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Spotify vs Pandora vs Apple Music vs ??
Old 12-31-2016, 08:15 AM   #1
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Spotify vs Pandora vs Apple Music vs ??

What are your thoughts on the streaming music services such as Pandora, Spotify, Apple Music, etc? Some have a 'free' service that comes with limitations and commercials and a paid service.

If you use one why did you choose it over the others? If you decided to pay for Premium service did you find it worth the extra money?

Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:22 AM   #2
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Use Pandora(premium). About $5 per month. Doesn't operate in Canada so only use it in Arizona. Worth $5 a month to be commercial free but the free service also pretty good. Commercial every 3 songs or so. I like the feature where you pick an artist and they create a playlist of similar style.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:30 AM   #3
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For a couple of years I used the free versions of Pandora and Spotify. Recently after a free trial of Amazon Music Unlimited, I became a subscriber for $79/yr. I really like not having ads. I chose the Amazon option for its seamless integration with my Echo(s), but I imagine all services are similar.

Some mornings I'm in the mood for DJ banter, so I listen to a local radio station on I Heart Radio.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:30 AM   #4
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I stream through Amazon Prime. Listening to Don Henley as I post this. The reason I use this service over others is because I subscribe to Prime for all the other benefits and music is just a bonus for me.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:31 AM   #5
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We use Pandora (free, but commercial free on our Sangean radio) about 30% and Amazon Prime music (commercial free and part of our paid Prime membership) about 70%.

We prefer Amazon. The station & music lists seem larger. We think "great song!" more often when using Amazon, and skip songs more often on Pandora, but that could be our personal tastes (baby boomer 70's and 80's rock).

Amazon also allows downloading prime songs & albums to our phones and tablets so we can take music on the road. This can save a lot of data when we're not in WiFi range.

DD prefers Youtube. Huge library that you can select from, especially new artists and groups not yet signed to contracts. I use it sometimes if I want to listen toa specific album, but find the commercials and sound quality is not as good.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:37 AM   #6
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I mostly use Pandora's free version. I seldom hear (or notice) any commercials, definitely not every three songs. Usually I get a commercial when I skip a song, and very occasionally otherwise. I've got about 20 stations programmed in, and just keep it on shuffle.

I've got Amazon Prime, but haven't tried the streaming music yet. I'll add that to my list of New Year's resolutions.

Edit: Since I started paying attention, Pandora played 12 songs before the first commercial. And there were a few songs before that.
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Old 12-31-2016, 08:39 AM   #7
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I've tried Deezer, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora and Tidal lossless. Out of all of them, Spotify was my final selection. No, it's not perfect, but it works with everything we need (Sonos, PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc.), has a pretty good music selection, I can share music with more of my friends (i.e. hey, check out this playlist), integrates well with Soundhound on my phone (I can identify a track and have it automatically added to a Spotify playlist), and the sound quality is "good enough" for my ears. As a matter of fact, I'm listening to a Spotify-generated playlist right now: Coffee Table Jazz, playing Stanley Turrentine's "Journey into melody" right now! Tidal lossless can sound better with the right equipment, but they were missing too many tracks that I wanted to hear. If you're looking for the best radio functionality, Pandora does a better job with its' Music Genome. But, sometimes I want to listen to one particular album only...and Pandora does not do that.

Here - check this out (if you've got Spotify): https://open.spotify.com/user/spotif...AYARVVdfCKZ9G7
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:30 PM   #8
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If you are in the Apple ecosystem, Apple Music is an easy choice. It's got a good catalog of songs and works well. My favorite part it that it's integrated with Siri. In fact, I think it works best using voice commands - very easy.
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:37 PM   #9
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I chose Spotify for pretty much the same reasons that T-Minus outlined - great selection, good search capability, integration with Sonos, ability to download to the phone for car trips (save on cell phone data), clients for the desktop (windows) and phone (android). Reasonable monthly fee.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:44 PM   #10
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I use a combination of:
  • Amazon Prime Music. The selection is more limited now that they're pushing their Music Unlimited service to squeeze another $7.99 a month out of Prime members.

  • Spotify in its free version. The commercials are annoying, but you learn to tune them out. On your PC you can listen to an album straight through, but that's not the case via your phone -- it shuffles the tracks and plays songs from other albums that it (often wrongly) thinks you might like. Spotify has some real rarities, but its rights to content seem to come and go; several of the albums I've saved have eventually become inaccessible.

