Battle of the Music Streaming Services: Apple Music vs. Amazon Music

When it comes to choosing between Apple Music vs Amazon Music, and iTunes, it ultimately depends on your personal preferences and the devices you use. Apple Music provides a seamless integration with your existing iTunes library, making it an excellent choice for Apple device users. Amazon Music offers a comprehensive music streaming experience, with a vast library and device compatibility across multiple platforms. iTunes, while still available for purchase, is gradually being replaced by Apple Music. Consider your music preferences, device ecosystem, and desired features to make the best choice for your music streaming needs.

Apple Music vs Amazon Music

In the ever-evolving world of music streaming, three major players have emerged as popular choices for music lovers: Apple Music, Amazon Music, and iTunes. Each of these services offers unique features and benefits, catering to diverse preferences and needs. In this post, we’ll compare and contrast these platforms to help you make an informed decision about which one suits you best.

amazon music unlimited vs apple music

  • Music Library

Apple Music: Apple Music boasts an extensive music library with over 75 million songs. It covers a wide range of genres and includes exclusive releases and live performances. Additionally, Apple Music integrates seamlessly with your existing iTunes library, allowing you to access your personal music collection alongside its streaming catalog.

  • Amazon Music

Amazon Music offers a vast collection of over 70 million songs, covering a broad spectrum of genres. It also provides access to exclusive albums and tracks, including releases from popular artists. Moreover, Amazon Music allows you to import and play your music library, providing a comprehensive music experience.

  • iTunes

iTunes, while primarily known as a music store, offers a vast selection of songs for purchase. However, it’s important to note that iTunes is gradually being phased out and replaced by Apple Music. As a standalone service, iTunes is limited compared to the streaming capabilities of Apple Music and Amazon Music.

Winner: Apple Music and Amazon Music offer comparable music libraries, but Apple Music gets the edge due to its seamless integration with your existing iTunes library.

  • Streaming Features:

Apple Music: Apple Music provides a range of features, including curated playlists, personalized recommendations, and the ability to create custom playlists. It also offers exclusive content, such as artist interviews and documentaries. With Apple Music, you can stream music in high quality and download songs for offline listening.

  • Amazon Music:

Amazon Music offers similar features to Apple Music, including personalized recommendations, curated playlists, and the ability to create your own playlists. It also provides exclusive content, such as Amazon Originals and Alexa voice control integration. Additionally, Amazon Music offers a unique feature called “Amazon Music HD,” which provides high-definition audio streaming for audiophiles.

iTunes: As a music store, iTunes doesn’t offer the same streaming features as Apple Music and Amazon Music. It primarily focuses on individual song and album purchases.

Winner: Apple Music and Amazon Music offer comparable streaming features, but Amazon Music gains an advantage with its Amazon Music HD option for high-definition audio streaming.

  • Device Compatibility:

Apple Music: Apple Music is seamlessly integrated with Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches. It’s also available on Android devices and can be accessed via web browsers.

Amazon Music: Amazon Music is compatible with a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, web browsers, Amazon Echo devices, and Fire TV products. It caters to both Apple and Android users, making it versatile in terms of device compatibility.

iTunes: iTunes is primarily designed for Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, and Macs. However, its streaming capabilities are being transitioned to Apple Music, which is available on a broader range of platforms.

Winner: Amazon Music takes the lead in device compatibility, as it is accessible on a wider range of devices, including Apple and Android products.

Apple Music vs Amazon Music: Price

Amazon Music offers a free tier that allows users to listen to its library of 100 million songs in shuffle mode. For an enhanced experience, Amazon Music Unlimited is available at a monthly cost of $8.99 for individual subscribers or $89 annually for Prime members. The service provides unrestricted access to the full Amazon Music library.

Apple Music has a straightforward pricing structure, with no free tier. The standard individual plan costs $10.99 per month, while the student plan is priced at $5.99 per month. The family subscription, which provides access to up to six accounts, costs $16.99 per month. For the latest ways to trial Apple Music for free, please refer to their official website.
  • Free Plans

Amazon Music provides a limited free tier, allowing users to play selected playlists with a restriction of two song skips. If users try to play other content, they are directed to a station based on their selection, which also has a limit of two skips. In contrast, Apple Music does not offer any free tiers and requires a paid subscription to access its content.

  • Individual Plans: Apple Music vs Amazon Music

Apple Music offers an individual subscription for $10.99/£10.99 per month, providing access to the full music catalog along with additional features like Apple Music Classical and Apple Music Sing.

Amazon Music has different plans and pricing options. Amazon Prime members receive Amazon Music Prime for free, which grants access to over 100 million songs. A Prime subscription costs $14.99 per month or $139 per year (£8.99 per month or £95 per year in the UK) and includes other perks like free deliveries and Prime Video.

However, Amazon Music Prime has limitations. When selecting specific content, it can only be played in Shuffle mode, mixed with “similar songs” from different artists or albums. There is a limit of six skips per hour. Curated playlists called All-Access playlists offer unlimited skips and the ability to play songs in order or download them for offline listening. On voice devices like Echo Dot, these playlists are only available in shuffle mode with the same skip limit.

For more control over music selection, users can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited. The Individual Plan costs $10.99 per month for non-Prime members, while Prime members need to pay an additional $8.99/£8.99 per month. Amazon Music Unlimited provides complete access to the catalog without shuffle modes or skip limits. It also supports HD audio and includes over 7 million songs in Ultra HD audio.

  • Family Plans: Apple Music vs Amazon Music

Both Apple Music and Amazon Music offer family plans that allow up to six people to share a subscription. Each account has full access to the service with separate libraries, and music can be played simultaneously on up to six devices.

