The key difference between Spotify and Apple or Youtube Music

The key difference between Spotify and Apple or Youtube Music

There are now several music streaming services to choose from, and at first glance they may all seem pretty similar: tens of millions of tracks to stream, mobile and desktop apps, offline caching options, and everything in between. It is not always clear where the differences are, but Here we are going to highlight one of the most significant in three of the largest services that exist. We have already talked about bit rate differencesbut this has to do with how you use each service.

Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music are certainly well-known and high-profile, and they all offer a full library of streaming music plus a ton of useful features. However, the way music playback works on Spotify and the way music playback works on Apple Music and YouTube Music is fundamentally different, and if you’ve only ever used one of these services, it’s something you might not be aware of. .

Play music on Spotify

Spotify screenshot

You can control your Spotify music from multiple devices.
Screenshot: Spotify

You can load Spotify playlists on a large number of devices: phones, tablets, smartwatches, laptops, smart speakers, car stereos, TVs, and more. There’s even a web player, as well as desktop apps, so you have a variety of options when listening to music on Windows or macOS. Most of Spotify’s features are also available on all of these different devices.

However, despite all these device options, you can only play one Spotify playlist at a time. Start a playlist on your Windows computer, and the same playlist appears on Android; you start listening to a series of songs in the TV app and those same songs are loaded in the web player. Changing playlists on one device does the same action everywhere.

You can even control playback on one device from a different device, thanks to Connect Spotify: Start playback on a Mac, and you can start and stop playback from an iPhone, for example. This works fantastically well in certain situations, like when you’re in the car and want to keep listening to the same songs you were enjoying on your smartphone.

Where it doesn’t work so well is if, for example, you want to queue up one playlist in the kitchen and a different playlist in the den. While it only takes a couple of clicks or taps to switch playlists when you change locations, Spotify won’t remember where you were in each playlist as you move between them; It’s not as convenient as having two playlists running simultaneously on two different ones. devices.

There are a few workarounds: you can put one of your devices in offline mode and use cached tracks, which will allow for separate listening that doesn’t sync with your other devices, but leaves you without a web connection on that device at all. particular. You can also set up a family account, which gives you separate profiles for individual people and separate listening activities. However, by using a single account, your listening is synced across all devices where Spotify is installed, for better or worse.

Play music on Apple Music and YouTube Music

youtube music screenshot

YouTube Music allows you to play different playlists in different tabs, simultaneously.
Screenshot: Youtube music

Like Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube Music are available on a large number of devices; Apple even makes an Apple Music app for Android. There’s plenty of support across smart speakers and TV platforms and car dashboards, and both music streaming services can play in a web browser tab, too. apple music it also has a complete desktop program that you can use.

The crucial difference between these two services and Spotify is that your listening is separate across all your devices. You can queue up a number of albums on your Mac, for example, and a different series of albums on your iPhone. You can even have multiple browser tabs open for YouTube Music at the same time, all playing different tunes.

This works great if you regularly jump between different types of music: if you switch between upbeat pop playlists and lengthy instrumentals at work, for example, you can have each playlist open in a separate browser tab. Your position in each browser tab is remembered, so you don’t have to start all over again.

Where it’s not so good is when You’re hopping between different rooms or different devices: Playback doesn’t automatically sync between apps, like it does with Spotify. There are other options for quickly switching the same music between devices, including AirPlay and the Chromecast protocol, but if you open the app on your phone, you won’t instantly see what you were listening to on your laptop.

Those are two quite different ways to manage music streaming, and everyone will have their preferences., because both can be useful. However, it’s something that isn’t mentioned often when comparing these streaming services, and it shows that they’re not as similar and interchangeable as you might think.

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