Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on Spotify:

Spotify price increase pushes cost above Apple Music


Spotify logo on iPhone
Spotify just raised most of its prices.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The streaming music service Spotify just increased its prices for new U.S. subscribers. The costs of most subscription options are now above those of its arch rival, Apple Music.

The new prices go into effect for current subscribers in July.

EU fines Apple 1.8 billion euros over ‘abusive’ treatment of Spotify


EU sides with Spotify in long-running battle with Apple.
The EU agreed with Spotify that Apple's 'anti-steering' rule is illegal.
Photo: Sora Shimazaki/Pexels CC

The European Commission fined Apple more than 1.8 billion euros Monday for “abusing its dominant position on the market for the distribution of music streaming apps.”

The ruling follows complaints by music streaming service Spotify. In a lengthy response to the fine, Apple said Spotify pays absolutely nothing for the array of services Cupertino provides. Apple also said it will appeal the EC’s decision.

Indie record labels say Apple’s Spatial Audio payment plan will hurt them


Spatial Audio
Spatial Audio from Dolby Atmos technology creates surround-sound.
Photo: Apple

Independent record labels say Apple’s recent promise to pay 10% more for Dolby Atmos tracks in Spatial Audio will take money away from them and give it to major labels and their stars, according to a new report Friday.

“It’s literally going to take the money out of independent labels and their artists, to benefit the biggest companies in the marketplace,” said a senior executive at one of the bigger independent record companies.

Save tunes you hear on TikTok straight to Apple Music


TikTok Add to Music App
If you come across a cool tune, you can add it to your library with a click.
Photo: TikTok

Even if you only hear a snippet of a tune on TikTok, now you can add the whole song directly to Apple Music or another music-streaming service.

TikTok’s new Add to Music App launched Tuesday in the United States and the United Kingdom. It works with Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music and other music streamers.

Find new music you’ll love with Apple Music’s Discovery Station


Let’s Try Something… New?
New music — what a concept!
Image: Pedro Ribeiro Simões/Wikimedia Commons/D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

You can find new music on the Apple Music Discovery Station, which gives you a tailored playlist to suggest new artists and jams you’ve never heard before but should like based on your personal musical tastes.

Personalized recommendations have long been a reason people cite for sticking with Spotify over Apple Music. Now, you can add the Discovery Station to my list of eight reasons you should make the switch. Apple Music offers personalized music picks, too, and the system works great.

I’ll show you where to find Apple Music’s Discovery Station and how to make the most of it.

More big iPhone leaks, including one we really don’t like [The CultCast]


Wor$t iPhone 15 rumor yet! With The CultCast logo, episode 605.
Not all iPhone rumors are created equal.
Image: Cult of Mac

This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Not all iPhone rumors prove exciting. In fact, a big one this week — possible iPhone 15 price hikes — sounds downright depressing. But it’s not all bad news. The “normie” iPhone 15 might get some trickle-down camera tech that could make it easier not to go Pro this year.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Think of all the interesting ways you could use an Action button like on Apple Watch Ultra’s on an iPhone. Well, the iPhone 15 Pro might get in on that action.
  • Apple’s Vision Pro loaners for developers come with some absolutely ridiculous restrictions.
  • We’ve got an Apple Watch tip that we bet you don’t know — how to get the time with a tap on your wrist. Perfect for those long, boring meetings when you don’t want to peek at your watch.
  • Hang around for the great Apple Music versus Spotify debate of 2023.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video live stream, embedded below.

Spotify price increase means it’s no longer cheaper than Apple Music


Spotify logo on iPhone
It just got more expensive to listen to music on Spotify.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The streaming music service Spotify just increased its prices across the board. The costs of most subscription options are now the same as the prices of its arch rival, Apple Music.

These increases are occurring in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and many other countries around the globe.

8 reasons you should ditch Spotify for Apple Music


Apple Music better than Spotify?
Could it be? Sure, I think so.
Image: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

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.

Spotify kicks out subscribers paying through Apple’s App Store


Spotify logo on iPhone
Spotify is making sure it doesn’t pay Apple anything it doesn’t absolutely have to.
Photo: Cult of Mac

All Spotify subscribers who’ve been paying for the music streaming service through the App Store are being switched to a free, ad-supported plan whether they want to or not.

Those who wish can switch back to a for-pay plan, but can not pay for it through Apple’s app payment system.

How to download YouTube videos to MP3 or MP4 with YT Saver Video Downloader


YT Saver can help you download videos from YouTube and other sites.
YT Saver makes it quick and easy to download videos from YouTube and other popular sites.
Image: YT Saver

This post on how to download YouTube videos is brought to you by YT Saver.

When you love to download videos, audio and playlists from YouTube and other popular websites, it helps to have a solid video downloader that can handle browsing, downloading, converting and securing content all in one place.

YT Saver Video Downloader does the trick, whether you use Mac or Windows. We’ll focus on Mac and show you how the video downloader and converter works.

Apple finally lets ‘reader’ apps like Netflix and Spotify link to their own sites


Apple lets reader apps link to their own sites
It's a start.
Image: Apple

Apple on Wednesday confirmed a significant change to its App Store policy that finally allows “reader” apps like Netflix and Spotify to link to their own websites for things like creating and managing accounts.

Until now, including an external link for this kind of purpose was prohibited, and would have resulted in App Store expulsion. That meant a poor user experience for a whole bunch of popular services on iPhone and iPad.

