I Left Apple Music (UPDATE)


I went back to Apple with my tail between my legs... something I hadn't accounted for is Spotify's baffling download limit. They allow 9,999 songs to be downloaded across multiple devices but only 3,333 per device. As someone that needs music downloaded due to a low mobile data cap, inconsistent signal strength and just for my own peace of mind that songs won't cut out while moving, this was a deal breaker for me. In any case, this foible aside I enjoyed my brief time with Spotify - heres the original article below.

Hey everyone, quick post for today - got another little something to share later but for now... yes. Its true. I left Apple Music. Me, the world's biggest Apple Fanboy has left the Cupertino firm's streaming service.

But why?

Its hard to explain actually. I love Apple Music. It has its faults (not keen on the UI, its still baked into iTunes on MacOS), but after toying with Spotify Premium for a wedding playlist this past week, I wanted to try something new. I've written before about my reluctance to move away and how the way it links to every Apple device I own makes it the clear choice. Why leave?

At its most basic, I wanted to try something new. Spotify has a much more intuitive MacOS app than iTunes has ever been, and though it added Podcast functionality (my drug) I was much more enamored with the social side of Spotify.

As a musician, I have a lot of friends who work with music and are always telling me about the new hotness. Now? I can see what they're listening to and jump right in with a click or two. I can share custom playlists with my girlfriend, my friends, my family or the world. Yes, Apple Music offers this functionality, but its all buried beneath the surface - its a service built around the iTunes Store for better or worse, and that interface has been creaking for years.

The big thing here is that for once, Apple isn't the dominant force in a market. Record labels i'm a fan of, bands I like and people I follow on Twitter can make a curated playlist but predominantly it comes to Spotify and not Apple Music because Spotify was here first and therefore the install base is higher. While I prefer my own playlists usually, Spotify's options are almost overwhelming. Their music recommendations also seem to be on point where Apple's recommendations vary between happy accident and sticking too rigorously to the same genre.

I've also recently had a bit of a clearout. I sold my dear iPad Air 2 so my only portable device (Watch aside) is my phone. As long as everything I have is synced between my iPhone and my iMac/Macbook Pro i'm all good to go.

While I've lost that device to stream music on, using Spotify opens up more opportunities. The big one here are both Playstation and Xbox. Both support Spotify meaning gone are the days of muting the TV and playing music from my phone to the soundbar/my airpods. Ironically, Spotify also works better from iMessage than Apple Music does on my iPhone, allowing me to send songs to anyone for them to check out.
Photo from TechCrunch
Thats not to say Spotify is perfect. Just this morning the mobile app asked me to rate it 5 stars (hoping this is a one-off) and the fact I can't go from Artist --> Album --> Songs is baffling (Spotify goes from Artist --> Songs or Album --> Songs but not in the order i'd like). I'm also having a weird issue with downloading songs from Spotify where they seem to require a nudge every now and again.

That said, a rising tide lifts all ships and all that - the competition between these two services (and the multitude of others out there) is always beneficial for a customer as services such as these vie for our subscription.

In terms of digital media, i'm now on board with three major services and i'm very happy with the choice offered by all. Amazon Prime's delivery options make up for the fact I don't stream a lot on there, Netflix's embarrassment of riches is my first stop for movies and TV and now Spotify fulfills all my music needs. What a time to be alive - all that media at our fingertips.

Ciao for now,