A Mother’s Perspective on Apple Music and Spotify
For most of my life, an apple is something to bite, tinder is “panggatong”, and a tablet you need to swallow to get well. All that has changed and in such a revolutionary way!
As a 53-year old mom, I feel so blessed to have the mental agility and finger dexterity to manage my phone in such a way that it somehow manages my life. When I was younger, we played records on a turntable, and listened to music on a transistor radio with a long, silver antenna, and big, fat batteries to boot. Today, I subscribe to Spotify, buy songs on ITunes, with no worries about physical storage because hey, the Cloud is no longer just the floating, fluffy kind of my youth.
This morning, Apple Music came into my life via an iPhone software update. It has newer songs (Taylor Swift allowed Apple to use her Blank Space!), a family sharing subscription and music videos via its Connect feature. The good news is that any Apple user can test, use, and share songs from Apple Music for free for three months. Apple also promises to have Apple Music available for other smartphones within the year.
So how does Apple compare to Spot, user-wise? (Caveat: I’m not a tech reviewer, I just love music.)
- Spotify is easier to use. It took me less than an hour to download, install, and use. The trial experience was so comforting and light that it was a no-brainer for me as a music-lover to subscribe. Apple Music has too many prompts, and it made me do the least desirable thing – bug my daughter to explain its features. The “Browse” feature of Spotify is time-sensitive and I have been blessed with more “Accoustic Morning” music moments than I care to remember. To be fair, Spotify has been around longer while Apple Music will undoubtedly require tweaks along the way.
- So because of #1, I miss my Pareng Steve Jobs all the more. When I installed Apple Music, it made me choose my kind of music by clicking on bouncy, little balls with music genres inside each ball. If you like a genre, you click on it. If you love it, you click twice. If you don’t like it, you press until it disappears. I guess it’s like a “getting-to-know-you” phase, in an “unpretty” Apple way. Cringe I did with the introductory text as well. Whatever happened to the Steve Jobs’ way of 10,000 songs in your pocket? Too wordy. Apple, where’s the wit?
- I like that Spotify has all kinds of playlists. When stuck in traffic, it helps not to have to think about music choices because there’s someone else with more time on their hands creating playlists for me to choose from. Apple Music is rather new so I guess, content-wise, Spotify has archives of songs that music afficionados from different generations have already gone through. Apple Music has its own playlists set up by the company. Spotify’s playlists are done by ordinary mortals like you and me.
- Having said that, Apple Music has my iTunes library already in its system. This means, clicking the app makes it easier for me to switch from my old playlists to newer music and radio stations available on Apple Music. This connectivity is a major draw for any adventurous music lover.
- Cost-wise, Spotify and Apple Music are about the same, I think. I like the Family Sharing feature of Apple Music and would opt to choose it once I do subscribe, except that I’ll probably end up as the “organiser” which means paying for stuff that my family members would like to download. Someone told me that Spotify has a similar scheme but that I have yet to see.
Verdict? I’m definitely sticking to Spotify, but will continue to use and learn more about Apple Music while it’s still free. Having both music streaming companies vying for my attention, makes me feel special as a consumer. I like it when I listen to my music and am not bound by physical and nostalgic space. Taylor Swift, Adam Levine, Karen Carpenter, and Don Maclean are good friends on my playlist. I love it when my daughter asks whom I’m listening to on Spotify, and then says, “Macklemore who?”
I am a Mom who is also a “Happy Hipster”, thanks to Spotify. Apple Music, you have your job cut out for you. But hey, I will always love you, Steve Jobs!