Have you ever wanted to share a song or a playlist with a friend or a group online, only to find that they subscribe to Apple Music and you subscribe to Spotify? Earbuds, an iPhone and Android app, breaks down those walls so music nerds can share whatever they’d like.
“The average Gen Z user shares three to five songs a week with their friends, and the vast majority use screenshots,” says Jason Fox, EarBuds’ Founder and CEO. “They say, ‘here’s a screenshot, you figure it out.’ But the problem with that is, there’s a lot of effort that the recipient has to do. They have to go manually look up the song. If they’re in a meeting, if they’re busy, or at dinner, if they can’t listen to the song right at that moment, then it becomes gone with the wind.”
Earbuds lets you set up chats where links from Spotify will automatically be clickable for Apple Music users and vice versa, breaking the two services free from their walled gardens. The links are playable from within Earbuds too.
How to share music between Spotify and Apple Music using the Earbuds app
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Here are step-by-step instructions for using Earbuds to share music between Apple Music and Spotify.
- Download the Earbuds app on either the App Store or through Google Play.
- Create your account.
- Once the program is installed, click “Groups.”
- Click “+” sign at the top right for “create group.”
- Search your friends’ name, or click the “invite” button, and Earbuds will send a link to get people started.
Once your friend (or 845 Instagram followers) are in the same Earbuds chatroom, you can copy links to playlists or songs from your music service, and they will show up as links to the platforms of other users. Right now, it only works on Apple Music and Spotify, but plans are in place to extend the service to the top five music streaming platforms.
Most of Apple Music and Spotify’s catalogs overlap, but if they don’t, Earbuds will try to find the closest thing, perhaps linking to a different version of the same song. “If a song is not available that one out of 1000 times, we notify the user and say, ‘Hey, this song isn’t available. But here’s another one that’s very close,” Fox said.
How to use Earbuds’ AI search prompt to find new music
Along with breaking the barrier between music services, Earbuds features an AI search bot called “earbot” that uses ChatGPT 4 to provide recommendations for songs and playlists, letting you go beyond the same old algorithms that provide suggestions in Spotify and Apple Music. It compiles them into a playlist for you, too.
According to Fox, the idea is to bring back the “music store culture” that technology destroyed. Fox says AI can provide a modern equivalent of “talking to friends and asking the sales people. ‘Hey, man, like what’s new? What should I be listening to?’”
Music services like Spotify generally do a good job of creating playlists of songs that are like another song, or lists of music that’s close to what you already like, but if you want to get more esoteric, there isn’t much you can do. But AI offers limitless possibilities for music searching. For instance, I asked Earbot: “If I was a suburban housewife in 1979, and I’d just gotten divorced, what songs would make me feel hopeful for the future instead of depressed about the end of my marriage?” The playlist:
- Diana Ross: “I’m Coming Out”
- Fleetwood Mac: “Go Your Own Way”
- Aretha Franklin “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)
- Carole King: “I Feel the Earth Move”
- Gloria Gaynor: “I Will Survive”
I couldn’t have done a better job myself.