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Apple Music on Track to Overtake Spotify in U.S. Subscribers (wsj.com)
160 points by srameshc on Feb 5, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 251 comments

Honestly, I can't imagine switching to Apple Music. Speaking as a guy who owns an iPhone and a Mac. I love being able to smoothly control playback from any device. I love how seamless the experience is, I've only tried the Apple Music Trial when it first came out and I can't see any possible reason to switch to it now.

Spotify is excellent for music discovery, and I love the top songs and everything. It's perfect. It's the kind of software I wish I could make someday.

I live in a fully Mac/iOS household, and I had no idea until I saw this article that Apple Music was a thing that competes with Spotify. That's probably due to iTunes and iCloud being such a confusing mess that I just don't use Apple services and I haven't launched those apps in years.

It is indeed a mess. After sharing an iCloud account for years my wife and I decided to upgrade our Apple Music to a family account so we could have separate music (and listen to music on different devices at the same time). Apple decided this must mean we also want separate iCloud accounts and upon logging into her own Apple Music account, also proceeded to remove our 15 years of family photos and a couple of years of shared notes from her device. Now she can't see the photos I've taken or any of her old photos unless we use the sharing functionality (we take a lot of photos of our kids and having them auto sync on both devices was brilliant for us). We tried doing it the manual way but it was such a pain.

Since Apple music's family service wasn't compatible with how we use our devices, we cancelled Apple Music and got a family account on Spotify instead. When Apple Music expired it wiped all the playlists we had in iTunes including ones I created years before Apple Music was ever a thing and not even containing any music from Apple Music.

I'm thinking of also dumping iCloud, but I really like the automatic backing up of all our photos to all of our devices. Heck, at this point I would switch to Android as well if it weren't for the years of apps I've purchased for Apple and don't want to buy again.

If you share an iCloud account, you're going to find things painful, its really not the way that things are designed to work.

Here's how to get back to where you were, if you want to use separate iCloud accounts.

1. On your device create create a Shared photo album. 2. Share it with your wife using her new iCloud ID 3. Select the photos that you wan to share (basically all of them initially) 4. Tap Share > iCloud Photo Sharing 5. Select the shared album.

From then on, you and your wife share all photos you want to share to to that Album.

Same thing works with shared Calendars, Notes, To-do list etc.

If you share an iCloud account across multiple people you will find yourself fighting the system all the time

> proceeded to remove ... can't see the photos ... When Apple Music expired it wiped all the playlists ...

Adding my own experiences with iTunes-wiped devices and music-collections...

The only consistent thing with Apple and music/services is them accidentally wiping or deleting your data from both your devices and their services.

Applied this consistently, it's clearly a design decision.

What kind of company designs things to behave this way? Really?

> Applied this consistently, it's clearly a design decision.

Perhaps the design decision assumes the separation is due to a divorce? In that case, keeping them separate is a reasonable decision since neither party would want to be forced to endure further shared memories on any device.

Likewise. The UI is a disaster for any pre-Apple-music iTunes users so I try to go there as rarely as possible. And after years of deleting half my music every time I switch phone or device (intentionally? https://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lawsuit-apple-delete... ) I doubt I will ever trust Apple with anything music-related again.

Another perspective: I am less concerned with music discovery or seamless device hand-offs. I know what I want to listen to. As a former club DJ, I accrued a large amount of records that are simply unavailable via streaming networks. I recently starting ripping a lot of those vinyl records to mp3. I have tried spotify, google play music, and Apple Music. Apple Music is the clear winner when it comes to the importing, tagging, artwork curation workflow. I am really enjoying building my up library from scratch (forgive the pun).

Why would you rip your collection to a lossy format like MP3? Sure, you're probably going to explain how you don't hear a difference which is fair, but a lossless format like FLAC or ALAC (recommended if you're in the Apple eco system) has other advantages besides superior audio quality. It allows you to convert to any other format, including MP3, at a later point. Storage is cheap these days and there's really no excuse not to use a lossless format. You can set up iTunes to automatically transcode everything you sync to your mobile device to a smaller, lossy format while leaving the lossless master copy untouched at home.

The one thing you probably want to avoid is regretting your choice and ripping your collection again because you opted for the lesser format on the first try.

Fair reasoning from the archival master standpoint. I share a lot of what I rip with other DJ friends. If I sent them a FLAC or ALAC file, they would respond "what the hell is this? how do i listen to this?". mp3 is ubiquitous and 320 kbps does the trick for me. I hope I don't feel that sting of regret you mention, but my gut feeling is that I will not. I still have the records themselves on the shelf which should last longer than the harddrives :)

I highly doubt that any of your friends use a player that can't play FLAC or ALAC - any decent player does these days.

And if you really need the occassional lossy copy it's trivial to quickly create one with XLD or similar tools.

I'm sorry if I sound more upset by this than I should be, but ripping an entire record collection is a time intensive task and you're cutting corners on an issue that doesn't save you any effort, but might actually cause more someday.

When I ripped my LP collection I first saved each recording out as FLAC (16 bits @ 48kHz), then re-exported it as VBR MP3. Audacity (a Mac recording app) makes this easy. I keep the FLAC files on my home server for future use (or for when 1TB microSD cards become cheap :-).

While it's not cheap I recently got a 1TB external SSD ( http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/product/po... ) in order to be able to take my whole lossless collection with me if I need to (in addition to the NAS at home). Admittedly, music doesn't need an SSD drive but I won't buy any spinning drives these days. Plus, this thing is incredibly small, robust, bus-powered and very performant. Great product.

I agree. I own a lot of music (some legal digital downloads, some rips from CDs and vinyl) that isn't available for streaming on any platform. Apple Music is the best at allowing me to mix in my library with theirs.

Many people subscribe to Spotify even if they also subscribe to Prime because Spotify has more music. Apple Music is one step further.

Publishing to a streaming service isn't always a good deal for small acts. It's important for independent musicians that some music listeners are willing to buy directly from them to decrease their margin. In addition, even some larger bands, Tool being a prime example, are absent from streaming services. I'm concerned with how much power streaming services will have as they consume a lager and larger part of the music industry. It creates a new cultural gatekeeper, and the internet is best when is removes cultural gatekeeper.

I really like this aspect of Apple Music, and I wish Spotify would do the same. I too have a lot of music which is not available in their catalogue, that I'd love to have available in the same cloud service that I use for the rest of my listening.

However, iTunes Match's file size/length limit (200mb/2 hours) means that I can't upload many of the DJ mixes I'd like to have in the cloud. That and the fact that I love Spotify's recommendations means that I end up using Spotify most of the time, but have all my mp3s uploaded to Google Play. Works OK, but I'd rather have them all in one place!

Didn't Apple have major issues with overwriting and syncing up imported music?

I've also had issues with Apple-products (iTunes) erasing the MP3-metadata for my entire collection in the past.

It had taken me ages to build up in the first place and fixing it afterwards was a painstaking manual labour which took weeks and weeks and weeks.

Needless to say, I won't allow another Apple music-product near any of my files ever again.

Edit: This thread brings back memories. I can't tell how many times iTunes have formatted or deleted all music on my iPods and iPhones over the years, forcing me to re-copy or re-sync everything. Again

I really, really, really won't let Apple touch my music-files ever. So much wasted time....

They had. There was a problem when Apple Music would try too aggressively to pull in songs from their library if it had the same name/artist. But this has been fixed some time ago (by doing fingerprinting properly)

Google music has been the best for me:

- IT doesn't block it at work(it blocks spotify)

- I don't have to install anything

- I don't see ads on youtube

- it has all of my music that came from CDs backed up to it

- I regularly discover new music through their Radio feature so long as the artist/song isn't super popular

Google Music's multi-device support is terrible though.

