Apple Music is falling behind Spotify in the music streaming war. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been using Apple Music since the day it was released in 2015, but after almost six years of launch, I don’t think I can stand up for Apple for not fixing some flaws or adding some really bad user features.
Before 2015, I used to rip my CDs to my iPhone or buy them from the iTunes Store. When launching Apple Music, I deleted all the albums I previously owned just to get a fresh start with the streaming service. Before the launch of the Apple service, I hadn’t even considered using Spotify or paying a monthly subscription to have all the songs I would like to hear, but now I subscribe to Apple Music and listen to them all. my favorite songs on demand.
It was not an easy start. For no reason, Apple Music sometimes just deleted all of my songs. Then, with every major iOS update, the streaming service changes almost completely. Apple was still figuring this out. Do you remember the connection? I don’t know why this existed, but I was there liking and commenting on posts from my favorite artists.
Over time, Apple Music got better and added some of the most requested features by users: a Replay Mix of the Year, the ability to listen to Apple on a webpage, share a song on Instagram Stories, but there is still so much to do.
What Spotify has that Apple Music doesn’t, and I wish it would
Music is what brings people together and I don’t know how Apple couldn’t come up with a way to make Apple Music more personalized and at the same time shareable. I know you can create a profile, add friends and also see what they’re listening to, but that’s not enough.
First, Apple needs to make these features more powerful. On the “Listen Now” page, you can see what your friends are listening to, but you don’t know when they’ve been listening to it. An hour ago? Last week? Now? This is one of the features of Spotify that attracts me the most.
I would like to know what my friends are listening to at this time and what they are discovering. It helps to start a conversation, find similar tastes or just get to know a new artist.
Another thing I would love to have is the ability to edit a playlist with someone else. Prepare a party playlist with my friends, share a playlist with my girlfriend with songs that reminds us, etc.
Finally, Apple Music should also add a private mode. I know I just said I would love to share what I listen to and see what my friends find out, but it would be great if sometimes I could just listen to the sounds of the rain or other content, and it didn’t matter on my reproductions.
Bugs that bother me and HiFi
I don’t know what happens to Apple Music, but it struggles to find some covers of popular artists. I’ll give two examples: Taylor Swift launches a remade version of her album Intrepid. It has a new cover, but for some reason Apple Music gives me the cover of the original Intrepid album. And it’s been weeks. The same happens with the Deluxe version of Dua Lipa’s Nostalgia for the future.
I deleted the song, album, uploaded everything again, and nothing happened. Sometimes the cover art is right on the Discover tab, but not while I’m playing it.
Did you also notice this? Whenever some famous artist or band releases a new album, it always takes me a while to be able to find it on Apple Music because the app says it is not available. I’m not sure if it’s a Brazilian thing where the servers need a moment, but all of my friends on Spotify can listen to an album as soon as it launches.
Now HiFi. We need to talk about a better audio quality experience. Spotify is launching a new level of subscription only for people who want the best possible quality. With mobile devices reaching 512GB of storage and 5G networks deployed, I think no one will complain if a song uses more data than average.
On streaming quality, Apple Music is superior to Spotify but with the launch of a new HiFi level in 2021, that could change. Apple Music has its own Digital Master, which should mean you can listen to much better sound quality without paying more for it. But if that’s really what’s happening, why isn’t Apple promoting this feature on AM? If you want to know if a song has a Digital Master version, you need to search for it on the iTunes Store. Weird, isn’t it?
Now with the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max, Apple is selling some really good headphones, but it looks like you can’t take full advantage of them. Is the company considering a HiFi version of its service?
I’m not here to tell you that I’m switching to Spotify or that I don’t think Apple Music is worth the price. I think so, as I thought six years ago, but Apple needs to patch those features and fix bugs to keep pace with Spotify.
Apple could lose even on the podcast area. An analyst said the competing streaming service is set to overtake Apple podcast listeners in the United States, which means Spotify has to do something right.
Apple needs to communicate better with its audience. A revamped “Listen Now” and “Browse” tab, promoting personal profiles and shareable playlists, could help Apple Music feel fresh.
Ultimately, it’s all about shareable experiences and Spotify knows the best. Her packed playlist for the year is 100% shareable with great ideas. Apple, on the other hand, shows me what I’ve listened to, how many hours, and how many artists, but it wasn’t meant to be shared online or with friends.
What do you think of Apple Music? Does it need new features? Tell us in the comment section below.
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