Apple Music: Our Complete Guide

Apple Music is Apple's streaming music service, comparable to other similar streaming services like Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, Google Play Music, Tidal, and others.

Apple Music boasts access to a total of 50 million songs. Content can be streamed or downloaded for offline play, and there are also song and genre-based radio stations available along with the curated Beats 1 radio station.


Apple Music integrates with your existing iCloud Music Library, so you can combine Apple Music songs with songs that you have previously purchased on iTunes all in one unified location.

Apple Music's Unique Features


All of the streaming services have differences, and with Apple Music, Apple has focused on human curation. While there are some algorithmically created playlists, a lot of the content highlighted on Apple Music is done by Apple Music editors.

Apple offers regularly updated personalized playlists in a "For You" tab, including a favorites mix, a chill mix, a friends mix, and a new music mix, along with other playlist options that are updated on a daily basis.


Apple Music also often has exclusive album releases, documentaries, and music videos that aren't available on other platforms as a way to lure subscribers.

Beats 1, Apple Music's 24/7 live radio station, is also one of the service's most unique features. It features songs curated by DJs along with a multitude of special shows, sometimes created by artists.

What's Included in a Subscription



  • Unlimited access to Apple Music songs on demand

  • Personalized algorithmic playlists

  • Curated playlists

  • Mood-based playlists

  • User-created playlists

  • Beats 1 Radio

  • Access to other radio stations

  • Offline song playback

  • Existing music matched to iTunes catalog and added to iCloud Music Library

  • Music and playlist syncing across all Apple Music-compatible devices

Apple Music Availability


Apple Music is available in over 100 countries and regions, with a full list of countries available on Apple's website.

Device Compatibility


Apple music works on all of Apple's devices, including iPhone (CarPlay included), iPad, Apple Watch (with no iPhone on LTE models), Apple TV, Mac (in iTunes), and HomePod.

It's also available on non-Apple devices, so you don't need to be an Apple user to get it. It works on on PCs with the PC version of iTunes, on Android devices with the Android Apple Music app, on Sonos devices, and on Amazon-branded Echo devices.

Cost


Unlike Spotify, Apple Music does not offer a free ad-supported music tier. A paid subscription is required for all Apple Music content.

A standard Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States. With UNiDAYS verification, college students can sign up for a discounted Apple Music subscription that costs $4.99 per month.

A family plan is available for $14.99 per month, and it allows up to six people to listen to Apple Music. A family subscription requires Family Sharing to be set up, which requires all people in the family to use the same credit card for iTunes billing purposes.

Pricing does vary by country, but is similar to the U.S. pricing.

In the United States, Verizon subscribers with Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited data plans can access Apple Music for free.

Free Trial


Apple offers free three-month free trials for Apple Music, and in some cases, has been known to offer additional trial months to encourage listeners to sign up for a paid subscription.

Apple Music Basics


Using Apple Music


Managing Your Music


Finding Songs


Radio


Sharing



Apple Music on Other Devices


More Apple Music Tips


Apple Music Comparison Guides


Trying to decide between Apple Music and another service? Make sure to check out our guides comparing Apple Music with other streaming music options that are out there.
In a nutshell, Apple Music is the ideal choice if you're in the Apple ecosystem, have a HomePod, prefer human-based curation, and already have an existing iTunes music collection.

Music Quality


Apple Music uses 256Kb/s AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) files. For comparison, Spotify, Apple Music's largest competitor, uses 320Kb/s Ogg Vorbis files, but while that sounds like it's better quality, the two are not identical.

Both AAC and Ogg Vorbis are different compression formats with different sound profiles, but both are similar and the average person isn't going to be able to tell one from the other. CNET has a great comparison testing the sound quality of Apple Music and Spotify.

DRM


You can download songs from Apple Music for offline playback, but the content that you download is protected by DRM (digital rights management), much like other streaming music services.

If you cancel your Apple Music subscription, the Apple Music songs that you've downloaded were no longer work. Apple Music songs also can't be transferred to other devices, downloaded, burned to CD, or used off device in any way.

Note that with iCloud Music Library enabled, all of your Apple Music content will be available on all of your Apple Music-compatible devices.

Guide Feedback


Have an Apple Music question or tip that you don't see available in our guide? Email us at tips@macrumors.com.


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Apple Music Now Available on Amazon Fire TV

Amazon today expanded its Apple Music integration to the Amazon Fire TV, allowing Fire TV owners to ask Alexa to play songs from the Apple Music service.

According to CNBC, Apple Music on the Amazon Fire TV is available starting today.


The expansion comes three months after Apple allowed Apple Music to be streamed on Amazon Echo speakers using the Alexa voice assistant.

On the Fire TV, users can use commands like "Alexa, play music by Stevie Nicks," or "Alexa, play a Fleetwood Mac album" to play content directly from Apple Music.

It can be enabled by going to the Alexa app on an Android or iOS device and activating the Apple Music skill. Those who have already set up Apple Music with Alexa for Echo devices will not need to repeat the steps.

Right now, Apple Music is limited to the Fire TV and Amazon Echo speakers, though it may be expanded to third-party Alexa devices in the future.

Apple's effort to allow Apple Music to be streamed on third-party platforms is part of a deeper push to grow services revenue. Apple is also planning to expand iTunes to Samsung Smart TVs in the form of an iTunes app, and AirPlay 2 functionality is being built into recent smart TV sets from a number of manufacturers like Sony and LG.


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Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple With European Regulators Over ‘Unfair’ App Store Practices

Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, accusing the iPhone maker of enforcing App Store rules that "purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience" and "acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers."


In a blog post, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek took particular issue with Apple charging a 30 percent "tax" on App Store purchases. This results in Spotify charging $12.99 per month for its Premium plan via the App Store just to collect nearly the $9.99 per month it charges outside of the App Store.

Ek believes this gives Apple an "unfair advantage," since Spotify is unable to fairly compete with Apple Music's standard $9.99 per month price within the App Store. This is a big deal given there are over a billion active iOS devices.

As an alternative, if Spotify chooses not to collect payments via the App Store, Ek notes that Apple "applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions" on the company. Over time, this has also included "locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch."


Ek stresses that this is "not a Spotify-versus-Apple issue" and simply about seeking "the same fair rules for companies young and old, large and small."