"Playback Paused Because Your Account Is Being Used in Another Location"

I have a Google Music Family Plan ("up to 10 devices each"). But it simply doesn't work, I cannot even play both YouTube and Google Music on the same account, let alone playback on multiple devices.

We have a few Google Home Minis and a Google Home. They were initially all set up using the same Google Account (with the Google Music Family Plan), that meant music could only play on one device throughout the whole house and computers would be blocked if any Google Home started music playback.

The only workaround is to create a new Google Account per device, then hook it into your family group which will receive your family plan. I now have four additional completely useless Google Accounts just so I can play back music in different rooms or use YouTube and Google Music at the same time.

Netflix is the only service which gets multi-device right.

> I now have four additional completely useless Google Accounts

I wouldn't call them useless. With Google's propensity for algorithmicaly-determined account suspension it's probably wise to have dedicated accounts for each combination of ( person / device ) * ( Google service ).

Certainly I would encourage anyone with a reliance on G-Mail to create separate accounts for other services.

Does anyone know if this is against their ToS?

Not that I give a good goddamn, but, I just realized I'd always assumed it probably was, but have never bothered to check.

Well, check it, then! You never bothered to check but you're already waiting for 7 hours now... ;p

I agree about this. I like Google Music and unlike Apple Music it didn't and doesn't want to delete all my music then shrug and say it's my fault for not buying from Apple, but... I can't even use youtube while my 3 year old daughter tries to listen to her bath music.

It's pretty ridiculous.

This happened with MP3s?

It happened to me with several hundred PDFs of sheet music from IMSLP that I was storing on iBooks. I couldn't work out where they had gone or why they were wiped. I switched to GoodReader and painstakingly had to rebuild the entire collection.

It happens with all forms of stored media.

Apple is not just an expensive cloud service provider, they're an untrustworthy one.

These problems have been going of for years. Apple just doesn't invest enough to fix the problem.

If your job blocks Spotify and you are not in a secure area (government) you might want to find a better place to work. It just seems wrong in today’s world.

I'm allowed to work from home >90% of the time and am paid well enough to work on state of the art biomed research; I'm not switching just because of a nuisance like IT.

> I'm allowed to work from home >90%

You had us sold here.

Playing music at work comes with some pretty weird legal implications so I can totally see why some companies would block online music services so they don't accidentally crate public performances of copyrighted works.

They would have to try pretty hard to create a public performance in a workplace. Public performances need to be accessible to the public without any sort of signup or invite, and just the act of being an employee means you have an invite/signup.

Well you'd be surprised. Where I live we have this semi governmental entity that collects fees for music played in the workplace and they will happily use a set of speakers connected to a computer as proof that music has been performed publicly. It's totally nuts but they have a lot of power here.

https://www.bumastemra.nl/faq/hoe-betalen/ (Dutch)

Playing in a browser is unfortunately a non-starter for me. It burns way more CPU than a native player, doesn't integrate well with the MBP media controls, and can't download songs locally for listening when I'm on a bad network connection. Spotify is still my first choice but I do really miss being able to upload my own music for things that aren't in their catalog.

I don't use Apple music because I'm not willing to commit to a single-platform service.

> I don't use Apple music because I'm not willing to commit to a single-platform service

What do you mean by "single-platform service"? Apple Music is available for Windows (via iTunes) and Android (via a dedicated app)

Where's the Linux player? Spotify has one.

iTunes on Windows is garbage and the Android version of Apple Music is buggy as hell.

To be fair it’s also buggy as hell on iOS and Mac.

The Android app has 3.5 stars. It must not be buggy for most people.


3.5 is a bad rating for an Android app. Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Netflix and even the IRS app all have > 4.0 scores.

It used to be rated much higher, but after Apple bought it some of the more rabid users of Android felt the necessity to post negative reviews because they're so offended by iPhones every day of their lives.

Something similar to: http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/09/17/move-to-ios-android-...

I think >99% of Android users don't fall into that camp if they're even interested in iOS vs Android in the first place, don't get me wrong. But that <1% should seek professional help IMHO.

Those are weak numbers. The majority selected 5 but the recent comments are very low which usually means changes that made the product worse. The second most popular entry is 1.

That's typically a bad rating online.


The MBP media controls part of your concerns can be solved by Radiant Player: http://radiant-player.github.io/radiant-player-mac/

Your other concerns aren't made any better though.

Google Play Music also allows you to upload your own music:

>You can add up to 50,000 songs to Google Play Music from your personal music collection using Google Play Music for Chrome or Music Manager (up to 300MB per song). Once you've added your music, you can listen to it through the Google Play Music app and on your computer.

I've used this for years but moving away to use Plex as Google never seems to have figured out reliable caching.

Syncing to device offline is fine but Google music often seems to crap out streaming between songs on Android and iOS and I'm stuck skipping tracks or having to restart playing.

Never had issues with Spotify, plex, tidal, or Pandora in this regard.

Man, I miss Songza. While some of it seems absorbed, it just doesn't seem as UX/UI elegant as it was.

It sure feels like a regression not to have it.

The surving players in the market are uninspired in comparison :(

IT blocks Spotify? That's just bizarre. I would personally quit working at any place that tried to infantilize employees by blocking sites like that.

My guess would be that IT would block streaming to reduce load and/or internet connection cost. Especially if you have a lot of people in the building.

A quick google search says that Spotify is using 144 MB/h for high-quality streaming[1] (premium only), so that's roughly 1 GB per person per working day. That's quite a bit - without Spotify, I burn through roughly 500 MB per day when working.

[1] https://thomas.vanhoutte.be/miniblog/spotify-data-consumptio...

I was at first skeptical but Google Music was better than I expected that it was responsive and helped me discover new music. Apple Music however...

Further, it works really well with "Assistant" / Home. "Play that song that goes ... " "Go back 10 seconds" "Pause" "Resume" "Listen to song X on all speakers" "Play Journey song from the Tron Soundtrack" all work well... but... they've got no damned API, so that sucks.

Google Play Music's catalogue is absolutely terrible. They cram together artists with similar names, put wrong artist pictures on artist pages, and there is absolutely no way to get them to fix it. I have submitted a large number of support requests and error reports for mislabeled content, and exactly none of it has been fixed.

In comparison, Spotify usually fixes reported content errors within a week or two, and they're started a thing called Line-In, where users can directly submit edits to content information. The edits are obviously still vetted, but it speeds up the process significantly.

Music is blocked at work? That concept seems so strange to me.

I use iTunes 10.6.3, and sync using USB to an iPod.

Yes, it uses a lot of disk space. But no network admin can take it away from me. I don't get adverts.

Discovering new music is more challenging, but I've found that talking to friends, or seeing what bands they Like on Facebook is more efficient at finding music I really enjoy instead of trusting some algorithm.

Apple Music also supports adding your own ripped CDs.

As does Google Play.

So you are working with a bank? Those are the places which mostly block these kind of apps. If you are then it is a matter of time before they are on to Google music and blocking it too.

No I'm in the biomed industry. I've heard of several other major tech companies doing this as well. I've been doing this for 4 years while spotify has been blocked for 4 years. I doubt IT at my company will look into finding a way to block google anytime soon.

On T-mobile in the US, spotify streaming doesn’t count against mobile data quota ;)

But if a fixed-line provider did that it would be considered a violation of network neutrality and the pitchforks come out.

How can a future challenger to Spotify compete in such am environment? etc

Well there's 45 services that already do, and it doesn't seem particularly hard to get on that list:


Easy. Ask T-mobile to be included. It's free for the provider and from everything I know, relatively easy for a provider of legal video or audio content.

In Germany, It's the other way around - I'd love to continue using Google Play Music, but Spotify is included in the T-Mobile zero-rating, and GPM is not... :/

Pretty sure that’s not a thing anymore if you’re on their newer plans.

