Music Streaming Services Revisited

In the last installment, I had raved wildly about Apple’s then new ‘Music’ service. Same price as Spotify, filled some holes that Spotify had in their library, and since they have my entire collection in their cloud, they have the inside track on offering suggestions that I will enjoy.

Add to that the fact that Spotify’s curated playlists had been somewhat stale and I was sold. Even before the first month of the three month Apple Music trial, I was ready to cut the Spotify cord.

However, I didn’t, and today I am increasingly glad I didn’t.

Apple Music is still a great service, and more than a credible competitor. The selection is large, and their “For You” recommendations rock. A constantly updated set of playlists that are eerily on target to my listening habits (and no recommendations for things that are completely out of my taste – like hip-hop or country).

But adding the Apple Music library items to my self curated playlists (I sound like a fucking hipster there, don’t I?) is somewhat painful. You have to “add” the music to your library, then you can add the tracks to a playlist. Yes, only one more click, but seriously, it is painful to do a large daily grind playlist that way.

On the contrary, searching for, and adding tracks from the Spotify universe is trivial and well thought out in Spotify.

Streaming quality is good on both, and good thing, as sometimes our work network does some traffic shaping that really fuck with the Google and Amazon streaming. However, the buffering and network glitch tolerance is just a bit better on Spotify.

And, I can’t sugarcoat it, but the Spotify player on my iPhone does stream a shitload better on cellular data than Apple. Not sure why, but when I walk, hike or run, Spotify rocks it better.

Add to that the fact that the better curation by Apple Music has driven Spotify to be much more proactive. The playlists I follow have magically become well groomed, and even more interesting. A win.

So, while I groove on the Apple Music service, I believe I will keep my Spotify subscription active, and just pay for both until I become homeless and indigent.