Apps like Uber and Deliveroo, for example, are allowed to collect payments directly from customers since they offer "goods or services that will be consumed outside of the app," according to Apple's App Store guidelines. Unlike Spotify, this allows these apps to bypass Apple's 30 percent commission.

Ek summarized what he is asking for into three points:
  • "First, apps should be able to compete fairly on the merits, and not based on who owns the App Store. We should all be subject to the same fair set of rules and restrictions—including Apple Music."
  • "Second, consumers should have a real choice of payment systems, and not be 'locked in' or forced to use systems with discriminatory tariffs such as Apple's."
  • "Finally, app stores should not be allowed to control the communications between services and users, including placing unfair restrictions on marketing and promotions that benefit consumers."
Ek notes that Spotify tried "unsuccessfully" to resolve the issues directly with Apple, leading to its carefully considered complaint with the European Commission. Spotify is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Spotify has launched a "Time To Play Fair" website and shared a companion video to inform customers about its complaint.


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Apple Adding Original Art From Iconic Artists to Thousands of Apple Music Playlists

For the last few weeks, Apple has been updating the artwork on playlists within Apple Music, and today, The Verge has shed some light on the reason why with input from Apple's global director of editorial, Rachel Newman.

Apple is using original artwork from well-known artists like the creator of the AC/DC logo for playlists in an effort to bring instant recognition to its content and to better connect with different communities.

New art for the Hip Hop Hits playlist, designed by the artist who created Migos' Culture album cover

According to Newman, the custom art for playlists is meant to be a "visual representation of the music that you will find inside the playlist."
That rootedness in specific cultures was something that Apple wanted to emphasize when it was commissioning art. "Suddenly there is really no strong definition of a genre anymore like there used to [be], you know, in the olden days," said Newman, the editorial director. Genre is now, in her words, a melting pot.
For each genre, Apple is choosing "huge name" artists that fit well and have worked within the genre before. Stole "Moab" Stojmenov, who designed the cover for Migos' album "Culture," created the art for Apple's "Hip Hop Hits" playlist, for example.

Carlos Perez, who directed the video for hit song "Despacito," created artwork for several playlists, including "Dale Reggaetón." Perez said that with Apple's freedom, he aimed for authenticity when creating the artwork, which seems to be Apple's goal with the project.

Apple plans to redesign "many thousands" of Apple Music playlists, with new artwork rolling out over the course of the next few months.


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Samsung to Preinstall Spotify on New Smartphones, Including Galaxy S10

Spotify today announced that its streaming music service will be preinstalled on the latest Samsung smartphones starting today, including the Galaxy S10, S10+, S10e, S10 5G, Galaxy Fold, and select Galaxy A models. New subscribers on those devices can receive a free six-month Spotify Premium trial in the United States.


The announcement reflects a major extension of a partnership that saw Spotify become Samsung's go-to music service provider in August 2018, a move intended to provide a seamless listening experience across Samsung devices.

Spotify being preinstalled on millions of Samsung smartphones brings it more in line with Apple Music, preinstalled on hundreds of millions of iOS devices. Last month, Spotify announced that it had 96 million paid subscribers as of the end of 2018, easily topping Apple Music's over 50 million subscribers.

We recently put together an Apple Music vs. Spotify guide that compares the two streaming music services.


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Apple Not Fighting Royalty Increase for Songwriters That Spotify, Pandora, Google and Amazon Have Appealed

Spotify, Google, Pandora, and Amazon have all teamed up to appeal a ruling by the U.S. Copyright Royalty Board that will increase royalties paid to songwriters by 44 percent, reports Variety.

In a joint statement, the companies, which all operate major streaming music services, said that the decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners.

"The Copyright Royalty Board (CRB), in a split decision, recently issued the U.S. mechanical statutory rates in a manner that raises serious procedural and substantive concerns. If left to stand, the CRB's decision harms both music licensees and copyright owners. Accordingly, we are asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the decision."
Apple is not joining the other streaming music services and will not appeal the decision. According to Variety, songwriter organizations have been heavily praising Apple while condemning the other streaming services.

David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers' association, called the appeals from Spotify, Pandora, Google and Amazon "tech bullies who do not respect or value the songwriters who make their businesses possible."

He also thanked Apple Music for not participating in the appeal and for "continuing to be a friend to songwriters."


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Apple Music vs. Amazon Music Unlimited

Apple Music has become immensely popular since it launched in 2015, and now has over 56 million subscribers worldwide. So how does it stack up against ecommerce giant Amazon's rival premium streaming service in terms of features, music catalog, and cost? Keep reading to find out.


Amazon actually has two music services, so before we go any further it's worth explaining the difference. If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you already have access to Amazon Prime Music, as it's bundled in with the service. In fact, Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited are similar in many ways, so if you are a Prime member and you're interested in Amazon's standalone streaming service then it's worth getting to know Prime Music first.

Both services share the same interface and apps, and offer similar features like the ability to download songs, albums and playlists for offline listening. The main difference between the two offerings is the number of songs you have access to. Amazon Prime Music has two million songs in its catalog, but paying the extra for Amazon Music Unlimited gets you access to 50 million songs, including the majority of new releases.

Subscriptions and Plans


An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Membership means you can stream Apple's music catalog, download music and videos for offline listening, and get access to new releases and exclusives, as well as a back catalog of shows broadcast on Apple's Beats 1 radio station.

The price you pay for an individual Amazon Music Unlimited subscription depends. If you're already an Amazon Prime member the streaming music service costs an additional $7.99 per month (or $79 per year). For Prime members who own an Amazon Echo, it's $3.99 per month, but the subscription is tied to just a single device. For everyone else, it's $9.99 per month, which is the same as Apple Music. A subscription gets you ad-free access to Amazon's 50-million song music catalog with offline listening and unlimited skips.


Both Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited offer student subscription plans priced at $4.99 per month and both require you to sign up using your educational institution credentials. Both streaming services also offer a family plan costing $14.99 a month which allows up to six people to access the services using a personal account for each family member. Apple Music members can also share iTunes purchases with each other in addition to music catalog content, but all family members are required to use the same credit card for all App Store purchases as part of Apple's Family Sharing program.

Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited memberships automatically renew each month, but you can cancel renewal at any time and your subscription will last until the end of your current billing cycle.

Free Trials


Apple Music offers a free three-month trial of its paid service, which converts to a paid membership unless the user cancels before the trial period is over.


