Spotify vs iTunes Match (comparison)

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spotify-vs-iTunes Match

Kristie Bertucci is an L.A.-based writer, who can't live without her MacBook Pro. When she's not writing, she's either reading or shopping (online, of course) and loves lazy days so she can catch up on her DVR-recorded shows and movies. She's definitely a Mac girl, she loves music and is currently on a mission to to have an insane and enviable iTunes library.

24 Comments to Spotify vs iTunes Match (comparison)

  1. Even though iTunes Match is cheaper price than Spotify, I chosed Spotify over iTunes Match due to streaming capability and easier to make playlist from music I don’t own already. Spotify is unpredictable and more interesting when discovering new music from its service. I’m a huge fan of Apple products but iTunes has its shortcoming when it comes to their music services. Perhaps, iTunes should team up with Spotify so they can learn from these guys. They know what music service is all about.

  2. I’m confused. If I have 10,000 songs in iTunes and most of them are tracks ripped from my old CD collection, will either service ever DELETE ANY of that music from my hard drive if I never pay either of them a penny? That’s the impression I’m getting from some of the comments – I don’t really OWN any of the music, even if I bought the CD and ripped it. I’m still just licensing it and it’s all at risk if some terms are not met.

    And, what about music I got from a friend’s library of tracks? I have music a friend gave me on a CD as a file – not a CD track. Any of that at risk of being deleted from iTunes or Spotify? Or, from my hard drive?

    If I only want the Spotify free service – can I create a playlist in Spotify on my Mac, upload it somehow to my Android and listen to it on my Android – all for free? That’s all I really want to do. I can do that without any service by connecting a USB cable to my phone and transferring the music to the phone. What’s the difference with Spotify? Is it that it happens via WiFi with Spotify? Is it that my playlists are updated automatically from my Mac to my Android any time I modify a playlist? If so, is that free? That’s all I really want. Jay@TalkinFree.com

  3. But what about the fact that if you ever want to stop paying for Spotify, you lose your rights to all the music, and start from zero?

  4. If you want to own your music in spotify…purchase it like on itunes, but why?
    music is about listen to it and you CAN do that over and over again in spotify wherever you are!!

  5. Spotify screws musicans by only paying them a small fraction of a cent for each play. Perfect for the kids who think they deserve everything for little or nothing.

  6. good review. Im a long time itunes user, but im also a dj and i have 3 libraries: 1 for my preferred listening music, 1 for mainstream djing and 1 for drum & bass djing. i use a little software called libra to switch between them. i cant get any information about how i could use itunes match. itunes match would be nice for me if i could have just a certain part of music in there that i want to use frequently, but i dont want it to be one of my 3 libraries. it doesnt look like this works and apple makes me feel like a nerd alien with exotic wishes. for my daily music enjoying music spotify unfortunately is so much easier….i can simply decide spontaneously which playlist i want to have available offline on my 150 euro android phone or computer. and next day–i can turn that off and use another. this way i have 1) a well organized collection with playlists in spotify and 2) smaller temporary libraries grabbing parts of the big collection whenever i want. I say unfortunately cause i dont understand why apple doesnt make it better and why it is more uncomfortable to manage music i bought than to manage music i didnt buy. this is bad for labels and artists, they cant earn money this way.

  7. good review. Im a long time itunes user, but im also a dj and i have 3 libraries: 1 for my preferred listening music, 1 for mainstream djing and 1 for drum & bass djing. i use a little software called libra to switch between them. i cant get any information about how i could use itunes match. itunes match would be nice for me if i could have just a certain part of music in there that i want to use frequently, but i dont want it to be one of my 3 libraries. it doesnt look like this works and apple makes me feel like a nerd alien with exotic wishes. for my daily music enjoying music spotify unfortunately is so much easier….i can simply decide spontaneously which playlist i want to have available offline on my 150 euro android phone or computer. and next day–i can turn that off and use another. this way i have 1) a well organized collection with playlists in spotify and 2) smaller temporary libraries grabbing parts of the big collection whenever i want. I say unfortunately cause i dont understand why apple doesnt make it better and why it is more uncomfortable to manage music i bought than to manage music i didnt buy. this is bad for labels and artists, they cant earn money this way.

