My Tech Methods

Upgrade Your Digital Lifestyle

Tag: music

Apple Music vs Spotify Premium: Which is Better?

Try Apple Music free for 3 months
Try Spotify

Two years ago I published my original comparison video of Spotify vs Apple Music and it has become one of my most popular videos, but it was published right after Apple Music came out and a lot has changed in the last two years. Today, Apple Music and Spotify are the two most popular music streaming services and in this video I will compare both of them in a head-to-head battle to see which is the best music service and to help you make the ultimate choice of on-demand music.

Pricing

Both services have the same pricing structures. They’re both $9.99/month for the all-access individual plan, $14.99/month for a family plan up to 6 people, and $4.99/month for the college student discount. So based on that, they have the exact same monthly plans. However, here are some key differences to keep in mind:
Apple Music is available in many more countries than Spotify so that’s pretty much the decision maker right there if you reside in a country that’s only supported by one of the services, you gotta go with that one. The trials are a bit different too. Apple Music’s 3-month trial is free to try while Spotify’s 3-month trial costs 99 cents. Not a huge deal but it does make it easier to try out Apple Music. Another difference is Apple Music’s secret annual plan so if you’re already an Apple Music member instead of paying $10/month which is $120/year you can switch to a $99 annual subscription which saves you $20/year by drilling down into your Apple Music subscription settings on your iPhone and choosing the 1-year option. I’ll leave the full path on how to do that in the description below. So that’s something that Spotify does not currently offer at the time of this video. I’m subscribed to the $9.99/month plan for both services, and something I noticed is that Spotify only charges me $9.99 per month, without any taxes. Apple Music charges taxes which comes to be $10.59 per month, which will vary based on where you live. But that comes to be 60 cents extra per month compared to Spotify, and hypothetically speaking over the course of 10 years that is an extra $72. Is that a huge deal? Not for most people, but if you’ve ever been to the Frugal subreddit I guarantee there are people who will say that’s why they use Spotify over Apple Music, to save that 60 cents a month baby. Shouts out to my frugal peeps out there, all love. But the biggest difference is that Spotify offers a free plan. It’s shuffle-only and has limits and ads, but it’s still a big advantage to have since Apple Music does not offer a free plan. The only thing that can be accessed for free on Apple Music is their Beats 1 radio.

Music Collection

At the time of this post:

Spotify offers 30 million+ songs
Apple Music offers 40 million+ songs

(Will change after time; Song availability depends on region)

Sound Quality

Spotify lets you choose between 96Kbps, 160Kbps, and 320Kbps which is nice because you can save data when streaming and have high quality for the songs you download.

Apple Music streams at 256Kbps.

Offline Listening

Both services offer the ability to download music and listen to it while you’re disconnected from the internet.

Library Limit

Spotify: 10,000 song limit in library
Apple Music: 100,000 song limit in library

Supported Devices

Spotify is more “open” and cross-platform friendly. PC/Mac/Web, Spotify Connect lets you switch between devices seamlessly. It works with a plethora of devices like Samsung Gear, Amazon devices, Alexa integration, PlayStation, Smart TVs, Roku, and many more.

Apple Music is more of a “closed” environment like most Apple products: PC/Mac (requires iTunes; no web player), is supported on Android but works best with iOS; Seamless integration with Apple TV, Apple Watch, Apple CarPlay, and the HomePod, Apple’s new smart speaker. Supports Siri so you can say things like “Play the #1 song from 2004”. So it makes a lot of sense to go with Apple Music if you’re heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem but that’s not necessarily always the case.

Exclusive Content

Apple Music seems to land more exclusive deals with big artists where certain albums are released first to Apple Music then later to Spotify (Drake’s Views and Frank Ocean’s Blonde are examples of this). Some albums and artists choose to only be on Apple Music. Taylor Swift was the most notable example of that, but she is now back on Spotify.

Both services offer their own exclusive content. For Example, Apple Music has exclusive video shows like Planet of the Apps that are only available to Apple Music members. Spotify has things like Spotify Sessions which are studio and live recordings of a wide variety of artists.

Lyrics

Apple Music shows full lyrics of a song in the app itself. Spotify has an integration with Genius, which shows some of the lyrics mixed in with fun facts about the song or the meaning of certain lyrics but it doesn’t show full lyrics like Apple Music, and the Genius lyrics integration is only available for certain songs. You can use a free third party app like MusixMatch and it will recognize whatever song you’re playing on Spotify and show you the lyrics in real time which is cool, but I think Apple Music gets the nod if you want the quickest access to full lyrics of the current song playing.

Existing Library

Apple Music syncs your existing iTunes library pretty effortlessly. Spotify syncs your existing iTunes library too, but it’s a bit more of a complicated process and it’s not as seamlessly integrated as it is with Apple Music. So they both do it, but Apple Music does it a little better.

Radio

Radio is very subjective so here’s how I personally feel about the radio stations. Both radio stations created from artists are pretty similar, it’s kind of what you expect. However, Apple Music radio stations created from individual songs seem to be a little better than Spotify. It seems to play more new music. Spotify radio stations created from individual songs seem to play more of that artist of the song that the radio was created from. It doesn’t suggest as many new artists or songs as Apple Music.