Amazon also offers a free trial for its paid music service, but it only lasts 30 days before billing begins.

Libraries and Offline Listening


The Apple Music and Amazon Music Unlimited plans give you access to a huge catalog of content when you sign up. Both services boast catalogs with 50 million songs, but Apple goes the extra mile to secure artist exclusives including new releases, live performances and concert videos.

Apple Music users can download a maximum of 100,000 songs to their library, and thanks to Apple's iCloud Music Library feature these can be synced across any devices signed in to the same Apple ID. Amazon Music Unlimited users also have a 100,000 song upper limit on their library downloads, but these are accessible across a maximum of 10 devices.

Streaming Quality


Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files across the board. Amazon hasn't revealed the bitrate of its library, but the general consensus is that its user audio quality options (low/medium/high) range from 48 Kbps up to and 320 Kbps.

Apart from audiophiles, most listeners probably won't notice much difference between highest-quality streams of the same song, but Amazon Music's option to select the bitrate can come in handy if you're worried about using up your cellular data.

Mobile, Desktop, and Web Apps


The Apple Music catalog is accessed within the Music app, which has a clean white interface and comes pre-installed on every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and is available as a separate downloadable app on Android devices.


The app is organized into tabs to access your music library, browse the Apple Music catalog, and listen to radio stations, while a For You tab lets you check out suggestions based on your listening preferences.

Amazon's Music app has a contrasting black interface and is also available on both iOS and Android. The Browse section is organized by category and showcases new releases, popular playlists, and song and artist recommendations, while the Recents tab displays music you've recently accessed and My Music is the home of your saved music, organized by category (Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, and Genres).

Any music you may have purchased from Amazon on other devices is also automatically available here. Tapping the Alexa icon lets you ask the assistant to play music, pause, play the next or previous song and many other options, while a Search icon also lives at the top right of the screen and in the navigation menu at the bottom to find music to listen to.


Apple Music uses iCloud Music Library to match any existing music you have in your iTunes library to tracks in the Apple Music catalog, which are then made available on your other devices. Amazon Music also includes a matching service in its PC and Mac apps, but the feature isn't as seamless as Apple's. Amazon used to offer an equivalent music upload service to Amazon Music Storage subscribers, but as of April 2018 the plans are no longer extendable and the storage service is being retired.

Both apps are easy to navigate and include fullscreen media players that showcase album art as you listen. These screens also put add-to-playlist, sharing, song queuing, lyric viewing, and audio device options at your fingertips, with Apple Music having the advantage of 3D Touch support on compatible devices, which can be used to quickly access additional options.

On desktop, Apple Music subscribers can access the service through the iTunes app for Mac and PC. Apple Music in iTunes is largely based on the same format as the mobile app, but it's not quite as pretty. It's also a little less navigable, but it does have Smart Playlists. Smart Playlists can be automatically generated by iTunes based on genre, date added, loved/disliked, and so on, meaning you don't have to manually build playlists yourself if you don't want to.


Amazon also offers desktop Music apps for Mac and PC that let you browse the catalog, access your library, and download songs, but the interfaces are terribly basic and the presentation is uninspired by comparison. The Amazon Music web player is no better, but at least the company offers one – Apple Music still lacks an equivalent, but subscribers can use a free third-party web player called Musish.

Discovery Features


When you sign up for Apple Music, Apple asks you to select some of your favorite artists so that the service can get a sense of your tastes. Using this information, Apple Music populates its regularly updated For You section with new releases, daily mixes and playlists to appeal to your preferences. Playlists can take on a style (pop or jazz, for example), a particular artist, or even a particular activity like studying.


Amazon Music's Home screen is where the service's personalization is centered, but it's minimal at best and the playlists and albums "for You" don't feel very targeted. Things improve a little after you've added some music to your library, listened to some radio stations, and liked/disliked a bunch of songs, but the suggestion accuracy isn't on par with Apple Music's curation, and the algorithms Amazon uses leaves a lot to be desired. Probably the best alternative in this regard is to make sufficient use of the "Customers Also Listened To" button in the media player interface, but it's the same option you'll find on Amazon's online web store and hardly a unique feature befitting a premium streaming service.

Apple Music's non-personalized content lives in a separate Browse tab showcasing trending artists and playlists, top charts, and music videos. Browse is also home to a TV and films section that features Apple-made programming like Carpool Karaoke and artist documentaries.


Apple Music's Radio tab features curated music stations tuned to your listening habits as well as Apple's Beats 1 radio station. Beats 1 offers live radio 24 hours a day, and also plays a big part in the platform's music discovery. The Radio tab also has an archive of its most popular radio shows and playlists from years past. Amazon Music's default radio station offering pales by comparison, and unlike Apple Music it doesn't let you you create a station from a song, album, artist, or playlist.

Music Sharing


Apple Music allows you to follow friends who are also subscribers and share playlists with them that you've personally created. Apple Music's For You tab will also show you what your friends are listening to if you've connected to them. Amazon Music Unlimited has no such features, but it does let you share song links via text or over social media.

Speakers and Voice Assistants


As an Apple Music subscriber, you can use Apple's Siri voice assistant on your iOS devices as a personal DJ to control song playback, queue up songs, find song facts, add songs to your library, play your favorite playlists, or even play something new. Getting Amazon Music to work with Siri requires the use of Siri Shortcuts, and even then it isn't guaranteed to work and it lacks many Siri skills exclusive to Apple Music.


If you own any of Amazon's Echo speakers or an Amazon Fire TV, then you can tap into the company's Alexa voice assistant, which offers many similar DJ skills as Siri does for Apple Music. All Amazon Music Unlimited subscription plans work on Amazon Echo and Fire TV devices. In the U.S. at least, Apple Music can also be set up to stream on Amazon Echo devices, but it's not as seamless and you won't get said Alexa skills.


On the other hand, Apple's HomePod speaker is made to be used in conjunction with Apple Music. In fact, one of the main uses for Siri on HomePod is to control your Apple Music collection. There are Siri voice commands for accessing content like playlists, genres, moods, liking or disliking songs, playing more music based on something you've heard, starting a new radio station, and much more. None of these functions will work with an Amazon Music subscription – you can stream audio to HomePod from a device running the Amazon Music app, but that's it.

