Which Music Streaming Service Should You Use in 2017?

Music streaming service 2017

With major players like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Google, all on the market, in addition to veterans like Deezer, Tidal and Spotify, one is really spoilt for choice in terms of choosing a streaming service. Getting lost in the intricate features of each music streaming service (number of devices that can be synced, costs, max audio quality, and much more) is easily done, with so many services and plans on offer.

 

So “Which service should I choose?” is probably the biggest question looming on your mind.

 

Fortunately for you, we’ve gone through all the popular music services, studied their strengths (and weaknesses) and have very simply, listed them for you – rather than unloading a bucket full of feature-names you will have a hard time understanding.

 

 

 

PRICE FROM: Free

WORKS ON: Desktop, Android, iOS

IDEAL FOR: Music recommendations and all-round features

The guru of all music streaming services, Spotify sports several robust apps, and a comprehensive catalogue, and a free, basic plan that allows you to listen to music and with some adverts. It also allows you to integrate your very own audio files in Spotify’s app.

Spotify’s Discover playlists are fantastic and its extras like the Spotify Connect allow users to keep things simple between speakers and devices. In spite of gaining more competition from other, and emerging streaming platforms, Spotify continues to remain top-notch and tough to beat.

URL: Spotify.com

 

 

 

PRICE FROM: Free 

WORKS ON: Desktop, Android, iOS

IDEAL FOR: Anywhere access and easy importing

Much like any other service from Google, Play Music works best on the web, though it sounds great on iOS and Android too. The best thing about it is that it can be used from any computer (due to its ability to be loaded on your browser), and does not require any backups due to having all tunes stored inside the cloud.

The service allows you to import as well as stream up to fifty-thousand audio files at no charge, and gives strong music recommendations, which is based on the personalised data that Google has on you, allowing you to get tunes according to the ambience or activity.

URL: Play.google.com/music

 

 

 

 

 

PRICE FROM: £9.99/$9.99 a month – 3-month free trial

WORKS ON: Desktop, Android, iOS

IDEAL FOR:
Hard-core iTunes and Apple ecosystem fans

Despite not having the standard monthly free tier, Apple Music does have a 3-month free trial, in addition to discounts for students and affordable family packs. It also allows you to combine your iTunes library with the on-demand catalogue of streamed songs.

The only downside is the fact that Apple Music unlike Spotify and Google Play Music, it does not work on your browser, and requires iTunes. That’s ok if you like the iPhone
features, but not so much if you are a fan of easy access software. All in all, Apple Music is your service only if you are already using iTunes heavily or are relying solely on Apple gadgets.

URL: Apple.com/uk/music

 

 

 

 

 

PRICE FROM: £7.99/$7.99 a month

WORKS ON: Desktop, Android, iOS

IDEAL FOR: Amazon loyalists and Amazon Prime members

Perhaps the worst thing about Amazon’s streaming services is the fact that the plans are not so easily understood. Prime Music allows you to enjoy a limited library of over 2 million songs, and comes with the Amazon Prime subscription. Thereafter, Amazon Music Unlimited, that is more-or-less similar to its other services, costs an additional £7.99/$7.99 a month (in case you are using Prime), or £9.99/$9.99 a month.

Though it gives you every option and feature offered by standard streaming services, they aren’t as feature-rich as what Apple, Google, and Spotify offer. The app also lags behind on music discovery compared to its rivals.

URL: Amazon.com/gp/dmusic/promotions/PrimeMusic

 

 

 

 

 

PRICE FROM: £8.99/$8.99 a month

WORKS ON: Desktop, Android, iOS, Windows

IDEAL FOR: Heavy Surface and Windows users

Hosting over 38 million songs (including Jay Z), Microsoft Groove allows you to integrate your very own library, so as long as you’re storing it on Microsoft’s OneDrive, and lets you sync offline music to up to 5 devices (iOS as well as Android devices).

It has a minimal interface, which looks and feels good, and matches with Microsoft’s general minimalist-looking aesthetic.

That said, the service is not very family-friendly, given the fact that there is no way in which you can add more users to your own Groove account. Furthermore, since it supported by Microsoft alone, there’s not much you it can work on outside of a computer, a smartphone, or a Sonos.

Additionally, the minimal interface can prove to be a problem if you are trying to find something specific, such as a running mix or a playlist.

URL: Music.microsoft.com
 

 

 

From: £9.99/$9.99 a month

WORKS ON: Desktop, Android, iOS

IDEAL FOR: Exclusive content and high-fidelity music

The best thing about Tidal is its superior quality of streamed music (which is at par CD-level 1,411kbps). Additionally, it also features several exclusives, such as streaming artist interviews, videos and early-bird tracks, which links back to its one-time owner and superstar rapper Jay Z.

That said, Tidal doesn’t have much to offer other than these; the features and apps, though good, aren’t anything out of the ordinary, and often light in comparison to those of other services. Not very encouraging, given the fact that you need to shell out £19.99 or $19.99 per month, to get high-audio quality.

URL: Tidal.com
 

 

 

PRICE FROM: $4.99

WORKS ON: Desktop, Android, iOS

IDEAL FOR: Casual, undemanding music listeners

An ideal service for those who want some music running in the background as they are going about on their work, Pandora is a service you can use from almost any platform, including your Smart TV. Furthermore, it is compatible with connected speakers and voice assistants such as Google Chrome and Amazon Echo.

The ad-supported, basic option allows you to create personalized stations, whereas the $4.99 per-month option lets you put on unlimited replays and skips, offers high quality music, and lets you listen when you’re offline. The $9.99 option further allows you to get on-demand streaming, parallel to other streaming services.

The only negative point about Pandora is it’s on-demand streaming services. While some songs in the catalogue are licensed to be played on on-demand streaming, several other songs can be played only when they appear in Pandora’s radio.

URL: Pandora.com

 

 

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