Streaming services have taken the music industry by storm. Gone are days of buying music albums online or downloading songs from unknown sources. At first, Spotify, Pandora, and some handful of companies were in the race. Now, the competition is fired up with the entry of Apple, Amazon, and Google.
Amazon bundles its music app with Prime video as Amazon Prime membership. It’s not a standalone service and works as an add-on on top of shipping advantages and Prime video.
In this post, we will compare Amazon Music to YouTube Music on the grounds of superior functions and more bang for the buck. After that, we shall conclude which one should you use.
Note: I used both apps on my iPhone XR. For listening experience, I opted for Xiaomi’s Bluetooth speaker and Funcl AI wireless earphones, which supports Qualcomm AptX and CVC Noise cancellation.
YouTube Music is available on iOS and Android. It’s also available on the web. There is no native support for Mac and Windows, though. Google has added support for the company’s smart speakers and Chromecast devices.
Amazon Music is accessible everywhere. You can use the app on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, and Web. It’s also available on Amazon’s smart speakers and Fire TV stick.
User experience does matter in a music streaming service. If a user doesn’t find what he is looking for, then he might switch to another app.
Both YouTube Music and Amazon Music have adopted default dark/grey theme with major options at the bottom.
YouTube Music has kept home, discover, and library menu at the bottom. You can access the downloads, liked songs, albums, etc. from the Library menu.
The profile menu is at the upper right corner, and YouTube should move it to the bottom tabs for an easy access.
Amazon Music felt slightly confusing to me. The home page shows the trending songs and albums. They have divided it into another two sections, including Stations and Playlists.
The recent songs are in a separate tab instead of being in My Music section. I’m glad to see Amazon didn’t bury Alexa interrogation. It’s right on the home screen.
Overall, I would prefer YouTube Music over Amazon in terms of interface. It’s modern and has a better look and feel.
As its case with any Music streaming service, both YouTube Music and Amazon Music ask your favorite artists and language preference during setup.
YouTube Music already has your listening habits through the YouTube app, and unsurprisingly, it does a better job at the recommendation.
The app displays new videos, favorite artists, songs, and playlists based on Collage, Relaxation, Road Trip, Office hours, Gym, and more. There is something for everyone.
The hotlist section shows the trending videos from the YouTube platform. Overall, YouTube Music is a mixture of music albums, videos, and live performances. I like how it has an integrated video section right inside the app.
Amazon is pretty straight forward here. On the home screen, it shows the new songs in banner, playlists, and most popular songs in preferred languages.
You can also browse through trending playlists set by the moderators. Both the apps support millions of songs, and you won’t have a hard time finding a song.
Both apps are jam-packed with features to improve the listening experience.
Amazon Music offers high-quality music downloads at 320kbps. You can use the sleep timer function to close the app after the completion of the playlist automatically.
The company provides loudness normalization, which keeps the overall sound profile at the same level all songs.
Amazon has integrated Alexa integration into the app. With a single tap, you can ask Alexa to play a song. It’s very useful while driving.
YouTube Music also offers high-quality downloads at 320kbps. The app allows you to auto-download mixtape based on your usage. The automated suggestions have been a hit and miss for me.
YouTube has integrated Siri shortcuts support in the app. You can set Siri to open up any playlist and play a song via a set phrase. I’m hoping to see Google Assistant integration in a future update.
The app supports iOS widgets so you can long-press app icon to access downloaded songs directly.
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The equipment on which you are playing the song makes a major difference in the listening experience.
Both Amazon Music and YouTube Music were flawless on my Funcl AI wireless earbuds. Amazon's app had problems with tap gestures. Sometimes it won’t resume the song on my earbuds.
I like how Amazon offers Alexa integration and mirror casting support in the playing screen. I frequently use the mirror cast option to forward the current song to the connected device.
YouTube Music provides stats for nerds with every song. In music playing screen, tap on the three-dot menu and select stats. You will find all the technical details such as Framedrop, Net Activity, codes, and more in the little dialog box.
Always remember, if you truly care about listening experience, then invest in better quality headphones or earphones to get the maximum out of these streaming services.
Amazon Music is a part of Amazon Prime subscription, which costs $99 per year in the US and Rs 1000 in India. The bundle includes faster delivery, early access to Amazon sales, and subscription to Prime Video service.
For YouTube Music, you can separately purchase the service at $10/month or opt for YouTube Premium at $12/month, which lets you access ad-free YouTube app, download videos, and keep the videos running in the background.
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Which One You Should Use
Both apps are tied to different ecosystems. Based on the price point, if you are tied to Prime subscription, then Amazon Music is the way to go. If you consume YouTube a lot, then it makes sense to invest in Google’s ecosystem.
Talking about features, YouTube Music provides better recommendations and discovery functions with live performance and video. Amazon Music has Alexa integration and mirror casting support. Also, don’t forget the upcoming lossless audio streaming addiction soon.
Next Up: Have you decided to ditch Spotify in favor of YouTube Music? Read the post below on transferring playlist from one platform to another.