Why I Picked Apple Music Over Spotify

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).

MORE: Apple Music vs Spotify: Which Is the Best Music Service?

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

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

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.

  • jclosky
    Spotify will only allow 1 user to stream at-a-time. Cheaper services, e.g. Slacker and Pandora, do not have this restriction.
    Spotify does not have a Roku app.
    Spotify Android app requires a mouse which, on my little media box, is not present.
  • robleeigo
    Did you check Deezer? Great mobile apps on all devices, desktop player and an app for most smart tv's AND it allows you to upload your own MP3's.
  • jclosky
    Yes... I am just finushing a 3 month trial of Deezer and like it a lot. I am not going to subscribe, however, because they have a single-device stream restriction (so my wife and I can't jog to it at the same time) and they are more expensive fhan Slacker and Pandora.
    I do recommend Deezer if my issues don't apply.... ;)
  • robleeigo
    you could pay a little extra for a family plan? :)
  • Just google "Apple deleted my music" for why I'll never use Apple. I have an iPod shuffle that I like very much but iTunes gets uninstalled unless I'm changing the music on it. I have nearly 500 CDs ripped to FLAC and I'm not giving any Apple software access to that library.

    I pay for Tidal's high res service. If you have decent equipment to listen on it's worth it.
  • robleeigo
    Just to add an answer to anort3's comment - Deezer also offers FLAC/Hi-Fi quality which also works on my types of equipment :)
  • thiccafyeetingatw
    I wouldn’t go so far as to say one is *better* than the other. Spotify is just lacking in this way that matters to *me*.
  • tim.grabinat
    You can sync your local files with Spotify. https://support.spotify.com/de/article/listen-to-local-files/
    So no need for Apple Music.
  • sizzling
    The Spotify app on XBox is a big plus for me. Also the family subscription is very good value.

    Don’t get me started about Deezer. My account got hacked and after attempting to communicate with their customer service I only ever received automated and irrelevant responses.
  • The Paladin
    why use an online service to transfer files ?

    get an MP3 Players or Android phone, plug it computer use any program such as AIMP and tell it to create music list fr4om your personal collection then copy files over, and listen without having to PAY anything to ANY service.

    PS: I have at last check over 45,000 tracks, no services would carry all my music anyways