Listening in the Car


Apple's CarPlay system supports Amazon Music and, of course, Apple Music. If a car doesn't have CarPlay, most newer models have their own entertainment systems, which often make it easy to connect your chosen streaming service. Usually you can do so either direct from a built-in app, over Bluetooth, or via a cable connection. You can also listen to Apple Music and Amazon Music through your phone's or car's speakers with Android Auto.

Apple Music highlights

  • Seamless integration with Apple's eco-system

  • Beats live radio and archive

  • Human curated recommendations

  • Social features

  • Support for uploading/matching your own music files

  • Works natively with HomePod

Amazon Music Unlimited highlights

  • Echo speaker integration

  • Official web player

  • Large music catalog

Summing Up


Amazon Music Unlimited is a decent service on its own, but when compared to Apple Music, its shortcomings become glaring. In terms of interface and apps, Apple Music is far easier on the eye than Amazon Music Unlimited, and Apple's music curation and personalization efforts easily outshine its rival. In addition, Apple Music offers subscribers better social features and far more content, including radio shows, exclusive artist releases, live video performances and concerts.

Of course, let's not forget Amazon Prime Music, which is available to all Prime members at no extra cost. If you just want access to some tunes to help pass the time, it could be an ideal choice. But if you're looking for a dedicated premium streaming service, Apple Music is the one to shoot for.


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Apple Music vs. Tidal

Apple Music and Tidal are well known for their exclusive releases and both streaming services have been around since 2015. In that time, Apple Music has become the most popular streaming service in the US, but Tidal has a dedicated subscriber base for a variety of reasons.


Dubbed as the artists' music platform, Tidal is owned by Jay-Z and a variety of other successful music artists, and the company makes a point of paying artists more per stream than Apple Music. But is it a better service for the average listener? Read on to learn what both have to offer.

Subscriptions and Plans


An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Membership means you can stream Apple's music catalog, download music and videos for offline listening, and get exclusive access to new releases and exclusives, as well as a back catalog of shows broadcast on Apple's Beats 1 radio station.

Tidal also offers a $9.99 per month individual subscription, although again prices may vary in other regions. For the audiophiles out there, Tidal also offers a $19.99 per month individual subscription with lossless "High Fidelity" sound quality and high definition videos.

Apple Music price plans

An Apple Music student subscription costs $4.99 and requires you to sign up using your educational institution credentials. Tidal offers two student plans: $4.99 for the Premium service and $9.99 for the HiFi service. Note that students need to re-verify their eligibility every 12 months for both services.

Apple Music's family plan costs $14.99 a month and allows up to six people to access the services using a personal account for each family member. Members can also share iTunes purchases amongst each other in addition to catalog content, but using the same credit card is required to verify the family status. Tidal's Family plans are $14.99 for the Premium service and $29.99 for the HiFi service. In a unique offering, Tidal also offers special individual subscription rates for active military personnel, with the Premium and HiFi plans priced at $5.99 and $11.99, respectively.

Both Apple Music and Tidal memberships automatically renew each month, but you can cancel renewal at any time and your subscription will last until the end of your current billing cycle.

Free Trials


Apple Music offers a free three-month trial of its paid service, which converts to a paid membership unless the user cancels before the trial period is over.


Tidal currently offers a shorter 30-day free trial, which also becomes a paid membership if not canceled before the trial period.

Libraries and Offline Listening


All paid Apple Music and Tidal plans give you access to a huge catalog of songs when you sign up. Apple Music boasts 50 million songs in its catalog, while Tidal subscribers get the pick of over 57 million songs, so regardless of which one has the most content, both allow you to build up a large collection of music.

In addition, Tidal also boasts over 200,000 high quality music videos, which is a more extensive catalogue than any other rival streaming service, perhaps with the exception of YouTube Music Premium, so this may appeal to you if you like to consume your music with a visual element.


Apple Music and Tidal have battled for exclusive artist rights in recent times, so if it's important to you, Apple Music is currently first to get albums from Drake, Taylor Swift, and Pharrell Williams, while Tidal gets first dibs when it comes to Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, and Rihanna.

Apple Music users can download a maximum of 100,000 songs to their library, and thanks to Apple's iCloud Music Library feature these can be synced across devices signed in to the same Apple ID. With Tidal, you can download as many songs, albums, and playlists as you want for offline listening, and these will be synced to any device using the same account, but you can only use five devices in offline mode simultaneously.

Streaming quality


Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files across the board and doesn't offer users a way of changing the sound quality. It's a different story with Tidal, which caters to the audiophile more than any other music service. Tidal subscribers on both Premium and HiFi plans can choose between Normal and High quality streams.

In addition, Tidal has partnered with MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) to deliver guaranteed master-quality recordings directly from the master source, which is billed as "an audio experience that the artist intended." The rationale behind this is that while HiFi audio is a superior sound, it's still limited to 44.1 kHz / 16 bit resolution, whereas MQA audio is the highest possible resolution (typically 96 kHz / 24 bit). These MQA recordings come included with the highest tier $19.99 HiFi plan mentioned above.


Apart from audiophiles, most listeners probably won't notice much difference between the highest-quality streams of the same song, but Tidal's option to select the bitrate can come in handy if you're worried about using up your cellular data.

Mobile, Desktop, and Web Apps


The Apple Music catalog is accessed from within the Music app, which has a clean white interface and comes pre-installed on every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and also is available as a separate downloadable app on Android devices. The mobile app is organized into tabs to access your music library, browse the Apple Music catalog, and listen to radio stations, while a "For You" tab lets you check out suggestions based on your listening preferences.

The Tidal app, available on both iOS and Android, has a slick black interface, but a more minimalist feel, with tabs for checking out new releases and recommendations, browsing Tidal music, searching the catalog, and accessing your music collection.

The Tidal app also includes an offline mode so that only downloaded content appears in the app, as well as helpful overlay tips for using the app the first time you launch it. By contrast, Apple's Music app isn't as easy to get familiar with, with some options hidden away in 3D Touch menus and off-screen panels that you have to swipe up or long press to access.

Tidal (left), Apple Music (right)

Both apps include fullscreen media players that showcase album art as you listen. These screens also put add-to-playlist, sharing, song queuing, create station, and audio device options at your fingertips.

Apple Music in iTunes (available for PC and Mac) is largely based on the same format as the mobile app, but it's not quite as pretty. It's also a little less navigable, but it does have one trick up its sleeve: Smart playlists. These can be automatically generated by iTunes based on genre, date added, loved/disliked, and so on, meaning you don't have to manually build playlists yourself if you don't want to.

