Frustrated with recent playback issues with the Spotify desktop app, I engaged in a brief love affair with Apple Music.
For me, Apple Music has a ton going for it. Out of the gate, the music selection seemed more robust than Spotify. I don’t consider myself much of an audiophile but the audio quality seemed better, even compared to the higher quality option offered by Spotify Premium.
What really drew me in was the ability to supplement Apple’s library with my own legally purchased music and music that I have recorded/produced myself. The music would live in my iCloud account and would sync to all of my Apple devices automatically.
Fast forward a few days in my detour, it didn’t take long to get frustrated with iTunes. As my virtual library grew, iTunes seemed to slow. Perhaps it was sluggish the whole time, hard to say. Pulling up albums and artists would result in me staring at a blank screen for 3 to 5 seconds.
I can deal with the sluggishness as Spotify has similar issues from time to time. What I couldn’t tolerate was how streaming worked on my iPhone while driving around (relying on cellular). For the most part, it worked well but pretty regularly, the Apple Music app would pause for a second on a new track then just skip to the next track!
This made listening to full albums damn near impossible to listen to in the car unless they were downloaded to my phone.
The feature that I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d miss, but was told by my friends that I would was the social aspect of Spotify. After a week of living exclusively in Apple Music and coming back to Spotify, I realized how important the social integration truly is.
Being able to stalk my friend’s listening habits is often how I find new music. Spotify gives you just enough social noise without being obtrusive.
Apple Music also seemed to lack the ability to share playlists with your friends. I’m a playlist junky, they are the modern version of the mixtape. I make new playlists when I travel, for holidays and even to group music around times in my life, like the shit I listened to in high school.
Where Spotify excels in sharing playlists, I have always loved the Smart Playlists that Apple Music offers. I’m hoping that some day in the near future Spotify will be including this feature.
All this being said, I am back on Spotify. The shortcomings of Apple Music were too much to keep me from using Spotify but the advantages of Apple Music definitely opened my eyes to how I have actually been using Spotify incorrectly and how I could improve my experience.
I’ll discuss how I am now approaching Spotify and how I am able to supplement my music library with my personal collection on my mobile devices in some future posts.
Happy New Year!