Apple Music vs. Spotify: Which is better(2023 Ultimate Guide)

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December 12, 2023

Apple Music and Spotify are the 2 most popular music straming services in the world. Both of them offer a wide range of other features and benefits, such as a vast music library, curated playlists, personalized recommendations, and integration with other devices and services. So which is better? Comparing Apple Music and Spotify is subjective and depends on individual preferences. Both services have their strengths and features that may appeal to different users. Here are several aspects to consider for comparison:

Apple Music benefits

1. Audio quality

The main benefits Apple Music has going for it are audio quality, with lossless resolutions and Spatial Audio supported on the platform, and live radio. The app also comes with a lengthy free trial when you pick up certain new Apple devices. On HomePod mini and AirPods Pro/Max, each song sounds so much better in Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos, even non Dolby Atmos songs sound way better.

However, if you don’t have a good enough DAC or sound system to take advantage of lossless music, you probably can not hear any difference in bass/low frequencies since Apple’s 256k AAC is pretty similar to Spotify’s 320k OGG Vorbis. On paper Spotify’s higher nitrate should produce higher fidelity audio but AAC encoding is better than Spotify’s OGG Vorbis, therefore nullifying any advantage of Spotify’s higher bitrate.

2. Light and dark mode

Apple Music offers both light mode and dark mode options for users to customize their app’s appearance based on their preference or the ambient lighting conditions. Light mode features a brighter and more vibrant interface with white backgrounds and black text, while dark mode provides a darker color scheme with black backgrounds and white or light-colored text.

Enabling dark mode can be beneficial in low-light environments as it reduces screen glare and may be easier on the eyes. It can also help conserve battery life on devices with OLED or AMOLED displays, as the black pixels require less power.

To switch between light mode and dark mode in Apple Music, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “Display & Brightness.”
  3. Under the Appearance section, select either “Light” or “Dark” mode.

3. Lyrics

Apple Music provides an intuitive and user-friendly design for displaying lyrics, making it easy to read and follow along with the songs. When listening to a song on Apple Music, you can access the lyrics by tapping the “Lyrics” button on the Now Playing screen.

The lyrics are presented in a clean and legible format, typically with a scrolling line-by-line display synchronized with the song’s playback. This allows you to follow the lyrics in real-time as the song progresses. The font size and style are designed to enhance readability, ensuring that the lyrics are clear and accessible.

Spotify benefits

1. Free tier

Spotify offers a free tier in addition to its premium subscription. The free tier of Spotify includes access to its music catalog, allowing users to stream music with occasional advertisements. Although the free tier has certain limitations compared to the premium subscription, such as shuffle-only play for albums and playlists on mobile, no offline playback, 6 skips per hour and lower audio quality, it indeed one of the best options to enjoy music without spending a penny.

2. Algorithm and Recommendations

Spotify is renowned for its advanced algorithm and recommendation system, making it a popular choice for music discovery. The platform’s algorithm takes into account various factors such as your listening history, liked songs, playlists, and even external data like popular trends and user behavior to deliver personalized recommendations. This results in curated playlists like “Discover Weekly” and “Release Radar,” which are updated regularly with new songs tailored to your musical tastes. Spotify’s algorithm-driven recommendations have received widespread acclaim for their accuracy and ability to introduce users to new artists and songs they might enjoy. Apple Music is geared towards album oriented while spotify is track-playlist oriented.

3. Spotify Connect

Spotify Connect allows you to seamlessly stream music across different devices. With Spotify Connect, you can control the playback of music on one device from another device that is connected to the same Wi-Fi network. When you play Spotify on MacBook or Amazon Echo, you can use the Spotify app on iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch to choose songs, skip, adjust volume everything.

4. Podcasts

One of the key advantages of Spotify is its integration of both music and podcasts within a single platform. Users can access a vast library of music and a wide range of podcasts, all in one app. This makes it convenient for users who enjoy both forms of content, as they don’t need to switch between different apps.

On the other hand, Apple Music focuses primarily on music streaming and does not offer a built-in podcasts feature. If you want to listen to podcasts on Apple devices, you would need to download a separate Podcasts app. It’s worth noting that the Podcasts app is not available on Android, limiting podcast access for Android users who rely solely on Apple Music.

5. Crossfade

Crossfade feature in Apple Music is not available on iPhones, although it is available on Mac/PC and Android devices. Spotify crossfade feature is available on all devices. Crossfade is a useful feature that allows for a seamless transition between songs, eliminating any silence or abrupt interruptions between tracks.

