After declaring Spotify the gold standard, David Segal says:

If the system has a weakness, it is a less-than-lovely user interface, which is black and a Halloweenish shade of green — a little too goth for the Haggler’s tastes. Far more important, it isn’t great at introducing you to new albums and acts. It has features and algorithms designed to help you find undiscovered music, but they aren’t compelling or visually appealing enough to be much help. The Haggler winds up listening to the same stuff over and over.

This is why the Haggler has been rooting for Apple Music since an Android version of it was unveiled in November. The user interface is gorgeous — bright, airy and dominated by album art — and it is the finest new music introduction system ever created. It’s like a professional matchmaker who never sleeps. It is always trying to find you something to love.

When it comes to interface and discovery, I couldn’t have more polar opposite opinions from Segal. I much prefer Spotify’s dark interface with conservative use of green to Apple’s stark white and hot pink. I’m almost always disappointed with Apple’s music recommendations, but Spotify generally has something interesting to offer, and seems to refresh its recommendations more frequently.

But he’s right that Apple Music takes longer to find and start songs than Spotify, and I’d add that Spotify has the benefit of Connect which is far and away better than AirPlay. It just doesn’t have that Explicit Filter I (and others) so dearly want.

After switching between Apple Music and Spotify several times, I realize I can’t forgo an Explicit filter; however, I want two more things from Apple.

  1. Something to match Spotify Connect. I love that I can remote control what Spotify’s playing from any device (especially since Spotify Connect is on my AV receiver).
  2. Dark mode – I strongly dislike the white and pink, while I love Spotify’s dark interface. In fact, I’d love a system-wide dark mode.

If Spotify would bring an Explicit filter and Siri integration, I’d just as soon move back. I want one service that offers all these things.