TechJunkie Expert Recommendations
Many people now use Spotify as their primary music source. It’s hardly surprising, though, because its library and quality put it miles ahead of the competition.
Aside from that, it is simple to use. One of the most user-friendly streaming services accessible is Spotify. All you have to do is sign up for a free account using Facebook or email. After that, you’re free to create your own playlist.
You can listen to it for free too. However, the free tier allows you to only play in shuffle and skip six tracks every hour.
But, if you upgrade to its premium service, you can keep a large number of tracks to listen to offline. You can, of course, skip and play songs at any time.
If you use the free tier, you can play sounds at a bitrate of 160 kbps. If you’re a premium subscriber, though, you can listen to tracks at 320 kbps.
When you choose Spotify, you won’t have to wait for new releases, which is a significant bonus. You may listen to new releases as soon as they come out on Spotify.
It features a lyrics feature, which is the finest part. You may sing along to your favorite tunes with this.
The downside to using this streaming platform, though, is its price. Unfortunately, it’s one of the platforms out there that belong to the expensive side.
Also, it’s not available in every country, so it might not be the best option for you, depending on your location. The good news is there are numerous Spotify alternatives for the audiophile in you. Here are some of them.
LiveXLive shines as one of the most comprehensive streaming music services on the market today, with live music streams, highly entertaining channels, and countless podcasts. In 2017, LiveXLive acquired Slacker, resulting in LiveXLive Powered by Slacker, an exceptional music streaming service that integrated the former’s DJs and curated radio stations with the latter’s live performances. Despite removing the Slacker moniker, LiveXLive remains a top-tier streaming service available on desktop, mobile devices, smart TVs, and the web.
If you’re familiar with YouTube Music, you’ll likely find it easy to navigate through LiveXLive. This is because it uses a panel-based layout to aggregate its top musical choices across its numerous pages. A scrolling window in the center of the screen displays recommended albums, channels, live events, and original shows. To the south, there are panels for all LiveXLive has to offer, including videos, new releases, station and artist recommendations, and, of course, top stations.
However, LiveXLive’s UI isn’t as clear as YouTube Music’s; the enormous panels clutter the screen, making it feel like you’re scrolling and searching for more than you need to. The most valuable Premium feature is on-demand playback. LiveXLive plays stations and music based on your choices in Basic and Plus, but not the precise title you search for. You’ll eventually hear your favorite songs on a playlist, but you won’t be able to pick and choose.
Despite severe competition from streaming music competitors, Apple Music has grown in popularity. Apple Music, which has barely been around for five years, now has over 90 million paying subscribers, making it a nightmare for Spotify and other streaming music services. This platform has already pleased many people as a newcomer, and you should give it a try too.
Its pricing and availability are two of its main advantages. Everyone receives a three-month free trial of Apple Music to try it out. After three months, Apple Music costs $10 per month. The $14.99 family package, which permits up to six accounts, is geared specifically toward parents. In addition to iOS, Mac, and Apple Watch, Apple has made Apple Music available for Android phones and Windows PCs. Apple Music is offered in 167 countries.
Another advantage is that it has an extensive music library. Apple Music has over 90 million songs in its library. Apple Music has nearly every musical genre available. Many people would be perplexed as to how to find the song they want in such a vast library. Don’t worry; the app’s “For You” section learns your preferences and makes recommendations based on what you listen to from experts who know and love music.
One of the most popular streaming services is YouTube. In 2015, the streaming giant developed a second platform dedicated only to music streaming in order to provide better entertainment for music fans of all ages. On YouTube Music, you can listen to hundreds of thousands of tunes on this platform. What’s more, you can upload your own music or other audio to its servers, which makes it even better.
You can also use YouTube TV to watch movies you purchased from the Google Play Store. YouTube Music, like the old YouTube that everyone knows, features a clever search feature. This allows you to search for music by entering lyrics or song keywords. This helps you discover new songs while recalling iconic hits from your childhood. All of this is available for free. However, a few advertisements may occasionally disrupt your listening experience. If it becomes too much for you, you can always upgrade to a premium subscription, which will remove the annoying adverts and provide you access to additional services not available to free users.
SoundCloud is a unique music streaming website that combines user-generated music and podcasts with recordings from major label artists. However, you can miss out on some of the more interesting features of other providers. SoundCloud is a free audio platform that lets you listen to music and podcasts while also allowing you to create your own. SoundCloud stands out in the competitive streaming audio sector because of its two-way business model, which is accessible via the web, desktop, Android, and iOS apps.
SoundCloud has three different music subscription plans: Free, Go, and Go+. Unlike other rival music services’ entry-level levels, SoundCloud’s Free version has no skip limitations—one of the benefits of the company’s focus on indie musicians and anyone who uploads a popular piece recorded on a Casio piano. Certain major-label songs, such as Kanye West’s “Champion” and “Stronger” tracks, are available on the Free tier.
However, listening to the complete Graduation album or other albums requires a paid SoundCloud Go+ membership. Tracks are streamed at 128 kbps, according to a SoundCloud representative. This means that SoundCloud may experiment with different combinations of encoding and streaming in order to provide listeners with a high-quality experience across devices, but it is bound by the 128 kbps MP3 standard.
