After recently making the switch myself, here are five Apple Music features that Spotify is still missing.
I’ve been using Apple Music as my primary music streaming service for about two months now. Here are my favorite things that Apple does better.
Click below to access one of the following options:
- Sync iCloud Library/Music Library
- Lossless Audio
- Spatial audio
- Smart Playlists
1. Sync iCloud Library/Music Library
I have a large collection of digital audio files from before streaming was really a thing. So far I have kept them YouTube Music because they have a free cloud music service, but switching apps to listen to my old music or something not available on Spotify was far from seamless. Although you can download music from Spotify and sync it to your device, this music is not stored in the cloud, which requires valuable storage space. Being stored in Apple’s cloud means I can access what I want, when I want it, all integrated with my existing playlists.
2. Lossless Audio
Sixteen months after its announcement and six months after its expiry, Spotify’s HiFi level has yet to be seen. Apple, on the other hand, has fully transferred all of its 90 million songs to at least 16-bit/44.1kHz (CD quality), with some even going as high as 24-bit/192kHz. Whether or not you have the equipment or the ears to hear the difference, the premium quality option is always appreciated.
3. Spatial Audio
Along with the launch of lossless audio, Apple also introduced spatial audio. For songs mixed in Dolby Atmos, Spatial Audio provides “a revolutionary, immersive audio experience that allows artists to mix music so that sound comes from everywhere and from above.” While claims of a 3D surround experience may be overstated, Spatial Audio truly delivers a noticeably wider soundstage on compatible hardware.
4. Smart Playlists
One of my favorite features of Apple Music is smart playlists. Smart playlists allow you to set specific rules for the playlist to follow, to determine which tracks are included. These rules can be almost anything, from your favorite songs, music genres, year of release, to a song’s streaming range. Playlists are updated live (if desired) so they always automatically include the latest tracks. It’s a great way to filter your favorite tracks by genre or year, and I’ve yet to find a similar fully customizable feature on any other streaming service.
While Spotify and Apple Music are generally priced the same in the US and UK for individuals, with accounts at $/£9.99 per month, Apple Music’s addition of an annual option somewhat hidden for $/£99 per year (actually $/£8.25 per month), saves $/£20.88 per year.
Minor benefits of Apple Music also include the ability to see exactly how many times you’ve played a song. (not just during the Spotify Wrapped period), as well as seamless Apple integration. Apple Music is a great option for Apple ecosystem users i.e. iPhone, Mac, iPad, AirPods, HomePod, Apple Watch, Apple TV, CarPlay with seamless integration, reliable updates , etc.
The biggest challenge in moving from one service to another was the transition of my library. Although there are services like Tune My Music and Soundiiz, their free services are limited and flawed, with many incompatible songs or songs that were simply not available on Apple Music.
I also found Apple’s music recommendations to be a bit worse than Spotify’s, but hopefully they will improve over time as the algorithm learns my tastes. I will also say that Apple Music’s smaller user base introduces an extra step to sharing music with friends or joining group playlists.
Despite these drawbacks, so far I love Apple Music. Do you have additional reasons why one is better than the other? Leave them in the comments below.
Whether you’re an Apple Music fan, a Spotify fan or a fan of Just about any other music streaming platform, artists can upload their own music to all major streaming services for free with RouteNote.