To determine which service is the best we have to go back to the roots of all great music. Finding that track, you could bump over and over again.
Remember Rasputins? Or tower records? Or your local record shop?
For my friends and I, it was always fun to walk into a record shop and sort through CDs. For you, it may have been crates of records or tapes. It was the thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. Usually when it was too hot to play basketball. The cool AC at the shop was just what we needed.
The enjoyment was always in the discovery. I got good at flipping through those CD cases fast. Running back and forth from the rap section to R&B then back wasn’t as annoying as it sounds.
When 2Pac’s “All Eyes On Me” came out we knew it was going to be good. Every single track was and still is a classic.
The challenge though was we didn’t have enough money or time to discover all the music. We could have dug through music and argued about west coast vs. east coast hip-hop all day.
Fast forward to 2018 and all the hype is streaming music. Every service now touts 30 million-plus songs in their database. High-quality streaming. Playlists. Every service is necessarily the same. Except for one. Apple Music.
Apple Music figured out and emphasizes the one crucial thing about music. Discovery. It is at least half the enjoyment of listening to good music was the journey to find it.
It brought me back to flipping through those CDs or finding that rare B side track.
I was a long time Spotify user for ages. However, with Apple Music, I find it easier to discover music and browse around.
The “For You” area is quite excellent at recommending new tracks. I recommend getting the family plan to avoid mixing in nursery rhymes with TJR and Steve Aoki although Apples’ algorithms do an excellent job of presenting different genres and playlists.
In the end, all the music services provide the same basic functionality — extensive libraries and customizations.
Apple Music though does the best at focusing the UI and UX to the best part of music. Discovery.