Tidal desktop app

Tidal also offers apps for Mac and PC. They recreate the mobile interface for desktop well, and are slimmer and easier to navigate than iTunes, which feels bloated in comparison. In addition, Tidal offers a handy web player for accessing the service from any web browser, which is convenient if you want to access the service on a computer that doesn't have the Tidal app installed (your office PC, for example). Apple Music still lacks an equivalent, but subscribers can use a free third-party web player called Musish, although it's currently in development and still missing a few features.

Discovery Features


When you sign up for Apple Music, Apple asks you to select some of your favorite artists so that the service can get a sense of your tastes. Using this information, Apple Music populates its regularly updated For You section with new releases, daily mixes and playlists to appeal to your preferences. Playlists can take on a style (pop or jazz, for example), a particular artist, or even a particular activity like studying.

Tidal doesn't have an equivalent system to learn your music tastes immediately, although most users choose the service because it tilts towards hip hop and its sub-genres, so this isn't usually a big issue. Besides, it doesn't take long for the service to learn your preferences once you've started to add to your collection. You can also block tracks and artists from mixes and radio stations and Tidal does a good job of learning from these interactions.


In terms of Tidal music discovery, the app's Home tab is where it's at. The Home screen showcases new arrivals in a top carousel, with suggested new tracks and albums for you below, along with popular and featured playlists/albums, top charts, video playlists, podcasts, music shows, and concerts. Home also features TIDAL Rising, dedicated to lesser-known artists from around the globe who have passionate fan bases and want to reach a wider audience with their music.

Apple Music's non-personalized content lives in a separate Browse tab showcasing trending artists and playlists, top charts, and music videos. Browse is also home to a TV and films section that features Apple-made programming like Carpool Karaoke and artist documentaries.


Apple Music's Radio tab features curated music stations tuned to your listening habits as well as Apple's Beats 1 radio station. Beats 1 offers live radio 24 hours a day, and also plays a big part in the platform's music discovery. The Radio tab also has an archive of the most popular Beats 1 radio shows and playlists from years past. Tidal doesn't have any radio programming, but it makes up for this lack with its music-focused podcast library and original music documentaries.

Music Sharing


Apple Music allows you to follow friends who are also subscribers and share playlists with them that you've personally created. Apple Music's For You tab will also show you what your friends are listening to if you've connected to them.

Tidal doesn't have native equivalent social features, but the service does allow you to connect to Facebook and so you can see tracks from friends who subscribe to Tidal. You can also share song links via text or over social media and link to last.fm to log your listening habits.

Speakers and Voice Assistants


As an Apple Music subscriber, you can use Siri as a personal DJ to control song playback, queue up songs, find song facts, add songs to your library, play your favorite playlists, or even play something new. This is a big advantage Apple Music has over Tidal, which requires a more complicated solution through Siri Shortcuts and lacks many equivalent features.


Apple's HomePod speaker is designed to be used in conjunction with Apple Music. In fact, one of the main uses for Siri on HomePod is to control your Apple Music collection. There are Siri voice commands for accessing content like playlists, genres, moods, liking or disliking songs, playing more music based on something you've heard, starting a new radio station, and much more.

None of these functions will work with a Tidal subscription. You can stream audio to HomePod from a device running the Tidal app, but that's it. On the other hand, Tidal supports Chromecast, Android TV, Sonos speakers, and Squeezebox, while Apple Music only works natively on HomePod and Amazon Echo devices.

Listening in the Car


Apple's CarPlay system supports Tidal and, of course, Apple Music. If a car doesn't have CarPlay, most newer models have their own entertainment systems, which often make it easy to connect your chosen streaming service. Usually you can do so either direct from a built-in app, over Bluetooth, or via a cable connection. You can also listen to Apple Music and Tidal through your vehicle with Android Auto.

Apple Music highlights

  • Seamless integration with Apple's eco-system

  • Beats live radio and archive

  • Human curated recommendations

  • Social features

  • Support for uploading/matching your own music files

  • Works natively with HomePod


Tidal highlights

  • Emerging artist category

  • Optional lossless plan

  • Extensive video content

  • Official web player

  • Larger music catalog

Summing Up


Tidal holds a unique place in the streaming market, thanks to its HiFi streaming plans and its efforts to showcase emerging artists. Tidal's alignment with the hip hop scene is also a big draw, with curated playlists from the likes of Jay Z and Beyoncé. In addition, the service offers one of the largest collections of music videos, concert videos, and a good selection of original music-related programming.

On the other hand, Apple's service tends to be quicker off the mark with its music suggestions, while its content is more balanced in terms of appealing to various music tastes. Apple Music is also probably a better choice if you're invested in the Apple ecosystem. At the end of the day, both Apple Music and Tidal are solid streaming services, and which one you decide on will likely come down to your musical tastes.


This article, "Apple Music vs. Tidal" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Music vs. Google Play Music

Need help deciding whether Apple or Google has the right music streaming service for you? Then keep reading. Apple Music launched in 2015 and was a relative latecomer to the streaming services market, but Apple's continual development of the platform has made it into one of the most popular choices for enjoying digital music. Google's music strategy on the other hand has been confusing in recent years, so before we dive in with a deeper look at the two streaming service rivals, here's a quick recap.


Google Music


Google launched its original Play Music streaming service in 2011. Like Apple Music, Play Music gives you access to a vast music library, music recommendations, radio stations, and offline listening, all for a monthly fee. In a unique contribution to the streaming services field, Google Play Music also lets all Google account holders (i.e. not just subscribers) upload up to 50,000 tracks from their existing music library to the cloud, for storage and online streaming.

In May 2017, Google launched an on-demand ad-supported music streaming service called YouTube Music, shortly followed by YouTube Music Premium – a revamped version of its ad-free YouTube Red subscription service with a renewed focus on original programming. The rebranded service includes personalized playlists, intelligent search, support for background playback on mobile and music downloads for offline listening. It also offers access to remixes, covers and live versions that aren't available on other platforms.


Initially Google said its new YouTube Music service would replace Google Play Music, and that existing subscribers would have their playlists, collections, and preferences migrated automatically. So far that hasn't happened, and although Google said last year that it plans to move Google Play Music subscribers over to YouTube Music at some point in 2019, it also insisted that nothing would change about Google Play Music "in the near future," and that still appears to be the case today.

