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Why Spotify Is Better Than Apple Music

Apple Music launched late last month alongside the iOS 8.4 update, but here’s why Spotify is still better than Apple’s new music streaming service.

In what could be called a late move by Apple, the company finally launched its own music streaming platform after years of dominating in the music business. It first revolutionized music with the introduction of the iPod back in 2001 and the launch of the iTunes Store in 2003, completely changing the way users buy music.

Since then, Apple has been a music powerhouse, with iTunes being one of the biggest sources for buying music digitally, and has since grown to include movies, TV shows, and iOS apps.

With that said, you could say Apple took its pretty little time releasing a music streaming service, especially since titans of industry like Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio have been available for several years now and are dominating the landscape.

However, because of Apple’s huge following, the late launch of Apple Music doesn’t seem to be a problem, and millions of users are already using Apple Music and switching over to the company’s new streaming service, but here’s why Spotify is better than Apple Music.

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First off, let’s talk about the color schemes. Spotify uses a dark background with light text, while Apple Music uses a white background with darker text. Complete opposites, which is fine, and many users enjoy both themes, but I find Spotify’s darker theme to be easier on the eyes, especially since I play a lot of music at night and use Spotify to play music before bed.

Apple Music’s color scheme just isn’t good for this kind of use. Hopefully, Apple adds a “dark mode” to Apple Music where you’ll be able to change the theme depending on the time of day, but for now I just can’t use Apple Music with its bright theme.

Read: Apple Music Problems: 5 Things You Need to Know

Playlists are another thing that Spotify simply does better with. For instance, there’s no way to add a song to a playlist without adding it to your library in Apple Music. In other words, when you add a song to a playlist, it automatically gets added to your library, which I got frustrated with right away.

Furthermore, with Spotify I can add a song to a playlist and make a new playlist right then and there, but on Apple Music it’s not possible. Instead, you have to make a new playlist in “My Music” then go back and find the song you want to add to the playlist that you created.

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Another annoyance is that there’s no way to play the top tracks from a certain artist in Apple Music. Several of us at Gotta Be Mobile use this feature on Spotify frequently, especially if we’re checking out a new artist and want to hear their popular songs right from the get-go.

Search is something else that Spotify excels at. For instance, Spotify provides real-time results and shows you songs, artists, or albums that you may be searching for, which means that once you type in what you want, you can usually just tap on a result to go instantly to that song, artist, or album. However, Apple Music simply just provides search term suggestions, from which you can tap on one to search for it, and it’s an additional tap to start listening to something.

Discovering new music is something that many users enjoy doing, but Apple Music makes it a bit difficult to do that. In Spotify, you can spend a ton of time getting lost in newly-discovered music, whereas finding artists that are similar to what you’re listening to is more difficult in Apple Music. I think that’s something Spotify focuses on a lot.

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As for adding music to your library in Apple Music, it’s kind of a joke. For example, it turns out that if you have one song from an album in your library, but want to add the full album, you actually have to remove the one song first and then add the whole album. It’s incredibly annoying, and I’m just hoping it’s a bug that Apple fixes soon.

We’re also hoping that the Apple Music “Up Next” option not working with with in-car entertainment systems is a bug too. We’re honestly not sure why it doesn’t work, but with Apple’s huge dive into CarPlay, we’d expect something like this to function with in-car stereos.

One thing I do like about Apple Music is that it almost always shows album art thumbnails next to everything, which adds a ton to the look and feel of Apple Music. This makes Spotify look a bit bland, but nonetheless, I prefer function over form.

In the end, Apple Music works, and it works decently, but that’s not really enough when you have Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, and other music services to compete against. Hopefully Apple Music continues to improve, and if it does, I think it will eventually become a force to be reckoned with. For now, though, Spotify is still my go-to music streaming app.

