Gloves off. Let’s do this.
I’m a HUGE Apple fan. I sigh with joy every time I hear a Mac startup. But this year, I decided against switching to Apple Music and stayed with Spotify.
The cost was pretty similar, but I had been paying for Spotify premium for over a year. I tried Apple Music for their 90-day trial and didn’t use Spotify during that time to make sure I was being fair.
Here’s my analysis of what happened.
Now you’d think that Apple would win in this category. After all, iTunes was my first music platform. But over time it became more like history with iTunes. Like history with an old girlfriend. My peak iTunes usage was toward the end of high school and early college. All that music slowly worked it’s way out of my life along with all those memories. Turning on Apple Music during the free trial was like confronting a younger, much more emotional version of myself.
Poor, poor emo Garrett. Life was so hard.
Spotify wins in the history category. I tinkered with Spotify toward the end of college. Then when I started consuming music, albums and artists more voraciously, there wasn’t another platform out there that could do it like Spotify. I started building playlists and libraries there. I had a ton of history and love and care put into it.
Apple Music had a solid offering in this category. Probably the only feature I will miss about Apple Music was it’s very carefully curated playlists. I especially enjoyed the artist series like “Introduction to” and “Deep Cuts.” These can take an appreciation for a particular artist to greater depths.
But Spotify gets where I need help the most. If I decide I like Vampire Weekend, as cool as it it is to have a tailored series of playlists to introduce me, I’d still just listen through all their albums anyway.
Spotify knows that what I need is an occasional introduction to a new sound, a new genre, or a new artist. Their discovery section, the extensive number of playlists, and their radio do a great job of expanding your library.
But the my most beloved feature is the new “Discover Weekly” playlist. Every Monday I get 30 new songs to listen to.
I love it more than I love Stove Top Stuffing. I really, really like Stove Top Stuffing.
Frankly put, Apple Music’s navigation and user experience is shoddy, broken and confusing. To add songs to your Apple Music library is difficult. You can’t search in every search bar for personal library and Apple Music. Everything is a mess. But even more frustrating are the little things. To build a playlist in Apple Music, it takes five steps versus Spotify’s two. I guarantee they’ll work these things out, but Spotify clearly comes out on top for having had already refined their user experience.
There are two things that I had to sacrifice with choosing Spotify over Apple Music.
The Beatles & Taylor Swift.
Putting those two in the same sentence, or I guess fragment, gives me the chills.
I have a huge Beatles library that I can’t access on Spotify. My kids also love Taylor Swift. What’s a guy to do?