Apple Music is in a distant second place to Spotify in paying subscribers, but in my opinion, Apple Music is the better service. It has more advanced features like live lyrics, karaoke, lossless and spatial audio.
And for music aficionados, you can upload your own ripped recordings and MP3s. You have full control over your music library. The Apple Music Classical app gives you a first-class experience learning and discovering classical music.
Here are the eight things keeping me on Apple Music — and why you should switch away from Spotify.
8 things Apple Music does better than Spotify
You can also watch the video right here. And if you’re convinced, you can sign up for Apple Music using our link right here.
No. 1: Live lyrics and karaoke
Spotify has lyrics for songs, but nothing like Apple Music. The lyrics are timed down to the word, including musical breaks.
Tapping the microphone button, you can even turn down the vocals for singing along, karaoke-style.
No. 2: Build a playlist live with your friends
With a group of friends in the car, you don’t have to pass your unlocked phone around, asking people what songs to play next. Tap the SharePlay button and have your friends scan the QR code. (They don’t need to subscribe to Apple Music; it’ll use your subscription.)
Other people can add songs to the queue from their own phones.
This feature is new to iOS 17. If you bought a new iPhone 15, you’ve got it already. Otherwise, head over to Settings > General > Software Update to get it. Everyone needs to run it for it to work.
No. 3: Upload your own music
I have a lot of custom music in my library — live concerts, ripped CDs and vinyl recordings that aren’t even on the iTunes Store (much less Apple Music). Spotify offers some convoluted process by which you can import music, but it’s not easy.
In Apple Music on your Mac, you just open any MP3 file in Music.app and it’ll add it to your library. On a PC, you can do the same from the new Music app on the Microsoft Store for Windows 11.
Add it and it’ll sync across all your devices.
No. 4: Edit song titles, info, volume, album art and more
Once you’ve added your own music, click ⋯ and click Get Info to edit the song title, enter the album name, upload album artwork and more.
In fact, you can edit all the music in your library, even tracks you’ve added from Apple Music.
You can replace album art you don’t like. If there’s a collab album and it messes up the artist name, you can just change it to a cleaner one. You can even adjust the playback volume per song. You can reorder songs in an album — for example, I rearranged Gustav Holst’s The Planets to match the order of the solar system. And made my own artwork.
All the edits sync across all your devices, although you can only edit song info on a Mac or PC.
No. 5: Lossless, higher-quality music
For something like two years now, Spotify has been promising a new HiFi tier. This is expected to come at an additional cost on top of a Spotify subscription, and will let you play lossless, uncompressed, higher-quality versions of your music.
Or, you can get that on Apple Music at no extra cost. Today.
Just go to Settings > Music > Audio Quality to turn it on. Switch from High Quality to Lossless. Any album that has the Lossless logo under it will play uncompressed when you’re plugged into certain speakers.
No. 6: Spatial audio
Spatial audio is another unique feature of Apple Music. It goes beyond a simple stereo mix — it sounds like you’re in the middle of the stage, with the sound coming from all around you. It tracks the position of your head, so the sound follows you as you turn around and move, really selling the effect.
It can transform the way you hear the albums you know and love by heart.
Spatial audio is available on AirPods and Beats products (AirPods 3, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, Beats Fit Pro, Beats Studio Pro) and newer iPads — the full list is here. Check for the Spatial Audio logo under an album in the Music app.
No. 7: Bespoke experience for classical music
Classical music is unlike modern popular music. (In this case, ‘modern’ refers to anything made in the last hundred years or so.) Composers write works that can be performed by dozens or hundreds of different bands and orchestras.
The notion of writing a song, performing it yourself and releasing it once on a single album is still, in the grand scheme of things, a pretty novel idea.
Apple recognized how standard streaming services are failing to do justice to classical music, so the company acquired Primephonic and reworked it into Apple Music Classical — included in your standard Apple Music subscription.
Browsing Apple Music Classical, you can jump into any of their many curated collections or playlists if you don’t know where to start — you just know you like the clarinet, for example. You can browse by composer, look up your favorite works, browse different recordings of them and add them to your library.
No. 8: Listen to live radio
Sometimes you just want to put something on, and you don’t know what you’re in the mood for — you’re overwhelmed by choices and yet none of them sound appealing. When that happens to me, I put on Phish. That motivates me to pick something, anything, pretty quickly.
But there’s a better way. You can always put on Apple Music 1, Apple’s live radio station.
One More Thing™: A real native app, on all platforms
Some people say they like the Spotify interface more than Apple Music, but frankly, I don’t get it. Apple makes a fully native app on every platform it runs on: the iPhone app looks and behaves like an iPhone app, the Mac app looks and behaves like a Mac app. Even the Android app respects how Android apps look and feel, and the new version for Windows 11 adopts Microsoft’s new design aesthetic.
Spotify on the Mac is a glorified web app that (basically) runs inside Google Chrome. It looks out of place and it drains your battery more than a native Mac app would.
I understand this isn’t important to most people — but for me, personally, this is Number 0. Non-native apps are a non-starter. I like using apps that look and work like all the other apps I use every day.
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