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The music streaming industry has been heating up over the past year or so, especially with the announcement of Apple’s own music streaming service, Apple Music.
But how does Apple Music compare to other streaming services on the market? To date, the leader of the music streaming business has been Spotify. Can Apple Music dethrone the music-streaming king?
Perhaps one of the most important things to consider when looking at music streaming services is the content library that it offers. Apple has spent years upon years building the iTunes library, however unfortunately the entire library cannot be streamed through Apple Music. Because of this it seems as though Apple and Spotify are pretty matched, both offering around 30 million songs.
Apple does, however, claim that it will have access to more exclusive tracks from unsigned artists who are able to submit their music straight to Apple Music to be streamed. At this point in time, Apple and Spotify are neck and neck, however it’s certainly possible that Apple will have more tracks to boast as it pic ks up steam.
Both Apple and Spotify offer radio services, however the two work very differently. Apple’s radio offering comes in the form of Beats1, a station that is headed by legendary radio DJ Zane Lowe, with DJs running programs from L.A., New York, and London.
The station not only promises to play great music, but it also will discuss the hot happenings in the music industry and offer programs from big names in music such as Elton John and Josh Homme. Users can also stream music based on genre, which is great if users want to skip the chat and go straight to the music.
Spotify, on the other hand, does not have live radio. Users can create stations based their favorite artists and genres, however the live radio aspect gives Apple users a slight edge. Not only that, but as users continue to use Apple Music, it offers better suggestions about what the user might be into.
Apps and software
While actual music should always be the most important thing when considering a music streaming service, things like how we access the music are important too.
Spotify has a desktop website and a simple app that is very easy to use, however perhaps Apple Music is even easier to use. The service has been baked into Apple’s Music app, so users don’t even need to get a new app to start streaming music. Unfortunately Apple Music could use a little work as far as navigation goes, however that’s sure to come as time goes on.
Spotify’s app is simple and easy to use, but it’s certainly not as integrated with iOS as Apple Music is. Apple Music is the clear winner when it comes to software and integration with an operating system.
The extra features are what really set Apple and Spotify apart. Apple Music has quite a few extras. For example, the Connect section of Apple Music helps users stay connected with their favorite artists and the lives of those artists.
Through Connect artists post things like images and videos, much like a social media network. Currently it’s mostly big name artists that are using Apple Connect, but its still a pretty cool feature.
Spotify has some extra features that will help users enjoy music in particular locations, with playlists for home listening or running being a big part of how Spotify works.
Sharing your music
This is perhaps the area that Apple needs to work on the most. Through Spotify, users can post an artist, album or song to their Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on. Users can also share songs through texts, email, WhatsApp, and more.
Users wanting to share music through Apple Music are limited to things like text, email, Twitter and AirDrop. Users cannot currently post music to their social media networks. Those simply wanting to share a song with a friend every now and then will be fine with Apple Music, however those wanting a more social component to their music streaming will appreciate the options that Spotify offers.
Apple managed to revolutionize the music industry with the release of the iPod and iTunes back in the day, and while Apple was a little late to the music-streaming race, its features are interesting and innovative. Spotify is a music streaming veteran, however it may be on its way out.
Anyone who hasn’t yet given Apple Music a shot should try it now. Apple has some development to do, however whether it decides to work on its issues or not, it will still give Spotify a serious run for its money.