Playlist Transfer Tools: Which is best?
Two months ago I didn’t even know that Playlist Transfer Tools were a thing. But due to my recent move from Spotify to Apple Music…
A Migrant’s Diary
Moving from Spotify to Apple Music? There are some things you need to know.
…I spent several hours trying these products out and I now know far more than I ever wanted. To spare you from having to go through the same process I’m sharing what I learned.
How Did I Test?
“Best” is often subjective. For example, you might love the idea of an involuntary digital detox as you plug your iPhone into a charger for an hour and a half while it chews through your playlists. Me, all other things being equal, I’d prefer a tool that does it in 10 minutes.
What’s not subjective is accuracy: if you’ve spent days creating a 100 track Spotify playlist for a special occasion, it’s safe to say you’re going to want to see the same 100 tracks in Apple Music after transferring. So a tool which delivers all 100 is objectively “better” than a tool that only delivers 95. Spoiler alert: none can ever give you 100/100 all the time because sometimes the right track just isn’t there to be found.
This formed the basis of my test: if one tool copies Spotify objects over to Apple Music more accurately than another, I judge it better. That means all the right tracks, in the right order. If a match isn’t great, I want a chance to fix it. If my playlist has a description then I want to see that description in Apple Music. I want all the albums I “liked” in Spotify to end up in the albums section of Apple Music. I want all my “liked” tracks copied over too.
Ideally I’d want all the artists I follow to be copied over as well, but all of the tools are unanimous on that one: it can’t be done.
In the event of a tie, I intended to give extra credit for speed & ease of use because they matter to me. But in the event I didn’t even get close to that: it ended-up being a slam-dunk.
Already you’ve seen the huge caveat to my test: I’m only talking about transferring from Spotify to Apple Music. If you want to go from Apple Music to Spotify, or Deezer to Amazon, the “what’s best” answer will be different. I’m afraid I didn’t do those tests because it wasn’t relevant to the job in-hand, sorry.
There are other functions that many of these tools have which, for the purposes of this test, I ignored. For example, many of them can regularly synchronise playlists between services. I have no idea which product is best at this — I’m afraid it’s not something I need.
There’s one final thing I absolutely will be considering though: cost. It’s my intention to get this done for free, if at all possible.
There are a LOT of products in this space. I stopped counting at 10, and that’s just on the iOS App Store. My target for round one of this test was to cut that total down to a manageable 5 using recent reviews on the App Store or recommendations from social media (mostly Reddit). As an extra filter I eliminated anything on the App Store that hadn’t been updated in the last 6 months.
The result? These are the 5 that seem to come up again & again:
So it’s these that make it through to the next round.
Originally my plan was to copy my whole library over using each tool and then look at the results. But then I tried actually using one and it was watching-paint-dry slow. Given this is not something I want to spend days on, I came up with a plan B.
The revised plan is to copy a small playlist (55 random Spotify-suggested tracks) from Spotify to Apple Music using each tool in order to get some idea of accuracy, speed & usability. I’ll also try moving some albums & liked songs to see how these work.
If a tool runs on iOS it’ll get installed & run on my iPad Pro. If it’s web-based it will get run from Safari on my iMac. If I can get the job done for free then I’ll stop there; if I can’t I’ll start with the cheapest paid version that looks viable & work up the price ladder from there until I find a tool that gets the job done.
Let battle commence.
Unfortunately “free” didn’t quite work. At least not for me, anyway. The best of the free offerings came close: it didn’t barf at the mix of playlists, albums and songs I gave it, and it didn’t want to charge me once it saw the size of my library. Where it tripped up was accuracy: it wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t good enough to stop me trying out the cheapest of the “paid” options, which is where I stopped.
Which means that my overall winner is, unfortunately, a paid option. Luckily it’s very cheap…
Best Overall: Playlisty
Platform(s): MacOS & iOS
Free version limit: Only 20 tracks per playlist.
Minimum cost (Pro version): £2.49, fully unlocked, no time limit. The lowest cost and only non-subscription app tested.
Accuracy: Matched 100% on my test playlist, but needed the paid version to complete the test. Copied playlist descriptions, albums & liked songs without issue. If matches aren’t perfect you can review & fix them.
Speed: 6 seconds to match & import my test playlist. That’s not a typo: it really is a full 4x faster than the fastest competitor, Soundiiz.
Usability: Eschews the pick-a-source-then-pick-a-destination workflow employed by all the other tools for a more intuitive Apple Music app look & feel
Overall: For getting your Spotify stuff into Apple Music, look no further.
Best Free: SongShift
Free version limit: Unlimited
Minimum cost (Pro version): £4.99 subscription, 1 month.
Accuracy: 96%, no playlist descriptions in the free version but does albums (not properly, but as tracks in a playlist which is not a major issue) & songs. Allows the user to fix mismatches.
Speed: 40 seconds. Pro version is meant to be faster though.
Usability: Nice to look at but lots of ads for the paid version and quite a non-standard UI. It took me a while just to work out how to close a pop-up. Pro version loses the ads which might help a bit.
Overall: Amongst the free tools, SongShift walks it because of its complete lack of limits. Be prepared to wait, though. Paid version loses-out to both Soundiiz & Playlisty for price & accuracy, and I couldn’t test speed without paying.
Platform(s): Web Browser
Free version limit: 200 tracks, playlists only.
Minimum cost (Pro version): £4.50 subscription, 1 month.
Accuracy: 98%, including playlist descriptions, but requires paid version for albums & liked songs. No ability for the user to fix mismatches.
Speed: 26 seconds.
Usability: A more powerful product than TuneMyMusic means the UI is slightly less intuitive. Still good though.
Overall: With no song or album support, the free version is too limited to be useful to many people; and the paid version doesn’t lift it far enough above the others to win this test. However Soundiiz seems to be a solid product, both fast & accurate, and for transfers between other services the paid version should be on your shortlist.
Platform(s): Web Browser
Free version limit: 1,000 tracks.
Minimum cost (Pro version): $4.50 subscription, 1 month.
Accuracy: 96%, no playlist descriptions and no ability for the user to fix mismatches. Also got some ‘bad’ tracks which were greyed-out, and (uniquely) some tracks in the wrong order.
Speed: 38 seconds.
Usability: Simple, intuitive workflow.
Overall: A decent “free” limit makes this one worth a try if SongShift doesn’t work for you. Accuracy is a concern though.
Platform(s): iOS, MacOS, Android, Linux
Free version limit: 100 tracks.
Minimum cost (Pro version): £11.99, quarterly.
Accuracy: 91%, no playlist descriptions. No obvious ability for the user to fix mismatches. Unable to test albums & liked songs.
Speed: 50 seconds.
Usability: The only UI that properly confused me.
Overall: With nearly 1 mismatch in every 10 tracks this is not really a serious contender for Spotify to Apple Music, but it seems to support some fairly obscure services (gaana? saavn?) so may be worth a look if you use those.