  8. Great comparison- here is the problem- my wife had iTunes on her PC with Windows 7 Pro with a ton of music. She down loaded Spotify which proceeded to disable iTunes. She wants to delete Spotify and re-install iTunes which will download but not install. Any suggestions – how to or where to go for help ? Thanks

  9. Galexioza

    These two services are completely different. Spotify allows you to listen to any song in their catalogue, iTunes Match only lets you listen to songs that you own. So while iTunes Match is only $25 per year, it’s actually a lot more than that if you want to buy music. Granted, once you do you own forever unlike Spotify, but if you wanted to listen to as much new music as you can with Spotify, it would get very expensive, very quickly.

  10. If like me you are intersted in downloading your Spotify playlist on your computer (so in mp3 format), take a look at Spotydl. Worth the try i think.

  11. “Apple’s Scan and Match isn’t so clear even though it says that iTunes
    will recognize tracks taken from CDs, but said nothing about other
    files. Sure you can upload them to your iCloud account, but you’ll be
    using your free 5GB of storage ”

    That is totally false, songs uploaded do not count against storage space. The rest of this review is also garbage, for the most part.

  12. Kendrick Jim

    I did my own comparison of iTunes Match, Spotify and Google Music. All lose points if you have a large library for not allowing ALL music to be available. Sure, with Google you have to upload all your music, but my experience with iTunes Match was that it needed to upload significantly more than half of our library (my wife and I have a combined 70 years of collecting music and are music junkies) as much of our collection wasn’t “matched.” The upload process for iTunes was also buggier. YMMV. I’ll call that a draw. Finally, on-the-go performance was ranked 1. Spotify; 2. Google (close second though); 3. iTunes Match (distant third). In fact the performance of the iTunes Match was so poor (on a drive from Colorado Springs to Denver, CO) that it is a non-starter for us. We had one one minor drop out using Google Music on the exact same route (just going the other direction). 

    * Devices used 2011 Mac Mini for uploads. Motorola Droid X for Google Music Mobile and Spotify. Apple iPhone 4S for iTunes Match Mobile and Spotify.

  13. They are not comparable.  Spotify smokes iTunes match.  You can listen to almost any song regardless of if you own it or not.

  14. You forgot the most important point, which is that with iTunes/iTunes Match you actually OWN the music that you listen to, while with Spotify you have lots of variety, but if you decide to cancel the service, you “cancel” your music.

    Thanks, but no thanks.  If there’s a choice between two services, one where I own my music, and another where I just listen, essentially renting it, I will always choose to own. 

    • Even with iTunes, you don’t own your music. You only own a licence to listen to the music in the format that iTunes specifies. In that way, it’s no different to Spotify.

      The big difference is that Spotify are up front about it (if you stop paying, you won’t be allowed to listen to any more music through us), while iTunes put loads of restrictions onto your music files, but lets you pretend that they are yours.

      Personally, I use Spotify, but I’m not sure which is better.

      • I have had this debate with someone at work. I am confused by your stand because I have all my music downloaded, and can even re-download it, if necessary.

        How is it that it’s not mine? I could understand your point if they could, literally, take it at any time (like what happened in the case of an Amazon ebook) but I haven’t heard of anything like it in the case of Apple

        • Just trying to make the point that music doesn’t really belong to you as such, you just have a licence to listen to it that can be revoked at any time. In that respect, it’s the same as iTunes. The only difference is that with Spotify, you have a licence to listen to all of the music in their catalogue that will exist for as long as you have to pay for it, while with iTunes, your licence is for a few select tracks, and the criteria for the revocation of the licence aren’t clear.

  15. Bchesterman

    Regarding the final comment… iTunes Match for $25 a month… isn’t iTunes Match $25 / year?

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