Spotify: Music's best streaming service or overrated

Two Journal editors battle it out over the popular streaming service

Spotify logo
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For Spotify

I’m embarrassed to admit that up until last year, I was listening to music via youtube2mp3.com. That is, until I came into contact with my one true love – Spotify.

Before this discovery, I’d dedicate at least two hours each month to finding all the new music I liked on YouTube, converting them to MP3 files and dragging them over and renaming them in my iTunes – which, as someone who’s grown up in a world full of technology, was a little pathetic.

I decided to start off light with my new music source by solely using the free Spotify since I didn’t want to commit to something I may not actually like. But instead of feeling disappointed, I was hooked. I lasted about two weeks using the free version until deciding to treat myself to the student Spotify Premium deal and quickly I became a fan and an unofficial brand ambassador.

After hours spent sitting and downloading music to my iTunes, suddenly having all the music I could possibly imagine at my fingertips was a dream come true.

The Best of The Dixie Chicks playlist? Check. All eight of John Mayer’s albums? Check. That playlist my friend played at her last party? Check.

Not only can you access so much different music and such great playlists (I recommend “Girl’s Night Out – Sangria” for the best early to mid 2000s throwbacks), the ability to download the songs saves a lot of data – which let’s be real, we all need – and finally saves you from that annoying “storage is almost full” reminder message.

Spotify is basically like the best mix tape you’ve ever had but it’s even better because it’s conveniently stored on your phone.

One of the reasons I first became a Spotify fan was because of how easy it is to use. I might be a millennial, technically speaking, but most technology is lost on me so having an app I can use easily with no prior instruction is priceless.

I’ve been a die hard Spotify fan since my discovery last year and I don’t know how I’d go a day without it to play my Queen’s dedicated playlist or Demi Lovato’s new album on repeat. 

—Shivani Gonzalez, Lifestyle Editor

Against Spotify

Let’s start with this — I never asked for Spotify. 

Every morning starts with a cup of coffee and a side of music – it doesn’t really matter what the track is, I kind of just play it by ear. So, a few weeks back, when I opened my Apple Music to find it had been deactivated, I was seriously caught off guard.

I have a family plan on the app, so I texted my father, “Everything alright with the Apple Music?”

Stressed about the idea of having to use YouTube for music, I grew antsy with his delayed response and shot him another text — this time a single question mark.

He responded within the minute, knowing clearly I was in a state of frenzy.

“Yes,” he replied, implying everything was alright. “Spotify.”

I used the Spotify streaming service that day — reluctantly, of course — but I used it just because I needed my music. I’ve hated the thing ever since.

Perhaps I’m biased and simply an Apple Music fan, but I have my reasons.

I’m old-fashioned and I don’t care for curated playlists. I want my music and the songs I like, and while Spotify may have better playlists — it probably does — the app doesn’t exactly make it easy to download songs for offline use.

With Apple Music’s search engine, the process by which you download a song is so straightforward there’s no need to Google it. It’s two taps of the same, single button — one for the save to your library option, the other to download for offline listening.

With Spotify, it’s tricky. You first save a song — which is rather easy — but for it to download it requires shifting all the way back to your library, finding the song you just saved, and then hitting the download option.

My father rationalized the shift in streaming services by proposing that Spotify had a “better interface.” In other words, it’s more welcoming and easier to find your
way around.

But in what world is an all-black interface welcoming? Spotify mixes in some green with its display, sure, but Apple Music is bright and it’s got a great blend of colors. It makes me want to listen to music. And, aside from its aesthetic qualities, this “better interface” thing is kind of debunked when we throw in the idea that it’s difficult to download songs for offline use.

What’s clear to me, though, and without a sliver of doubt, is that Apple Music trumps Spotify by a country mile — and the proof is in the pudding.

—Sebastian Bron, Sports Editor

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