Apple Music has Beats 1 radio which is a popular feature that users love, but they also have these really cool on-demand radio stations from certain artists so you can listen to music and also listen to commentary like a normal radio show.

Even though I think Apple Music radio is better, I do prefer Spotify’s interface with Radio stations because you can see the list of songs that it’s going to play next. On Apple Music you can only see the next song.

Playlists

Playlists are also subjective, but in my experience Spotify has a better selection and layout of hand-curated playlists along with algorithm-based playlists. Both services have a large number of playlists based on things like Mood and Feel, or Genre but I think Spotify really gets Playlists right since they have way more experience with it. But the two big advantages of Spotify playlists are Daily Mixes and Discover Weekly.

Daily Mixes are custom playlists of songs that you have listened to a lot with some new songs thrown in and they’re automatically updated for you multiple times per week. So it’s a great way to listen to a specific genre of songs that you know you already like. Discover Weekly, in my opinion, is the best way to discover new music that you’ve never heard before that you’re almost guaranteed to like. It’s automatically updated every Monday and it’s something that I can throw on and listen to any time and I’ll almost always end up saving a song to my library form the result of discovering it on my Discover Weekly playlist.

For some reason Apple as a company just doesn’t do Social very well. The only social aspect of Apple Music is the Connect feature that lets you follow your favorite artists. Spotify has way better Social features. For example you can create, share and follow playlists made from any Spotify user who makes them public which makes their playlist selection way more extensive than Apple Music. For example: if you search Productivity on Apple Music it doesn’t give any results for hand-made productivity playlists, but if you search Productivity on Spotify there are tons of playlists, some made by Spotify, but most created and shared by Spotify users. Another great Spotify feature is Collaborative Playlists which lets you and your friends add songs to the same playlist. So Spotify has the advantage when it comes to playlists.

App Experience

I’m using an iPhone 7 so that’s what I’ll be basing the app experience on. Both app layouts are very similar, with the menu at the bottom and the player bar on top of that then the main window above that. Apple Music menu items consist of Library, For You, Browse, Radio, and Search. Spotify has Home, Browse, Search, Radio, and Library. So they have pretty much the same exact options because we can assume Apple’s For You section is the same as Spotify’s Home section.

I think the Spotify app has a better design and layout than Apple Music. I prefer Spotify’s dark theme, and their overall design is friendly allowing more items on the screen compared to Apple Music which seems to like to showcase individual selections that almost take up the entire screen. I like how Spotify shows the number of monthly listeners for an artist, just for the fact I can gauge to see how well known an artist is in comparison to other artists in the same genre. It’s not a game changing feature but I do like it, and I do wish Apple Music had something similar or maybe even display the average rating for albums like it does on the iTunes app.

One thing I wish Spotify did was display the Featured Artist on songs. It’s weird because some songs have that info, but most songs do not display who the featured artist if the song has one. It’s really annoying. Apple Music seems to always show the featured artist info on the song that’s playing which is what Spotify should do.
When you search on Spotify, the search suggestions are split into different categories like Songs, Artists, Albums, Playlists, Podcasts, and even Profiles instead of one big list of suggestions like on Apple Music. Some people might not like this, but I think it’s way better than Apple Music’s search design and Spotify’s search algorithm does a good job at suggesting some of your most visited songs, albums, and artists. And with Spotify you’re saving a step because when you tap on a song in the search suggestions it starts playing it. On Apple Music to start playing the song, you have to tap the search result and then tap the song to play it. It’s just an extra step that you have to do.

Both apps allow you to edit the queue of the current songs or playlist that you’re listening to which is good, but neither app has a functionality that I’ve been wanting for years. I really want to be able to tap the Artist name of the current song that’s playing and have it take me directly to the Artist page. Right now on both apps, you have to tap the album first, then go to the Artist. Not a huge deal but it would definitely be a convenient feature to have. As many things that I loge about Spotify, their Shuffle sucks. It’s really bad. When I want to shuffle my music library I want a completely random order, but Spotify’s shuffle algorithm is skewed and tends to play more songs by artists that you listen to a lot or have a lot of songs saved by them. Apple does their Shuffle the way it’s supposed to be, completely random or at least way more random than Spotify.

Spotify does have some functionalities that I’ve grown to love that Apple Music doesn’t have. For example on Spotify you can hold down on a song and it will preview the song. Spotify also has convenient ways to add songs to the queue or save to your library by swiping left or right on any song respectively. It’s these little details that make Spotify’s user experience better than Apple Music in my opinion.

So after all that, which is the best music streaming service right now? Spotify or Apple Music? Well, for me, I’m going to stick with Spotify as my premium music streaming service. Even though I’m pretty invested in the Apple ecosystem, at the end of the day I prefer Spotify’s features and user experience more than Apple Music. Does that mean Apple Music is not right for you? Of course not, this is a very subjective decision and my best advice for you would be to sign up for the trial versions of both services and try them out yourself.