At any rate, Google has said that it will give Play Music users plenty of notice when it does decide to make big changes, although it's worth keeping in mind that a migration to YouTube Music should be seen as inevitable for anyone who signs up to Google Play Music today. When that happens (i.e. when Google gets its music rights in order), the company says Play Music users "will continue to get the features they already enjoy at the same price they pay today."

Subscriptions and Plans


An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Membership means you can stream Apple's music catalog, download music and videos for offline listening, and get exclusive access to new releases and exclusives, as well as a back catalog of shows broadcast on Apple's Beats 1 radio station.

A standard Google Play Music subscription also costs $9.99 per month. That gets you access to Google's music catalog, music recommendations, radio stations, offline listening, and access to YouTube Music Premium. (A subscription to YouTube Music Premium also costs $9.99 monthly.) An Apple Music student subscription costs $4.99 and requires you to sign up using your educational institution credentials. Google Play doesn't appear to offer an equivalent plan, although eligible students can subscribe to YouTube Music Premium for $4.99 a month.

Apple Music membership plans

Apple Music's family plan costs $14.99 a month and allows up to six people to access the services using a personal account for each family member. Members can also share iTunes purchases with each other in addition to catalog content, but all family members must use the same credit card for App Store/iTunes purchases. Google also offers a $14.99 a month Play Music Family Plan. When you subscribe to the family plan, you and up to 5 family members can stream music on up to 10 devices each and share eligible purchased items on Google Play using Family Library. (Each family member still has separate Google Accounts, playlists, libraries, and offline content.)

Both Apple Music and Play Music memberships automatically renew each month, but you can cancel renewal at any time and your subscription will run out at the end of your current billing cycle.

Remember, even if you don't subscribe to Google Play Music, if you're a Google account holder you can still upload up to 50,000 songs from your own music library without paying any monthly fee at all.

Free Trials


Apple Music offers a free three-month trial of its paid service, which converts to a paid membership unless the user cancels before the trial period is over.


Google Play Music currently offers existing Google account holders a shorter 30-day free trial, which also becomes a paid membership if not canceled before the trial period. Having said that, Google also now offers all users a free three-month trial of YouTube Music Premium, which is probably the best way to get a taster of what Google's music offering will eventually become.

Libraries and Offline Listening


All paid Apple Music and Google Play Music plans give you access to a huge catalog of songs songs when you sign up. Apple Music boasts 50 million songs in its catalog, while Play Music subscribers get the pick of 40 million songs, so regardless of which one has the most content, both allow you to build up a large collection of music.


Apple Music users can download a maximum of 100,000 songs to their library, and thanks to Apple's iCloud Music Library feature these can be synced across devices signed in to the same Apple ID. Google Play music users can download as many songs, albums, and playlists as they want for offline listening (Google doesn't specify a maximum number).

Streaming quality


Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files across the board, while Google Play Music users can select the streaming bitrate from low (198 kbps), normal (192 kbps), and high (320 kbps AAC) quality. YouTube Music currently appears to have a maximum bitrate of 128 kbps, but that's likely to improve in time.

Apart from audiophiles, most listeners probably won't notice much difference between the highest quality streams of the same song, but Google Play Music's option to select the bitrate can come in handy if you're worried about using up your cellular data.

Mobile, Desktop, and Web Apps


The Apple Music catalog is accessed from within the Music app, which has a clean white interface and comes pre-installed on every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and also is available as a separate downloadable app on Android devices. The mobile app is organized into tabs to access your music library, browse the Apple Music catalog, and listen to radio stations, while a "For You" tab lets you check out recommendations based on your listening preferences.

Google Play Music mobile app

The Google Play Music app, available on both iOS and Android, has a similar clean white interface, but a more minimalist feel to it, with tabs for accessing the Play Music catalog, your own music library, recently played content, and recommended listening.

Both apps are easy to navigate and include fullscreen media players that showcase album art as you listen. These screens also put add-to-playlist, sharing, song queuing, and audio device options at your fingertips. Users familiar with Gmail and other apps by Google should feel right at home in the Play Music app, although Apple's Music app has the advantage of 3D Touch support on compatible devices, which can be used to quickly access additional menus.

Apple Music mobile

Both apps allow you to add any existing music you own to your library, but offer different routes to achieving this. Google lets you sync up to 50,000 tracks from your computer using an upload client app or the web player, after which they become available for streaming from any device signed into your Play Music account. Apple Music uses iCloud Music Library to match any songs you have in iTunes to tracks in the Apple Music catalog, which are then made available on your other devices.

Apple Music in iTunes (available for PC and Mac) is largely based on the same format as the mobile app, but it's not quite as pretty. It's also a little less navigable, but it does have one trick up its sleeve: Smart Playlists. These can be automatically generated by iTunes based on genre, date added, loved/disliked, and so on, meaning you don't have to manually build playlists yourself if you don't want to. Apple doesn't offer a native player for web browsers, though third-party workaround service Musish lets you listen to Apple Music on the web.

Google Play Music web player

Both YouTube Music and Google Play Music can be played through browsers on your Mac or PC, though neither service currently offers a desktop app.

Discovery Features


When you sign up for Apple Music, Apple asks you to select some of your favorite artists so that the service can get a sense of your tastes. Using this information, Apple Music populates its regularly updated "For You" section with new releases, daily mixes and playlists to appeal to your preferences. Playlists can take on a style (pop or jazz, for example), a particular artist, or even a particular activity like studying.

Google Play Music mobile app

Discovering new music isn't as straightforward in Google Play Music, especially when you first sign up. However, the Home tab soon starts to populate with personal album and playlist recommendations after you've spent some time liking/disliking songs in the media player, and if you sync existing music to your library, Google will use this to get a better idea of your tastes.

While Play Music's Home tab also features new releases and "Made for everyone" playlists categorized into genres and moods/activities, Apple Music's non-personalized content lives in a separate Browse tab showcasing trending artists and playlists, top charts, and music videos. Browse is also home to a TV and films section that features Apple-made programming like Carpool Karaoke and artist documentaries (Apple is currently investing heavily in programming, so expect more content to appear here in the coming months).


Apple Music's Radio tab features curated music stations tuned to your listening habits as well as Apple's Beats 1 radio station. Beats 1 offers live radio 24 hours a day, and also plays a big part in the platform's music discovery. The Radio tab also has an archive of its most popular radio shows and playlists from years past.

