When comparing Pandora vs Apple Music, the Slant community recommends Pandora for most people. In the question“What are the best music streaming services?” Pandora is ranked 6th while Apple Music is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose Pandora is:
The Pandora music streaming service is the best at predicting which songs the user would enjoy hearing. Unlike services which have rudimentary recommendation algorithms, Pandora uses over 400 selection attributes that are combined to form over 2,000 focus traits including rhythm syncopation, key tonality, harmonies, and instrumental proficiency. Not only does Pandora use this plethora of conditions to determine each song's inclusion in your station, but it also displays the specific reason that each song was played, as well as its relation to your input criteria.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Most personalized radio experience
The Pandora music streaming service is the best at predicting which songs the user would enjoy hearing. Unlike services which have rudimentary recommendation algorithms, Pandora uses over 400 selection attributes that are combined to form over 2,000 focus traits including rhythm syncopation, key tonality, harmonies, and instrumental proficiency.
Not only does Pandora use this plethora of conditions to determine each song's inclusion in your station, but it also displays the specific reason that each song was played, as well as its relation to your input criteria.
Pro Extremely versatile stations
Unlike other music streaming services, Pandora allows you to create a station from a single song, artist, album, or genre, and the service has a huge library of over 800,000 tracks from 80,000 artists.
More importantly, Pandora lets you mix and match an unlimited number of input criteria to create a station for any mood/style/occasion.
Pro Easily learns what you like and dislike
The Pandora music streaming service allows you to rate each song played with a "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down" to signal your opinion of the song that is played. The station incorporates every single rating to intelligently learn your preferences over time, resulting in an extremely tailored station based on your input.
Pro Available on mobile and in vehicles
Pandora has an application on all major mobile platforms, including iOS, Android, and WP7. In addition, it is available in numerous vehicles as an add-on, many with voice commands.
Being available for free means anyone can try the service in order to see if it appeals.
Pro Predicts what you like with great accuracy
Pandora's music genome algorithms are eerily accurate to the point where it can be considered a personal DJ.
Pro Syncs across devices
iTunes can synchronize playback information, podcast subscriptions & settings and automatically download purchases made on other devices.
Pro iTunes Store has a huge selection of media
iTunes has a huge catalog of videos, songs, and podcasts in the iTunes store.
Pro Sleek interface
iTunes has a flat, clean design with playback controls at the top-left, search at top-right and a row of ways to categorize available media beneath that. Plus it can be minimized to take up much less space. The minimized interface is called the MiniPlayer and it can be set to display on top of all other windows. It's possible to show iTunes on top of all other windows when playing movies as well.
Pro Playlists created by people
The Apple Music streaming service focuses on playlists selected by curators rather than intelligent radios in other streaming services. Choosing playlists selected by the curators improves the experience with another method of music discovery. Of course you can still heart or disheart any song on your own to improve the service's suggestions in the For You section.
Pro Family sharing for up to six devices
Pro Airplay support
iTunes allows streaming audio to all Airplay enabled devices within Wi-Fi range. It's possible to select more than one device to play a song at the same time.
Pro Siri integration in a music streaming service
Pro Internet radio
iTunes includes a streaming music service called Radio that creates stations based on chosen genre, song or artist. Requires Apple ID to access.
Pro Connect feature allows closer communication with musicians
Musicians post on the Apple Music streaming service about news, ideas, new music etc. You can engage with them directly on the site.
Pro Beats 1 Internet radio offers a shared audio experience
Beats 1 is a 24-hour radio station station run by Apple. It is hosted Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden and Julie Adenuga.
Pro Built-in parental controls
iTunes parental controls can be used to deny access to certain parts of iTunes such as podcasts, internet radio, store or shared libraries and restrict access to media that has a certain rating or warnings.
Pro Great podcast integration
Con Not available outside the US
For those that live outside the US, the service is not available to them, which greatly limits users from around the globe.
Con Limited skips
Pandora makes it very difficult by limiting your playlist to only a specific song or artist. The player also does not allow you to rewind or repeat any songs.
You are only granted six skips per station per hour, and even this is limited to 72 skips per user per day. This is often frustrating if you are trying to focus your playlist on a very specific music selection.
Con Frequent advertisements
The free version of Pandora has frequent audio advertisements that are injected every few songs, making the service impossible to use in a party-type setting. However, these can be avoided by paying for the premium edition or by using other ad-blocking software.
Con Rips artists off
Only Youtube pays artists less than Pandora. Spotify has been under fire for not paying artists enough, at $0.0044 / play (as of march 2018). Well, Pandora pays less than 3 times that! ($0.0013). Tidal pays artists roughly 10 times more ($0.0125).
Con Limited artists
There are only 1 million songs on the service. This means there are a lot of artists missing.
Con Limited bitrate
Most songs played on Pandora Radio are 128 kpbs bitrate. That being said, the paid version of the service offers songs with a bitrate of 192 kbps.
Con No free plan
While there's a three month free trial that lets you test out features of the service, Apple Music is a subscription-only deal. There's no ad-supported free version or anything like that.
Appears to get bigger and bigger with each update, without really adding more value to someone who just wants to listen to and organize music.
Con Buggy iTunes app
Immediately after the launch of Apple Music worldwide with the release of the iTunes 12.2, once users upgrade to the latest version of iTunes, many users experienced issues with music list being mixed up, wrong metadata etc.
Con Poor UI
Con Some album have missing tracks / artists have missing album
Due to copyright issues some albums on the service have tracks missing or some artists on the service have albums missing, which begs the question, why list the album if it is not complete.
Con No crossfade
There is no crossfade, or gapless playback, which is pretty useful for a party for example.
Con It changes the default artwork of your music
Con Doesn't pay artists a fair price
As of march 2018, Apple Music paid the artists $0.0074 per count. That's better than Spotify ($0.0044) and slightly more than Google Play ($0.0068) but way less than Tidal ($0.0125) or Napster ($0.019).
Con Apple Music has in some situations deleted user's local files
Con The mobile app is known to crash from time to time
Con Confusing onboarding process
Con Apple Music is tied to iTunes
It is not tied to iTunes.