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Apple Music vs Spotify: Which Service to Choose?

Apple Music and Spotify are the two biggest and most used music streaming platforms on the market. Both them can help you to discover as much as favorite music easily. And all of content can be streamed ad-free (with Spotify's paid tier) or downloaded for offline listening. Spotify doesn't ask for any money upfront, and you can go for years without ever paying a dime. And Apple may offer a free trial, at some point, you're going to need to pony up. But Apple Music, known for its high-level exclusive releases and full integration into Apple's popular iOS ecosystem.

Apple Music vs Spotify

Both Spotify and Apple Music have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is hard to say which one is the best music streaming service overall. Don't worry, here we will look at each service's pricing, music library, audio quality and other features to help you decide which streaming music service is best for you.


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What is the Difference between Apple Music and Spotify

Subscription Price

Spotify offers a free, ad-supported tier, which lets you access a giant library of Spotify, discover new music, share tunes with friends, and listen to tunes picked by Spotify's Radio feature. But Apple Music only lets free users stream Beats1 Radio, or you can listen to songs from your iTunes library.

Spotify and Apple Music offer nearly identical subscription packages. Both services cost $9.99 a month for individuals, $14.99 a month for families of up to six users, and $4.99 a month for students. Apple Music offer a free three month trial period for its premium service, although Spotify also offers a free trial of its Premium plan, but it only lasts for 30 days before billing begins.


Spotify Apple Music
Monthly Price $9.99 (or $4.99 for students) $9.99 (or $4.99 for students)
Family plan Yes, up to 6 people ($14.99) Yes, up to 6 people ($14.99)
Free tier Yes, ad-supported No, only Beats1 radio
Free trial 30 Days 3 months
Stream quality Up to 320kbps Ogg Vorbis 256kbps AAC
Music library 35 million songs 50 million songs

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.

Libraries and Offline Listening

Both Spotify and Apple Music provide similar catalogs and offer content exclusive to its subscribers. Apple boasts 50 million songs in its catalog, while Spotify claims 35 million plus songs while touting the addition of another 20,000 songs to its library daily. All the major artists are represented on both music services — including Taylor Swift, who feuded with Spotify for years but is back on the music service.


Apple Music and Spotify

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.

Audio Quality

Apple has not formally announced the bitrates that its songs stream at, but locally-saved files are 256 kbps AAC files, the same format as tracks purchased from iTunes. 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, though the highest caliber is limited to paid Premium subscribers.

Availability

Both Apple Music and Spotify are available on almost every device that can play music, including iOS and Android phones, tablets, connected devices, and PlayStation consoles. Both have a standalone desktop apps for Windows and Mac, so you aren't limited to listening on mobile. In the case of Apple Music, that's iTunes.

Spotify has an impressively wide reach. Apple Music can be found on all Apple devices (iPhones, iPads, Macs, the 4th Gen Apple TV and the Apple Watch) as well as on Android devices, and Macs and PCs, as well as automobiles with Apple CarPlay. Spotify won't be available on Apple's Siri-based Homepod speaker, reminding us that Apple's digital assistant can't be used to control any services other than Apple Music.

If a device is certified as Spotify Connect compatible, it means you can use the Spotify app as a remote to control playback. Spotify can also be connected to both PlayStation and Xbox One consoles (no services stream to the Switch).

Music Discovery

The biggest difference between Apple Music and Spotify may be their recommendation engines. The two services can expose you to new tunes based on what you already like. Spotify has tailored new playlists like Release Radar that are automatically populated each week with new songs. Apple Music has similar playlists, including New Music Mix.

Spotify is famous for its "Discover Weekly" playlists, an algorithmically tailored list of tracks based on your listening habits that gets refreshed every Monday. Apple offers a similar selection of new tracks in its "For You" tab, which is updated on Fridays.


Apple Music and Spotify Discovery Feature

Spotify and Apple Music also have radio stations based around your favorite artists, tracks or genres. Apple Music also has a separate station called Beats1 Radio which is curated and hosted by actual DJs, so you can listen to it in real time like you would a traditional radio station.

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. One of Spotify's clearest wins, comes out ahead on social sharing, with its Facebook account integration that allows friends to track each other's listening habits and send links to songs. Similarly, Apple Music's For You tab shows what your friends are listening to if you've connected to them.

Bottom Line

If you're just looking for a free music streaming service and you don't mind ads, Spotify is the clear winner. However if you're willing to pay, choosing between Apple Music and Spotify gets tricky. And if you have already been using one of the two services and you have playlists and a history of saved tracks, the differences between Apple Music and Spotify probably aren't significant enough.

In most respects, Apple Music works just as well as Spotify. It has a few perks of its own, and it's the obvious choice if you're already locked into the Apple ecosystem, given Apple Music's hardware integration and its ability to import your existing iTunes music library. Spotify is simple to use, has an enormous subscriber community, and delivers a better user experience; however, it has a slightly smaller music library, and it doesn't easily integrate with other music libraries.

Of course, Spotify and Apple Music aren't your only options for streaming music services. You can also choose Google Play Music, Amazon Music, Deezer, SoundCloud and other music platforms.

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Recommended: Enjoy Spotify Songs and Apple Music Freely

TunePat Spotify Converter enables you to download tracks, playlists and albums from Spotify and convert them to MP3, AAC, FLAC or WAV files with high output quality kept. Moreover, this program is apply to both Spotify Premium and Spotify Free users. With it, you can enjoy Spotify content on any devices you have.


Sidify Apple Music Converter is a handful Apple Music Converter, which enables you to convert Apple Music, iTunes purchased songs and Audible audio books to unprotected audio formats, such as MP3, AAC, WAV and FLAC. You can play Apple Music on Google Home, PS4, Xbox, Android phones and other devices with no limits.

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