TechJunkie Expert Recommendations
YouTube is one of the biggest streaming platforms. In 2015, the streaming giant launched a separate platform that’s solely dedicated to streaming music to provide better entertainment for people of all ages who loves listening to music.
On this platform, you can listen to hundreds of thousands of tracks. What makes it even better is that it allows you to upload your own music or other audio to its servers.
Aside from that, it offers integration to wider YouTube apps. With this, you can also access the movies you purchased from the Google Play Store via YouTube TV.
And like the old YouTube everyone knows, YouTube Music also has a smart search feature. With this, you can find music by typing in the lyrics or song keywords. This aids in the discovery of new songs while remembering the classic hits that you grew up with.
And you can enjoy all of that for free. However, your listening experience may sometimes get interrupted by a few ads. If it gets bothersome for you, you can always subscribe to a premium service where you can get rid of pesky ads and even get more features that free users can’t.
But, this platform isn’t perfect; YouTube music also has some weak points. One of them is having a smaller music library that’s available for the non-paid version of the app.
Also, YouTube Music is only available in 77 countries. This means you might not get access to it depending on your location.
Another major flaw is that you cannot play the audio music tracks in the background when you’re using the free version. This is because of the ads that need to be played.
If you want a better listening experience, here are some of the best YouTube Music alternatives that you could use instead.
Amazon has something for everyone, whether you’re looking to shop or watch a movie. It even has a platform dedicated to music, Amazon Music, and it’s worth looking into. Also known as Amazon Music Unlimited, this platform is a subscription-based music streaming service that you access via the Amazon Music app and Amazon Music for Web.
You gain access to tens of millions of songs, hundreds of Playlists hand-curated by Amazon’s music experts, and personalized Stations with an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription. The Amazon Music Unlimited Individual plan is available on a monthly basis. Prime members also have access to discounted monthly pricing and a yearly renewal option.
Once you’ve started a membership, you’ll have access to the complete Amazon Music Unlimited catalog. You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial that includes full access to Amazon Music Unlimited until the trial expires. You can use your account on up to ten devices if you have one.
All of the music is available for offline listening, which is a huge advantage over YouTube Music. It’s available on iOS, Android, and FireOS. Additionally, with its voice-control assistant, Amazon has strived to improve the functionality, integration, and intelligence of its service.
Apple Music has thrived in the face of fierce competition from streaming music competitors. Apple Music, which is only five years old, now has over 90 million paying customers, making it a nightmare for YouTube Music, as well as other streaming music providers. As a new comer, this platform has already impressed numerous users, and you should try it too.
One of the biggest pros that it has is its price and availability. To give Apple Music a try, everyone gets a three-month free trial. Apple Music costs $10 per month after three months. This does not seem that great at first. However, the $14.99 family plan allows for up to six accounts and is aimed squarely at parents.
Apple was smart to make Apple Music available on Android phones and Windows PCs in addition to iOS, Mac, and Apple Watch, so anyone who wants to can make full use of the service. Another advantage it has is its huge music catalog. Apple Music’s repertoire includes over 90 million songs.
Apple Music has practically every genre of music available. If you’re worried about finding new music to suit your taste, don’t. The app’s “For You” section learns your tastes and offers recommendations from specialists who know and love music based on what you listen to.
The best part is that it offers offline listening. Apple Music subscribers who pay for the service will be able to download albums and songs for offline listening. This is quite useful for listening to music while traveling without access to the internet. It’s simple to listen to music while flying or traveling.
Qobuz was the first streaming service to prioritize high-resolution audio, and the company has a devoted following among music industry creatives. Unlike many of its competitors, Qobuz is completely focused on the digital music industry, and its offering reflects this. Qobuz, in addition to providing high-resolution streaming, makes better use of available metadata to provide more complete artist, producer, and songwriter credits than practically any other streaming service.
In this platform, everything now has at least CD quality: 16-bit resolution, a 44.1 kHz sampling rate, and a bit rate of 1,411 Kbps. Higher resolution streams, designated with the Japan Audio Society’s Hi-Res Audio emblem, are accessible in large numbers. Those recordings are encoded in 24-bit resolution at 96 or 192 kHz sampling rates.
However, because of the quality of music that it offers, if your internet service provider has a data cap, or if you regularly stream music on a cellular network, you should be mindful of how much bandwidth streaming at certain resolutions will require. Qobuz also has a desktop app. Along with its vastly better search and artist page structure, it has a clean and uncomplicated design.
Even though the Mac desktop program is still designed for Intel processors, Rosetta 2 does not slow or jitter when translated on an Apple Silicon Mac. For audiophiles who also wish to own digital files, Qobuz is the ideal music app for you. With just a few purchases every year, their Sublime subscription will pay for itself, and purchasers who make even one purchase per month will receive a fantastic discount.