The Apple Music Family Plan is priced at $16.99/£16.99 per month.

The Amazon Music Unlimited Family Plan is available for $15.99/£16.99 per month, with the option for Amazon Prime members to pay an annual price of $159 per year.

  • Student Plans

Both Apple Music and Amazon Music offer discounted subscriptions for verified students. To qualify, students need to verify their student status through a third-party validation service.

The Amazon Music Unlimited Student Plan and the Apple Music Student Plan both cost $5.99/£5.99 per month.

Apple Music vs Amazon Music: Library & Sound Quality

apple music vs. amazon music

Amazon Music Unlimited allows users to play their library of 100 million songs without shuffle mode, while Apple Music also offers over 100 million songs and includes a podcast library. Platform-exclusive releases are now rare, so both services offer a similar selection of songs.

  • Sound Quality:

Both Apple Music and Amazon Music offer impressive sound quality with their lossless audio formats. Apple Music provides “CD-quality” at 16-bit/44.1 kHz and supports true Hi-Res Audio up to 24-bit/192 kHz. However, Hi-Res output is not supported on Windows desktops.

On the other hand, Amazon Music HD, included with Amazon Music Unlimited, offers a choice between CD-quality 16-bit/44.1 kHz and Hi-Res 24-bit/192 kHz formats. For optimal quality on mobile devices, an external DAC may be required. It’s worth noting that there can be some glitches when selecting high-res content on Amazon Music HD, which may default to lower output settings on laptops.

In terms of sound quality, both services are on par with each other when it comes to lossless audio formats.

  • Apple Music vs. Amazon Music: Devices

Apple Music is compatible with various Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, and HomePod. It is also available on Android, PCs, game consoles, Roku devices, smart TVs, Sonos, and Google Nest. Additionally, Apple Music can be accessed through Amazon Echo devices.

Amazon Music is accessible on Amazon Echo devices, Fire TV, and Fire tablets. It is compatible with iOS devices, Android, Mac, PC, game consoles, smart TVs, Roku devices, and Sonos.

  • Apple Music vs Amazon Music: Additional Features

Apple Music has some exclusive features, such as the Apple Music Classical app, tailored specifically for classical music enthusiasts. It offers a dedicated experience for discovering and enjoying classical works. Apple Music Sing is another unique feature that allows users to adjust or remove vocals from compatible songs, enabling them to create their own karaoke tracks. Additionally, Apple Music Replay generates a playlist and provides statistics based on a user’s listening habits throughout the year, similar to Spotify Wrapped.

On the other hand, Amazon Music offers a free tier, which is not available on Apple Music. Amazon Prime subscribers also gain access to the entire Amazon Music catalog, although some limitations may apply.

Apple Music vs Amazon Music: Which is the top-value music app?

While Amazon Music’s entry-level tier is limited, its Prime tier, which includes access to the entire music library of 100 million songs, has improved. However, to go beyond shuffle mode, an additional $8.99 per month is required on top of Prime membership. Apple Music, on the other hand, offers a more user-friendly experience and delivers a better overall user experience, despite its higher price. While Amazon Music may be a better fit for those on a tight budget, Apple Music stands out as the preferred choice, especially for those who can take advantage of its spatial audio feature.

Apple Music vs Amazon Music vs Spotify

When comparing Spotify Premium and Apple Music, Spotify emerges as the clear winner for most people. Priced similarly to Apple Music, Spotify offers a compelling range of features, including community features like Spotify Wrapped and Spotify Connect for seamless streaming across devices. Moreover, Spotify provides the best free tier, allowing users to listen to millions of songs without any cost. While Apple Music offers potential advantages for Apple device users with lossless and spatial music, Spotify remains a better choice for both iOS and Android users. For audiophiles, Qobuz stands out with its excellent sound quality and high-res download store.

Apple Music vs Amazon Music verdict

amazon music vs. apple music

Overall, there isn’t much difference between Apple Music and Amazon Music in terms of the number of available songs and various package options. Both services offer over 100 million songs and provide features like ad-free listening, music discovery, Dolby Atmos support, and access to spatial audio. They also have family plans at the same price, allowing usage on up to six devices.

However, Amazon Music stands out for offering a free basic plan, making it a good option for those on a budget, although it is limited to shuffle mode. On the other hand, Apple Music excels at high-level music quality.

To make a decision, it’s recommended to try them out during their respective free trial periods. Both Apple Music and Amazon Music offer a one-month free trial, allowing users to test the services and determine which one suits them best.

Amazon Music Unlimited vs Apple Music

Amazon Music Unlimited currently offers an extensive three-month free trial, providing unlimited access to its library of 90 million tracks. Subscribers can enjoy features such as unlimited skips, hands-free listening with Alexa, and access to over 70,000 podcasts, including popular titles like Serial and Pod Save America. Additionally, Amazon Music Unlimited includes lossless audio streaming, as the previous Amazon Music HD tier is now integrated into the service. The only drawback is that audiobooks are not included, but Amazon offers a separate service called Audible for that purpose.

Amazon Music vs Unlimited: Which service is better for you?

Amazon Music offers a free basic tier, but it comes with limitations such as shuffle-only playback. For a more comprehensive and premium experience, Amazon Music Unlimited is recommended. It provides unlimited skips, offline listening, and HD and Ultra HD tracks. Despite the price, the additional perks, including the family plan option, make it worthwhile for music enthusiasts.
Apple Music vs Amazon Music: Battle of the Streaming Services

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