  • Freegal, a free streaming service provided through my local public library. It allows 3 hours of streaming a day and 5 track downloads a week. I use it only with wi-fi. Streaming it to your smartphone when it's out of wi-fi range will quickly eat up your data. (Apparently, Spotify is considered an exception by my carrier, so it doesn't use up my data.)

  • YouTube.

  • Good old CDs.
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focus View Post
I use a combination of:
  • Amazon Prime Music. The selection is more limited now that they're pushing their Music Unlimited service to squeeze another $7.99 a month out of Prime members.
...
Is it easy to see the limitations of Amazon Prime Music versus Music Unlimited?

I'm asking for DW as she is thinking of getting some music on her phone. We haven't tried any of the Amazon music offerings but we do have Prime (for merchandise). The Prime ebook selections and video choices leave a lot to be desired IMO.
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:57 PM   #12
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We have XM Sirius for the cars and play that through a Sonos in the living room.
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Dawg52 View Post
I stream through Amazon Prime. Listening to Don Henley as I post this. The reason I use this service over others is because I subscribe to Prime for all the other benefits and music is just a bonus for me.
+1 (except I'm not listening to Don Henley)
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Old 12-31-2016, 07:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
Is it easy to see the limitations of Amazon Prime Music versus Music Unlimited?

I'm asking for DW as she is thinking of getting some music on her phone. We haven't tried any of the Amazon music offerings but we do have Prime (for merchandise). The Prime ebook selections and video choices leave a lot to be desired IMO.
Have her look for what she likes in Amazon Music. If the songs are grayed out or she presses play and nothing happens, that means the album is only available in Music Unlimited. There's still a lot you can listen to as a Prime member, but several albums I put on my list a few years ago are no longer accessible.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:23 AM   #15
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I have never liked any of them. When I occasionally want to stream music I tune into radioparadise.com. It has an eclectic listener vetted music list I like.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focus View Post
Have her look for what she likes in Amazon Music. If the songs are grayed out or she presses play and nothing happens, that means the album is only available in Music Unlimited. There's still a lot you can listen to as a Prime member, but several albums I put on my list a few years ago are no longer accessible.
Thanks Focus. DW tends to get pretty exasperated with site changes and I don't really blame her. The change in availability of a favorite would seem to be a real drawback.
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Old 01-01-2017, 04:05 PM   #17
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I use free Pandora for streaming radio stations based on an artist. Out of all the services I've tried, they do this the best.

I've used both Spotify and Apple Music and I prefer Apple Music. But if I wasn't using Apple products, then I'd go with Spotify. They are both similar and I'd try out the free offer to see which one you prefer.

Spotify can also be better if you have a family subscription. With Apple, everybody has to be part of a family group in order to access Apple Music. This is a problem for us because our kids (teenagers) have their own Apple accounts associated with their debit cards. If they were part of the family, that means everything is billed to a single credit card (ours). I don't want to deal with their purchases, so Apple Music is out for us. With Spotify, you can have up to six accounts and all that's required are separate e-mail addresses.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:51 PM   #18
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Over the last year I have tried several services. Here's my take:
- Amazon Prime - very limited, but I use it sometimes to download to my phone
- Deezer - the version I tried was somewhat limited
- Spotify - I tried the free version and then signed up for a trial of the paid version. Mistake. I found the paid version buggy and the customer service awful. I moved on when I realized that using it from my laptop caused the app on my Android phone to start. This quickly drained my phone battery. Company was dismissive of similar user complaints.
- Rhapsody - didn't care for the user interface on my PC

I'm now using Google Play, $9.99/ month. I use it mainly from my laptop and send the output to my stereo. I sometimes download some playlists or albums to my phone for listening on the go. Google has a very large catalog. It does not have as many curated lists as Spotify does, but you can share your playlists with others. No lyrics.

I am using the paid version so I can skip as many songs as I like, download to my phone and play whole albums. The nice thing is you can cancel any of the services at any time when something better comes along.

This thread has inspired me to look at this again
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:49 PM   #19
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+1 Google Play Music. They have a family plan for $15/mo for up to 4 (maybe 6?) people, all unlimited. Best deal I've found, and great catalog.
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Old 02-13-2017, 04:20 PM   #20
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Love my Spotify Premium. I can pick the exact song and artist. I have not been skunked yet finding a song. Great service rekindled my love of music.
Speaking of which, give this song a listen: Wicked Game, from Live at Killkenny Arts Festival, Ireland/2011. Artist is James Vincent McMorrow. The original was by Chris Isaak.
I guarantee you will listen and at the end say "wow, what an amazing performance."
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