Plex is more than simply a movie and TV show streaming service. You can also create a personal music collection on the streaming platform, which you can access from anywhere. With the v4.0 upgrade, the Plexamp music player now has a slew of new features and improvements.
Plex’s user-friendly interface and broad platform support make it a great choice for setting up and running a personal media server. Its attractiveness grows as its library of free streaming entertainment grows.
Plex Media Server is compatible with FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. You may also install the program on network-attached storage (NAS) drives from well-known brands, including QNAP, Seagate, Synology, and Western Digital. Another possibility is Docker, a virtualization software. The new Plex app for Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows devices is now available for playing. Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku are all supported streaming devices. Plex is also available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming consoles, select smart TVs, a few VR platforms, Alexa, and the Sonos app.
Another reason you should consider this platform instead of YouTube Music is that it has a growing library of on-demand content. It has preprogrammed video streaming content too. However, since its latest update, the streaming platform now lacks gaming and podcasts. If you’re into both, this might not be the best YouTube Music alternative for you. Nevertheless, it’s pretty much a decent option, if you ask.
SoundCloud is a unique streaming music service that combines user-generated music and podcasts with recordings from major label musicians. However, you may miss out on other providers’ engaging features. SoundCloud is a free audio platform that allows you to listen to music and podcasts or create your own. SoundCloud stands out in a crowded streaming audio industry thanks to its two-way business model, which can be accessed via the web, desktop, Android, or iOS apps.
SoundCloud offers three music subscription options: Free, Go, and Go+. SoundCloud’s Free version has no skip limitations, unlike other competing music services’ entry-level tiers—one of the perks of the company’s concentration on indie musicians and anyone who uploads a popular tune recorded on a Casio piano.
However, the Free tier includes certain major-label songs, such as Kanye West’s “Champion” and “Stronger” tracks, although listening to the entire Graduation album requires a premium SoundCloud Go+ membership. According to a SoundCloud representative, tracks are streamed at 128kbps MP3 “or equivalent.”
This means that SoundCloud may experiment with different combinations of encoding and streaming to provide listeners with a high-quality experience across devices, but it is bound by the 128 kbps MP3 standard. The $4.99 per month SoundCloud Go option, which includes ad-free and offline listening but not audio quality, is the next rung on the ladder.
The $9.99 a month SoundCloud Go+ consumer subscription gives you complete access to SoundCloud’s licensed major label music (you can stream the entirety of Ye’s Graduation, for example) as well as high-quality audio encoded in 256kbps AAC. Go+ gives you access to over 200 million tracks, which is three times the quantity of music available through Amazon Music Unlimited. As you might assume, user-generated/indie content makes up a significant chunk of this.
In addition to podcasts, videos, and livestreams, Tidal’s catalog contains over 60 million tracks. While Tidal’s music library isn’t as large as Spotify’s, it makes up for it with exclusive releases from A-list artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Ye, whose 2016 album The Life of Pablo was released exclusively on Tidal.
At the $10/month level, Tidal’s $9.99 USD Premium plan has the same disappointing 320kbps quality as Spotify, making the two services a toss-up. It’s a matter of deciding which platform provides the exclusive content you want at that pricing point. Tidal’s HiFi tier, which costs $19.99 per month, includes CD-quality music (dubbed “HiFi”) and Master Quality Audio (MQA), with bit rates up to 9216kbps.
Tidal now offers a collection of Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio recordings for audiophiles looking for spatial audio on the go. Tidal’s interface is similar to Spotify’s in appearance. Its algorithm offers clever suggestions based on your specific listening history, making it easier to find your favorite songs, albums, and playlists, so if you’re already familiar with Spotify, it will be easier for you to navigate through this platform.
The human touch is what sets Tidal unique among other YouTube Music alternatives. One drawback of using Tidal, though, is its price. Unfortunately, this streaming using this platform is quite expensive, requiring you to spend nearly $20 a month for a subscription. Also, if you’re into underground or older music, this isn’t the right platform for you. This is because Tidal’s library is significantly weighted in favor of newer mainstream, radio-friendly bands.
Spotify, today, is many people’s go-to music source. It’s not a surprise, though, as it is way ahead of the competition thanks to its library and sound quality. Apart from that, it’s easy to use. Spotify is one of the most user-friendly streaming services available. You only need to create a free account using Facebook or email.
Following that, you can make your own playlist, and like YouTube Music, you can enjoy it for free. However, its free tier only lets you play on shuffle, and you can only skip six songs per hour. However, if you subscribe to its premium offer, you can download countless songs to play offline, and of course, you can skip and play songs whenever you want.
In terms of quality, you can play sounds at 160 kbps if you’re using the free tier. But if you’re a premium user, you can run songs at about 320 kbps. A huge plus when you opt for Spotify is that you don’t have to wait for new releases. Spotify lets you listen to new releases as soon as they hit the market. The best part of it is that it has a lyrics feature. With this, you can sing along to your favorite songs.
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