Two weeks of Apple Music and back to the market leader

Liner Notes and Spatial Audio for discerning eyes and ears don’t permanently entice if a lot of the previous user experience is missing. A really interesting view of the top dogs in the music business.

The quality of our ears and devices is arguably critical to the better wired experience. If the software or app doesn’t fit, the good experience is worthless. Roon is looking for exactly this path. Of course, there is always something left to do in highly competitive product management.

Interesting comparison of the 2 services. The writer gives more weight to the social aspects and less to the SQ. Skews to a different market I think, certainly in my case. Also seems that most of the reviewer’s listening is done on headphones.


So the things better on Spotify are “user interface”, “social”, and “podcasts”? Interesting weighting that makes these beat “Immersive audio”, “better sound quality”, “deep dive on artists” and “value for money”. If not for the conclusion, you’d think Apple Music smashed it. Certainly for people who care at all about audio quality it seems Apple is the clear winner. I think what you have here is a case of you can’t overcome “user interface bias in two weeks”. Try to get someone who has lived on Windows for years to switch to Mac in a two week window - not gonna happen - or vice versa. “More familiar with” is not necessarily “better”. For example comparing a feature that takes a full year to populate with a feature you’ve tried for 2 weeks.

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@BCBC @Russell_Skingsley I think everyone has his own reflection on this article. For audiophiles here SQ is in 1st place in the choice of provider. However, no one would think of making Spatial Audio the only criterion for a decision.

For many of us, only Roon bundled with Tidal, Qobuz, and very high-quality HiFi Roon Ready partners occupies the nerdy SQ gold standard.

The competition between Apple and Spotify is primarily in the consumer segment via Android/iOS on mobile for the younger set. These customers are very reluctant to lose their simple earbuds or the Spotify app on their iPhone. The majority of the exchange of links to music takes place there.

The small voice-controlled table orbs are also hardly perceived as a competitive product. Here, Apple and Amazon play the consumer market with fighting prices and not the best quality.

I think the overall concept is not conclusive. It starts with the definition of the target group. Do you want the customers of Spotify or Roon? The one pay half nothing and are satisfied despite advertising. The others want SQ at the highest level. Only how big is this group in the overall market. Is it already enough for mass market?

It took me 10 minutes searching on Spotify app to find new releases section.

YES :slight_smile: And sorry - Spotify don’t deliver that


@Torben_Rick No one needs to apologize for his wishes, but should enjoy the fulfillment.

My point is the article does clearly recognise the better sound quality and innovation on the immersive audio side. It also recognises the value for money, especially for that extra sound quality. What it fails to do though is recognise that if you have been using something for years, as the author had, then making the decision to go back after only 2 weeks based on usability elements or features that require a substantial understanding of your listening habits is just very poor review journalism.

It is very unlikely you can overcome years of UI and data driven feature inertia in just 2 weeks, and that is what this is here.

For the record, I’m a Roon+Qobuz user and now love it. If Apple had had lossless years ago though, I would not be. Also if after 2 weeks into using Roon, Apple had announced lossless I would have gone straight back, no hesitation. I wouldn’t now, I’ve come to appreciate what Roon+Streaming does over Apple Music + Local Files integration for sure. I would estimate that change in thinking took at least 2 years, not weeks.


@Russell_Skingsley It is actually only described again what applies to all of us, before we give up our habits, much more improvement must be visible than just the Mee Too in lossless.

The lossless fan community will not make a habit change among themselves (Roon → Apple, Roon → Amazon…) without Roon integration and Qobuz/Tidal establish themselves there.

The lossy fan base will not become a mass influx for new lossless offerings. It’s an arduous road that needs to offer more than SQ. The previous usage habits, preferences and more must be mapped 1:1 and then offer the plus SQ.

I read the article this morning and nothing in it really surprised at all.

Spotify is for a truly huge mass market that seems to have the attention span of gnats. More about social networking and that quick fix than about SQ or discovering more about the music, musicians and relationships. This story on Tove Stryker (Tove Styrke is sick of the streaming song formula - BBC News) was on the BBC site a few weeks ago stating that 25% of all listeners on Spotify will hit the skip button within 5 seconds. It is also interesting to note that he intimates that Spotify have signalled lossless but nothing is forthcoming. I assume they may now know that for a whole lot of people, they don’t really give a rat’s…

But to each their own. I’m happy with my decision to predominately use Roon with the Q/T integration. Still have Spotify thru daughter in law’s family membership and Amazon thru my Prime Membership but neither get much air time. Also use Bandcamp for purchases, as well as NativeDSD.

Words offer wonderful opportunities to clarify one’s point of view. This is where the BBC editor’s view comes in. Anyone responsible for culture news is fighting for attention. When an algorithm steals the show and the mass audience, culture war is on.

The attention span of mosquitoes is a great image for skipping. Of course, none of us used to lift the needle on the record player too often to find the groove to the next track. With the CD, this behavior has changed, despite short tracks.

What’s the yardstick of length? The classical collection? The progressive rock? The Beatles? Never has technology stood in the way of pressing longer pieces on vinyl. But a look at British music history reveals the game: short skirts, long skirts, short skirts again, and long skirts again…the fashion trend moves on, and if something changes statistically only behind the decimal point, the eloquent editor makes the famous elephant out of the mosquito. The Beatles released 14 tracks in 1963 totaling 32m 24s. Pink Floyd brought it 1970 with Atom Heart Mother on 23m 31s.

Can the account be believed at all? Tove Styrke celebrated her first successes without editorial accompaniment of the world press 12 years ago. The greatest successes are more than 7 years ago and now, where not technology but BBC marketing determines the public image with a much longer attention span, currently on June 10, 2022 10 tracks come in a total length of 27m 54s. If only the editor had taken a closer look! Tove Styrke is not a good example for his theses. I would have bought Pink Floyd as an example from the BBC editor, but I would have seen other reasons than technology.

That lesser known artists thrown in a mass pool die of thirst financially and the big names drown in money is well known. The biggest pasture for milking cows offers more food for all with user-centered billing, direct marketing or fair sharing with the marketing label. If the big label animals get almost everything, soon there will be no more honey or milk flowing. However, it is not Spotify or Apple that are called upon here, but the larger contractual partners that determine the music business. Bandcamp will not fundamentally turn the market upside down. As honorable as this platform is.