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Sending a song to someone is always a risk.

What if they don’t like it? What if they think you’re trying to make a move? What if they use a dif­ferent streaming service? 

People often debate the advan­tages of Spotify com­pared to Apple Music, and according to respected sources, there’s not a lot of dif­ference. 

According to The Verge, Spotify has the best ser­vices because it is con­sistent across iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows. Apple Music and other ser­vices either take longer to roll out Android ver­sions or the app won’t load. Addi­tionally, Spotify is essen­tially available on all plat­forms. Spotify also has a down­loading option for certain sub­scrip­tions, allowing lis­teners to listen to their music on a plane or loca­tions without using up data. 

However, Spotify fails in its per­for­mance with a weak con­nection, it also does not have what Verge calls a “hi-fi option,” which is a high quality sound that repro­duces how the artist wants the music to sound, with limited noise and dis­tortion. 

Apple Music, according to the Verge, has the element of exclu­sivity. With many high-level artists using Beats 1 — what Apple Music 1 was called before 2020 — , the first chance to hear an artist’s work is usually on Apple Music. Addi­tionally, Apple Music has better sound quality for the base level sub­scription, with Apple Music using an expensive codec — an encoding device which enables faster trans­mission and decom­presses received data— that is dif­ficult to license, while Spotify uses a free codec.

Sound Guys maintain that Spotify Premium still has a better sound quality than Apple Music because Spotify uses a higher level of codec for their web player than their desktop or mobile player. While Spotify’s mobile player uses Ogg Vorbis, the free codec men­tioned earlier, its web player uses AAC, which is the same codec Apple Music uses.

If Apple Music nor Spotify tickle your fancy, another streaming platform available is YouTube Music.

General Manager of the Hillsdale College radio station Scot Bertram uses YouTube Music because it pairs easily with his Google Home devices and con­nects throughout the house. 

When it comes to quality, I always go into the set­tings and jack it up to the highest level pos­sible,” Bertram said, “I find that YouTube Music’s highest quality level is passable enough, if not perfect.

The debate comes down to cost. If you’re willing to pay for a sub­scription, Spotify Premium has better sound quality than Apple Music. However, Apple Music has better base sound quality than the free Spotify.