How to enable Crossfade for Spotify?

On desktop

  1. Click your profile icon on the top right corner.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Scroll down and enable Crossfade songs under Playback.

How to enable Crossfade for Apple Music?

On desktop

  1. Click Music – Preferences.
  2. Enable Crossfade Songs under Playback.

6. Liked Songs

Spotify offers a popular feature called “Liked Songs” that allows users to easily add or remove songs from a personalized playlist by tapping the “heart” button. This feature provides a convenient way to curate and organize a collection of favorite tracks. On the other hand, Apple Music does not have an exact equivalent to the “Liked Songs” playlist in Spotify.

7. Collaborative playlists

Spotify offers a unique feature called Collaborative Playlists, which allows multiple users to contribute and edit a playlist together. This feature fosters collaboration and makes it easy to create shared playlists for various purposes, such as parties, road trips, or collaborative music discovery.

Collaborators can contribute to the playlist by searching for and adding songs directly, or by browsing through the existing playlist and making changes. The collaborative playlist updates in real-time, so everyone involved can see the modifications made by others instantly.

How to invite a collaborator to a private playlist?

On desktop

  1. Go to the playlist and click Invite collaborators.
  2. This generates a link that’s valid for 7 days.
  3. Share the link to your friends.

On mobile

  1. Go to the playlist and tap the three-dots icon.
  2. Tap Invite collaborators. This generates a link that’s valid for 7 days.
  3. Share the link to your friends.

8. Price

Spotify Premium subscriptions, including individual, family, and student plans, are generally priced $1 cheaper compared to their Apple Music counterparts. Spotify has positioned its pricing structure slightly lower than Apple Music, likely as a competitive strategy to attract and retain subscribers.

9. Social

It’s nice to see what your friends are listening to so you could listen along when not sure what to play. Spotify offers a social feature that allows you to see what your friends are listening to in real-time. This feature, called Friend Activity, enables you to discover new music and listen along with your friends’ choices when you’re not sure what to play.

With Friend Activity, you can view a feed that shows the recent listening activity of your friends who have enabled this feature. It displays the songs, albums, playlists, and artists they are currently playing or have recently listened to.

Note: Friend activity is available on desktop only.

To show or hide Friend Activity:

  1. Click your profile picture at the top, and select Settings.
  2. Under Display, switch See what your friends are playing on, or off.

To show or hide your listening activity showing on your followers’ Friend Activity:


  1. Click your profile picture at the top, and select Settings.
  2. Under Social, switch Show my listening activity on Spotify off.


  1. Tap Home.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Under Privacy & Social (iOS) or Social (Android), switch Listening Activity off.

10. Sleep Timer

Spotify has a built-in sleep timer feature which will automatically turn off your music after a set amount of time. When it comes to Apple Music, only the Android app features sleep timer feature, although there are alternatives to get sleep timer on Mac/Windows/iOS.

Ultimately, the “better” choice between Apple Music and Spotify is subjective and depends on your personal preferences, device ecosystem, and desired features. It may be helpful to try out both services with their respective free trials to see which one aligns better with your needs and musical tastes.

Both of them offer one-month free trial, however you can get longer free trial from promotions.(Apple Music free trial | Spotify free trial)

There are third-party playlist transfer tools available that can make the process of switching between Apple Music and Spotify more convenient. These tools allow you to transfer your playlists, including songs and metadata, from one music streaming service to another with just a few clicks.

These playlist transfer tools typically work by connecting to your Apple Music and Spotify accounts and then analyzing the songs in your playlists. They match the songs between the two platforms and recreate the playlists on the destination service.

By using these tools, you can avoid the manual effort of recreating playlists song by song and preserve your curated collections when switching between Apple Music and Spotify. It can save you time and make the transition smoother, especially if you have a large number of playlists or if you want to keep your music library intact.

It’s worth noting that the availability and functionality of these third-party playlist transfer tools can vary, so it’s recommended to research and choose a reputable and reliable tool that suits your specific needs and requirements.

How to transfer playlists between Spotify and Apple Music?

1. Tune My Music

Tune My Music is an online tool that allows you to convert your music library and playlists from Spotify to Apple Music or vice versa in a few easy steps. Here we will show you how to transfer Spotify playlists to Apple Music as example.

  1. Open in your browser and click Let’s Start.
  2. Select Spotify as the source music platform.
  3. Log in your Spotify account in the pop-up window.
  4. Select playlists you want to convert to Apple Music.
  5. Select Apple Music as the destination.
  6. Click Start Moving My Music.
  7. After transferring your music, open your Music or iTunes app and you will find the Spotify playlist in Apple Music.