Google Play Music sideloads its Radio offering in the Browse tab under various categories including genres, activities, moods, and decades. The UI presentation is a little dull, but listening to Play Music's stations is probably the best way to encounter new content on the platform that you might like, and the more thumbs up/thumbs down you give to songs, the better Google's algorithms are at generating new music recommendations for you.

Music Sharing


Apple Music allows you to follow friends who are also subscribers and share playlists with them that you've personally created. Apple Music's For You tab will also show you what your friends are listening to if you've connected to them.

Google Play Music has no such social features, but it does let you share song links via text or over social media.

Speakers and Voice Assistants


As an Apple Music subscriber, you can use Siri as a personal DJ to control song playback, queue up songs, find song facts, add songs to your library, play your favorite playlists, or even play something new. This is a big advantage Apple Music has over Google Play Music, which requires a more complicated solution through Siri Shortcuts, and even then, it lacks many equivalent features.


Apple's HomePod speaker is essentially made to be used in conjunction with Apple Music. In fact, one of the main uses for Siri on HomePod is to control your Apple Music collection. There are Siri voice commands for accessing content like playlists, genres, moods, liking or disliking songs, playing more music based on something you've heard, starting a new radio station, and much more. None of these functions will work with a Google Play Music subscription. You can stream audio to HomePod from a device running the Play Music app, but that's it.

If you own a Google Home speaker though, you're in luck. As you'd expect, Google's smart speakers fully integrate with Play Music, so you can invoke Google's voice assistant to carry out many of the same spoken commands mentioned above. Apple Music is not available as an integrated option on Google Home devices.


In addition, you can combine Google Play Music with the Google Assistant mobile app. When you do, Google Play Music combines your preferences with real-time information — like location, weather, and more — so that its voice assistant can recommend the right music for what you're doing, how you're feeling, or what you want to hear. However this does involve allowing Google access to a raft of privacy permissions on your mobile device, so you may want to think twice before you enable them.

Listening in the Car


Apple's CarPlay system supports Google Play Music and, of course, Apple Music. If a car doesn't have CarPlay, most newer models have their own entertainment systems, which often make it easy to connect your chosen streaming service. Usually you can do so either direct from a built-in app, over Bluetooth, or via a cable connection. You can also listen to Apple Music and Play Music music through your phone's or car's speakers with Android Auto.

Apple Music highlights

  • Seamless integration with Apple's eco-system

  • Beats live radio and archive

  • Human curated recommendations

  • Social features

  • Support for uploading/matching your own music files

  • Works natively with HomePod

Google Play Music highlights

  • Cloud storage for existing music library

  • Official web player

  • Future uncertain with Google also offering YouTube Music

  • Excellent music suggestion algorithms

  • Minimalist mobile UI

Summing Up


It's hard to predict how things will pan out for Google Play Music when the service inevitably migrates to YouTube Music Premium. Google has gone on record as saying that all of Play Music's features will survive the transition, but until it happens (perhaps in late 2019?) we won't know for sure what form they'll take. On that basis, Play Music is probably a good choice if you own Android devices and you're already a heavy user of Google and YouTube apps and services.

On the other hand, if you're invested in the Apple ecosystem (perhaps you own an Apple TV or a HomePod as well as an iPhone) then Apple Music is the clear winner. Apple's service is quicker off the mark with its music suggestions, offers a better user experience in the mobile app, and includes some neat social features, where Play Music virtually has none.


This article, "Apple Music vs. Google Play Music" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Music vs. Spotify

Apple Music and Spotify are the biggest players in the music streaming space -- and for good reason. Spotify essentially created the market as it exists today and has millions more users globally than any other service, but Apple Music is catching up, thanks to its deep integration in Apple's popular iOS ecosystem.


Both Spotify and Apple Music offer as much music and related content as your ears could handle – including exclusive new releases from top artists – and all of it can be streamed ad-free (with Spotify's paid tier) or downloaded for offline play. So which is the best option for you? Keep reading as we pit the two services against each other.

Subscriptions and Price Plans


An individual Apple Music subscription costs $9.99 per month in the United States, with slight price variations in other countries and territories. Likewise, an individual Spotify subscription or "Premium" plan costs $9.99 per month, with some regional variations. In addition to its paid plan, Spotify also offers a free ad-supported service that allows users to shuffle-play songs, although premium features remain off limits.


Both services offer student and family plans for $4.99 per month and $14.99 per month, respectively. Spotify's student offering currently includes additional access to an ad-supported Hulu TV plan and unlimited access to the SHOWTIME streaming service. Apple Music and Spotify family plans meanwhile are very similar. Up to six people can access the services using a personal account for each family member, with the exception that Apple Music members can also share iTunes purchases in addition to catalog content. Apple Music does, however, require all family members to use the same credit card for App Store purchases.


Both Apple Music and Spotify memberships automatically renew each month, but you can cancel renewal at any time and your subscription will run out at the end of your current billing cycle. A canceled Spotify premium subscription reverts your account to the free, ad-supported service at the end of the current billing cycle. (Related: How to cancel an Apple Music subscription)

Free Trials


Apple Music offers a free three-month trial of its paid service, which converts to a paid membership unless the user cancels before the trial period is over.


Spotify also offers a free trial of its Premium plan, but it only lasts for 30 days before billing begins, although you do have the option to use the free plan for as long as you want if you need more time to make up your mind about the service.

Libraries and Offline Listening


All paid Apple Music and Spotify plans give you access to a huge catalog of songs when you sign up. Apple Music boasts 50 million songs in its catalog, while Spotify subscribers have the pick of "over 35 million" songs, so regardless of which one has the most content, both allow you to build up a large collection of music.


However when it comes to offline listening, there are limits. Apple Music users can download a maximum of 100,000 songs to their library, and using Apple's iCloud Music Library feature these can be synced across devices signed into the same Apple ID. Spotify Premium members can download up to 10,000 songs on each of up to 5 different devices, but this number doesn't include saved playlists.

Offline listening on the services covers songs, video content, concerts and artist exclusives. In addition, Spotify subscribers have access to audiobooks and podcasts, and the company is known to be investing heavily in its podcasts offering, so users can expect a lot more content in this department soon.