Really? Where do their policies spell this out?


Note that their new one plans are excluded because one plans are already "unlimited".


Also states this.

> it blocks spotify

I can't think of a reason justifying this.

I feel like the only person on the planet who finds spotify annoying and its library shallow. I really am not trying to sound pretentious.

Full disclosure I say this as someone who doesn't pay for their service, so I don't know how it is if you do, but if you shuffle play an artist- it will automatically play suggested songs. This makes 0 sense to me. I specifically wanted to listen to that artist and if I wanted suggestions why wouldn't it simply have an additional button for suggestion songs in addition to shuffling songs by the artist?

> I feel like the only person on the planet who finds spotify annoying and its library shallow.

I've run into this as well, Apple Music seems to have much wider coverage than Spotify, even when it comes to fairly mainstream 'indie' labels. Both services have big holes in their catalogs, though, and sometimes when deep diving into particular artists or labels, I find YouTube more likely to have rarer albums and such (usually recorded from vinyl by some kind soul).

It makes sense. You don’t pay and it acts like a radio station (suggesting songs). You do pay and it’s like a music library (play what you want).

I find their unpaid for application annoying, then(yes I know that's the point).

That's only in the free accounts.

One thing that made me choose apple music over spotify is the indian music library. It’s way more better in Apple music

Exactly my reason. Spotify has such a limited collection of Indian music and within that regional music that there is no way I will ever pay for it. In contrast Apple Music has a wide selection.

This is why I normally stay away from Apple services. My household runs on an eclectic mix of Android and Apple devices, and this is exactly how we like it. Google seems to have embraced the presence of Apple devices in its ecosystem, so why not the other way around?

> Google seems to have embraced the presence of Apple devices in its ecosystem, so why not the other way around?

Google is an online services company with incidental hardware, Apple Music is a hardware company with incidental online services. Google's primary concern with it's hardware is driving online services. Apple's primary concern with online services is driving it's hardware ecosystem. So, sure, Google has no problem embracing other hardware platforms for it's online services, but Apple has a lot less interest in that.

Apple Music has an Android app.

> Google seems to have embraced the presence of Apple devices in its ecosystem, so why not the other way around?

Google must, Apple is not under the same pressure to reciprocate.

It’s really interesting you say that to me because one of the reasons I loathed Spotify (aside from its awful UI) is that music discovery was so achingly bad.

IMO - Pandora > Apple Music > Spotify for discovery at least.

Then again I like that Apple Music throws me a curveball occasionally, it’s usually something I wouldn’t expect but quite like.

Which, to me, is the point. YMMV ofc.

I've found Spotify to be vastly superior for discovery, in the genres I listen to (metal and hard rock, mostly).

Could be they are better at different genres. Would not be shocking.

I think you’re missing out by not using YouTube Red. You can download _any_ video. Lecture. Music. Whatever.

And the app plays in the background on your phone. Working out, whatever, you have any video/music production at your disposal.

You can also use youtube-dl to download videos, and NewPipe to play videos in the background. Both are free tools.

I live on a university campus, with excellent internet (and LTE on my phone). Downloading videos is not something I need at the moment.

The background playback feature is the only thing I would like, but I think it is a really shitty decision to have such a fundamental feature as a paid one, therefore, I won't pay for it.

I tried Apple Music for 6 months, and spent that time diligently training it to my tastes. My latest "favourites mix" had 12 songs that I had to mark as "dislike" after all that training. Likewise the "for you"playlists are garbage - just because I like a couple of songs by guitar bands doesn't mean I want to listen to hours and hours of them.

Apple Music on Apple Watch 3 is amazing - leaving a phone at home is strangely liberating.

But, for me, the big advantage of Spotify is I don't always need to think about what I want to listen to - I can pick an artist and listen or I can be lazy and just hit a Daily Mix which plays stuff I really like. Asking Apple Music to play "some reggae" or whatever invariably ends up with it playing a load of music I really don't like, even after all that training.

> the big advantage of Spotify is I don't always need to think about what I want to listen to

This is huge when I'm trying to stay in the flow while programming. Spotify is like a personal DJ that really groks how I work, especially now that it silently continues playing matching tracks when a playlist ends.

With Apple Music, I ended up switching back to iTunes at least once an hour. I really hope they won't be able to crush Spotify.

They (Spotify) also have some kind of awesome new playlist feature that mixes the songs together automatically. The "Trap Vibes" (don't judge) playlist uses that feature, I'd say try it! Play at least 2-3 songs and notice how gapless they transition into eachother. It really works great. I hope it's automated and not based on cuepoints (it probably is, though).

That sounds good because the Spotify playlists I listen to have a surprisingly small pool of songs.

For example, I've heard almost all the tracks of the Mexico -> "La + Chingona" playlist on the first sitting. It says they are regenerated each week yet it's the same songs reshuffled. All of the Mexican playlists are like this, but I've never tried other playlists so I don't know if it's Spotify-wide. Maybe they just have a bad Mexican music team.

Literally just found this feature this morning. It was awesome that it also adds the fade effect even if you skip a song. Gapless playback used to be a feature that was only active when the track came its end naturally.

I totally agree with this sentiment. The auto-generated lists on Apple music suck compared to Spotify. I do think the curated stuff on Apple music is formidable but that's about it. For people who want to discover music...spotify is still the way to go. Apple is just really good at shoving their stuff on people. Spotify has no ecosystem to leverage like apple

> But, for me, the big advantage of Spotify is I don't always need to think about what I want to listen to

I haven't tried Apple Music but I do listen to Spotify. What is highly dislike is that it's so terrible about suggesting or playing songs. I don't think it's good at all. Further, the shuffle doesn't seem to shuffle well enough (often seems to play in a similar order).

I'm terrible at knowing artists, song names, etc. I've noticed people liking Spotify often know the names or various artists plus create their own playlists. I think it's all terrible.

Same for e.g. listening to songs. I might be in the mood for some salsa songs. Spotify will have me listen to Salsa songs for hours on end. It should be way smarter. Some slow songs, then some quicker.. but not too sudden, etc.

I don't want to pay for Spotify because of this. It's terrible in song selection IMO.

"I don't want to pay for Spotify because of this. It's terrible in song selection IMO"

I'm the opposite. I know their song suggestion can leave something to be desired, as it is obviously based on your recent listening instead of suggesting from your entire playlist suggestion. But then again, that also gives me ways to tweak it by simply sampling a variety of music during the week - which I do when I'm searching for new songs. I rarely know band/song names, and can still find music.

Their song selection is generally good for folks that are sometimes listening to odd music. One of my favorite artists has less than 55k plays on the most popular song - and they suggest this sort of thing to me instead of continually suggesting "popular" music.

The most jarring thing (to me) was the ads, which were solved by paying a small fee each month. Bonus points for downloads.

Google Play is great at this. But I prefer Spotify's UI and apps on my devices.

I'm on the same boat. My 3 month trial for Apple Music just ended and switched back to Spotify. Most of the time I don't want to bother to choose what I listen to and for that the discovery features in Spotify just seem to work.

Google Play has really misogynistic algos, it seems to get really hung up on the gender of an artist.

Want to listen to artists like a female? Then obviously you only want to listen to female artists! I once tried it on a few different female artists, Tori Amos, Laura Marling, etc. It really just focuses in on the gender, which is annoying as I just want to listen to the genre.

I understand and agree with your point, but being overly focused on an artists sex (which is annoying) is not the same thing as hating women.

Yeah, I ummed over using that word but left it in as it feels as if the original categorisation by Google was done by a misogynist which the algo learned from. The malice is learned.