However, there are some drawbacks.

  • The songs are not in the same order.
  • Some songs may not be matched.
  • Some artwork are missing.
  • You need an Apple Music subscription.

2. Soundiiz

Soundiiz is a popular third-party service that specializes in playlist transfer and synchronization between different music streaming platforms, including Apple Music and Spotify. It offers a user-friendly interface and a range of features to make the process of transferring playlists between these platforms effortless.

With Soundiiz, you can easily import your playlists from Spotify to Apple Music or vice versa.

  1. Open in your browser and click Start now.
  2. Log in or sign up.
  3. Connect Spotify and choose playlists you want to convert.
  4. Configure your playlist and select songs you want to convert.
  5. Choose Apple Music as destination and log in your Apple Music account.
  6. The converting begins.
  7. After converting, open your Music or iTunes app and you will find the Spotify playlist in Apple Music.
Spotify to Apple Music

Compared to Tune My Music, Soundiiz transfer Spotify playlists to Apple Music in the same order. However, some songs are still missing or with wrong artwork.

How to convert Spotify playlist to Apple Music?

3. Pazu Spotify Converter

Unlike the two tools mentioned above, Pazu Spotify doesn’t transfer Spotify playlists to Apple Music directly. Instead, it helps you download Spotify playlists to MP3, M4A, etc., and then you need to manually import the songs to Apple Music. In this case, there won’t be songs lost.

The advantage of using Pazu Spotify is that it allows you to convert Spotify songs to MP3, which is a widely supported audio format. This means you can play these downloaded songs offline with any media player or device that supports MP3 playback. It provides flexibility in terms of enjoying your favorite Spotify tracks outside of the Spotify app or web player.

With the help of Pazu Spotify Converter, you can download Spotify songs, albums and playlists to MP3, WAV, M4A, FLAC, and other audio formats with Spotify Free or Premium. Then you can add these songs to Music or iTunes even without Apple Music subscription. It will convert Spotify music at high conversion speed for playing in background. The easy step-by-step guide for using Pazu Spotify Music Converter is as follows:

1. Run Pazu Spotify Converter

Download, install and run Pazu Spotify Converter on your Mac or Windows. Log in your Spotify account with the built-in web player. The steps are the same whether you have the Mac or Windows version of Pazu Spotify Converter. Here we will take Mac version as example.

spotify converter

2. Choose output format

Click the gear icon on the top right corner. Here you can select output format (AUTO(M4A)/MP3/AAC/FLAC/WAV/AIFF), choose output audio quality, customize the output path, organize the output files in various ways, rename output files and more.

  • Output Format: M4A, MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV and AIFF
  • Output quality: up to 320kbps for MP3
  • Cover Quality: High(640×640), Middle(300×300) or Low(64×64)
  • Output Folder;
  • Output File Name: Any combination of Title, Artist, Album, Track Number, Playlist Index.
  • Output Organized: Artist, Album. Artist/Album or Album/Artist
  • After Converting: Open the output folder or Put the computer to sleep
  • Interface Language: English, Deutsch, Español, Français, 日本語, 简体中文.
Spotify converter settings

3. Select Spotify music

Use the integrated Spotify web player to search the songs, album, playlist or podcast you want to download. Click the Add to list button to load all songs in the album or playlist, uncheck the songs you don’t want to download if there are any.

drag&drop spotify songs

4. Download and Convert Spotify Songs to Local

Click Convert button to start downloading the Spotify songs to your local computer.

Once the conversion is done, you can find your Spotify songs downloaded as local files by clicking below folder button or directly going to the output folder you customized in the previous step.

remove Spotify DRM

5. Transfer Spotify playlists to Apple Music

Transfer the downloaded Spotify playlists to Music or iTunes app on your Mac or Windows.

On Mac

  1. In the Music app on your Mac, choose File > Add To Library or File > Import. If you selected “Copy files to Music Media folder when adding to library” in Files preferences, you see File > Import.
  2. Locate a file or folder, then click Open. If you add a folder, all the files it contains are added to your library.

You can also drag a file or folder from the Finder to the Music window to import it.

On Windows

  1. In the iTunes app on your PC, choose File > Add File to Library or Add Folder to Library.
  2. Locate a file or folder, then click Open. If you add a folder, all the files it contains are added to your library.

Note: The free trial version of Pazu Spotify Converter enables you to convert the first three minutes of each song. You can remove the trial limitation by purchasing the full version.