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Google Play Music, especially on Android and the web, is very extensible. Developers have created all sorts of plugins and extensions, making the service much more appealing. For example, I can download a Chrome extension that adds controls, notifications, Last.fm support, downloading, global keyboard shortcuts, and lyrics to Google Play Music. Android users also have more options when it comes to extending Google Play Music. If you use Google Play Music on iOS, however, you’ll have to make do with Google’s app as is. iOS apps can support extensions, however, this functionality hasn’t been utilized by Google.
Free Music: Google Play Music Wins
Although both services offer free trials, once these honeymoons are over, users need to pay up for full access. Unlike Apple Music, Google Play Music offers limited access to free music. Users can listen to free music on iOS, Android or the web, although this doesn’t provide on-demand access to 40 million songs. Google’s free offering also allows users to upload 50,000 songs into the cloud. “Predictive” radio stations and access to podcasts are also available with their free service. Free users have to listen to the occasional ad, but that’s to be expected.
Extras: Google Play Music Wins
Music subscription services often come with a few perks to sweeten the deal. Apple Music offers some video content, such the original show Planet of the Apps. Google Play Music offers YouTube Red. This is a premium YouTube subscription providing an ad-free experience and access to original content. Without a doubt, Google Play Music gives customers much more for their money. I use my YouTube Red subscription on all of my devices, including my Apple TV.
Reliability and Stability: Google Play Music Wins
Reliability and stability are essential features of any music service. After all, you don’t want unexpected pauses of dead air when you’re enjoying music. Apple Music fails miserably when it comes to reliability. It has showstopper bugs. In the three months I used Apple Music, I consistently experienced 30 second audio dropouts. This happened across all of my devices. It was even a problem with downloaded music. Apple Music’s poor quality drove me away from the service. It’s indicative of Apple’s problem with built-in apps. Beyond Apple Music, I find most built-in iOS apps to be of inferior quality. It’s best to find replacements. Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water, though. Apple’s devices and operating systems are top-notch. You don’t have to use Apple Music just because you own an iPhone, iPad or Mac. next page →