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Difference Between Spotify and iTunes

We take a look at the two of the biggest names in the digital music streaming industry – Spotify and iTunes (or Apple Music).


Spotify is a leading digital music streaming platform and one of the most recognized music technology brands out there. Spotify is a world of music that gives you instant access to millions of songs from creators all over the world. It is a Swedish music streaming service that transformed the way people listen to music. Not just music, Spotify also gives you access to podcasts and videos from artists all over the world.

The platform is immediately appealing because you can enjoy the content for free for a limited time period by simply signing up using your email ID or via Facebook. Spotify is smart too; it learns from your listening habits and the type of music you listen to, and presents you with weekly curated playlists to enhance your listening experience.


iTunes is the Apple’s proprietary mobile media management solution and the client app for the iTunes Store. It’s your one-stop digital media library which is also a media player and device management utility. Initially released as a music player for Mac computers, iTunes developed into a versatile multimedia content management solution over time.

iTunes is one of the best ways to be entertained – it has everything from movies, music and TV shows – all in one place. It lets you add to, organize, and play your digital content on your computer, and sync it to your mobile devices. It also allows you play or download songs with Apple Music (with paid subscription). Additionally, it gives you access to the iTunes Store – an online digital media store for purchasing music, movies, audiobooks, podcasts, and e-books for the Apple devices.

Difference between Spotify and iTunes


Spotify is a subscription-based music streaming service that gives you instant access to millions of songs, podcasts and videos from artists all over the world. Basic functions like playing music are free in Spotify, but if you wish to enjoy the premium features like high-quality audio, ad-free music, multiple device support, and more, you can opt for Spotify Premium.

iTunes, on the other hand, is a proprietary mobile media management solution developed by Apple to buy, play and download digital media on Mac computers and Windows computers. iTunes is divided into four channels – Apple Music, Apple TV, Apple Podcasts and Finder. Apple doesn’t support iTunes in MacOS Catalina anymore.

Streaming Quality

Spotify offers four different levels of streaming quality depending on the device you’re using – low at 24kbps, normal streaming at 96kbps, high quality streaming at 160kbps, and very high quality at 320kbps. Spotify uses the lossless Ogg Vorbis format and the very high quality streaming is reserved only for the paid subscribers. Apple Music streams at 256kbps using AAC and automatically switches to adaptive streaming when you stream on cellular network.

Ad Support

While both Apple Music and Spotify are subscription based models, Apple Music is an ad-free streaming service that gives you access to millions of songs and your music library. Apple Music makes sure you won’t be bothered by annoying ads, whether you’re listening to your favorite music, album, or music video. Spotify free plan provides access to millions of songs, but with ads. However, Spotify Premium removes all the ads from the tracks.

Spotify vs. iTunes: Comparison Chart


Overall, both the services have their own fair share of pros and cons, with each suited for users looking for different things from a streaming music platform. Spotify is a complete package with rich features, plethora of offerings, smooth functioning, and a huge user base. The best thing about Spotify; everyone can access its vast music catalog for free but with ad interruptions every now and then. Apple Music is doing everything to cut all the music streaming platforms out of the picture by signing few of the biggest names in the music industry to exclusive deals. This formula has worked out well for Apple, and the new Spatial Audio addition with Dolby Atmos support turned out to be a gamechanger.

What’s the different between Spotify and Apple Music?

One of the main differences between the two services is that Spotify does not ask for money upfront, and users can enjoy all the basic features and access millions of songs for as long as they want, without even paying a dime. 

Can you use Spotify with iTunes?

A recent release of Spotify allows you to manually import playlists from iTunes. You have to select Import Playlists from the drop-down menu and click on iTunes. That’s it.

What is the price difference between Apple Music and Spotify?

Spotify delivers finest quality music at affordable prices. Both offer discounted plans for students. However, with Spotify, you need to have your enrollment status verified. In terms of pricing, there is not much difference between the two services.

What is the catch with Spotify?

Car Thing is the new smart player from Spotify that makes it easier to listen to music in the car. It’s the new in-car entertainment system that plays your favorite music and podcasts on the road.

What’s better Apple Music or Spotify 2020?

Spotify has some great features like collaborative playlists, better social media integration, high-quality music, and more. Apple Music, on the other hand, boasts a massive music library of over 75 million songs. Spotify, however, is a leading name in the digital music streaming arena.

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References :

[0]Biersdorfer, J.D. and David Pogue. iPod: The Missing Manual. California, United States: O'Reilly Media, 2009. Print

[1]Bove, Tony and Cheryl Rhodes. iPod & iTunes For Dummies. New Jersey, United States: John Wiley & Sons, 2008. Print

[2]Eriksson, Maria, et al. Spotify Teardown: Inside the Black Box of Streaming Music. Massachusetts, United States: MIT Press, 2019. Print

[3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Itunes_advanced_input.jpg

[4]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spotify_Badge_(large).png

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