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Apple Music vs. Spotify

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Bruford One of a Kind on Spotify

Apple Music is missing some music I love that I can only find on Spotify. Bill Bruford’s “One of a Kind” is not available on Apple Music. Spotify has it. This is also true of Return to Forever’s “Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy”. These are jazz fusion classics and some of my all time favorite albums. I own them on CD, but I can’t find them easily in my collection. These are the albums that weaned me away from indie rock and post punk and got me into fusion and progressive rock. I had no idea that jazz was such a broad genre until I heard these albums.

Sync and Cloud Storage: Apple Music Wins

Both Spotify and Apple Music allow users to sync imported (ripped) CDs into their platforms. Spotify offers a computer based app that can import music from files and sync it to your mobile device. If you buy an album on iTunes, you can sync it over to Spotify on your iPhone. Apple Music users can use iTunes to sync iTunes Store purchases and music imported from CDs onto mobile devices.

Spotify does not offer integrated cloud storage for music. There is a workaround that enables Dropbox to function as cloud storage for Spotify. It’s not as convenient as Apple Music’s iCloud Music Library, which is the functional equivalent of iTunes Match, with added DRM protection.

Live Radio: Apple Music Wins

Apple Music features Beats 1 radio. This is a real, live 24/7 broadcast done by some of the top DJs in the world. The broadcast is done in global shifts between LA, New York and London. The flagship music show is hosted by Zane Lowe, who is considered the foremost expert on emerging music. Having listened to Beats 1, it is mostly pop music, which is to be expected. If you love drum loops, auto-tuned vocals and “indie rock” that sounds like music from an Apple commercial, Beats 1 is a great radio station.

Beyond Beats 1, Apple offers a variety of curated radio stations, as part of the iTunes Radio legacy. As previously mentioned, they don’t seem to know the difference between progressive and classic rock. For popular tastes, these stations may hit the spot.

Spotify offers radio stations, but they aren’t anything like Beats 1. Their concept of radio is based on the Pandora model. Spotify radio stations are playlists which can be tuned by pressing “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” buttons.

Spotify Radio

Offline Music: Spotify Wins

We still live in a world without perfect Internet service. Some places have no cellular coverage. For most people, playing music over a cellular data connection is costly. Even your home Internet service can go down. It’s always a good idea to have a cache of downloaded music. Both Spotify and Apple Music allow downloading music on to the device.

Spotify offers a simple way to download music. Simply tap the “save” button on an album or song and then slide a switch to make it available offline.

Download Music on Spotify

Spotify’s setting menu makes it easy to specify audio quality and whether to use a cellular data connection. You must have the Spotify app open and your device unlocked to download music. Saving Spotify music offline has been a quick and easy experience for me. (continue…)

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