Streaming services have altered the music industry so drastically that even audiophiles who swear by physical formats must admit that it's difficult to resist the allure of online platforms when it comes to obtaining your music fix. With tens of millions of music available at the touch of a finger, finding old favorites or discovering new bands and artists has never been easier.
There are various streaming services, like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Deezer. Some services provide limited free music apps (supported by advertisements with limited playback options) or one to three-month free trials, but most services charge a monthly subscription cost. Following is our pick of some of the most famous music streaming services.
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Spotify is the most popular and accessible way to listen to music. It has a library of over 40 million songs and offers decent 320Kbps quality. These can be played on almost any device due to simple iOS and Android apps and Spotify Connect support in smart TVs, speakers, and other AV equipment.
Spotify is recognized for its great weekly playlists. The more you listen, the better the playlists get. With a $9.99 monthly cap, Spotify offers a complete experience, with almost a 50% student discount. There's also a free tier with lower-quality streaming subsidized by ads.
With the addition of lossless audio streams to Tidal's base subscription, the service has become more accessible. The Tidal HiFi plan offers uninterrupted access to audio at up to 1411 kbps for $9.99 per month. However, some bonuses are only available to Tidal's top tier.
‘Tidal HiFi Plus' users get access to millions of hi-res audio songs at the monthly price of $19.99. These ‘Tidal Masters' are encoded using MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology, which enables more efficient high-res data packing.
Apple Music makes sense if you're fully involved in Apple's ecosystem. Individual plans are $9.99 per month, while voice plans are $4.99. Students pay $4.99 per month, while a family of six pays $14.99.
The desktop or mobile app UI is basic yet effective. The service does an excellent job selecting playlists and making reasonable suggestions. Apple has enabled lossless audio and spatial audio support with Dolby Atmos without costing extra.
Deezer turned 10 in 2017, and it was a year of transformation for the French conglomerate. On top of that, they added more apps and platforms. The premium plan is $5.99 per month, the Hi-Fi plan is $8.99, and the family plan is $8.99.
With so many options, it comes down to personal preference. Notable mentions include YouTube Music and Amazon Music; both enabling are major streaming services.
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