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Apple Music still has a lot to learn from Spotify

Published Jan 8th, 2019 6:04PM EST
Apple Music Vs Spotify
Image: Shutterstock

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At the end of every year, Spotify releases its Spotify Wrapped feature which provides users with a detailed snapshot of what music they listened to the most over the previous 12 months. In addition to listing which genres, artists and songs were played the most often, the feature also lets you know how many minutes you spent on Spotify for the year. The information isn’t necessarily important, but it doesn’t even matter because it’s fun. It essentially adds a sense of whimsy to the Spotify experience.

The same, however, can’t be said for Apple Music which can sometimes feel a bit cold by comparison. Consider this: Spotify Wrapped is such a widely loved feature that Federico Viticci of MacStories decided to make something similar for Apple Music. That Viticci had to resort to doing this on his own speaks to Apple’s failure to appreciate how even a tiny and simple feature can connect with subscribers in a very real way.

Viticci himself acknowledges as much with the following blurb:

I’ve always been annoyed by the lack of a similar feature in Apple Music; I’m surprised that Apple still hasn’t added a native “Year in Review” option – a baffling omission given how the company is already collecting all of the necessary data points in the cloud. Official “Apple Music Wrapped” functionality would bolster the service’s catalog of personalized features, providing users with a “reward” at the end of the year in the form of reports and playlists to help them rediscover what they listened to over the past year.

Rolling out a similar feature is truly a no-brainer but apparently Apple views things otherwise.

So what else does Apple Music have to learn from Spotify? Well, there’s still not a full-featured web player version of Apple Music. While that’s not a problem if you have your phone handy, it can be a huge headache in other situations. And let’s be honest, who wants to access Apple Music through iTunes these days?

As a result, and similar to Viticci’s work, some folks have developed their own solutions to fill in the gaps where Apple Music comes up short. Just last month, for example, a Redditor with the handle NaveedGol put together an Apple Music web player that’s pretty slick.

All in all, it’s a sad state of affairs that some basic and fun features that have been part of Spotify for years only exist on the Apple Music side of the fence because of the hard work from individual users.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.

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