Try Apple Music free for 3 months
Try Spotify

Apple Music vs Spotify Premium: Which is Better?

How To Clean Up iTunes Library – Fix All Songs Automatically!

In this video I’ll show you how to clean up your iTunes library. We all know how hard it is to keep your iTunes library organized with all the correct song, artist, and genre information especially when you have hundreds and even thousands of songs in your iTunes music library. It’s nearly impossible to do that manually. That’s why you need an application like Neat Music to clean up your iTunes library. This program uses intelligent music recognition to complete missing artist, track, album, and genre information for your songs. It corrects “untitled” or “unknown” track info. It adds missing album artwork, groups scattered album songs, and organizes all your music for your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

First, click the link at top of this description. That link will take you directly to the free download page for Neat Music, which works on Windows PC computers. You can try this application out for free. It’ll fix up to 100 songs in your iTunes library with the free version. If you have more than 100 songs in your iTunes you can buy the unlimited version at a special discounted price so you can fix your entire iTunes library. Once you download it, install it on your computer. Then open up iTunes and open up the Neat Music application.

It gives you a preview of your iTunes library at the bottom. As you can see if I go back to my iTunes I have these songs that I have no information for. I have no idea what the song name, artist name, album, genre, year, etc. There’s no album artwork either so it would take me forever to do this manually, but with Neat Music it does it automatically for me.

With Neat Music you can select all the songs in your library and click the Identity button. That will identify all the song info. It’s very fast and only takes about one second per song to get the information. Once it’s done you’ll see this red icon for success, and you can click on each song and it gives you a little preview of what info it has found for that song. To save that information in your iTunes just select the songs and click the Save button. It’ll import all the information into your iTunes, cleaning it up automatically with all the correct track names, artist names, album names, etc.

Neat Music also gives you the ability to get all the album artwork. Click the Get Album Art tab at the top, and it gives a list of albums in your library. Select all the albums then click Get Album Art. It gives you the standard album artwork. It also gives you high quality versions. I usually just go with the standard so double click that and it’ll import it into iTunes. Go back into iTunes, and you’ll see now it has all the correct song information, the correct album information, the album artwork – everything. It did it within just a few seconds. That is how to clean up your iTunes library automatically, quickly, and easily. That’s with the program called Neat Music. You can download the free trial version with the link at the top of this description. Enjoy!

By Andy Slye

How to Transfer Music from iPod, iPhone, or iPad to Any Computer

How to Transfer Music from an iPod, iPhone, or iPad to Any Windows Computer

Click here to download Leawo iTransfer (Free trial; $19.95 for full version)

What if your computer suddenly crashed and you lost everything in your computer’s iTunes library? But all your music was still on your device (your iPhone, iPod, or iPad) and now you need to transfer all the music from your device back to your computer. This is how to do just that! In this tutorial I’ll show you how to transfer music from an iPod, iPhone, or iPad to your computer. The program is for Windows, and it is called Leawo iTransfer. You can start a free download by clicking the link at the top of this description. It doesn’t just transfer music either. It transfers photos, videos, apps, PDF documents, and songs – everything. The first thing you want to do is make sure you have iTunes installed.

Once iTunes is installed on your computer, the next thing you want to do is click the link above to start a free instant download of Leawo iTransfer. This is the program that you’ll use to transfer all the music from your iOS device back to your computer. Once the download is complete, install iTransfer and open it from your Desktop. The free trial version will let you transfer up to 100 files from your iPod, iPhone, or iPad to your computer. So if you only have 100 files to transfer then you can use this totally for free. If you have more than 100 files you can purchase a registration code that will give you unlimited transfers.

The next step is to connect your iPhone, iPod, or iPad to your computer using the USB cable. Once your device is connected if iTunes comes up just minimize it. Now in the iTransfer program you should see your device in the left hand side column so click on your device. Now you can transfer the music from your iPod, iPhone, or iPad to your computer very easily. Click on the Music section. All the songs are selected by default so if you want to transfer all songs to your computer’s iTunes library just click the “Transfer” button. It shows a list of all the songs that are going to transfer. If you see iTunes in the list you can click “Transfer Now”, but if you don’t see iTunes you can click the “Save To Folder” button and click “Change”.

Since you already have iTunes installed you can save it to a special folder called Automatically Add to iTunes which will automatically transfer and add the songs to iTunes once you transfer them to your computer. Here’s how to get to that folder. Click your profile name’s folder, then My Music, then iTunes, then iTunes Media, and the Automatically Add to iTunes folder should be in there. Choose that folder and click OK. You don’t have to save your files to that folder. If you want to choose another folder you can just choose whatever folder you want, but I just like to save it there because it makes the process a bit easier. Once you have your folder selected that you want to transfer the music to, click “Transfer Now”. When the transfer is complete you can open iTunes. If you saved your songs to the Automatically Add to iTunes folder they will automatically be in iTunes. If you saved it to another folder just go to that folder, and your songs will be there. That’s how to transfer music from an iPhone, iPod, or iPad to your computer. It’s very easy to do with Leawo iTransfer.

By Andy Slye

© 2017 My Tech Methods

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