artists, songs, and genres you’ve probably seen plastered across all of your Instagram stories at the end of each year. Apple offers a similar annual review in the form of Apple Music Relay, but it’s not that popular – and do you really want to be the only person on your social content using an off-brand version? It may be a little vanity, but as someone who is a nerd for music listening statistics, Wrapped is one of the few cool social tools that makes me interfere with Spotify.
I enjoyed the time I spent with Apple Music, and for many people – especially those with Apple headphones or people with discerning hearing – this is perhaps the best music service. It offers better sound quality for the same price, and extras like Spatial Audio and its various live radio stations are pretty great. It’s also very good value, especially if you get it bundled with an Apple One subscription.
But after weeks of testing, the novelty of listening to an album at Dolby Atmos or reading a few extra notes is gone. I just want an app that has all the music and podcasts I need in one place, and Spotify still gives me just that, in addition to great recommendations and social features.
I personally can live with a slightly lower sound quality in exchange for a useful, clean interface and ecosystem in which I have already invested deeply. Plus, it’s only a matter of time before Spotify HiFi arrives. I’ll probably continue to hack into Apple Music from time to time to watch a new album in Spatial Audio or catch a radio interview with a performer I like, but when it comes to everyday listening, Spotify is officially returning to rotation. After all, there’s no way I could spoil my pre-Wrapped listening statistics.
Is Apple Music louder than Spotify?
Apple Music streams at 256 kbps, which seems to be lower than Spotify’s 320 kbp / s in nominal terms, but it’s not very similar because Apple Music uses its own AAC audio codec. Apple also sets the highest quality audio by default, assuming your device is connected to Wi-Fi.
Does Apple Music play better than Spotify? Audio streaming quality is where Apple Music completely replaces Spotify. This may interest you : Lafayette Music Festival organizers planning inaugural event in October. Due to its recent update, Apple Music now offers lossless sound quality up to 24-bit / 192 kHz, as well as surround sound with Dolby Atmos.
Does Apple Music make songs louder?
You can increase or decrease the volume as much as you want. Read also : The Education Fund receives a grant for a new music program. After adjusting the volume, continue and adjust the equalizer for the tracks.
How much is Spotify a month?
Only $ 9.99 / month after that. Cancel anytime.
How much does Spotify cost in 3 months? There are no fees for beginners, but if you have previously subscribed to Premium, it is still possible to take advantage of a big discount and three months of access for $ 9.99.
Is Spotify free with Amazon Prime?
Amazon Music Unlimited offers a library of 50 million songs, the same number as Spotify and Apple Music. Other than their similar Amazon Prime Music and Spotify’s free plan are free, provided you are a Prime member.
How much is 12 months Spotify?
Spotify Premium 12-month $ 99 gift card subscription – email delivery.
Is Amazon Music free with Prime?
Amazon Music is a streaming service included with your Prime membership at no extra cost. For Prime members, it features 2 million songs – including thousands of stations and top playlists – plus millions of podcast episodes.
How much is Apple Music for a year?
An annual subscription to Apple Music costs $ 99 per year: HOWTO.