I wish I could be a Spotify user. The streaming service has the most users, which is why most people and companies and services share their playlists on Spotify rather than Apple Music. But Apple offers something that Big Green won't, and it means enough that it has trapped me in its web.
If you pay close attention to the music industry, you'll know that plenty of songs are missing from the libraries ofSpotify andApple Music, because songs leak, and samples can't be licensed. For example, Don Henley's refusal to clear a "Hotel California" sample is why Frank Ocean's "Nostalgia, Ultra" never got a formal release.
On Aug. 21, I practically jumped out of my chair when I found out that Young Thug's long-teased remix of Elton John's "Rocket Man" (first rumored in March of 2016) had hit SoundCloud. Not only did Complex dub it a song of the year contender, but the track is so good that I was listening to it on Repeat One before I knew it.
Once I found out that the track was taken down from SoundCloud, I quickly found it on YouTube, where someone else had uploaded the song. After using a conversion website (none are quite exactly reputable, but OnlineVideoConverter is the best), I had an MP3 of the song, which I added to iTunes, which uploaded the song to my iCloud Music Library (which has ironed out its early bugs).
Yes, Apple Music, unlike Spotify, allows you to upload your own songs, so you can augment the millions of tracks in their databases. And yes, Spotify once allowed users to listen to their own tracks locally, but it doesn't work as well, and is inferior to the ability to listen to your own music files on any of your devices. (It's also in Google Play Music and coming to YouTube Music, while Amazon recently retired this capability.)
This perk comes in handy far more often than you'd expect, and it just occurred again yesterday when a colleague shared an original composition he created.
Apple Music's also got solid playlists of its own, including the indie-focused Untitled Playlist and Headspace, an instrumental music playlist that's great for focusing on work. Plus, Apple has added the ability to see what your friends are listening to, which has been overdue.
Admittedly, Spotify's better at some things, such as surfacing suggestions for what to listen to. It also has more personalized playlists as well as a home screen that features a Recently Played section, which Apple makes you tap a couple of times to find.
So, overall, Spotify's got a bigger party going on. But still, I'm more than happy to go dancing on my own. At least this way, I can bring my own songs with me.
Credit: Tom's Guide
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Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.