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7 Comments

  1. Chris

    07/07/2015 at 8:24 am

    I agree with some of your points but here’s a thread of 98 pages, containing 979 posts (and counting!), of Spotify users who are abandoning the service for Apple Music and Google Play Music because of Spotify failing to implement an oft-requested feature that’s important for many users (including parents, business professionals, etc): the filtering of music containing the “explicit lyrics” flag.

    https://community.spotify.com/t5/ideas/v2/ideapage/blog-id/ideas_live/article-id/28187/page/1

    One day, Spotify will look back and realize they lost their dominance not only because of the Apple juggernaut but also because they weren’t responsive to users’ simple requests.

    Reply

  2. Roderic Rinehart

    07/07/2015 at 3:03 pm

    I started using Apple Music two days ago after maybe 2 years of paid Spotify, and I thought Apple Music was abysmal. Especially for the features I wanted – easily creating playlists and having them sync between the 5 devices we have (which is stupid easy with Spotify). I really cannot believe how bad the UI of Apple Music is, especially for a company who prides itself on “it just works.” I am very computer literate and had to look up numerous things to get even simple stuff to work. I have never had to look up one thing on Spotify in two years (with 2 PC, 2 phones, 2 iPads, and PS4 all using on and off over that time).

    Reply

  3. Mik

    07/15/2015 at 4:00 pm

    I hope Apple reads this article. I fully agree in all of these points. I like Apple Music, and I really enjoy Beats 1, but it really is a sham that it manges playlist so badly, and I also really do like the way search works in Spotify. In fact Apple Music was a little disappointing for me, and I’m sure I’ll start my Premium subscription again after my Apple Music Trial ends, if not Apple fix these things.

    Reply

  4. Mikey

    07/19/2015 at 12:38 pm

    Agree 100% with this assessment of Apple Music. I’ve given it a solid chance, hoping the different organization of music, playlists, and genres would grow on me. It has not. I’m coming from Xbox Music (on WP 7/8 and XBone) and Spotify (on iOS and OS X). Apple music has a long way to go before I can consider it again.

    As far as the Spotify/Explicit Content recommendation… That is less than a thousand people who are taking it PERSONALLY that Spotify hasn’t implemented the feature. Should it be? sure. However I see a lot of people overreacting. Plus, 1000 people is a drop in the hat for Spotify (they have what, 20 million paid users, and another 75 million free?). They won’t even feel the loss. Spotify isn’t ignoring you, they’re focusing resources elsewhere to gain more users than they lose. Right now, it’s working pretty well for them.

    For now, i’m keeping Spotify Premium. It’s that simple.

    Oh and Pandora is garbage in comparison to every other streaming service. I’ve turned every Pandora user i’ve ever met to one of the other services, and they’re happier for it. It’s just a terrible music experience overall.

    Reply

  5. rokko101

    08/31/2015 at 11:10 am

    Apple Music is a mess. Spotify is much better in almost every sense.

    Reply

  6. m king

    09/27/2015 at 1:08 am

    Tried apple music for 6 weeks ..vanishing playlists a lot of the time ( with occasional reappearance ) or I would get playlists that looked totally different with nothing in them …slow to load up songs .not enough platforms covered .no app for windows phone ..no Roku app ….went back to Spotify ..all playlists waiting ..super fast loading ..no contest

    Reply

  7. Christian Bearsly Clark

    10/21/2015 at 1:57 am

    I use Google Music instead of Apple Music …. just because Google Music offers FREE personal music storage @ the cloud; which is a huge deal for me. Apple did NOT have any free music cloud storage with the Apple Music service.Even Amazon Music does NOT have free music cloud storage. I do strongly believe that Google is the smartest and best music service out there…. just because of the FREE music storage. Every music service is the same; however, Google has it’s FREE music storage. I was HOPING that Apple would do the same but I was wrong.

    Spotify is my backup in case of Google service might go down. Spotify is great if you just want radio and playlists.

    In my personal opinion as a music lover over 40 years, from Vinyl records, Tape cassettes, CD’s, iTunes, mp3’s and now Google Music. Google Music has the best music service to offer if you want the FREE music storage; which NOBODY else is having.

    Reply

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