A little bit ago, I took the advice of a friend and switched from my premium Spotify account to Apple Music. It made sense to add that into my Apple technology stack. And just about every comparison article I read regarding the two music platforms gave them a close rating — with a slight edge going to Apple Music if you had other Apple products.
Have an iPhone, Apple Music was already installed as an App – I just needed to subscribe. It got off to a good start. I stream about 80% of the time from my phone in my car — and another 20% at home via my laptop (so using the desktop app). The first thing that I noticed is that Apple Music seemed to respond much more readily via the controls in my car. Now my car is a 2014 – so the electronics are kinda dated. But with Spotify, I would have to hit the ‘track forward’ button a couple of times before it would respond. Also when I brought up a playlist in Apple Music, it would show me the list of tracks in my top dashboard display. Which didn’t happen (strangely) with my Spotify playlists.
I also liked the brighter, whiter interface of Apple Music – at first at least. Over time, I realized that it was not as readable in the super light/nighttime environments like Spotify’s dark interface was.
I found the SongShift app to move some of my favorite playlists over. But in spite of most of the reviews saying the Apple Music’s library is bigger than Spotify’s – I personally noticed that several songs couldn’t be transferred because they were not in Apple’s library. The genres that these songs were in were reggae and soul music. So maybe it is just the luck of the draw that Apple Music is a bit lacking in those areas.
But then a bit of a splash of cold water in the face occurred…
Issues with Last.fm
So I’ve used Last.fm for years – many as a way to track my listening history. I have embedded a little widget on this site (over on the sidebar) that shows the recent music that I listened to. Nothing earth-shattering, but Spotify ‘scrobbled’ (recorded your listening history over to Last.fm) with no issues. Apple Music – not so much. Even with the Last.fm app installed on my phone (which I never needed with Spotify) where I would scan for latest tracks – it often would not update my listening history. Or when it did, it would do it twice.
Issues with Social Sharing
Another annoyance I found is that if you shared a track or an album to Facebook stories, then you didn’t get an audio snippet – just a picture of the album art. I also missed the ability to see what my connections were currently listening to on the desktop app. I admit that I didn’t stick with Apple Music long enough to see if you could collaborate with others on playlists or things like that. But I will say that I felt the Apple Music desktop app to be not as engaging as Spotify’s.
No End of the Year ‘Wrapped’ Feature
In true social loser fashion, when friends started posting their year-end wraps from Spotify, I thought “Hey, wait a minute. I want to do that too!”. Luckily since I had been on Spotify for most of the year, it still generated for me. That’s when I truly realized that I missed Spotify and Apple Music just couldn’t measure up for me.
So this week I dropped my Apple Music subscription and renewed my Spotify premium (which is running a special right now where you get 3 months for free). So if you want to follow me over there, the link to my profile is here. Happy jamming! 🙂