The Best Mobile Music Streaming Services 2017

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by Ed Selley, Jul 7, 2017.


    1. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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    2. HeavenlyWarrior

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      Thanks for the round-up, well written and informative. You wouldn't have by chance tested the services across bluetooth devices also for those of us that use them on the go?
       
    3. tman

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      Play Music now also offers a quality setting - at least in the Android app. No details on what the higher quality setting offers exactly, but it takes up more space on the device.
      I'll also add that the Play Music family plan offers stonking VFM. Up to 6 people for £14.99p/m, and with the amount my kids use it, it's a no brainer.
       
    4. psikey

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      Totally agree with Spotify still being the best other than if you must have Hi-def FLAC/MQA music. I did read Spotify are trialling higher quality also now with some on a trial.

      For me its excellent sound quality, responsive easy to use apps at a reasonable price for 3 offline devices is great Also, the number of devices it is now built-in to work with such as my car, all 4 of my HDTV's from 22" Samsung up 46" & Sony's even my NAS drive and B&W Zeppelin Wireless speaker.

      Must be into my 3rd year now as a paying subscriber but have tried Tidal, Deezer, Play Music, Amazon Music over the last year too before still sticking with Spotify.

      Tidal still always tempts me due to it working with external DAC's within the Android UAPP for bit-perfect HD music with my Shure SE846's.
       
    5. SkinnyMatt

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      I really like Play Music's machine learning - it's is very good for discovering new stuff. As mentioned, the family pack is amazing VFM.
       
    6. Kotatsu Neko

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      You missed Groove music (Microsoft), but I guess so do most people!

      I used to be on Apple Music but switched to Spotify as I got a good deal on it. The catalogue on Apple Music is bigger, at least judging by the stuff I searched for, but I hate the Apple Music UI.
       
    7. jimmyjamesh

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      I love spotify, my only minor irritation is you cannot clear the cache on ios so the app takes up a lot of memory over time
      Spotify argue to delete and reinstall the app to clear, but then I have to re-download any offline music I have on the phohe
      Using spotify on djay pro for mac and ipad is a massive bonus too
       
    8. tman

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      Like most of Microsoft's services, they're very much a minor player. MS are heading towards irrelevance in mobile, so Groove is hardly worth a mention.
       
    9. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      I omitted a few services that are on the small or specialist side- it's more of an overview than an encyclopedia.
       
    10. Goldorak

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      Thanks for feedback
      Silly question but how does it work when no wifi or 3G signal. Can you take some music with you when you use Spotify

      I am using it with ads and free at present. I like it. I was just hesitating because of the rumour of higher cd quality which I want.

      Thanks for feedback
       
    11. KoThreads

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      I'm with Spotify but I like what I've tried with Play. I have Alexa and tried Amazon unlimited and just hated the interface. Plus Alexa would play all sorts when I asked for stuff. Plus my three Chromecast audios don't work with Alexa.
       
    12. HeavenlyWarrior

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      Hi, this might help but only seems available on the Premium tier:

      Listen offline - Spotify
       
    13. Member 778069

      Member 778069
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      No offline playback with the free version. Normally you can trial the paid for version for 30 days free of charge.
       
    14. Goldorak

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      I know, thank you. but how the offline playback work? Files are added to the memory of the phone like iTunes?. Just trying to understand how it works and if worth it versus the free version
       
      Last edited: Jul 7, 2017
    15. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      Yes- and in Spotify's case, it will be the internal memory of the device. Some of the other services are rather happier for Android users to store the offline content on expandable memory.
       
    16. Krisafc80

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      I use Play but would say overall I prefer Spotify for the UI and new music discovery. I have 3 Google home devices linked as a multi room system and Play works pretty flawlessly with them and my chromecasts. Review seems fair.
       
    17. Sluggster

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      Unless there have been major changes to Apple Music then I think your score is way too high.

      My experience is that if you record your CDs and subsequently use their player you are entering a world of hurt. AP totalled my music collection mixed and messed up albums, introduced the wrong albums etc etc.

      Luckily my music was backed up. If it had not been then hours of my time would have been wasted.

      I use Tidal these days, which sounds far better and provides access to everything I have tried so far. I also have family membership to Spotify, which is also very good, especially their curated playlists. If they had higher quality streaming it is the service I would choose.

      For me, AP is hopeless and 5 out of 10 is too generous.
       
    18. muzzi

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    19. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      Couple of points.
      I've no means of testing statements of this nature as I don't run iTunes but colleagues are confident that provided you have a different destination folder for iTunes to the one you store other rips in, this can't happen. I'm also informed that even if they are the same, some more recent updates prevent updates and overwrites.

      This is also a test of the services on mobile devices. It's the rating for Apple Music used with subscription on a phone or tablet. With this in mind, I'm happy with the rating.
       
