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Spotify VS Apple music
Originally posted over on the Orbitsound blog.

Spotify vs Apple Music
There are a growing number of music services out there, all fighting to give us a seamless music experience. We compare the two most popular music streaming services; Spotify and Apple Music, to see which one hits the right notes with our speakers, is good value for money, and gives you the best overall music streaming experience.

[Image: spotify-in-numbers-desktop.jpg]

With 75 million subscribers, it’s no surprise that Spotify is the first music service that comes to mind when deciding which music service to go for. Having launched in 2008, Spotify has been a market leader despite several competitors entering the market.

Spotify’s interface is very polished and pretty friendly too. It’s easy to find music, discover other playlists and create your own but we prefer the simplicity of Apple Music. Both services have their own unique looks, Apple Music supports a much lighter overall look and feel whereas Spotify embraces the dark background with white text. We found Spotify’s interface to be a bit cluttered and took a bit of getting used to.


One of the biggest factors to consider when comparing streaming services is the size of their libraries and the quality of music. With over 30-million songs under its belt, there is bound to be something for everyone on Spotify.
One feature that really stands out for us is the ‘discovery of music’ feature on Spotify. It has a wide range of playlists that are updated with new songs every week and it also has a vast collection of playlists curated by outsiders. Not only that, you can also ‘Discover’ your own music on a weekly basis. Spotify uses algorithms to make suggestions that it thinks you’ll like based on your own taste as well as those of people with similar taste to yours. In our experience, these work very well as it’s a great way of discovering new music.

With a plethora of songs at your fingertips, Spotify even lets you download music offline, which is great, especially if you're someone who commutes on the underground, travels in rural areas or simply doesn't want to constantly use your mobile data for streaming.

Spotify's Connect feature is also invaluable, especially if you want to use a wireless speaker, but you must have a Premium subscription to use it.

Music Quality.

Digital music is often compressed to save on file size and data usage, with a ‘bitrate’ often quoted. For music, a bitrate is usually quoted in ‘kbps’ and the higher the number, the better quality of audio. Spotify offers three tiers of streaming quality or bitrate; normal (96kbps), high (160kbps) and exteme (320kbps). Only the latter two are available on desktop. In our testing, the quality of the streaming even on the lowest quality is passable and when it comes to mobile many may prefer to opt for the lower streaming quality options to save on data.

Some services offer ‘lossless’ quality, which means there will be no quality lost when the file is compressed. We compared Spotify’s highest ‘extreme’ quality setting to a lossless service and discovered that while we could hear a difference between the two, it won't make a big difference in everyday life.


Spotify offers both a free and a paid version of it’s service.
Its free service grants you access to over 30 million songs, allows you to create and listen to playlists and albums and you can also access Spotify’s curated playlists and music recommendations. Being a free service though it does have some drawbacks; you'll get an advert every few songs, it restricts you from choosing an individual track from an album and the amount of times you can ‘skip’ is limited.

It’s paid service will set you back £9.99 per month in the UK, but allows you total freedom to skip a track or play individual songs from an album. You’ll also never hear an ad and can access Spotify’s ‘extreme’ audio quality.

Apple Music
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Having launched in 2015, Apple Music joined the music streaming market after relying on the iTunes download store for many years. With so many people buying iPhones and moving into Apple's ecosystem, it's a genuine contender for Spotify's No.1 crown.

If you’re an avid Apple user, you’ll really like the overall layout. It’s clean, easy to navigate, has a big focus on visuals and feels very similar to other iOS applications. Apple Music got a big usability upgrade with its recent roll out of iOS 10 and is even more streamlined than before. One of the biggest changes Apple Music now boasts is that your library is now the home page on the music app. This means all your music can be accessed on the first screen and you can easily select from Playlists, artists, albums, songs and downloaded music. The new interface hides the less popular elements like ‘Connect’. We find the upgrade extremely inviting and simple to use.


With the recent introduction of iOS 10, Apple Music now has five tabs/features comprising of Library, For You, Browse, Radio, and Search. All pretty self-explanatory and very simple to use. We’ve been using Apple music for over two weeks now and the more you use it, the more it gets to know your tastes, recommending new albums and playlists suggestions in the ‘For You’ section.
One of the unique features that really impressed us is ‘Misfire’. It’s a mix of Twitter, Instagram and SoundCloud where musicians post exclusive content including raw demos. We can really see this taking off in the coming years even though it’s not become mainstream as of yet.

