Review of music streaming services 2021: Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music and others. Advantages and disadvantages
Streaming music services have provided an incredible opportunity to easily, quickly, conveniently and relatively inexpensively listen to legal music content, almost displacing the classic methods of obtaining music from the market. They became the next stage in the development of digital music distribution and quickly took their place in the lives of millions of music fans. But which of the many available streaming platforms should I choose and how do they differ from each other? Let’s figure it out!
Most Popular Music Streaming Services Compared
The world’s most popular and well-known streaming music service, Spotify, has finally arrived in Russia after several years of waiting. What is he so famous for? With cool recommendations and curated playlists, the ability to integrate with Facebook, and in General, its similarity to a social network for music fans: you can easily share playlists or view what your friends are listening to, subscribe to your favorite artists.
It is very convenient to manage Spotify playback from different devices, for example, from your phone to play music on your computer. There is even such a feature as a group session, which allows multiple users to create and manage a playlist on the fly — specifically for parties. Is Spotify really cooler than any other service that you are used to? We believe that you need to try and decide for yourself — the benefit of the first three months of Premium subscription can be used for free. There is also a completely free subscription, but with it you will have to endure advertising, low bitrate, and lack of many features.
- The functionality of a social network for music fans.
- Create and share playlists, curated playlists in search results.
- The best recommendation algorithms.
- Spotify Connect makes it easy to connect and manage your wireless speakers, AV receivers, etc.
- Separate music mode for running.
Only lossy quality – the maximum bitrate is 320 Kbit / s (ogg vorbis), if you are used to listening to music on physical media or in lossless formats (FLAC, ALAC), alas!
For whom: for those who are looking for a ” leader in the overall standings”, for fans of creating and sharing playlists, as well as for runners.
Apple Music, which appeared much later, is now firmly on its heels, and in some regions of the world, it is surpassing Spotify in popularity. In the best Apple tradition, it seems to have everything you need, and at the same time, there is nothing special. It has a good library, recommendations, and curated playlists, but the possibilities of working with them are narrower than in Spotify, but there are a lot of song lyrics.
- Combines your iTunes library with music that is available in the streaming service itself.
- Integration with the entire Apple ecosystem.
- The maximum bitrate of AAC is 256 Kbit / s (the quality is considered to correspond to ~ MP3 320 Kbit/s).
- Difficulties / poor compatibility with Android.
- There is no light browser version (you need a “heavy” iTunes on your desktop).
For whom: for users of Apple gadgets from iPod Touch to Apple HomePod, for those who want to save their own collection downloaded to iTunes
YouTube Music is the successor to Google Play Music, although the latter still exists (until the end of this year), so there is a bit of confusion on Android with the home music platform right now. If you had a GPM subscription, then you can go to YouTube Music with It. In addition, if you have purchased a YouTube Premium subscription without ads, you will also receive YouTube Music. One of the most important features is the ability to combine Google Play Music library with what is available in streaming (similar to Apple Music). As on previous platforms, streaming here is only in compressed quality up to 320 Kbit/s.
- YouTube Premium includes subscriptions to both YouTube Music and the ad-free YouTube video service.
- Saves the system for downloading/storing your music from Google Play Music.
- Access to live recordings and other user content from YouTube in addition to the main media library of The service.
- Audio quality can vary greatly from recording to recording (especially due to custom videos being played as audio).
- Some confusion and confusion with user content.
- The algorithms for auto-selection and recommendations are not yet the most impressive.
- YouTube likes to add videos to your favorite songs, and non-music videos end up in playlists.
For whom: active users of YouTube / Android / Google.
This French service is one of the oldest on the market and has been present in Russia for several years, but it is still not as well known as its competitors and in vain! The service is similar in many ways to Spotify, but it also has integration with Facebook and the author’s collections. And if Deezer does not have any unique advantages in the world, then Russia now has them. At the moment, this is the only officially available service with lossless audio streaming (lossless), as well as with support for the new Sony 360 reality Audio surround sound format, so we can strongly recommend this service for everyone who is looking for high quality and wants to get the most out of their audio equipment. At the same time, in the world, while Deezer provides CD-quality, competitors (Tidal, Qobuz or Amazon Music HD) offer Hi-Res audio of increased quality, we are waiting for a response from the French!
- The only officially available lossless streaming service in Russia.
- Currently only CD quality, no Hi-Res audio.
- There is no family option for a HiFi subscription.
For whom: for those who are looking for officially available lossless streaming or want to evaluate the alternatives presented on the market.
And finally, a little bit about ” Spotify for audiophiles”. Partly owned by one of the most successful hip-hop producers, Jay Z, Tidal is the first music service to provide users with lossless streaming, not only in CD quality but also in Hi-Res (in the form of MQA). The only problem is that the service doesn’t work officially in Russia yet. What is even more remarkable, Tidal cares about musicians more than other market players, payments for listening to music are several times higher than those of Spotify and its competitors.
- Best audio quality available.
- A lot of video content, including concert broadcasts.
- It is not officially available in some countries.
- To fully unlock the potential of high-resolution music in MQA format, you will need a specialized decoder.
For whom: audiophiles who are looking for the best sound quality and are ready for some challenges.