If you look at Hole, for example, a classic grunge band you can love or hate, most "related artists" are female artists. The Pumpkins and Nirvana are mixed in as token includes, one because it was her husband, the other because Billy Corgan produced one of their albums. Look at Nirvana, almost all male artists, with Hole being the only female artist. Veruca Salt or Garbage are exactly the same. Juliana Hatfield has more males than most, but they're mainly her ex-band mates. (I bet you can tell roughly how old I am from that list ;)

And that holds true for modern artists too. Look at related artists for Courtney Barnett, The Joy Formidable or Laura Marling and again it's predominately females, while if you look at one of the only male bands on Courtney Barnett's related artist lists, Twin Peaks, it's all male artists.

There is deliberate, systematic, segregation by sex of the artist happening at Google Play.

Laura Marling, for example, is a strong part of Modern British Folk, and that she's being side-lined by google algos is pretty malicious in my book (Short Movie (Director's Cut) is an excellent album if you want a go).

EDIT: researching and writing this makes me realize I can't keep paying for Google Play, I hadn't realized how deeply rooted the problem was in the platform.

Checking Spotify for related artists to Nirvana: Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins

Oh dear! All male, not even the single female that Google provided. Spotify must be even more misogynist... or perhaps these bands are just the most commonly listened to by people who listen to Nirvana [1]

"Spotify's related artists and radio are determined by algorithms which look at what people listen to alongside your music."

[1] https://community.spotify.com/t5/Content-Questions/quot-Rela...

> it feels as if the original categorisation by Google was done by a misogynist which the algo learned from

No, it was left in for people like me that _do_ have a strong preference for the voice of the singer. I love my trance music with smooth female vocals, and having men in that mix would be unenjoyable for me.

I think a nice feature for apps like this would be optional granular control of the aspects of the mix that you want. If votes lead to parts of a mix that you don't like(like certain vocals), it would be nice if I could explicitly remove that from the mix.

Spotify (after years) still doesn't exist in the country I live in.

Google Play (after years) still doesn't exist in the country I live in.

Apple Music has been available from day one.

They also have country-specific pricing, instead of expecting the right price for Americans to be the right price for a developing country.

A slight loophole - If you can find a way to pay your Spotify subscription through a supported country (e.g. US card/billing address), then there are no restrictions on where you use it[1], unlike Netflix for example who do geo blocking.

[1] https://support.spotify.com/is/using_spotify/system_settings...

This. This is the only reason I continue to tolerate Apple Music. My job requires me to travel extensively across countries. With Apple Music, I can be assured that music in my playlists works across countries.

When am in the US, I honestly find YouTube Music to be the best (probably since it has a lot of my listening data already hence gets the prediction accurate). But Apple Music still remains the only music subscription I pay for.

If you pay for Spotify in a region, the selection should be the same wherever you physically are.

This. Definitely, only Apple music and Tidal accept world wide subscribers. We (third world countries) also have internet and valid credit cards to buy whatever we want as like US citizens, what make others discriminate regions?

Can't speak for Google or Apple, but I know that Spotify's entry into a country is largely dictated by rights holders. They themselves would like to offer everything to everyone, of course.

Its directed by spotifys ability to negotiate with rights holders.

I always considered most of these decisions to come from accounting/taxes/different currency.

Getting to play the "well what about digital rights" seems like a cop-out for the previously mentioned reasons. It would anyways in my accounting department.

Not sure if the unavailability of Spotify in Botswana is due to right holders. Think it's just not high on their priority list.

Try Deezer it might also work in your country

Deezer costs twice as much as Apple Music in my country.

Like so many web services they set a price for Americans and then think it will work for other countries with very different income levels.

I have very few complaints about apple music, and most of them are because I regard the Atomic Unit Of Music to be the studio album.

1. No Tool. :(

2. No easy way to reorder search results to be album first.

3. Date of original album release is buried.

4. Hard to filter by "studio album" vs "live album" vs "compilation album" vs "greatest hits album".

5. Siri can't help; "play me the third album by the rolling stones" doesn't help, and neither do i have a voice-controlled "tell me what the album names by X are and let me pick one" interface.

My impression is that no streaming service does these things.

If you are a Tool fan (as I am) then you most likely own their albums already: why not simply add them to iTunes and allow it to upload them to your iCloud Music Library? This will only need to be done once and then those albums are available on all of your devices, as if they were available natively in Apple Music. You can even delete it from your hard drive on the system you originally uploaded from and now you don't need to use the space any longer.

Discussion about music? You'll always see a Tool fan.

(Am a Tool fan. Have ripped all albums to Apple Music. Everything else is Spotify).

This is just a bit of useless pedantry, but wouldn't the album be more like the "molecule of music", with the song being the atom?

(That would make verse, chorus, bridge and refrain the "quarks of music", I guess.)

I assume OP means atomic in the “indivisible” sense, and so it doesn’t make sense to search for or listen to specific songs, etc, not in the “compositional” sense.

yes, i did — but i’m pedantic too, so no worries!

I have just one complaint, and it's the Siri integration. I was having a frustrating day and I like a playlist called something like "chill" or "just chill" or "relax" or something like that... so I ask Siri to play relaxing music. Can't find it. Siri, play chill music. Can't find it. Siri, play chill playlist. You don't have a playlist called chill. Siri play calming music. Now playing Daft Punk "I Feel It Coming".

Everything else, eh the only good music UX was Zune, and Microsoft being Microsoft couldn't appreciate a good thing. But not having best-in-breed Siri integration is unacceptable and Siri is literally the only reason I use Apple Music. Now I'm re-thinking it.

I just said: "Hey Siri, play my Chill Mix playlist" and it played just that.

But I also tried a few variations, and you're right: it is not fuzzy AT ALL. If I use literally any other word in that sentence, it doesn't work.

On iTunes I see Chill Radio, Spa Radio, Down Tempo Radio and Electronic Radio which is pretty slow. I don't have Siri but maybe you should ask for one of those.

The point is Siri should have just a tiny bit of fuzziness so I don't have to say the exact right words. If I say "play classic rock" she does. If I say "play 80s music" she does. Not playing chill music when I ask breaks that expectation.

It's kind of ironic, Zune was the only Microsoft product I enjoyed and recommended without question. Yet, they killed the thing

What killed it was it was too little too late. It came out November 2006 - right before the iPhone. By the time they introduced an answer to the iPod Touch. The App Store has been out for a year.

Sales killed it really

What do you mean by it doesn't have a tool?

I do think a lot of these services should do more to prioritise the canonical version of a track. When I search for a popular track I don't want to see an ocean of compilations before the original album it came from.

He means the band Tool. And yes, it is a shame their music isn’t on Apple Music.

Not on Google Play music either.

Not on Spotify either.

Or Amazon Prime Music/Unlimited.

This is the other problem with streaming services.

"tens of millions" of songs still leaves out some glaring omissions for a lot of people.

Tool is a band.

Tool is a band.

Tool is a band.

Has the UX gotten better? I tried it back when it first came out for the free 3 month trial and I went back to paying for spotify because it was so horrible.

Apple Music was a pretty roughly grafted-on experience to the iOS music app when it first debuted, but the version that came out with iOS 10 was a massive improvement, leapfrogging Spotify in my opinion. Spotify, ironically, has been moving in the opposite direction.

Well that being said, Spotify was working really hard in the meantime on making their UX worse than ever before. They came a long way since 2009 (back then it was actually pretty good). A few more years of this innovation and it might get even worse than iTunes.

Every time I launch Spotify on my iPad, I’m stupefied that they regressed from their excellent, scrolling pane-based tablet UI to a blown-up phone layout. If it weren’t for Discover Weekly, I would have switched to Apple Music long ago.

I dumped tablets a long time ago, since no one seems to be willing to make good tablet apps, instead of just scaling up their phone apps.

