Apple Music vs. Amazon Prime Music
The ability to stream music has really changed the whole music industry and how people consume music. There are so many streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music and many more. I am going to focus on the two that I am familiar with and that I use personally. I currently use both Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music services. As my 3 free months with Apple Music has ended, I felt it was a perfect time to write how I feel about this service and compare it to Amazon’s service as I have been using that one for about 6 months.
There are definite differences between the two and one is by far superior to the other, but I have found a use and a reason to have both and I will discuss that later. First, lets talk about what each service offers and which is the better service for that item.
There are two features that I think are the most important. The first feature is music selection. What artists and songs does each service offer? Are they artist I like? Is the selection enough to satisfy me? Here is what I have found:
Apple Music: Apple Music has over 40,000,000 songs to choose from on its service. I don’t think Spotify even has that many. It pretty much has anything you could ever imagine. I enjoy the selection as I never know what will strike my fancy. I can go from Rolling Stones Greatest Hits or just listen to Sticky Fingers. They don’t have the new Adele album “25” yet on the service, but they can’t possibly have everything. However, I can still stream that album since I own it (I will talk more about that later).
Amazon Prime Music: Amazon Prime Music is no where close to as robust when it comes to selection. I haven’t an exact number, but I know it is more than 1,000,000 just not sure how much more. In my personal music library I have so many songs and playlists that when I tried to mirror that library in Amazon Prime Music, I was barely able to get ½ of those songs. Sadly, it didn’t even have much from some of my favorite artists. Only 1 or 2 albums by Def Leppard, Collective Soul, Kiss, Bon Jovi. Their selection was limited on new albums and current hits and it was really disappointing. What was even worse, some of their songs are re-recordings and not the original versions. And a lot of the various artists albums aren’t even performed by the original artists.
WINNER – APPLE MUSIC
The second feature I feel is the most important is if can I stream my personal collection through the service. I have over 18,000 songs and playlists already created and don’t want to have to recreate the wheel, so to speak.
Apple Music: Apple Music allows me to stream my ENTIRE music collection through the service, including current playlists that I had already created. Why do I love this so much? I have been carrying around my iPhone and an iPod because I have so much music. I couldn’t have it all with me as the iPhone doesn’t have the data storage capacity. Now that I can stream my entire collection, I no longer carry my iPod to work with me…only my phone.
Amazon Prime Music: From what I can figure out with Amazon Prime Music is I can only upload 250 of my songs to the cloud for streaming. That is right, only 250 songs!!! I have way more so that won’t work. Since their library doesn’t have but only about ½ of my collection, that is a lot of songs I own that I can’t stream on the service. Not exactly a good selling point. This also means I would have to create my own playlists from scratch again. Which I did…and that sucked.
WINNER – APPLE MUSIC
Can Multiple People Stream at Same Time?
Another feature that I care about is if multiple people stream at the same time on different devices. I have 2 girls and one that is starting to love music as much as I do and that is actually a little scary. However, I am so excited as I think music is the best things ever created.
Apple Music: Apple has two price points – An individual service for $9.99 or a family package for $14.99 a month. Perfect, I need the family service and at $14.99 a month to me is reasonable as that is about the cost of what CDs used to cost and I would buy more than one of month of those.
Amazon Prime Music: Amazon Prime Music does not let more than one person at a time stream from the service as my daughter and I found out. However, the fun part of that is when I was streaming music on my Amazon Echo, Alexa told me someone else was streaming at the same time and asked if I would like to stop them from streaming. I would naturally say yes and then I would hear my daughter scream that I stopped her music. Oh, the little joys of life. Reality is that only one person at a time can stream which completely and utterly sucks.
WINNER – APPLE MUSIC
Can the service be streamed from the Amazon Echo? Since I own one, that is a little important to me. Nothing cooler than going…”Alexa, play Matt Nathanson”…and a second later his songs start playing.
Apple Music: Apple music cannot be played on Amazon Echo. You can stream it through Bluetooth.
Amazon Prime Music: Of course you can play Amazon Prime Music on the “Amazon” Echo. That is the one saving grace for Amazon Prime Music. When I am really lazy (which is often), I can tell Alexa what to play and she does (of course that is she will play it if they have it available to stream).
WINNER – AMAZON PRIME MUSIC
Sometimes I want to just listen to random music or music similar to a specific artists, genre, or decade. Which service has the best radio stations?
Apple Music: Apple Music has radio stations for different genres and you can pick almost any artist and listed to that artist plus artist that are considered similar to that artist. Since they have such a great selection of music, you get a good variety of songs. The major downside, in my opinion, is that they do not have radio stations by decades such as an 80’s Pop or 80’s Rock station. I think they really need to beef up those options.
Amazon Prime Music: Amazon’s stations have an edge on station variety. You can get an all 80’s station or a 90’s alternative station. A lot more station choices than you have with Apple Music. The downside is that the selection of songs on the stations is weak due to the lack of catalogue.
WINNER – NONE – Disappointed in both equally
I still enjoy watching a video every now and then as I am a child of MTV when MTV actually played videos.
Apple Music: Yes, Apple Music has videos that you can stream as well as a section called “Connect” which is all types of videos from your favorite artists not just music videos. Now their selection isn’t as varied as say Vevo, but it still has some decent choices. I was able to put together a nice Def Leppard video playlist.
Amazon Prime Music: Nope, no music videos. But you can stream Prime Video since you have the Prime membership…just not the same thing as music videos.
WINNER – APPLE MUSIC
Ease of Use / Functionality
How easy is the site/app to use and does it have good functionality?
Apple Music: Apple’s app and iTunes site are easy to manage and maneuver. They have an area called “Recommendations” that recommends playlists and albums based on your listening preferences. They have a section titled “New” that gives you all the new albums out for the week as well as the Top Played Songs, Albums, Video’s and Playlists. They also have the “Radio” and “Connect” section I mentioned above. All are nicely worked into the iTunes app and similar functionality whether in iTunes or your phone.
Amazon Prime Music: Amazon doesn’t feel as easy or intuitive as Apple Music. The website and the app have different functionality and aren’t as seamless. When you search an artist, the design of the results isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as Apple Music. When you click on the artist, it gives you every song by that artist and you have to scroll through the list to find your album. With Apple Music, it pulls up the artist, has a write-up on a lot of the artist, shows the top songs and albums and is much easier to search through what you want. Amazon Prime Music does have recommendations, a new release section and radio stations, but I don’t like its functionality.
WINNER – APPLE MUSIC
Apple Music: WINNER – No surprise on which one I think is best. The fact my original 18,000 song library and playlists can stream through the service whether or not they actually have it in their library and that multiple people can listen at the same time is enough to sway me to Apple Music. Add in everything else and it makes that service even more enticing to me. I will find it hard to ever stop using it as I use it everyday and is my new addiction.
Amazon Prime Music: Amazon Prime Music is actually a great value since it comes with Amazon Prime, so with it you get Free 2 Day Shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music, and I get to borrow one book a month from their lending library and even get a free ebook every month. Since I also like to read, this is very nice deal. So I am not saying Amazon Prime Music is not a reasonable service to use. I am only saying it is not a great service if that is the only reason you are doing Amazon Prime. I actually enjoy Prime so I will always have this option and until Amazon Echo allows Apple Music, it will still get used, maybe not as often.
In the future, I will try out the paid services for Pandora and Spotify and give my opinions on those as well. However, they have big shoes to fill to beat Apple Music.
What services do you recommend and would you like to see a review?