First impressions, and Spotify

L-R: Discover which is also the Home screen; a profile page for a Label; Media playback

Gosh, there is so much to see and do! And that is not a terrible thing here.

Maybe I had downloaded and opened the app with the explicit intention of exploring it, and my impressions may differ a little from a user just looking to listen to music. However, despite the amount of content, the interface feels clean, structured, and usable.

It isn’t my intention here to compare Xiami with Spotify, but I have been a long-time user of the app so I was quick to discern some obvious differences between Xiami and Spotify.

One, Spotify is big on playlists. My home screen is full of different swimlanes of different playlists. The first swimlane provides entry points into what I’ve played recently and includes both playlists, albums, podcasts etc, but from the second swimlane, it is just rows and rows of playlists. There is typical Spotify-smartness in the curation — there are some inspired by my recently played, and those built upon my long-term listening history. Xiami has playlists too (tons), but they form only part of the app’s offerings.

L-R: News; Live videos; Play aka behind-the-scenes production / performance videos; Artiste write-up

Second, Xiami has a lot more music content that is not just audio. The content here is invariably driven by music, and there are music videos, lyrics (Spotify has this too, but only sporadically), commentaries, reviews, news etc.

Currently playing on Spotify and on Xiami

Third, both apps have different ways of displaying current-playing and last-played music. On Spotify, the track is displayed as a sticky bar above the bottom navigation, and includes the track name and artiste. On Xiami, only the music art is displayed, and is part of the actual bottom navigation.

Lastly, Spotify is dark and Xiami is bright. It is an aesthetic difference, but I felt that their respective colour schemes optimise for different tasks. Spotify goes for a dark scheme, which is great for highlighting gorgeous album art, and also seems to convey a more entertainment, just-play-music-already vibe. Xiami mostly uses light backgrounds, which is better for readability (in the day, at least).

Apart from the above, there are a couple of features that I found noteworthy and interesting on the Xiami app. I’m not a regular user of the app so I won’t go too in-depth here, but here goes!

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