Tablets had their time, but they're just junk now. Netbooks/ultrabooks have 10+ hours battery life now, and can run an actual full-featured OS, with actual applications.

Wow, given how user-hostile the Spotify interface is, that's pretty damning of Apple's efforts.

I use spotify despite its interface.

It’s still horrible for me.

Agreed on the albums thing. I'll subscribe to any service that does this properly.

Yeah, spotify lets you view just albums in search results, but fails your other points.

Sad. The UI of Spotify is much better - less taps to get where you want to go, dark theme, and it actually has song handoff between devices and a dedicated desktop app for the Mac, none of which Apple Music has. I can't help but think this is because of Apple's monopolistic practice of only allowing Apple Music to integrate with Siri.

Apple Music is on desktop

> Apple Music is on desktop

Not in a dedicated app. The integration with iTunes is a bit of a mess and brings all of the iTunes weirdness along for the ride. I really wish Apple would break iTunes apart...

Heh, my biggest complaint wih spotify is that I can’t use it with my carefully curated itunes library, including my many smart playlists.

Is there a way to create smart playlists in iOS Apple Music without using my Mac? Google searches for me turn up nothing.

I can definitely remember this being possible a while back when I was using Spotify.

Yea, it still forces you to listen through the spotify player rather than itunes (which is not at all surprising) and they never supported smart playlists.

Again, not surprising, but certainly enough for me to prefer apple music. The player is just way, way better for my needs.

Also (forgot before I can’t edit) spotify has no way of syncing your music not in their catalogue to your other devices. So my many bootlegs, mixtapes, and music not in the spotify catalogue is a real PITA to manage across devices, and is not even possible in some cases (eg I can’t think of a way to listen to my mixtapes on the xbox spotify player).

Meanwhile apple has the “itunes match” program (...I think?) which solves this.

I miss Tomahawk :( It integrated all kinds of music sources in a single, nice player. It's no longer being developed, but you can still see what it was like at https://www.tomahawk-player.org/

Not in a dedicated app, and not on Linux.

dark theme

Yeah, that goes great with my dark desktop. I love not knowing where the Spotify window actually is.


I like I'm sure many predicted this would be inevitable regardless how better one product is over another. At the end of the day Spotify can't compete with Apple's budget, and music streaming isn't a long term profitable business on it's own. I love Apple and deep into their ecosystem. However, certainly not a fan of Apple Music. When using on the Mac iTunes is rather horrific since everytime I search it searches local music rather than Apple Music or vice versa, or its in the Podcast tab, etc. They need a dedicated Music app for Mac and universal search without the iTunes store. I'm sure they are moving towards this but until then rather miserable. The Spotify app isn't as clean looking but is much more practical and enjoyable to use. Finally, Apple is about curated playlists, where is Spotify is about algorithms which in my experience is the better route. So while Spotify maybe the better product, at the end of the day, Apple Music is more seamless for people in the Apple Ecosystem of Siri, HomePod, AppleTV and all and in the end will win out. Let's hope Spotify stay's long enough to make Apple Music better.

Forgot to add, that personally, I love YouTube Music. The algorithms and search and pool of countless remixes, live performances and old videos/music not on other places is unmatched. It lacks the Apple Ecosystem benefit, but is a hidden gem

I'm personally getting tired of ecosystem lock-ins, so Spotify is a great alternative because they're available everywhere. Also, the UX of Spotify Connect is great.

> Also, the UX of Spotify Connect is great.

The color scheme and layouts are beautiful.

You're talking like Spotify's days are numbered. Spotify has many ways it can outcompete Apple on, not just budget. Just like Lyft did with Uber, DuckDuckGo with Google, etc. This is not a winner-takes-all market.

What Apple has done here is they've captured their ecosystem users that likely would have never signed up with Spotify in the first place.

No, this also shows that Apple has successfully yanked users out of Spotify. Not surprising in the least.

The fact is: the music industry is indeed a winner-take-all market now. The industry's horrible response to Napster crippled them, and their inability to outmaneuver Steve Jobs in the aftermath led to a rather diminished industry overall. We see this in both recorded and live music - just look at LiveNation's rise to dominance following Apple's rise to dominance for distribution with iTunes.

Music also suffers from the same problem as other older media - competition for ears and for time. Video games are hurting music just as much as it's hurting film. Music consumption has become cheapened over the years as technology left it in the dust, preferring to adapt video to our current media-heavy lives. Audio mediums have been traditionally not as paid attention to. Our culture is simply moving on from this kind of media, in a sense.

> No, this also shows that Apple has successfully yanked users out of Spotify. Not surprising in the least.

Not quite sure about this. Spotify is still growing and adding more users than ever. If Apple were seriously making a dent in Spotify's user base, we would've seen it affect their growth rate. Not everyone is in the Apple ecosystem--an overwhelming majority aren't. In the end, who makes the better product here? Spotify has way more clients, a better product, completely focused on being a music platform, and still carries the coolness factor between the two. There is a lot of incentive for a consumer who is deep within the Apple ecosystem to sign up for Apple music. On the contrary, in the free market, I'd argue Spotify wins out hands down.

> Music also suffers from the same problem as other older media - competition for ears and for time. Video games are hurting music just as much as it's hurting film. Music consumption has become cheapened over the years as technology left it in the dust, preferring to adapt video to our current media-heavy lives. Audio mediums have been traditionally not as paid attention to. Our culture is simply moving on from this kind of media, in a sense.

Music is typically a passive form of media (often playing in the background while work is done) therefore there are not very many mediums that can compete on that; movies, video games require you to be actively engaged with them. You can listen to music while playing games! Music is here to stay.

> Music is typically a passive form of media

That is only true of the past 20 years or so of the music industry's history.

I would sit and listen to music on my own, or with friends in a non-passive setting - every day as a kid. That was only 15 years ago.

Tell a musician in an orchestra that music is only listend to passively. It's so unbelievably offensive to the art, and so remarkably untrue.

> You can listen to music while playing games! Music is here to stay.

If they are able to be listened to while playing video games, maybe. What kind of garbage music would that include, and what beautiful and culturally-essential music would that exclude?

I never said music was only listened to passively, "typically" was what I aforementioned. Typically we are driving to work, working out, cooking while listening to music. It's not too often we are at venues where it is indeed an active activity.

Kids are probably listening to just as much music (I have younger siblings in grade school, n=2) but they're also more pre-occupied nowadays with other activities while consuming it.

> If they are able to be listened to while playing video games, maybe. What kind of garbage music would that include, and what beautiful and culturally-essential music would that exclude?

We don't know and we can't assume the music is garbage just because one isn't giving it the full attention it deserves.

Obviously, if people had to choose what kind of music to "listen" to while they play video games (ugh), they would be more likely to choose cookie-cutter house nonsense, rather than Anthony Braxton.

Spotify still isn't profitable. It's hard to make your whole business around something that larger companies (Apple, Google, Amazon) see as just a feature.

What does that say about who makes the better product if larger companies just see it as a feature?

It depends. You may be able to find better features from a company that specializes but the integration a company can provide with its feature may make it better. For instance, Apple can seamlessly combine a person's iTunes library of bought music dating back to 2003, with thier ripped music and their subscription music.

I have grown increasingly disgusted with Spotify pushing a political agenda inside their app. The last place I want to have politics shoved in my face is my music streaming service, whether I agree with the stance or not. Yet it seems, at least once a month, the banner of the desktop app is decidedly pushing a playlist promoting one side of the political agenda du jour.

With them recently banning the personal playlist of a conservative Australian senator, simply because they don't agree with his politics[0], I'm about ready to jump ship.

[0] - https://thewest.com.au/politics/federal-politics/spotify-ban...

