Without a doubt, when we talk about streaming music, the first service that comes to mind is Spotify. He was, if not the first, who popularized that of paying a subscription and being able to listen to practically any song anywhere. In fact, you don't even need to pay as they have their free version. But it's been seven years since at least one tall rival came out: Apple Music. Many of us who have an apple device choose its streaming music service, but what happens when we want to listen to it on Linux? Well, today I was surprised to find an application called Cider.
On macOS, Apple has its own Apple Music app and it's the best of the best, with permission from the iPhone and iPad apps. They are expected to release something like this for Windows, but currently they still depend on iTunes or the versión web from service. The latter works, but it is far from being a desktop application. And iTunes, well, when I used it on my laziest laptop I noticed that it was very heavy. In addition, iTunes today is an old fix, nothing to do with the applications for Apple devices. But Cider yes It has things that come to surprise.
Cider offers quality, options and even animated covers
Look at the header screenshot. Or the one up here. The design is very similar to that offered by Apple, so it makes things easier for those of us who are used to having their music library. It is noteworthy that it includes things like animated covers. For example, in the latest Iron Maiden album, Senjutsu, we see Eddie moving the katana, and in this one by Avril Lavigne we see how the balloons move a little, their shadows a little more and even lightning.
The application starts in English, at least the AppImage version, which is the one I am using, but it can be put in Spanish. It has the option to see the lyrics, the queue list and many features in development, such as the possibility of sending the audio by Chromecast or AirPlay. If all this seems little, also we can remote control playback, scanning a QR code that will take us to a web interface in the browser that will act as a remote control.
It also has an equalizer, something that seems important to me, and more so in Linux, where by default it doesn't sound as good as it does. to me I would like to. In addition, Cider allows you to listen to music with superior quality.
what do i miss
Well, if I'm not mistaken, and if not correct me, the official Spotify application, at least the Linux one, doesn't allow you to download the songs either. iTunes for Windows does allow it, so it can be used offline, but not in Cider. Logical, if we take into account that it is not an official application. It is also noted that this is an Alpha version, and playing the music with good quality, having the animations of the covers activated and moving around the app can make the music choppy from time to time; this does not happen when we have the application running in the background, although it does consume resources and is not recommended for less powerful computers. One of the points to improve will be this.
For everything else, it feels like we are dealing with an application launched by Apple. We can follow artists, we can create radio stations from artists, albums or songs and we have access to the videos on the platform. Which we can't play the stations that we can't play on the web version either from Apple Music, which is a shame, but I wasn't surprised either.
I am perfectly aware that not many Linux users will be subscribed to Apple Music, but it is a matter of taste and also whether you use an iPhone, an iPad or an Apple computer. If you are one of us, you are certainly interested in Cider.
Cider is available as AppImage, Snap and DEB package from its official website, available here!. It can also be downloaded from Flathub.