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Spotify vs. Apple Music: The best music streaming service is...

por Joesph Kleiman (2020-01-30)


id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Celso Bulgatti/CNET Apple Music and Spotify are two of the biggest players in the music streaming service business, both offering 50 million-plus songs at high streaming quality and a low monthly subscription price. They're by no means the only music streaming services out there -- in the US alone there are at least six major platforms to choose from, but chances are good these are the two you'll consider first. And if you're ready to commit to one of them, you'll want to know all the perks each one has to offer before making your final choice. Which is the best for iPhone or Android owners? Which has the most support for all sorts of smart speakers? And which has the biggest song selection?  

CzDCAQvWIAU3H29.jpgRead more: Best music streaming service of 2019: Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play compared

Here's a general overview of how they compare:

Spotify vs. Apple Music


Spotify Apple Music

Price $9.99 a month ($4.99 for 더킹카지노 students) $9.99 a month ($4.99 for students)

Family plan Yes, up to 6 people ($14.99) Yes, up to 6 people ($14.99)

Free tier Yes, ad-supported No, only Beats1 radio

Free trial 3 months  3 months

Stream quality Up to 320kbps Ogg Vorbis, or AAC (see section below) 256kbps AAC

Music library 50 million songs 50 million songs
Now playing: Watch this: Apple Music vs. Spotify: Music streaming battle 7:57 Price and subscription options
Both Spotify and Apple Music offer a free* three-month trial period for their premium services, which normally cost $9.99, £9.99 or AU$11.99 a month. It costs $4.99 for students or $14.99 for family plans. With the premium version, you can stream any song from the catalog on demand, plus listen to songs offline.

See at SpotifySee it at Apple MusicAnd if you're a student, you'll get access to Hulu and Showtime (ad-supported) as part of your Premium subscription. Spotify is also the only one of the two music services with a free, ad-supported tier, so even if you don't want to pay for the premium version you can still listen. The caveat (aside from the interruptions) is that many albums and playlists require you to listen in shuffle mode rather than sequential play and there's a limit of six skips per hour.

Apple Music only lets free users stream Beats1 Radio, or you can listen to songs from your iTunes library.

Winner: Spotify

The free version of Spotify lets you listen to songs on demand, but many playlists and albums can only be listened to on shuffle.

Celso Bulgatti/CNET Streaming quality
In terms of stream quality, Spotify uses the Ogg Vorbis format. On mobile you can choose what bit rate to stream, in increments up to 320kbps, which is handy especially if you're worried about using up too much mobile data. Desktop playback is at 160kbps or 320kbps for premium users.

If you listen on Spotify's web player or via Chromecast, it streams in AAC at 128kbps for free users or 256kbps for premium.

Apple Music streams 256kbps AAC files.

To find out more about bit rate and audio quality, read this in-depth comparison of sound quality between Apple Music and Spotify. 

You can also adjust the equalizer in both to suit your preferences (although you'll find Apple Music's EQ setting outside of the app, within the Settings > Music section on the iPhone).

Unless you're a serious audiophile, you probably won't notice much difference between the highest-quality Spotify and Apple Music streams of the same song. If the highest audio fidelity is really important to you, consider another service that supports lossless streaming like Tidal.

Winner: draw