"pushing political agenda" "politics shoved in my face" "don't agree with his politics"

It's always the same boring meme phrases. I know that having a persecution complex is effective politicking but it comes off immature.

I read the article you posted. You should understand that an individual artist is more important to Spotify than an individual user to Spotify. Especially artists like: Men At Work and Savage Garden

The playlist was called Australian Conservatives and was a public playlist. If you're advertising it, then it's not personal. Normally if you want music associated with your brand, a company or political party has to pay. And artists have the right to refuse.

It looks like Darren Hayes posted this:

Hi @CoryBernadi and @AuConservatives. I do not want to be associated with you, your party or your views. Remove my music from this stunt or expect contact from my publisher.

Responding like this doesn't really work in the real world:

“Get over yourself darrenhayes. Music is for everyone.” Bernardi tweeted.

> "pushing political agenda" "politics shoved in my face" "don't agree with his politics"

Spotify has company created playlists specifically for the travel ban and DACA, permanently in the Browse section. Yes, they are pushing their agenda in users' faces.

Why not just remove the complaining artists? Why remove the entire playlist?

Do you believe that if the political roles were reversed between politician and artist that Spotify would nuke the whole playlist? I sure don't.

You may agree with Spotify's politics, but that doesn't invalidate my point.

There's two things here.

Spotify as a company can push whatever politics they want to. It's a business decision, if it loses them users then it's upto their management to determine whether that was a good option or not.

You should accept that Spotify is a "liberal" company either as a stance of the management or as who they see their most engaged users to be. Everything doesn't need to appeal to you.

Saying they're shoving their politics in your face is hyperbole. If I read a business focussed newspaper, they're likely to have articles that are anti-climate change. I don't agree but I'm in their house.

>Why not just remove the complaining artists? Why remove the entire playlist?

https://press.spotify.com/uk/about/ "Number of playlists: Over 2 billion"

2 billion playlists, why expend the manpower to do that? Paying moderators isn't free.

>Do you believe that if the political roles were reversed between politician and artist that Spotify would nuke the whole playlist? I sure don't.

Why don't you describe an actual hypothetical scenario?

That a politician created a playlist called Liberal Music and some artists complained. Saying that they want nothing to do with the politician and their party. Also at least one artist indicated that they'd contact their publisher to take action.

Why wouldn't Spotify just take the playlist down? It's the easy action. Playlists are just lists of songs, the songs are still there.

> Spotify as a company can push whatever politics they want to.

If you read my other comments in this thread you'll see I agree.

> You should accept that Spotify is a "liberal" company either as a stance of the management or as who they see their most engaged users to be. Everything doesn't need to appeal to you.

It is a company owned by liberals. Semantics, but important ones. Also you pose a strawman. I never suggested they be obligated to appeal to me, just that their political posturing doesn't and that I'm nearing the point where I will also exercise my free will and leave.

> Saying they're shoving their politics in your face is hyperbole. If I read a business focussed newspaper, they're likely to have articles that are anti-climate change.

Not a proper comparison. I get a newspaper specifically to read about politics. I don't do the same for a music streaming service, as much as you probably don't want a plumber coming to your house and lecturing you on how Trump's America is fantastic.

> Why wouldn't Spotify just take the playlist down? It's the easy action.

Why has the decided soft, yet ham-handed, censorship of conservatives become a systemic issue with online services, be it Facebook, Twitter or even Spotify? Why does the far left need even their music streaming service to be an echo chamber?

> It is a company owned by liberals. Semantics, but important ones.

A company is a tool of it's owners, everyone else involved is paid agents of the ownership. The distinction you draw isn't important, it's meaningless.

The company is a tool for streaming music. The politics are extracurricular.

When I go to Spotify's site, they sell me music streaming. Their company tagline isn't "Spotify: unlimited music and social justice activism".

> The company is a tool for streaming music

You've confused the company (which is a tool for serving the interests of the owners) with the product the company sells (which is a tool for streaming music.).

I highly doubt that "political activism" will appear anywhere on Spotify's IPO application.

> You should accept that Spotify is a "liberal" company

What tech company isn't?


This article says that several musicians did not want to be included. Seems spotify catered to them, rather than banning based on political viewpoint.

Because several artists didn't want to be included, instead of removing those artists, they banned his whole playlist?

Edit: Based on the litany of left-wing politics that Spotify brazenly pushes in their app, I'd be surprised if they would take the same side if the sides were reversed between artist and politician. This only bolsters my original statement of why I'm getting tired of Spotify's politics.

It looks like the senator breached terms and conditions by trying to use songs to promote HIS agenda and the artists objected, and Spotify doesn't allow that anyway, so canned his playlist.

So if I make a playlist and then Tweet about it, and some content curator at Spotify doesn't like me, they're going to delete my playlist? Notice I didn't say that don't have the right to do what they want with their business, it's just a crappy move.

I wonder if Christian or Muslim artists asked that their music not be on a LGBT figure's playlist, if Spotify would ban the whole playlist, like they did here.

Steady on: firstly, this is not average Joe or Josephine here, it's a politician using Artists on Spotify and their music to make a political stunt, so it's not like Spotify have politicized anything. Secondly, the artists themselves complained about it, and somebody reported the issue to Spotify. Using musicians to promote an agenda they disagree with is hardly an innocent act when a politician does it.

FWIW, Spotify have denied deleting the playlist, so this may well be more publicity-seeking behaviour from the politician in question. The truth appears to be buried somewhat, but it doesn't look as bad as you suggest for Spotify...

It's definitely a he said/she said situation, but it's between two very politically active entities. Spotify still has an anti-travel ban playlist in their browse section after almost a year.

It's their business and they can do what they want, but they are in no way coming from a politically neutral standpoint.

Everything is political. I can't see many if any playlists in my Spotify, so I can't see the playlist you mentioned, but given that the travel ban (legally dubious) affected musicians wanting to travel to the US, it's not entirely irrelevant. It's probably a good position to take if you want to appeal to your audience in Spotify's case. Not that I can be bothered to look, but there's surely playlists against gun control (starring Ted Nugent) and the like?

I was originally quite surprised to see comments suggesting that Spotify was very political, because I've never considered that myself in ten years and I still can't see after trawling all over my Spotify account - there's literally nothing I can see that's overly political, except the politics section of the podcasts. Obviously it's tailored to me, but I really can't find anything. I would probably more offended by Spotify suggesting I like the Spice Girls or Justin Bieber than anything else, TBH.

> Not that I can be bothered to look, but there's surely playlists against gun control (starring Ted Nugent) and the like?

Not official Spotify playlists accompanied by a statement on why the company is against gun control.

I had to read pop up about the company's stance on DACA just to browse new releases a few weeks ago. I have a feeling that folks on the left are less prone to noticing this, considering most of pop culture is inundated with left wing politics. It's easier to not notice when it's inline with your worldview.

I’ve been an unhappy subscriber since it started. Siri commands and Apple Music are essential when driving and thus I’m stuck with it(only use it while driving which is frequently).

After three years it still sucks for me because...

- bloated UX

- try asking Siri to play all your “Recently Added,” songs without creating a new playlist.

- how can I discover new music when driving? I can ask Siri play similar songs to current song playing but what I need is Apple Music to shuffle all my songs and randomly add new/similar songs that compare to my entire and eclectic song playlist.

- there are instances where Apple Music/Siri plays non-copyrighted songs ie. cheesy horrible and lame covers of public domain Xmas songs. Makes me feel ripped off

Spotify is better but totally unsafe to use while driving vs. Crapple Music.

Google Assistant will happily play you Spotify songs on Android. Obviously Apple won't allow integration with third party software on iPhone.

I am happily surprised google assistant not only plays from Spotify but let's you set Spotify as your default music service. No "ask Spotify to play..." just a simple "play..."

I feel like Apple bullies people into inferior experiences.

