• Philip Teoli aka Corporate Gamer

Music Streaming Services Recommendations


Introduction

I am someone that is always listening to music. Either it is on my way to work or when I am cleaning the house. I listen to podcasts, streaming services and my own collection of music. There is not a shortage of material to listen to anywhere or anytime.

This week Google Inc. announced that Songza would be retired. When I heard this, I was kind of sad as I listen to this service all the time. Their selection of playlists were very good. I had landed on this streaming service as at the time when Google Music and Pandora was only available in the US. The other alternatives at the time were not that great, or they would charge a fee per month, which I didn't really want to do.

So I thought that I would look at alternatives available and see which ones are better or worse than Songza. Let me be clear, Songza was not the end all be all application, but it fulfilled its purpose very well with no extra bells and whistles.

Announcement from Songza guys

TuneIn Radio (previously RadioTime)

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry

Creator: Bill Moore

Website: http://tunein.com/

Price: 7.99$ for premium (No ads or commercials)

I have been using this app for quite a while as sometmes I listen to the Montreal sports station on my way to work.

Advantages

There are many many stations to choose from. Whatever station that you are thinking about, TuneIn has it. There are about 100,000 stations that you can choose from. This includes AM, FM, Internet stations and HD. You can use the free version which will have ads and commercials. You can filter by various topics such as News, Talk radio, Audiobooks, Top Podcasts and much more.

The quality of the stream is always pretty good. I have rarely had any issues with the streaming.

You can follow the stations that you listen to the most often. This app is essentially a social network for radio stations.

Disadvantages

Since this is a streaming service, you cannot listen to your own music. These stations are actual stations. So if you wanted to listen to your own music, you will not be able to.

The UI (User Interface) is a little clunky and is not the nicest UI but it gets the job done.

Bottomline

It is good for what it is. There is a variety of choices you can make.. You do not have the choice of playlists like Songza, but that is not who I believe they are going for.

Rating: 8.5 radio channels out of 10

iHeartRadio

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry

Owner: Bob Pittman

Website: http://www.iheart.com/?cmp=iheartradiocom

Price: Free

Advantages

This streaming service is becoming more popular. If you like terrestial radio then you will love this. This is like an expansion pack for Montreal's Virgin Radio (95.9 FM) type radio stations. You can listen to modern music by any artist anywhere in the world.

Disadvantages

This is only for regular radio stations. It is also mostly geared toward the UK and Australian crowd from what I can see. When they asked for my location they advised that the closest place was West Ireland. Unfortunately, that is quite a ways from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Consider this your Top 40 radio show in syndication, but from all over the world. Mainly UK and Australia.

Bottomline

For me, I do not think that there is enough meat to keep me with this service. TuneIn has everything this offers plus more. So I am not sure that I would be kept interested in this service for a long time. This is basically for the old school radio listeners, where as TuneIn is for the more modern listener.

I am not quite sure why this is so popular, but I guess some people must like it as I see it advertised everywhere.

Rating: 6 radio stations out of 10

Spotify

Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4

Owner: Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon

Website: http://www.spotify.com

Price: Free (Can purchase Premium Service)

Advantages

This service is literally everywhere. You can listen to it on console, music device and desktop. So accessibility gets very high marks here. The music selection is good. You can choose from various channels like most services.

The channels are pretty varied. However you need the premium member package if you want to make any changes.

The interface is pretty nice and slick.

Disadvantages

A lot of the things that you took for granted with Songza are Premium member options now. The limited number of skips are normal, but you can't choose the song that you want to hear. For example, ther is a song you want to listen to, however the free version only allows you to listen to the shuffle option. So you may get the song or you may not get to listen to your song.

Rating: 9 song choices out of 10

Apple Music

Platforms: OS X, iOS, watchOS, tvOS, Windows and Android

Owner: Apple Inc.

Website: apple.com/music/

Price: Free (Can purchase Premium Service)

Advantages

If you have been with Apple for a long time, this is an interesting choice. It is on multiple platforms which is good. I believe the perception is that this service is available only on Apple products.

Unfortunately for me this is as far as the advantages go.

Disadvantages

I will admit that I have not used the service in quite awhile, but my experience with it was subpar.

Using iTunes has become a chore and task. The UI (User Interface) is not as easy to use and to look at as other services.

The choices of channels are not anything more than the other services offer. In terms of the music, it covers what you are probably looking for. However I do not know if it is Apple Fatigue, but I just have a hard time using this service. I own a Macbook pro, iPad and multiple iPhones and I just can not get used to this platform. I am sure there are many people that use it and love it , but there are other services that have the same offerings presented and bundled in a better package.

Rating: 5 songs out of 10

Google Music

Platforms: OS X, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone and Android

Owner: Google

Website: https://play.google.com/music

Price: Free (Can purchase Premium Service)

Advantages

I have been using Google Music for quite sometime and I must admit, personally, it is the most complete package for radio type music and playlists. It is important to note that Songza will be included in the Google Music world and all of the features of Songza will be included here.

The apps and website are very easy to navigate, and it is easy for on touch services as well. I guess it is the Google model where simpler is easier.

You can upload your own music to save it in the cloud and then use those to create playlists to your hearts content. I have about 3000 songs uploaded, and i use it to create playlists myself with the concierge.

The music playlists and channels are very similar as Songza as it is the same engine. All the channels that you loved will still be here.

What I love the most about Google music is that you can download the app for free and then you can download your own music on your phone. This enables you to listen to the music offline.

Another positive is that it is platform agnostic. So you can download apps on all popular platforms. So there is no reason not to try it.

The service is pretty much free, and you do not need to pay the premium. There is not one time that I said, in which I had to pay for this.

Disadvantages

There is not much to dislike with this service. The apps and website are pretty much bug free. They keep improving the experience and right now, it is one of the best servives around and it is free.

Rating: 9.5 channels out of 10

Bottomline

I think that for these services the Google Music option is very interesting. My second option would be Spotify. This of ourse is my opinion based on how I use my apps and listen to music. I am well aware that you may not share these views or that you use a completely different service.

Let me know what you think. You can even let me know of services that I did nto mention.

Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/corporateone

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/corporategamer/

Twitter: @CorporateGamer9

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/123corporate

Site: philipteoli.com

#music #philipteoli

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