That’s finally changing, but of course, Apple plans to make it as complicated as possible for developers to enjoy it.

Ikea’s new outdoor lamp is first Bluetooth speaker with Spotify Tap


The new Ikea Vappeby is an LED lantern and a Bluetooth speaker with Spotify Tap.
The new Ikea Vappeby is an LED lantern and a Bluetooth speaker with Spotify Tap.
Photo: Ikea

Cue the lights, strike up the music and let the garden party begin. Ikea’s got a new outdoor lantern coming. What’s interesting is that it doubles as the first Bluetooth speaker on the market with Spotify Tap built in.

The one-touch Spotify functionality isn’t the only music streaming service you can use with the lamp, called the Ikea Vappeby. But it’s handy.

Google lets Android devs test third-party payment options (unlike Apple)


Google tests third-party payments on Android
Spotify will be first to offer its own billing method.
Image: Google

Google on Thursday confirmed that it will give “a small number of participating developers” the ability to implement third-party payment methods in their Android apps as part of a pilot program called User Choice Billing.

Spotify, first to take advantage of the change, will offer Google Play’s billing system as well as its own. The move puts even more pressure on Apple, which has been fighting hard to block third-party payment systems on iOS.

Guess which brand consumers find most relevant to their lives


Prophet's annual brand relevancy result is starting to sound like a broken record.
Prophet's annual brand relevancy result is starting to sound like a broken record.
Photo: Prophet

Spoiler alert: For the seventh year in a row, Apple topped consumers’ lists as the most relevant brand to their everyday lives. Seems like the Cupertino tech giant can’t lose in this particular race.

You have to wonder who placed 293rd. That’s how many companies the annual survey evaluated, in 27 categories.

Apple Music taunts Spotify with massive Neil Young promotion


Apple Music backs Neil Young
Apple Music is "the home of Neil Young."
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple Music has launched a huge Neil Young promotion just days after Spotify began pulling all of the singer’s content from its platform.

Listeners will today find a “We Love Neil” section under the “Browse” tab that features albums, interviews, and playlists. Cupertino has also send out tweets and push notifications that call Apple Music “The home of Neil Young.”

Apple Music is the world’s second-biggest music streaming service


Apple Music
But Spotify is still way out in front.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

With a 15% share of the market, Apple Music is now the second-biggest music streaming service in the world, according to the latest data. It remains significantly bigger than rivals like YouTube Music and Deezer.

However, Apple Music will have to fight to stay ahead of Amazon Music, while catching up with Spotify will be an incredibly difficult task.

Here’s what today’s top Mac apps might have looked like on Mac OS 9


Zoom on Mac OS 9
A taste of the past.
Image: Michael Feeney

Ever wondered what today’s most popular Mac apps might have looked like on earlier Macintosh machines? These incredible design concepts imagine the likes of Google Chrome, Spotify and Zoom running on the 22-year-old Mac OS 9.

Graphic designer Michael Feeney created the collection as part of his terrific (mac)OStalgia project. Check it out in the four-minute video below.

Spotify brings Apple Music-like synchronized lyrics to all users


Spotify lyrics roll out to all
Just like Apple Music's
Photo: Musixmatch

Spotify’s new synchronized song lyrics — much like those we’ve enjoyed inside Apple Music for a while now — are now rolling out globally. The feature is available to both free and paid users across almost all devices.

Lyrics were one of the most requested features among Spotify users, the company said. They first entered testing among a smaller number of customers early this year, and now everyone can enjoy them.

Apple hints at Apple Music for ‘gaming consoles’ after PS5 leak


Apple Music for gaming consoles
Is a rollout imminent?
Photo: Apple/Sony

Apple’s website has been updating to include a reference to Apple Music for “gaming consoles.” It comes less than a week after the service was first spotted (but unavailable to download) on PlayStation 5.

The reference all but confirms Cupertino is indeed working to bring Apple Music to the latest game systems from Microsoft and Sony, alongside Apple TV, which is already available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X.

iOS 15 problems continue as iPhone 13 owners report CarPlay crashes


Will it ever end?
Photo: Ford

The long list of problems that have surfaced in iOS 15 continues to grow as iPhone 13 owners report new issues with CarPlay.

Some say they are unable to play tracks in Apple Music or third-party apps like Spotify without the system crashing completely. There are some fixes you can try, like disabling the equalizer if it’s active, that may solve the problem.

Spotify acknowledges battery drain complaints on iOS 15 and iOS 14.8


Spotify iPhone
A fix should be on its way.
Photo: Cezar Sampaio/Unsplash CC

Spotify says it is looking into complaints regarding increased battery usage under iOS 15 and iOS 14.8. A growing list of users are reporting that the Spotify app has been draining their battery life since they updated their devices.

“We’ve passed your info on to the relevant team and we can confirm they are currently looking into it,” the music streaming giant told one customer.

Check out Philips Hue’s new light show (and its Spotify partnership)


The Signe floor lamp and a light strip add ambiance.
The Signe floor lamp and a light strip add ambiance.
Photo: Signify/Philips Hue

Signify, the parent company of Philips Hue, put the word out last week that funky new lighting products are coming. Some are out now and some will light up later. A new partnership with the music platform Spotify has launched, too.

Several items offer the gradient technology Philips Hue added last year to its Play Lightstrip.

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