A Guide to 13 Popular Music Streaming Services
Disadvantages of streaming music
Music streaming services have shortcomings. On the one hand, you don’t own the music. You basically rent it out, so if you stop paying a month, you’re without your music. Compare that to a shelf full of music CDs you own.
“While it’s unlikely, a music service could push a button and it’s all gone for everyone, or an artist you love may remove their music catalog from the service,” Greene said. “My point is that the music doesn’t belong to you forever. “
Alper considers this to be the norm these days. “The idea of ownership is foreign to many grandchildren of AARP members, I would say, whether it’s music or movies or even owning a car, with services like Uber,” says -he.
While the sound quality is good, those who take music seriously say that streaming doesn’t compare to the fidelity of CDs. Plus, many prefer a tangible experience, holding – and marveling – at the artwork with an album and reading sleeve notes and lyrics or flipping through a booklet with a CD. Another potential problem: Unless the service lets you download music to your device when you know you’ll be offline, like on a plane or on the subway, you need an internet connection to listen.
“If you’re using Wi-Fi, it’s probably fine. But if you’re listening outside the home and don’t have unlimited data [with your mobile phone plan] then you could get a really big phone bill, ”says Greene.
How to choose a music service
The big three music services – Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music Unlimited – each have around 75 million songs that can be played on multiple devices.
“Really, you can’t go wrong between the greats,” says Alper.
Other services include Deezer, iHeartRadio, LiveXLive (formerly Slacker Radio), Pandora, Sirius XM, SoundCloud, Tidal, TuneIn Radio, and YouTube Music with many acting more like traditional radio stations but with curated playlists. Like the Big Three, many use artificial intelligence to detect what kind of music you like and suggest more.
“[But] there are a few considerations to take into account when choosing one over the other, such as whether there is an ad-supported free version or not, and what extras do they offer, ”says Alper.
For example, Alper says he likes Apple Music to display song lyrics when music is playing. But Spotify offers something called Canvas, animated video backgrounds for some albums, as well as a solid collection of podcasts as part of your subscription. Spotify’s music quality is good, Alper says, but notes that Apple Music has added “lossless” sound for even better sound, if that’s important to you.
Most offer free trials
While most services offer a free trial and then charge around $ 9.99 per month – and often with discounts for multiple members of the same household – you can be swayed by a music streaming platform if you get a prize. lump sum.
For example, Amazon Music Prime is included with Amazon Prime ($ 119 per year), which also gives you free express shipping on millions of Amazon.com items, access to Amazon Prime Video, eBooks, and Free Kindle magazines and an unlimited photo back. -up in full resolution. In other words, why pay for another service if you already have one that you might not have noticed?
Likewise, Apple Music is part of Apple One, which bundles multiple Apple services into one subscription, starting at $ 14.95 per month for Apple Music, Apple TV +, Apple Arcade, and iCloud + (for 50 gigabytes of storage). The Apple One family plan, at $ 19.95 per month, allows up to six people to access these services and expands iCloud + storage to 200GB of data.
You can choose a music service that your friends are connected to, so that you can share playlists. Or pay for a service. And if you feel like you are missing some music, use the free version of another one, which will add ads and limitations on how many times you can advance if you don’t like a song you don’t like. you hear.
Since each service has a free trial period, you can always try before you buy.