Another unique feature Apple provides is Beats Radio, a 24/7 internet radio service led by ex Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe and a roster of other well-known names.

Music Quality

Apple Music uses a bitrate of 256kbps, and despite some differences on paper, it ends up sounding about the same as Spotify. In our audio test where we played the same tracks through our own BAR A70 on both streaming services and Apple Music performed as well as Spotify - there was very little audible difference in sound quality.
Where Apple Music falls down more noticeably is in stability and playback. Buffering is slower than Spotify's when streaming over data (you have the option to reduce quality in this instance, but Spotify seems to find it easier), and tracks will skip if they were only partly buffered before your connection dropped out.


Apple gives you a 3 month trial with its service, but will set you back £9.99 a month in the UK thereafter. With this however, you get access to over 40 million songs, high quality streaming and pretty much everything else you get with Spotify.

Both platforms have their unique features and genuinely provide a seamless user experience. There are subtle differences between the two services so we’d say it’s down to preference. For us, Spotify has an enviable lead when it comes to music streaming and one of its strongest selling points is its cross device compatibility and support.

We found the song quality between the two services really difficult to choose between. We tested the same songs on both platforms and they both sounded very, very similar, both playing at maximum quality when the comparison was made.
If you value sound quality over all else, then we’d recommend using a lossless streaming service over Spotify and Apple Music. You will notice a difference, but if you're an average listener, the quality of Spotify and Apple Music should be more than enough.
<p>I'm a DJ and currently I'm using djay to mix songs. Spotify is good before cuz I can directly load songs with my Premium account, but it has stopped supporting the app. Apple Music has a larger library but it never integrates with third-party dj apps. So I'm considering to use a&nbsp;<a href="">Apple Music Converter</a>&nbsp;to download songs and then upload them to my djay app.</p>
<p>Thanks for the detailded tutorial. For Spotify and Apple Music, both of them are nice. Now I am on Apple Music and had used it for a long time. But like most music streaming services, it is not available to use Apple Music directly on other devices. This is not convenient for me as I like to listen to music offline.</p><p><br></p><p>However, I found a tool named DRmare Audio Converter to fix this issue. It works well for Apple Music, iTunes music and Audible audiobooks, then I can use the audio files anywhere.</p><p><br></p><p>Besides, now it is time to get more special offers to own the smart tools you like from DRmare 2020&nbsp;Thanksgiving party.</p>
<p>Apple Music vs Spotify, which is better? In my opinion, I have searched the detailed difference between Apple Music vs Spotify and then make my final decision: Spotify wins. <br>Why? First of all, Spotify offers a free plan for users to listen to music. Although it comes with some limitations, like with ads, no offline playback, etc. <br>Besides, Spotify Premium provides 320 kbps audio quality files. Also, there is a professional tool for Spotify, called AudKit Spotify Converter:&nbsp;

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to download Spotify songs for free and download them to the computer. <br>Therefore, I vote for Spotify. How about you?<br></p>
<p>Actually, we mostly use Tidal in the office.</p><p><br>

</p><p>Although that aside yes, Spotify.</p>
Simon D
Orbitsound Staff

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<p>I personally use Spotify due to its higher compatibility. And it allows me to download music for offline listening with a premium subscription. Although tracks downloaded from Spotify are just for offline playback within the Spotify app only, I have had a powerful tool called AudFree Spotify Music Downloader, which can help me to convert and download Spotify music to local files for offline use on any device.</p>
<p>I used to love both Spotify and Apple Music. But now Spotify is my most favourite one since then I found a detailed comparison of Spotify and Apple Music:</p><p>The Spotify Duo plan is more useful and affordable.<br></p>
<p>its a real dilemma, I use apple music but sometimes I am thinking to switch, because spotify has cooler playlists, but I have my own playlists in apple music and I am lazy to transfer it. Especially when my roommate in the property in France&nbsp;;always saying that spotify is better</p>
I have used both of the two music apps. And I think they are good. For me, Spotify is more compatible. When I use Apple Music, I need to use TunesKit Audio Converter to convert Apple Music to MP3 so that I can play them on many devices I have. Here is a review, which may help.
Apple all the way...