Cloud based streaming has blown up since two years ago, not only with many video services offered, but now music too. But which one do you go with? Well, at least when it comes to mobile based music stream services, I put Spotify’s premium package to the test against Google Music’s already free services. So this is what I found.
The bad: Spotify disappointed me right off the bat. On your computer they offer a radio feature which streams music based on either a particular artist or the genres you choose, and their mobile app was completely void of that feature. Perhaps they may add it later, but for as of right now I was let down that they didn’t carry that over into their mobile app. As for the app itself, I encountered some problems, like if I had the same song both stored on my phone and in a playlist, it would outright crash. And I wouldn’t say that it was over complicated, but it felt as if it wasn’t as simplified as it should have been. To play a playlist, you can’t just start by playing a song in it, but you have to access your settings and ‘play queue’. Whatever happened to just pressing start and letting it play? Also, the app will not turn off, no matter how many times I forced it to close, it kept turning itself back on: i.e. battery drainer.
The good: Of course your playlists will carry over, and you can make them available for offline use, which basically caches the songs to your phone so you can listen to them later. I did really like that they offered settings for audio quality, to which I only streamed them on low quality, but it was still really outstanding quality. There literally was no change in quality when I switched from Wifi to 3G, so the music still sounds great.
The conclusion: Not worth the $9.99 they offer the premium service for. Take advantage of the free trial, but cancel that shit before they charge you. Besides, the people that do the Spotify ads sound so nice anyways, I don’t mind listening for 30 seconds out of 15 minutes of streaming.
The bad: Unlike Spotify, Google Music is obviously file-based, meaning that the music you can stream must first be uploaded to their cloud. So you’ll be limited to whatever is already in your library. Google Music isn’t perfect, as it may fuck up your files in the upload process: for instance I had a song that didn’t seem to upload right, as it only plays about 20 seconds of the song to the end. So it has some small hassles, but nothing too awful. The Google Music app itself will take some getting used to, as it has a slightly complex layout. You’ll have to play around with it to get the hang of it and find out where all the buttons are, like for getting back to your online library is a small ‘<‘ button in the top left hand corner that took me forever to find. Also, it’s about a second slower than Spotify’s app when it comes to music streaming, but that’s not really something I can harp on and not sound like a complete ‘now generation’ douchebag.
The good: First and foremost it’s free. They let you store up to 20,000 songs in your online library. So far I have 330 songs uploaded, which is a total of 1.3GB, so 20,000 songs would be about… roughly 80GBs of free storage. Their upload system is very easy to manage, seeing as after downloading the program, you just tell it to monitor wherever you put your music and it handles the uploading for you automatically. This makes adding music easy as pie–actually simpler than pie because pie doesn’t practically make itself. And though it also lacks a radio service, their ‘quick mix’ feature kind of substitutes for that. You can select any song in your library and make a quick 25 song playlist featuring artists with a similar sound, giving a quick n’ easy approach to playlist making.
The conclusion: Google Music, despite some hiccups in the software program and design, it’s far more worth it, especially because it’s free from the get-go.