It takes a really special customer to buy an Android phone, even though Apple uses Pal Music. But the small overlap in that van diagram can be large. Last month at WWDC, Apple Play unveiled a free update for Apple Play Music subscribers that includes lossless audio streaming and spatial audio streaming with support for Doleby Atoms. Now, Android users can also access these features.
Last year, Google shut down its Google Play Music application (RIP) with the intention of migrating to YouTube Music. Some longtime Android fans are still dissatisfied with that decision and don’t think YouTube Music is OK – but for iDoPhiles, these Apple Pull Music updates may be what it takes to replace them. However, not all Android devices support Atmos yet.
Apple Pal Music is not the only streaming platform that enhances its audio dio quality. On the same day that Apple announced its upgraded audio dio features on the WWDC, Amazon Music also announced that it would support lossless streaming and spatial audio dio with Atomus functionality. Like Apple Pal, Amazon offers these enhancements at no additional cost to subscribers. Spotify also plans to launch a lossless audio dio feature, called HiFi, but it will be a premium add-on instead of a free upgrade like Apple Pull Music or Amazon Music. YouTube Music does not yet offer a comparable feature.
Currently, Spotify is at the forefront of the streaming industry with 158 million paid subscribers. For comparison, Apple Pal Music had 60 million subscribers in June 2019, and Amazon Music had 55 million subscribers in January 2020, but the two companies have not shared updated numbers since then; YouTube Music has at least 20 million paid users. Even on consumer-grade headphones, you can hear the difference between a lossless FLAC file and a compressed MP3 – but if you’re an avid diophile who needs to listen to master-quality audio dio, just enroll.