Deezer is a nice middle ground between Spotify’s outstanding music curation and CD-quality audio, with countless playlists, original videos, and CD-quality audio. Despite the fall of a few companies in recent years, the streaming music industry remains fiercely competitive. Along with tech-heavyweights like Amazon, Apple, and Google, music-focused firms like LiveXLive and Spotify are vying for your attention. To stand out in the face of such competition, a streaming music service must offer distinctive features. Enter Deezer, a French startup that entered the US market in 2016.
Deezer isn’t groundbreaking, but its combination of standard streaming music, live radio, podcasts, and exclusive video makes it a worthwhile choice. If you’ve used Spotify before, you have a rough idea about Deezer. You’ll be presented with a panel-based interface that allows you to search for music by genre (Rock, Soul & Funk, Pop, and so on) or playlist (Acoustic Soul, Blues Women, Rock Workout, and the like). Both categories are filled with tracks from the genres you choose when you created your account.
Deezer also has a large selection and recommendation categories, which are all worth checking out. It dedicates a segment of these to international charts, with the top 100 tracks from Brazil, Jamaica, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Fresh Picks of the Week has extensive playlists of the hottest new music, organized into numerous playlist categories, as well as hundreds of original and collaborative podcasts covering a wide range of topics, including true crime, politics, humor, and lifestyle.
Pandora is a music streaming service that lets you make different stations based on your favorite songs, genres, and performers. It then plays comparable tracks, allowing you to find new music that corresponds to your preferences. Pandora Radio is one of the most well-known streaming music services, and it continues to develop and improve. It was at the forefront of internet radio in the mid-to-late 2000s, thanks to its recommendation engine, the Music Genome Project.
In recent years, many rival apps have subsequently caught up to and surpassed Pandora in terms of features. Yet, Pandora still has playlists, podcasts, album commentary, and artist tour information to keep it current. These services may not be able to match the features of premium services. Pandora offers both free and premium service tiers, allowing you to sample the music without committing to a membership. Free account holders get the anticipated ad-supported tailored stations, as well as podcasts and on-demand music. All in all, Pandora Radio resembles Spotify. The only difference is that it’s way cheaper than the latter, which, of course, is a huge plus if you’re an audiophile on a budget.
Amazon seems to have it all. They even have Amazon Music, a portal dedicated to music. This platform, also known as Amazon Music Unlimited, is a subscription-based music streaming service that allows you to listen to tens of millions of songs using the Amazon Music app and Amazon Music for Web. With an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription, you have access to tens of millions of songs, hundreds of Playlists hand-curated by Amazon’s music experts, and personalized Stations.
Amazon Music Unlimited Individual is a monthly subscription service. Prime members also get a monthly discount and the opportunity to renew for a year. You’ll have access to the entire Amazon Music Unlimited catalog via the Amazon Music app or Amazon Music for Web once you’ve started a membership. There are tens of millions of songs on it, including new releases from today’s major artists. You may also join up for a free 30-day trial of Amazon Music Unlimited, which gives you full access to the service until it expires. If you have an account, you can use it on up to ten devices.
The music is accessible on iOS, Android, and Amazon Fire tablets. Additionally, Amazon has worked to increase the functionality, integration, and intelligence of its voice-control assistant.
JioSaavn is the new name for Saavn, the popular music streaming service. While Spotify offers a large library of international music, JioSaavn is the clear winner when it comes to regional music. Both music services have a large music library with songs from all genres and categories, so this is more about personal preferences. JioSaavn has a light color UI with a green and white color scheme. However, some users may find it a touch busy, which is understandable given that the app has more functions than Spotify.
When it comes to actually using both apps, Jio’s music streaming service has the upper hand. Although JioSaavn shared a lot of features with Spotify at first, the app has since matured to become its own creature. JioSaavn has a lot of features, such as artist radio, lyrics integration, and a high-quality audio selection. In a side-by-side comparison, JioSaavn’s feature set will outperform Spotify’s. However, there is one minor snag with JioSaavn, which involves the music suggestion system. While Spotify boasts an absolutely unrivaled and unbeatable music suggestion system that will make you appear to be a true music aficionado, JioSaavn’s track recommendations are not very unique or fresh and are primarily confined to “similar songs” and tracks by the same artists.
Tidal’s repertoire features over 60 million pieces of music in addition to podcasts, videos, and live streams. While Tidal’s music collection isn’t as extensive as Spotify’s, it compensates with exclusive releases from A-list artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Ye, whose 2016 album The Life of Pablo was only available on Tidal.
Tidal’s $9.99 USD Premium plan offers the same poor 320 kbps quality as Spotify, making the two services a toss-up. It’s just a matter of figuring out which platform offers the exclusive content you’re looking for at that price range. The $19.99 per month HiFi tier contains CD-quality music (called “HiFi”) and Master Quality Audio (MQA), with bit rates up to 9216 kbps. For audiophiles looking for spatial audio on the go, Tidal now has a collection of Dolby Atmos and Sony 360 Reality Audio recordings.
In terms of aesthetics, Tidal’s UI is identical to Spotify’s. Tidal’s technology makes intelligent recommendations based on your listening history, making it easier to locate your favorite songs, albums, and playlists. If you’re already familiar with Spotify, you’ll find it much easier to utilize this platform. The personal touch, on the other hand, distinguishes Tidal from other Spotify rivals. However, there is a cost associated with using Tidal. Unfortunately, using this platform to stream is rather pricey, costing approximately $20 per month for a subscription. This isn’t the platform for you if you’re into underground or older music. This is due to Tidal’s catalog being heavily skewed toward newer mainstream, radio-friendly music.
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