Spotify vs Saavn (JioSaavn) ?

In 2012, I came to know about Spotify, Only to find out it was not available in India and but was accepting email for alerts!
I remember 3-4 times visiting the same Spotify page which had 1 image in background with 1-2 humans, don’t remember more…
Whenever I heard about Spotify in some videos or news, I kept wondering why its still not in India.
Maybe in January, I heard the news coming in about the India Launch. They didn’t send me any email though :p

Last week, I could install the app in weekends after so much waiting and, the hype indeed!
Till then (still now), Saavn has been my favourite music app because of its premium sound quality and Windows PC application. I have been using it since 2014.

So, I decided to compare the Spotify against Saavn (now JioSaavn, after the company have been merged), just to know if its time to switch!

When I opened the Spotify first time, I found the launching time was a little slower than Saavn. I repeated opening and closing of the app. And, realised the the app loads faster but UI loads lazily. Other hand, Saavn loads the UI completely then shows the home page. In reality Spotify boot speed is faster than Saavn but then content loading seems slower because of lazy loading.

First I did subscribe to Premium, because if you are not using Premium features on the music app, Man, you are missing a lot!
There, Interestingly, I found Spotify had webview for subscription offer page instead of faster native one.

But it made sense to me instantly.

Before Sunday, when I wanted to see the Premium price, page showed me only Credit Card options, which I passed upon.
But on Sunday (last), It had PayTM and more payment options. So, it was wise to have webview in the app when development is very speedy in this phase. So, user can avail the latest offers even if app is not updated.

Then, I jumped to Settings to enable High Quality Sound for Streaming and Downloads. This is why you need to go Premium, to get the best of music!

And then I see Gapless and Crossfade option, WOW!!!

Man, I had written an email to Saavn, back in 2014-15, for Gapless feature. By then, I was using Poweramp Music Player which has gapless music and it was awesome when music never fades and it keeps you engaged. But, Saavn didn’t implement yet.

And then, I clicked on some random music, and ohh, it was significantly faster to start streaming than Saavn, I would say instant. Good level optimisation from dev team (claps)
I kept clicking on music to simply convince myself it is really instant streaming, well…it is more or less.

So, It was all set. I was good with the app settings and then launched Saavn as well. Both music players were open in notification bar now.
One more thing, I stopped active equalizers on my device or any sound tweaks.

Sound

I found Spotify sound is softer than Saavn. Or other way around, Saavn is louder than Spotify.

After few music, I liked Spotify sound when listening Romantic or Slow songs. But switching to pop songs made me like Saavn. It was not enough loud to cheer on Spotify, even after enabling Loud music from its Settings.

On maximum volume, Spotify doesnt hurt the ear. But overall I liked Saavn, my personal opinion, I like it louder a bit unless it is late night.

Equilizer

Its important for any pro user. If you need great sound, you have to tweak it for yourself. Many devices comes with system equalizers, if not, good apps are available in play store.

Spotify itself doesn’t come with inbuilt equalizer, and depends on third party integration if app is available on your device. I had 1 Equalizer app installed in my system, so it popped up there. After removing the app, it couldn’t recognise the device Equalizer. There I don’t think its wrong with Spotify, but Oneplus Audio Tuner is not registered as Equalizer app, I believe!

But, Saavn has inbuilt Equalizer, and it comes handy and should be more compatible with itself.

UI/UX

Saavn looks more polished and smooth, where Spotify keeps it minimal and comfortable. Both are good at it.
Spotify theme is dark and doesn’t have any light background option. Where as Saavn has auto dark mode and manual as well. Saavn dark looks Silver Metal color, where as Spotify color is naturally dark.

Accessing to music queue/album is better on Saavn than Spotify. You need extra click on top right to access the queue on Spotify. Spotify focuses multi-device in the place where Saavn has queue option.

Downloads

Most of users go premium to download the music so they can listen it even even in offline. I, personally, am very choosy about it and all my songs are downloaded so I don’t have to bother for network anytime, anywhere.

In Saavn, I could download specific songs and sync between device also works, so you can quickly download musics from other device whenever want. But, in Spotify, you can download only the full album, not the specific song. That’s blocker for me, I don’t want to have every other music from library if I like only one. Hopefully, Spotify will add the feature soon.

Search

I had been struggling to search music on Saavn few times. Its buggy and doesn’t register input events sometimes. Moreover, search speed and results, both are bad on Saavn.

On Spotify, search is way faster and relevant. Only thing is you need two taps/clicks to search the music. Its Search screen is more like what is browse on Saavn, But its fine mostly since they have minimal approach.

Widget

I use Action Launcher and they have Shutters to launch widgets by a swipe on the app. Spotify has the widget. For me it came handy to just swipe and play music. No need to launch the app. Saavn doesn’t have widget yet.

Availability

Surprisingly, Spotify has in-house Linux player, Awesome!, Saavn has client is available unofficially, but you don’t need it.  Both apps are available on almost all main platforms. I had used Saavn app on Windows PC and the sound quality was superb!
On browser, I was surprised to see Spotify is not available on Spotify.com, but on subdomain open.spotify.com. And you see the link on bottom only. Maybe it should have been on more obvious place. And I could play the music only either on web or on my app for Spotify. Saavn didn’t have this restriction when I used it, and it was seamless for anything for me.

Verdict

Both Saavn and Spotify has a lot in their sleeves and both of their profile looks good to me. I have been a good loyal subscriber of Saavn for 5 years now. I tried to know Spotify more because of the hype it has created. And hence, I have only good things to tell about it. But, I am not going to ditch Saavn, I like it loud and its audio quality. but same time Spotify has promising features: faster, relevant and gapless.  But it lacks few obvious things like selective downloads. Hopefully, the differences will fade soon and both will adopt the best of each other.

Till then, I will keep checking it out when get time with weekly packs available via PayTM. Saavn subscription remains!

 

Saavn: https://www.jiosaavn.com

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com

 

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