Streaming quality


Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files, while Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format and lets you choose the bitrate depending on how you're listening. On mobile you can elect to stream in Low (24 kbit/s), Normal (96 kbit/s), High (160 kbit/s) or Very High (320 kbit/s) quality.

Apart from audiophiles, most listeners probably won't notice much difference between the highest-quality Spotify and Apple Music streams of the same song, but Spotify's ability to select the bitrate can come in handy if you're worried about using up your cellular data.

Mobile, Desktop, and Web Apps


The Apple Music catalog is accessed within the Music app, which has a clean white interface and comes pre-installed on every iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and is available as a separate downloadable app on Android devices. Spotify's apps have a contrasting uniform black interface and are also available on both iOS and Android.


The Apple Music mobile app is organized into tabs to access your music library, browse the Apple Music catalog, and listen to radio stations, while a "For You" tab lets you check out suggestions based on your listening preferences. The Spotify mobile app has a similar tabbed format, giving you access to listening recommendations, a catalog search function, and your library.

Both apps are easy to navigate and include fullscreen media players that showcase album art as you listen. These screens also put add-to-playlist, sharing, song queuing, and audio device options at your fingertips, with Apple Music having the advantage of 3D Touch support on compatible devices, allowing you to quickly access additional menus.


Unlike Apple's Music app, one notable limitation of the Spotify app for iOS is that you can't merge local music stored on your device with your Spotify library -- you have to use the Local files feature in the desktop app to sync them across from your computer, and unfortunately it doesn't work as well as Apple's iCloud Music Library feature.

On desktop, Apple Music subscribers can access the service through the iTunes app for Mac and PC. Apple Music in iTunes is largely based on the same format as the mobile app, but it's not quite as pretty. It's also a little less navigable, but it does have one trick up its sleeve: Smart Playlists. These can be automatically generated by iTunes based on genre, date added, loved/disliked, and so on, meaning you don't have to manually build playlists yourself if you don't want to.

Spotify also offers apps for Mac and PC. They recreate the mobile interface for desktop well, and are slimmer and easier to navigate than iTunes, which feels bloated in comparison.

In addition, Spotify offers a handy web player for accessing the service from any web browser, which is convenient if you want to access the service on a computer that doesn't have the Spotify app installed (your office PC, for example). Apple Music still lacks an equivalent, but subscribers can use a free third-party web player called Musish, although it's currently in development and still missing a few features.

Discovery Features


When you sign up for Apple Music, Apple asks you to select some of your favorite artists so that the service can get a sense of your tastes. Using this information, Apple Music populates its regularly updated For You section with new releases, daily mixes and playlists to appeal to your preferences. Playlists can take on a style (pop or jazz, for example), a particular artist, or even a particular activity like studying.

Comparatively, Spotify's Home screen is where the service's personalization is centered. Discover Weekly is added every Monday morning, and delivers a two-hour playlist of personalized music recommendations based on your listening habits, as well as the habits of other users who listen to similar artists. Meanwhile, Daily Mixes playlists feature tracks and artists in a certain genre that you've been listening to, plus a few additional recommendations, while Release Radar is a playlist of new releases recommended just for you.


While Spotify's Home screen also features new releases and "Made for Everyone" playlists categorized into genres and moods, Apple Music's non-personalized content lives in a separate Browse tab showcasing trending artists and playlists, top charts, and music videos. Browse is also home to a TV and films section that features Apple-made programming like "Carpool Karaoke" and artist documentaries.

Apple Music's Radio tab features curated music stations tuned to your listening habits as well as Apple's Beats 1 radio station. Beats 1 offers live radio 24 hours a day, and also plays a big part in the platform's music discovery. The Radio tab also has an archive of its most popular radio shows and playlists from years past.

Spotify doesn't really have an equivalent, although when you create a station from a song, album, artist, or playlist, Spotify Radio creates picks the music for you, and while Apple Music has the same feature, Spotify's suggestion algorithm is generally much better. On the flip side, Apple Music's Search tab includes the option to search the Apple Music catalog using a lyric phrase, which is really handy when you don't know or can't remember the name of a song.

Music Sharing


Both services allow you to follow friends who are also subscribers and share playlists with them that you've personally created. Spotify and Apple Music also let you share song links via text or over social media. In the Spotify desktop app you can see what song your friends are currently listening to, provided they choose to share this information. Similarly, Apple Music's For You tab shows what your friends are listening to if you've connected to them.

Speakers and Voice Assistants


As an Apple Music subscriber, you can use Siri as a personal DJ to control song playback, queue up songs, find song facts, add songs to your library, play your favorite playlists, or even play something new. This is a big advantage Apple Music has over Spotify, which requires a more complicated solution using Siri Shortcuts to get Siri to play nice with the Spotify app, and even then it lacks many equivalent features.


Apple's HomePod speaker is essentially made to be used in conjunction with Apple Music. In fact, one of the main reasons for Siri on HomePod is to control your Apple Music collection. There are Siri voice commands for accessing content like playlists, genres, moods, liking or disliking songs, playing more music based on something you've heard, starting a new radio station, and much more. None of these functions will work with a Spotify subscription -- you can stream audio to HomePod from a device running the Spotify app, but that's it.

On the plus side, Spotify supports lots of different third-party devices, from game consoles to smart speakers. And if you own an Amazon Alexa-enabled speaker you can link it to both Apple Music and Spotify, but check your region first as support can vary depending on where you live.

Listening in the Car


Apple's CarPlay system supports Spotify and, of course, Apple Music. If a car doesn't have CarPlay, most newer models have their own entertainment systems, which often make it easy to connect your chosen streaming service. Usually you can do so either direct from a built-in app, over Bluetooth, or via a cable connection.

Apple Music highlights

  • Seamless integration with Apple's eco-system

  • Beats live radio and archive

  • Human curated recommendations

  • Social features

Spotify highlights

  • Extensive playlist selection

  • Official web player

  • Excellent personalization algorithms

Summing up


If you're just looking for a free music streaming service and you don't mind ads, Spotify is the obvious choice. However if you're willing to pay, choosing between Apple Music and Spotify gets tricky. If you're already invested in the Apple ecosystem (perhaps you own an Apple TV or a HomePod as well as an iPhone) then the decision should be easier, given Apple Music's hardware integration and its ability to import your existing iTunes music library. But if these aren't considerations, Spotify is certainly a strong alternative, thanks to its excellent music discovery and personalization features.


This article, "Apple Music vs. Spotify" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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