      Last edited: Jul 8, 2017
    20. Toon Army

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      Currently doing Spotify's 3 months for £9.99 offer and a definite step up from the free version. Don't use it enough to justify this price every month when it ends. I tend to record a number of radio shows from the BBC iPlayer with Audacity and then listen to them on my ipod to get around DRM time restrictions. Will try the Tidal trial offer once my Spotify deal ends.
       
    21. CarMad

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      I can highly recommend some of the Vodafone deals that include free Spotify Premium. I wouldn't be without Spotify now. On a SIM only deal a £25 plan seems like £15 to me it comes with a stack of data to boot.

      I listen to it on my phone, Alexa works perfectly with it and will spool up any Spotify song super quickly and the rest on my mac even my Car will pull all the Album artwork onto the display and has a dedicated control interface. Plus they are constantly improving it and adding personalised playlists to what you have listened to recently as well as some great standard playlists, Monday Motivation and Summer acoustic are current highlights for me. Highly recommended and the sound quality is more than passible its excellent.
       
    22. rosscouk

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      I was on Google Play Music since launch and was happy until they removed the ability to search for albums based on genre, total deal breaker for me.

      So I have been on Spotify for about three months but I did not like their 10,000 track limit which I hit quite quickly trying to recreate my existing music collection on Spotify. However once you get over that e.g. you don't need to do this as you can access any music you want when online anyway. I would stay with them, but no lossless service.

      Which brings me onto Tidal, which sounds great on my desktop PC via Dac and even sounds fairly good on phone. I don't think the app or pc desktop version is as good as Spotify and it doesn't have the better catalogue but it does sound better.
       
    23. Pecker

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      Good review, and a good idea for a review, too.

      One thing I don't think was mentioned is content.

      Are they all pretty equal (absolutely everything apart from the odd artists playing hardball)?
       
    24. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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      I can't pretend I've done enough digging in categories that aren't really my bag but my experience is that for the most part the overlap between all these services is 95/100 songs or thereabouts.
       
    25. davidm

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      Google Play Music is my default streaming service. It has been faultless for me since day 1. I have all my owned music in library plus the wide choice of music available. I like having everything in the one place.

      I have Spotify premium with my Vodafone contract as mentioned above, but not really finding a need for it. Nice UI though.

      Also using the Tidal free promotion at present for my streaming needs in the house over the hifi. Obviously better sound quality. If Google Play had a CD quality option then that would be me sorted.
       
    26. gunner84

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      I use AM, it started off a bit shaky but its improved over time. I would like the app to have a dark mode though.
      I used to import my own cds to my music library but don't do that anymore, my entire catalogue is cloud based and streamed.
      No issues with the service, but do feel I don't use the service as much as I should for the price I pay monthly.
       
    27. Pecker

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      I suspect I'm in a similar situation to many others.

      I have a large physical CD collection, which I have ripped.

      There are gaps in it which would be filled if I signed up. However, most of what I'd end up listening to, I already have.

      I think £7-£10 a month is great if you have only a small collection. But I'd just end up with the feeling that I'm unnecessarily paying for most of my music twice - the second time in a lower quality to the first.

      But then again, £10 isn't a fortune.
       
    28. SHATNERSTACTIC

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      Agree I think that for someone intent on just replacing their current collection, the premium subscription services are least compelling.

      I'd think there's a multitude of other reasons people subscribe.

      Those looking to improve the quality of their audio, through Tidal or likewise to get MQA files which are beyond CD quality.

      Convenience seekers who want ubiquitous access to content on all of their devices all of the time.

      Muso's and the younger age group who are looking to expand the music they have access to.

      Plus the casual listeners for whom music doesn't hold much value but have access via a deal.

      It must have been difficult to arrive at a score when differing features will be prioritised when viewed through each lenses.
       
    29. abmscopes

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      I use two; Napster (Rhapsody in the US),mainly because I've used it for as long as it's been legal; 5 or 6 years at least, and have a huge library and playlists. However no matter how often the app is updated and what device it is used on, it has always been as buggy as hell. The sound quality is also so-so, even though it maxes out at 320kbps AAC, it still lacks the sparkle of higher quality services, which brings me to my second service;

      Qobuz. I love this mainly for the sound quality; it still randomly stops or wont play tracks at all, but maybe this is just par for the course for music streaming services? Are there any that will play music non-stop for hours without stopping, skipping or otherwise crashing? I have not paid for the best sound quality settings available on Qobuz as the price (payable in one lump sum!) is pretty steep and I am uncertain that I would be able to discern the difference from the 'CD quality' I am getting just now. perhaps that's why they don't offer free trials of the higher bit-rate subscriptions..
       
      Last edited: Jul 12, 2017
    30. Pokey800

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      MTV Trax - Music Player has never been mentioned. Maybe now aimed at AV Forum members but might be OK for those with teenage kids.

      It's £0.99 a week / £4 a month.
      Or a sim with 7GB of data, 500 minutes and unlimited texts - no contract - top up £15 a month. And it's on the EE network.
       

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