Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play Music

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Archived from the original on November 28, Ferrara and Michele P. To comply with the requirements and protections offered by the DMCA , Pandora serves users only in the United States, using IP addresses to block users from non-complying countries. Declining music sales and the rise of free sources like YouTube and Pandora have left a once proud industry in a state of perpetual anarchy. Find out the winner of T unein vs iHeart battle! Over 30 million tracks, plus access to music videos.

Pandora vs Google Play: Round One

Google Play vs Pandora

In this instance, it could be argued that Google Play Music is a little too flashy and a simpler, more streamlined approach would have been appreciated. The browse stations tab is much the same way where users must perform a ton of swiping to get to various categories. When you play music, the music player is constantly accessible either in the notification drop down or as a truncated box at the bottom of any given page.

The player itself is pretty standard with prominently featured album art along with a thumbs up and down buttons and the standard control buttons at the bottom. Right above that is the repeat button, the shuffle button, and another Chromecast button. You can hit the music note icon at the top right to return to the playlist or song list to change the track.

To the right of that is the three dot menu where you can access additional options including adding the song to your playlist. You can click the thumbnail in the top left corner to close the player and return to the app to look around. Spotify uses a lot of the same basic principles as Google Play Music where the majority of your navigation is going to take place by opening the left slide-out menu and then picking your category.

However, Spotify takes a much less flamboyant approach and it is decidedly more simple to move around the application. It also employs Material Design but seems to do in more measured doses. The app opens up to your library page which, in my humble opinion, is the correct place to open the application.

From there you can use the slide-out menu to go to Search, Browse, Radio, and then back to Your Library. Much like Google Play Music, the title of each category more or less explains what each one does.

Spotify also has Material Design, but in more measured doses. You can also access podcasts and video content from here by clicking on the Shows option. This is a really smart way to do this as it creates an easy, all-in-one hub for finding new content and users know where to go if they want to find something new. The Radio section is where the curated playlists are kept in case you want to try those.

The music player acts almost identically to Google Play Music. You can access it anytime in the notification drop down or by the truncated box at the bottom of the application. We will note that the notification player has a plus symbol to easily add the current song to your library without entering the app which we thought was nice.

These sections do exactly what their titles suggest that they do. Apple Music looks good, but not Material Design good. Each section is well defined and the content is prominently and simply displayed.

This creates a disjointed and sloppy feeling in the application as your finger will have to bounce frequent between your back button and the navigation button in the top left corner. Apple tries to be different by putting the three dot menu in the bottom right instead of the top right which is unusual. With Apple Music vs Spotify vs Google Play Music, all three applications had surprisingly good showings in the design department and this was a very close one because all three of them do so many things in such a similar way.

Google Play Music definitely had the best looking interface, but its penchant for being flashy often requires extra taps and swipes by the user and we felt that it got in the way of the user experience. Apple Music has a surprisingly robust interface, but its outdated design and occasionally sloppy execution gave it a disjointed feel.

It really felt like Spotify struck that perfect balance where it was simple and streamlined when it needed to be, but flashy, modern, and fun when the occasion required without getting in the way of the user experience. All three services offer the ability to create playlists along with curated, pre-made playlists for you to listen to. This is a huge feature because it kind of dictates how we listen to music on the service and curated playlists are a large draw thanks to the popularity of radio streaming apps like iHeartRadio and Pandora.

As expected, Google Play Music does allow you to create your own playlists. Playlist creation is rather simple. You find the songs you want, add them to playlists, and then you can play back the various playlists.

You can play them in random order or sequentially and modifying playlists is generally easy. Back in , Google purchased Songza with the expressed intent of improving their curated playlists, and it worked. Not only can you find the usual playlists based on genre, but Google Play Music also has playlists for various moods and activities.

We thought that was spectacular and all of the options offer up hundreds of playlists for various situations and emotions. You can also start a playlist based on a song, genre, or artist that you like just like Pandora.

Spotify follows a lot of the same lines as Google Play Music. You can create your own playlists by surfing for songs and adding them at your leisure. You can also share your playlists with friends and then import playlists that other people have made and Spotify arguably does this better than anyone else.

