Check out our best music applications for sharing playlists with friends, discovering new musicians, and more if you live your life to the beat of your own drum.
In the past, selecting a music streaming service was much more difficult. If John Legend had been on Apple Music, but not Spotify, or Tidal, she would have been missing out. When it comes to catalogs, the offerings of these services are nearly identical, and new albums are often released at the same time. Any one of these should be able to provide you with the artist you’re looking for.
The quality of curated playlists, whether it’s dependent on algorithms or human selection, the experience design on mobile and desktop devices apps, what devices you can choose to use them on, and their sound quality divide streaming services today. While many of these services provide a free tier, you’ll get a better experience if you join on a monthly basis. We tried them all, and these are the ones that stood out the most.
The free version, which includes adverts, has a 96-Kbps playing bit rate by default, but you can increase it to 160 Kbps. For $10 a month, you can get rid of commercials and stream at up to 320 kbps, which is the current standard for streaming. Spotify’s HiFi tier is coming, but there’s no word on when it will be available.
Spotify currently claims to have more than 82 million tracks, up from its previous claim of “more than 70 million” in July 2021. There are no Neil Young, Joni Mitchel, or other artists’ albums on Spotify because they asked the service to remove them in protest of their podcaster Joe Rogan’s repeated propagation of Covid disinformation.
You can have an unlimited amount of songs in any personal library on Spotify, and each playlist can include up to 10,000 tracks. Social sharing allows you to view what your friends have really been listening to and establish sessions where a group of people can simultaneously share a playlist if you turn it on. It’s great that you can now listen to just the songs you’ve enjoyed from each artist’s catalog now that the feature is available.
Apple Music has replaced Tidal as our go-to service for music lovers, thanks to the fact that its $10/month lossless tier is now half the price of Tidal’s. After aiming to make all 90 million+ songs available in uncompressed format by the end of 2021, it looks like Apple has achieved this target. Dolby Atmos surround sound is also available for a few tracks. In comparison to Spotify’s 320 Kbps, Apple Music’s lossy format plays songs at up to 256 Kbps.
This Apple Music Voice Plan, now costs $5 per month, was just announced. You’ll just use Siri to command it, but there are no bothersome commercials. Songs, artists, and albums you enjoy can’t be saved or seen as playlists. That also implies there will be no music videos or lyrics. A simple tap of a finger can only do so much: pause/play, forward and backward. Listening to songs and albums or radio stations instead of asking Siri to identify and play individual songs is your only option. In order to save just $5 a month, however, there are a lot of restrictions.
Spotify’s discovery possibilities are more enjoyable than Apple’s. As with Spotify, you could see what your friends are playing to if they’ve enabled social sharing on their account. If you want to listen to Drake while driving, you can access a tab that shows all of your favourite songs, artist by artist, so if you want to listen to the band’s whole catalogue, it will. Despite the fact that you’re restricted to 100,000 songs in your collection, you can create unlimited playlists.
However, Tidal’s large lossless-quality song collection cost $20 per month, while Apple’s HiFi service costs $10 per month. For the most part, it supports Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio, as well as “Master” quality (up to 9,216 kbps) tracks.
As with its competitors, Tidal’s library of over 80 million songs pulls from a wide range of musical genres. It no longer relies heavily on hip hop as it did in the past. For the time being, all of its tracks are accessible in lossless format.
You can still use Tidal if you don’t want to submerge the Apple and become a full member of the Apple ecosystem. There are three price brackets available. Tidal Free has taken over as the default music streaming and download service after Tidal Access was discontinued. It’s free because of the commercial interruptions that come with it. It’s not possible to watch videos and the streaming performance is limited to 160 kbps on the free version. It costs $10 per month to subscribe to the Premium tier, which provides music playback at a bitrate of up to 320 Kbps.
YouTube Music’s user interface is sleek and well-organized. As an underdog music platform, it makes sense for them to avoid copying Spotify’s design from a billion-dollar giant. In the app, I enjoy how the music queue and lyrics appear in a vertical pane. This makes navigation faster and easier. Listening to a song and watching the accompanying music video can be done at the same time if that is accessible.
I enjoyed the band suggestions and the service’s database of roughly 80 million tracks. You can store up to 100,000 songs in your collection and share playlists with others. Google’s YouTube Music service combines the greatest elements of Spotify and Apple Music’s music streaming services: By artist, you can see your “loved” tracks, and you can subscribe to an artist to have access to their complete catalogue and upcoming releases.
In the mobile platform, the free plan has a key drawback: the music stops playing if you turn off your phone backlight or switch to another app. As a result, you’ll most likely have to shell out $10 a month for YouTube Music Premium in order to remove commercials and save songs for offline listening. In contrast, the desktop application does not suffer from the same fundamental flaw.