Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Which Is Better?.YouTube Music has been the successor to Google Play Music since 2017. Like Apple Music and Spotify, it has become one of the most popular music streaming services. While it’s easy to say that Apple Music has the best sound quality, YouTube Music has an extensive library. In fact, YouTube Music will let you listen to some unofficial releases that you won’t find on any other streaming app.Choosing between Apple Music and YouTube Music is not an easy task. You will have to ask yourself what you need and what you want from music streaming services. To help you make your decision, this article compares Apple and YouTube Music features, such as subscription plans and pricing, quality of content and audio streaming, or ease of use. Also, check out our Spotify vs Apple Music comparison to help you make the best decision.
Overview of Apple Music
In 2015, Apple launched its streaming service called Apple Music. It replaced the famous iTunes and introduced new features for streaming. Apple Music is available in 168 countries and has a library of over 100 million songs. With Apple Music, you can create your own playlists, watch music videos, and listen to live radio stations. Unfortunately, this streaming service does not offer podcasts and audiobooks to its users. This is because Apple has a separate Apple Podcast and Apple Books service. Perhaps in the future, Apple will consider combining the three services and hosting them in one place.
Overview of YouTube Music
YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, owns YouTube Music. This service was launched as Music Key in 2014, but it wasn’t until 2018 that it changed and became popular. By 2020, it has completely replaced Google Play Music. YouTube Music is the fourth most popular streaming app with 80 million paying subscribers and over 2.6 billion users worldwide. The service is available in 101 countries and boasts a library of 70 million official songs. With unofficial tracks, that number easily reaches 100 million.Like Apple Music, YouTube Music doesn’t offer audiobooks or podcasts. Google has a separate service called Google Podcasts and audiobooks are available on Google Play.
Price can play a big role when choosing a streaming service. However, the difference between Apple Music and YouTube Music is not the deciding factor as the cost difference is negligible. Take a look at a quick breakdown in the table below:
|Free plan< td>Individual Premium Plan||Family Plan||Student Plan||Additional Plans|
|Apple Music||No||$10.99 per month||$16.99/month for a group of up to 6 people||$5.99/month||Voice $4.99/month < /td>|
|YouTube Music||Yes||$9.99 per month|
$99.99 per year
|$14.99 per month for up to 5 people||$4.99 per month||N/A|
Apple Music and YouTube Music subscriptions automatically renew every month. But you can cancel them at any time and your subscription will end at the end of the billing cycle.In addition, both music streaming services offer a free three-month trial period. But only YouTube Music has a completely free subscription plan that includes ads. This might be the best option if you don’t have the budget for a music streaming service and can tolerate commercials, although they can be skipped after a few seconds. For an ad-free experience, you’ll have to pay for one of the top-tier subscription plans.If you insist on getting Apple Music but are on a budget, Voice is the cheapest option. But keep in mind that it’s only available for compatible Siri-enabled devices and only in certain countries.
For most users, sound quality is the most important aspect when streaming audio. Apple Music wins here. However, the average listener may not notice the difference. Only professionals and audiophiles would find YouTube Music unsatisfactory. In 2021, Apple Music made Spatial Audio and Lossless Audio available to all of its subscribers at no additional cost. These two features make Apple’s streaming platform excellent, especially with Dolby Atmos. Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) ensures that all the original details of an audio file are preserved. This means that you will hear the songs exactly as the artists recorded them and wanted you to listen to them.Finally, Apple Music transfers ACC files at 256kbps, while YouTube Music’s current audio quality is 128kbps. However, YouTube lets you choose a lower streaming bitrate if you’re concerned about mobile data usage. However, Apple Music wins overall in the audio quality department.
Both Apple Music and YouTube Music have a fairly simple interface. But they are very different from each other.
Apple Music User Interface
Apple Music has a gray interface with various tabs at the top of the screen (or at the bottom on the mobile app). From here, you can easily navigate to Library, For You, Browser, and Radio. It is simple and minimalistic, so it is very user friendly.
