Elias Pelcastre

Sorry Apple, I’m staying with Spotify

Apple Music’s free trial ended yesterday. I spent all day debating whether to join or cancel my subscription to Apple’s new streaming service.

Apple Music‘s $9.99 a month sounds an awful lot of money to pay for streaming music that will never be yours. Think about it: you will probably listen to the same album over and over again.

Why not buying a $9.99 album every month? That means you will own the music that you like instead of paying almost $10 for an “endless” library that you will probably never listen.

I tell you this from my point of view. Yes, Apple Music’s “For You” section offers a good number of playlists that get you listening to music that you have probably forgot existed.

But I always end up playing the albums I like, including James Blunt’s “Back to Bedlam” and the new The Weeknd’s “Beauty Behind the Madness”.

If you have the money to buy albums and subscribe to Apple Music, awesome. No need to worry. But if, like me, feel that spending $10 a month for music that will never be yours, I recommend you stick to Spotify.

Why? Spotify offers a free tier on iPad that lets you select any song you like and listen to it anytime you want just with a few ads. Spotify gives you half an hour without sponsors after watching a short video.

iPhone user may find it trickier, as the smartphone version of Spotify only offers shuffle playing. You can create a playlist with your favorite tracks or listen to your favorite album on shuffle mode.

Google Play Music is a good companion service that works as an online library to store 50 thousand tracks for free. You can listen to them without any restriction on up to five mobile devices and five desktop or laptop computers.

I know the ad-supported Spotify version doesn’t support offline tracks, but owners of 16 GB devices – like me – don’t have much room to maneuver.

And if you think about it, if you buy one digital record a month you will end up owning 12 albums a year that you can download and erase at any time thanks to iTunes in the Cloud.

Buying digital albums, and using Spotify to enjoy individual tracks, like premieres from your favorite artist or a catchy song you heard on the radio, seem like a sensible approach. What do you think?