Having a personal MP3 collection on your smartphone is convenient, but there is a limit to how much music you can fit onto your device’s internal storage or microSD card, and music streaming services are the way forward. Spotify currently dominates this market and includes a much more competitive family sharing package, but is it the top dog? Here we compare the best music streaming apps for Android.
Google Play Music
What began as a simple music player app is now a full, commercial streaming package with more than 35 million songs available.
Unlimited access to Google Music costs the same as a monthly Spotify subscription, but the key benefit is that it also includes access to YouTube Red, so you also get access to Google’s YouTube video content ad-free, as well as offline and background playback, and original films and TV series.
Spotify offers a free, ad-supported streaming service in addition to its paid subscription. A great aspect of this is that you (currently) get access to the same content whether you pay a subscription fee or not, but that might change. Spotify might restrict new album releases to paying users. The main downside to the free service in comparison to the paid is the audio quality, the ads, and the ability to use it offline.
The Spotify Android app is perfect for mobile because it allows you to download any song in the catalog for offline listening on your device. There is also a web-player and desktop app, and all your content and playlists are synced between them.
Spotify’s radio and discovery algorithms are also extremely clever and are what makes Spotify’s personalized playlists (Discover Weekly), delivered every Monday, worth checking out.
Furthermore, Spotify was recently updated with a better family-sharing subscription model so that, like Google Play Music and Apple Music, it now provides family sharing for six accounts at a cost of $15 per month.
Apple Music isn’t just for Apple users, with a Play Store App now available. It allows Android users to stream its immense catalog and comes with some unique extras such as Connect, a blogging feature that seeks to bring artists closer to their fans, allowing them to share music, videos and photos with followers. Apple Music also includes the Beats 1 internet radio station, which plays continuously in more than 100 countries.
Apple already had a great pedigree with regards to music services, with the iTunes store having been successful for more than a decade. Though the iTunes store offers in excess of 43 million songs, its streaming service offers a little less, at around 30 million.
You can register on Tidal with a credit card or a PayPal account. The service offers a basic subscription for $9.99 per month, and a Hi-Fi (high fidelity) version which costs $19.99.
The 30-day free trial is the same as the others, except that you can play videos. The Hi-Fi mode is also available for testing, although it is mandatory give them your credit card details. The interface of the application is intuitive and full of interesting features, like TIDAL Rising, a music discovery guide.
- Google Play Music also offers valuable extras. Everybody makes use of YouTube, and the opportunity to get even greater access to it, in addition to a 35 million-song library, is mighty tempting.
- Apple Music is all about the music. You won’t get any TV or video streaming benefits here, but you will get one of the biggest music databases and an intuitive interface to discover new music.
- Then there’s Spotify. Spotify just works. It provides high-quality audio playback, it seamlessly syncs between devices, and it’s perfect for parties and sharing because most people are familiar with it already.
- Tidal is for audiophiles who are willing to pay a price for high fidelity. Or just casual fans of Beyonce’s Lemonade album.
Recommendation： Manage iPhone/iPad/iPod without using iTunes
- Support to transfer, edit, backup, manage, view iOS & Android mobile data: Music, videos, photos, apps, ebooks, contacts, messages and more.
- Download videos from 100+ video sharing sites up to 4K HD video quality and transfer to iPad/iPhone/iPod/Android.
- Handy toolkit: Audio converter, video converter, ringtone maker, etc.