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Activity Based Recommendations: Google Play Music Wins
Activity based recommendations offer musical suggestions for specific tasks. If you’re concentrating, you probably don’t want busy music with vocals. Energizing music is great if you’re at the gym or doing chores. Google Play Music uses machine learning to offer recommendations for activities. Not only can it offer suggestions, but it can predict what you will want. If you go running every morning, it can offer appropriate music on the home screen. This isn’t accomplished by spying on you. Google Play Music just notices that you have been listening to a running playlist in the morning.
Apple Music offers similar playlists for activities. The problem is that it just doesn’t seem as smart. It doesn’t seem to predict what I wanted. Within iOS, Siri is getting much smarter with predictive computing. It’s more that these breakthroughs haven’t made their way into Apple Music.
I don’t really take advantage of these generated playlists. I don’t listen to music while I work out, other than what they have at the gym. I would prefer my own music, but I don’t like dealing with gadgets at the gym. I’m not a millennial, so I don’t go to the gym to fiddle with my smartphone. I can actually part with my iPhone for a few hours, without going into withdrawal. If I’m relaxing at home or doing chores, I just put together my own playlist.
Both Google Play Music and Apple Music offer 40 million songs. It may seem like a lot, but there are still some obvious omissions. Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Tool and others are still staying away from music subscription services. Most pop music is available on every music subscription service, however, as someone with eclectic and unusual tastes in music, maybe 1% of the music I want is not available. I’m amazed at how much music these services offer. I haven’t bought an album since I started using music subscription services. If you love music, these services will save you a lot of money!
Sync and Cloud Storage: Apple Music Wins
Our devices offer a finite amount of storage space. Apple charges steep prices for storage upgrades. With a limited amount of space, there is some need for cloud storage. That said, with 40 million songs, you’re not going to need a lot. This may be why Apple increased their cloud storage space to 100,000 songs. Few will take advantage of it. This is twice as many songs as Google Play Music can store in the cloud.
I’d love to see the music collection that has 100,000 songs that aren’t available within the 40 million offered by Apple Music. After all, if Apple Music has the song, why store it in the cloud? I’m picturing a hippie with a stack of Phish and Grateful Dead bootlegs.
Live Radio: Apple Music Wins
Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio is a real, live radio station operated by human beings. It plays music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Google Play Music has no equivalent. It only offers automated radio stations, which are essentially playlists. Apple Music users can even submit requests to Beats 1. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that millions of people are listening to the song you requested. You simply can’t enjoy that narcissistic boost with Google Play Music. next page →