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When my Spotify subscription period came to an end, I quickly switched to Google Play Music. The app just worked, but it is not as good as Spotify. I also found a lot of the music I was missing.
As with all music subscription services, Google Play Music doesn’t have everything. It’s quite common for an artist to withhold their best album from music subscription services. For the most part, pop music fans will find everything they need on a music subscription service. People with more diverse tastes may be forced to make the occasional purchase.
For example, Steve Roach’s Dreamtime Return and Structures from Silence are not available on Google Play Music. They are considered some of his best works. (UPDATE: Both albums are now available on Google Play Music.)
Apple Music Now Has 40 Million Songs
While browsing the iTunes Store one day, something caught my eye. An integrated advertisement for Apple Music displayed benefits of the service. I was astonished to discover that Apple Music now has 40 million songs.
That’s even more than Google Play Music. Without a doubt, Apple Music now has the largest collection of any music subscription service. (UPDATE: Google Play Music now has 40 million songs.)
Sticking with Google Play Music
Despite the larger collection of music, I will keep my Google Play Music subscription. Superior audio quality is paramount. If Apple Music improves audio quality, I may switch back.
There are also other considerations. I can use Google Play Music on any computer. With their web app, I can easily sign in to my Google Play Music account from anywhere. This comes in handy when I visit friends and family. Apple Music has no web app. Users must install iTunes in order to play Apple Music on a computer.
Reliability is also an issue. I’m sure Apple Music has improved since the trial, but, from my research, not much. Just like with iTunes, Apple Music seems to be the end result of a mediocre product team. Spotify is the best app, but Google Play Music is good enough. I’ve never experienced 30 seconds of dead air with Google Play Music.
Google Play Music also offers a very generous friends and family plan. Anyone can be added at a discounted rate. With Apple Music, family members must be part of Family Sharing, which ties all accounts to one credit card. This is something you only want to do with immediate family members. Both Spotify and Google Play Music don’t care if your friends participate in family sharing. They actually encourage it.
Apple Music is the new kid on the block. Both Spotify and Google Play Music have had years to refine and improve their apps and services. I haven’t completely written off Apple Music. As an Apple TV owner, I’d love to listen to music directly on my Apple TV, which is connected to my stereo. That said, I don’t mind using AirPlay. Audio quality and music availability are most important. For now, Google Play Music is the best choice for me.