The service also has a pretty decent curated playlist selection. They adhere to basic genre selection and each genre has a variety of playlists based in that genre. To put it bluntly, Apple Music has the best self-made playlists out of the whole bunch. When you add a song to a playlist on Apple Music, the service automatically adds that song to your library as well. This is in comparison to competitors where you must add songs to playlists and your library separately.

This means you can build a library and playlists simultaneously which saves you a lot of time and effort in the long haul. Curated playlists, on the other hand, could use some work. Apple Music uses the genre system which has even fewer options than Spotify right now. It has live music, live radio hosts, interviews, and brings a certain human feel to an otherwise robotic experience. Even so, we really liked the idea of Beats One and it is a feature that neither competitor can replicate.

Google Play Music wins because it simply pounds the competition into submissions with the vast amount of playlists you can interact with on both the Play Music app and on YouTube. Apple Music had the best user-made playlists and Beats One offered a fun, unique experience that neither competitor could replicate but also had enough aside from that to still remain well rounded.

Most people will be picking up one of these three services to listen to music. However, that is not all that they can do. Each of these services offer unique features aside from just music streaming.

Google Play Music has a strong game when it comes to additional features. The one that is worth talking about the most is YouTube Red. YouTube Red gives you additional features in the YouTube Music app, offers ad-free YouTube videos on both computer and the application, and then it also allows you to listen to YouTube videos with the screen off.

YouTube is, of course, the single biggest video streaming site on this entire planet. This adds an insurmountable amount of video content that ranges from tech to sports, funny videos, music videos, video podcasts, and even those goofy, five second quote clips from that show you like. On top of that, the Google Play Music application also acts as a local music player and can see the music you have stored on your device..

This successfully bridges the gap between locally stored music and streaming with more fluidity than the competition. It also includes support for Android Wear, Android Auto, and, hands down, the best support for Chromecast. Unlike Pandora, which uses algorithms to select what you hear, Beats 1 is styled after actual radio, with live DJs programing the playlists. In July , the company released Kygo: Apple has plans to bring full shows and productions to Apple Music in the future, investing heavily in the idea that video will be a large part of its success.

Apple Music allows you to download albums, tracks, and playlists directly to your smartphone for offline listening. Spotify vs Apple Music: If all you want to do is listen to albums, Apple Music has the same catalog as other people.

How can I stream it: Tidal has a Windows app and a web player for desktop streaming. Smartphone users can stream it on iOS and Android. Also, the service offers apps for Sonos, Xbox , and TiVo. With the well of album exclusives drying up, Tidal is making its bones with exclusive podcasts, playlists, and video content.

Tidal also features an abundance of celebrity playlists. Tidal allows you to download albums, tracks, and playlists directly to your smartphone for offline listening. Lossless files take up a lot of space on your phone if you listen offline and would eat your data if you streamed them with Wi-Fi. In fact, Pandora takes pride in that.

Pandora offers a host of options for streaming, which has helped its popularity. You can find a complete list here. Because Pandora built its fanbase as a streaming radio service, it has some of the best playlists out there. Pandora does feature an offline mode, but it only allows you to download up to three of your most listened to stations.

This feature is only available for Pandora Plus subscribers. Pandora is designed more for internet radio than it is album streaming. If you want to find something on Pandora, you have to know to look for it. Amazon Music Unlimited is different than Prime Music, which comes with every Amazon Prime account and offers 2 million songs on-demand. Amazon says it has tens of millions of songs. You can also stream on home entertainment systems like Roku and Sonos.

What Amazon calls expertly curated playlists. You can also ask Alexa to play music that matches a mood or situation, like a dinner party or going to sleep. Albums on the service can be downloaded for offline listening.

Spotify vs Amazon Music Unlimited: Amazon Music Unlimited has fewer options and fewer features than the rest of the pack. Photo via Google Music Play. You can buy albums, download streaming for offline listening, or upload up to 50, of your songs from your computer for online streaming.

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