YouTube Music User Interface
As simple as Apple Music but with an even more minimalist design, YouTube Music’s user interface is clean and tidy. Various tabs let you access the YouTube music catalog, your personal music library, recently played content, and listening recommendations.
Mobile, Desktop, and Web Apps
The Apple Music and YouTube Music mobile apps are available for iOS and Android. But Apple Music is preinstalled on all iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. Whichever one you choose, you will have access to a full-screen media player that will display all of the album and artist information as you listen. You can add new songs to your playlists, queue songs or share music directly from the mobile app.Note: The YouTube Music mobile app won’t let you listen to music without interruption if you switch the app or lock your screen if you’re using the free tier. This feature is only available to Premium subscribers. Apple Music in iTunes for PC and Mac is similar to its mobile app, albeit with a less modern design. However, it has a Smart Playlist feature that is not available on the mobile app. This feature will automatically create a personalized playlist based on your favorite genre, liked or disliked tracks, or the date they were added to iCloud. Thanks to Smart Playlist, you don’t have to manually add songs to your playlist as often. Apple doesn’t have its own web browser app, and YouTube Music doesn’t have an official desktop app. But you can use various workarounds and listen to your favorite music streaming service on any device. You can use Musish to listen to Apple Music online. Similarly, use a web browser to install YouTube Music on your desktop as a Progressive Web App (PWA).
Music Library and Offline Listening
You can expect access to extensive libraries if you pay for an Apple or YouTube Music subscription. However, if you enjoy listening to unofficially released music, song covers, and user-generated remixes, YouTube Music is for you. This will allow you to explore new music beyond what is being produced by major labels.In terms of offline listening, Google does not limit the number of tracks you can download from YouTube Music. You can install them on any of your devices and listen even if you don’t have internet access. On the other hand, Apple Music allows you to upload 100,000 songs to your library. You can then sync the iCloud Music Library feature across devices. Use your Apple ID to listen to your downloaded tracks anywhere, anytime.
The Music Discovery Feature
When you sign up for the service, Apple Music will ask you to select your favorite artists. This is how the application gets an idea of your taste. It then uses a special algorithm to update the For You section with new releases or musical offerings. YouTube Music doesn’t have such a simple search feature. However, over time, you will notice that your home section is filled with similar music that you tend to listen to most often. This is done based on your likes and dislikes for specific songs. If you sync an existing playlist with your library, the Google algorithm will learn your preferences and suggest tracks you might like.
Apple Music works best on Apple devices. You can enjoy it on iOS, MacOS, iPadOS, Apple Watch, Apple TV and HomePod devices. In addition, you can also link the Apple Music app to Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos devices. As for YouTube Music users, you can use Google or Amazon Echo line of smart speakers to listen to tunes through the app. You can use any device that has access to YouTube. However, you will need to use the Alexa app to change the default music player for some of them.
Listening in the Car
Apple has its own CarPlay system that supports Apple Music and Google Play Music. If your car doesn’t have CarPlay, you can use Bluetooth to play any of these streaming services through your car entertainment system. You can also choose a cable connection, built-in app, or Android Auto app to play Apple Music or YouTube Music through your phone.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, choosing a streaming service comes down to personal preference. Apple Music and YouTube Music offer unique features, advantages and disadvantages. If you’re a dedicated Apple fan and already a proud owner of the Apple ecosystem, then Apple Music is the right choice for you. You will have an incredible user interface, a fantastic music library and an app with some cool features.But if you have Android devices and are already used to the YouTube and Google apps, you will feel right at home with YouTube Music. Plus, YouTube Music is a slightly cheaper service with a great free plan available to everyone. So if you can’t afford to pay for yet another streaming service, YouTube Music is the obvious choice.
Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Which Is Better?
Apple Music vs. YouTube Music: Which Is Better?