I’m also stuck with the service due to the hands-free control with Siri. The cheesy/horrible/lame/non-copyrighted songs are awful and made worse by the fact that my kid will ask for nursery rhymes and you never know which version you’ll get because it doesn’t consistently play the same one.

I was thinking it's a business decision. Let's play as much public domain cheesy songs as possible and not have to pay.

Ummm Apple you have so much money and that's because you are so focused on providing the best phone UX. Why aren't you providing the best music streaming svc UX? Boggles my mind!

Asking Siri “Play my recently added songs” worked correctly for me.

Could you create a new smart playlist for ‘Date Added’ is in the last X days and use Siri to play that?

Why do I need to do anything at all? When I open Apple Music I clearly see "Recently Added," yet I cant summon Siri to play all my recently added tracks? Makes no UX sense to me especially since they highlight this when you first open the app.

You don't need to. I was trying to be helpful.

Thank you and pardon if I came off unappreciative. More so it was angst against Apple Music's poor UX.

How dare you!

> Glob­ally, how­ever, Spo­tify re­mains in a league of its own, with nearly twice as many paid sub­scribers than No. 2 Apple, and slightly faster sub­scriber growth.

I mean Spotify has been around a lot longer. Is it weird that new users aren't growing as fast if it already held the majority?

I switched from Apple Music to Spotify solely because of Spotify's awesome recommendation engine.

Can't even think of switching back to Apple Music after witnessing Spotify's magic.

I guess the recommendation system will keep on giving an extra edge to Spotify over the years to come.

Spotify has a desktop application for Linux. Apple Music doesn't. So Spotify wins, right out of the gate.

Add to this that Spotify's auto playlists are a hell of a lot better than Apple's, and I really don't understand why people bother with Apple Music.

This is depressing, and I don't get why customers are so fanatically loyal to a service that's consistently trailing the industry in features, security, and has a bad habit of deleting people's music or "forgetting" their accounts.

One big disadvantage of Apple Music to me is I still can't listen to Apple Music through a browser without iTunes easily.

It's just so much more convenient you can just use a incognito Chrome session on friend's PC and start streaming, as comparing to install/logout/login/logout (which is referred as "mobile/app first" experience nowadays).

Spotify is available via Discord, Xbox, and Playstation. The diversity of clients is key for me. Apple Music has at most what an Android App?

Also works with Chrome Cast, which is pretty affordable way to build multiroom setup if you already have some audio equipment around.

In Australia apple music is given away for free with a few of our mobile providers for free. Is the same in the USA? I dont know a single apple music user in Australia. Spotify is a much better user experience.

I have never seen a US carrier offer Apple Music. T-Mobile does provide a Netflix subscription with some plans, so it's certainly possible though.

I had it free with Telstra too. Sadly this breaches net neutrality rules and shouldn't be encouraged. I eventually moved to Spotify and pay for that instead.

This is a much better strategy by Apple, than Microsoft’s strategy against Netscape in the 90’s. Here, Apple charges consumers the market price [1]. Microsoft on the other hand gave away its browser for FREE. Free is better for consumers but it sparked antitrust backlash. Apple just let time play to its distribution advantage.

[1] The $ are the same for consumers but not for Spotify. It loses margin because of the App Store’s high take rate. As a result, Apple Music makes more than Spotify on a per consumer basis, even at the same price


IIRC you can’t sign up for Spotify inside the app, so they wouldn’t pay the App Store tax.

I rarely read the full thread on HN but read this one to see if anyone had mentioned Echo or Alexa-enabled devices. Surprising that no one did, esp given how many they have sold.

We are an Apple household primarily but also have a Google Home and recently bought an Alexa-enabled car charger (Anker/Roav Viva). The only service that will work across the board is Spotify. In that regard Spotify is like Netflix -- available on every device.

Not to sanction further consolidation or oligopoly issues, but Spotify has long seemed like a logical acquisition for Amazon.

- Fix Prime's song catalogue size issue (still an issue?)

- Grab massive market share and upsell/bundle other services

- Provide bargaining power to Spotify - Get access to very advanced IP

- Integrate with voice ui further (i.e. smarter voice commands including play list creations, complex requests and vague requests)

- Clock / alarm integration for music upon wake from echo/dot

- Fix profitability concerns of Spotify's revenue stream

- Provide high quality music, podcast services etc. alongside their soon-to-be-formidable film offering

- Use Spotify's algorithms and data to potentially improve film/tv recommendations and discovery

- Provide the gateway to becoming a record label, thereby cutting out the middle men à la netflix/Amazon film strategy of content creation

Would anyone more knowledgeable be able to comment further or point out flaws with this theory?

I’m definitely not more knowledgeable, but in my experience Amazon hasn’t been as good as e.g. Apple at making their services accessible internationally. It’s getting slightly better now with Twitch Prime and Amazon Prime video, which is in the same category. But I fear being neglected if they made an acquisition.

Amazon already have a full-fat music subscription service (at least, they do in the UK) as an upgrade to the limited selection that comes 'free' with Prime. It's similarly-priced to the big three.

Prime Music launched in Canada a few months ago, and the catalogue size is very much an issue. It is barely worth using, at this stage.

Gonna be hard to pull me from Spotify. With the Capital One Quicksilver 50% off deal I get the family plan for $7.99 a month (5 users for less than the regular price for 1 user)

At times I’m tempted to give Apple Music a shot because I admire some of the UI differences – but my wife is an Android user and she loves Spotify as well.

It’s really the most well-rounded and accesssible solution right now.

There exists an Android app for Apple Music:


Anyone have any idea if it is any good?

It is interesting how many thinks Spotify is better if it was available in the country, and yet people out of convenience still choose Apple Music.

I have heard Apple Music in UK or US are great. That is when only one languages is being used, and mostly English.

Whenever Apple Music has to deal with two lanagueges, it sucks.


And it is not only Japanese, but most of South East Asia. if Apple Music already wasn't better then Spotify, this make it worst.

In the old days, Apple was all about being the best to win. Not it has become being good enough to win, and to make the matter worst they stop improving it after they won.

Every year I used to go to Spotify's site, see that they don't support my country, leave and check again later.

Apple Music was the first music subscription service to work in my country and did so pretty much as soon as it came out.

A few months later it got support for my Sonos.

Done and done.

Spotify may be better but I'll never know now.

Grooveshark :(

I was a subscriber to Apple Music for almost a year, until I realized I wasn't discovering music anymore. It's very nice having a combined streaming and local library. But that alone isn't worth it. I've discovered so many new artists and songs through Spotify using their suggested playlists, related artists, Spotify radio, etc.

You also can't beat their multi-device interoperability. I can use my iPhone to listen, but control playback through the linux desktop app, for example.

I tried Apple music, then realized it cancels the ability to sync music from itunes.


I immediately shut off apple music and icloud music library once I learned that. Which is a shame, as I'd love to be able to stream from my watch.

But, none of the other music services destroy the functionality of my phone.

Yes, I'm sure I could learn how to use icloud music library. But I don't want to. I just want to be able to take a file from my computer and put it on my phone. I guess that's power user behaviour these days.

Can someone explain why? Does Apple music have significantly more songs? Is it significantly cheaper? Or is it simply because it's the default music app on iPhone?

The sole reason I use Spotify is it’s fantastic (community created) playlists and great recommendations. Once Apple Music catches up to that, I may switch to it because Spotify’s UI is truly awful.

I want to go back to Apple Music. I only left because someone showed me some amazing playlists and pretty soon Spotify started recommending great songs to me.

I used to use Spotify. I mostly switched to be able to launch songs/albums using Siri, and Apple TV integration is a nice plus. There were some things I preferred about Spotify, but since their libraries are identical and 99% of my interaction is either voice command, search, or a small rotation of recent albums, TBH it's just not a domain that I'm especially obsessed with optimizing further.

I prefer AM's iPhone UI and it has Siri and Apple Watch integration.

Plus Spotify's CarPlay app is essentially useless and dangerous to use when driving.

The main one is if you have lots of music already in iTunes, AM let's you access that alongside streaming stuff which I guess is a big advantage to a lot of people.

I use Apple Music for various reasons, but where I am (Denmark) _everyone_ uses Spotify.

I'd stick with Bandcamp and other DRM-free FLAC stores.

I really hate that you were downvoted for this. It may be only a single sentence, but I think you're correct to bring up the fact that Spotify and Apple Music both don't represent the entire music industry. These two entities are merely soulless peddlers of the Big 5. There are substantially important pockets of the music industry that do not exist in this narrow realm.

> These two entities are merely soulless peddlers of the Big 5

Rubbish - the vast majority of music on both platforms is not released on any of the big 5 record labels.

Apple Music has so many playlists featuring underground artists and labels. Spotify Discover Weekly never gives me any big 5 music.

The only time people get "peddled' the big 5 tracks is when they want to listen to them.

You know for a fact that the only reason either of these music services exist is because the Big 5 are in on it. Their catalog is what carries the services, and is what makes them profitable.

There is no Spotify or Apple Music without the Big 5. You cannot say the same of Bandcamp.

Why is that a bad thing? It's a positive that the big 5 are enabling smaller artists labels to have distribution to new listeners.

I love Bandcamp for downloading WAV files for DJ purposes but as a streaming service, it just isn't that great simply because of the lack of breadth of the catalogue.

And here I was thinking they were fighting a lost battle.

How so ? Isn't Apple Music Pre-installed on all iOS devices ? That's a huge advantage that most new services don't have.

(I realize Play Music has the same advantage on Android but Google has completely failed to even try to promote this service)

I cannot think of anyone in my life ever using itunes at pool parties, on boats, etc. It's always Spotify and lately every so often it's GPM. I recently switched from GPM back to Spotify. It's everything I need in that specific app.

I tried Spotify years ago and didn’t like it. None of my close circle of friends use Spotify either.

I used GPM for a couple of years and recently switched to AM. It’s hidden in the UI, but you can buy a year in AM for $99. If you look around you can find a $100 iTunes gift card for $80 (sometimes cheaper) pushing the cost of AM down a bit more.

There's no free tier, apart from a one-off trial, so the preinstall doesn't count for much.

The CarPlay and Apple Watch apps and Siri integration are the main advantages AM has over Spotify (Spotify's CarPlay app is so buggy it's dangerous).

I love Spotify, but it bugs me that I can't use Siri to launch music from it. It's the only thing Apple Music has over Spotify imo.

I use Google Play Music because it has a block explicit songs switch, which is perfect for family journeys.

Spotify has that as well, they included explicit warnings a while back.

Really, that was one of the reasons I left. I might look again.

Oh, they mark content as explicit but don't filter it out.

I don't see what the technical issue is, if I apply a filter, I get the clean version or it skips the track - if I don't have it on, I get the explicit version.

Does Apple Music offer something comparable to Spotify's Discover Weekly playlists?

They have a weekly "favourites mix", "new music mix", and "chill mix".

In my experience the choices that Apple Music make are extremely poor, even after months of training. Spotify seems to know what I like, Apple Music has no idea.

(Also Apple Music has nothing like the Daily Mixes, which also work really well for me; it suggests a daily set of playlists for you, but again, Apple Music doesn't seem to have learnt what I like, so these are pretty useless)

Yes, there are three playlists that are tuned to my tastes. Most weeks they're pretty great, although every few months I wonder what I ever did to make Apple's ML model think I like those songs.

My daughter also thinks her weekly playlists are good, while my son says they're trash for him. I'm not sure why the results seems to vary so widely.

BTW why won't some business fairness commission attack Apple for using their cellphone market domination to thwart competition and promote other products of their own like iMusic (e.g. the way they did with Microsoft when MS started shipping Internet Explorer built in Windows systems)?

Don't get me wrong - as I've stated elsewhere on here, I don't like Apple Music and it annoys me greatly.

But Apple Music is only usable with an optional subscription payment and can easily be uninstalled (pseudo-uninstalled) from an iPhone. It does integrate with Siri, which other music services cannot do, and it streams music on the Apple Watch, which other music services cannot (or will not) do. But it's not essential to the function of the phone. And the iPhone has a 30-40% market share or less on unit sales (depending on where you are).

MS was punished for including Internet Explorer for free and then tying it into the innards of the OS so it could not be removed. And Windows had an 80-90% market share at the time.

> It does integrate with Siri, which other music services cannot do, and it streams music on the Apple Watch, which other music services cannot (or will not) do.

Any idea why? I think they would probably add this if Apple would provide a reasonable way to. Does anybody know if Siri and Apple Watch expose nice APIs that would let you integrate your iPhone app with them?

> And the iPhone has a 30-40% market share or less on unit sales (depending on where you are).

Although the iPhone-vs-Android comparison can seem to be in favour of Android, Android means many independent manufacturers competing and much more free market for the apps. No single phone manufacturer but Apple has such a market share, having 30-40-50% of the market under unconditional control of a single company means a way more of actual power and commercial value per percent for them than if it was about shares of multiple companies running same technologies summed.

Here ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16279975 ) is what I have been told in a neighbour thread: "With the iOS market share hovering slightly below 50% in the US, it's iMessage that is the main messenger, at least where I live... I don't use Whatsapp nor was I ever invited by someone to use it, but I heard it's basically the iMessage equivalent in the EU and in other places where the iOS market share is lower."

I don't mean to argue nor am I a proponent of regulations. Just sharing thoughts. Thank you for the answer.

I see no reason for Apple not to allow music access for Siri - they have opened it up to other categories of app but have left music out and the only reason I can think of it to prevent competition.

I've heard conflicting reports about the state of the streaming APIs on the Apple Watch. Certainly, it's Apple's standard playbook to test an API with their internal products first before releasing it to others, and as the Apple Watch 3 is only a few months old, I will give them the benefit of the doubt here.

I'm not sure about your point on market-share. Apple may be the biggest single phone manufacturer, but they still can't bully people the way Microsoft did, because 60-70% of people aren't using them - it's platform share that counts here.

(And yes, the majority of my contacts are on iPhones, but when it comes to group messaging I use WhatsApp because that's the only way I can be sure not to leave anyone out).



Would you please stop posting unsubstantive comments to Hacker News? We eventually ban accounts that keep doing that.


Most my comments are not unsubstantiated. However, when comes to Apple. I am not going to be nice. I don't like how they closed off their ecosystem is. I hate how they do stupid things in for sake of fashion. They claim to innovative, but really just repackage existing tech, and force you into their ecosystem. It's just an attempt of vendor lock in. Then you have mindless sheeple drooling over their products. However, I would prefer apple just went the way of the dodo.

From a moderation point of view, Apple is not the issue here, the issue is your posting unsubstantive comments to HN. We ban accounts that won't stop doing that, so please stop doing that.


If Microsoft bundling a browser is antitrust, why isn’t this?

MSFT wasn't busted for bundling the browser but it was busted for forcing OEM's to not include any 3rd party browser. To get the OEM pricing for the OS, you had to agree that your OS image would not include any software that would compete with IE.

The logic was that Windows had 98% market share and iOS/macOS only around 50%. Ergo no dominant market position to abuse.

Browser bundling was among the lower offenses they went after Microsoft for. What they did to OEMs is really what buried their anti-trust case. For example, the first DOJ anti-trust lawsuit in 1994 was primarily about OEM contract/licensing abuses, and set the stage for what came later.

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