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Music Streaming Services in 2023
what is it like trying to find the best music streaming services in 2023. have been streaming music for many years now. I have used several different services over the years. I started listening to music on MP3 players back in the late 1990’s early 2000’s and in those days the sound quality was adequate, so I always went back to CDs.
There are several good music streaming companies that have vast libraries of music that you can download and stream for a monthly subscription. I have subscribed to 4 of these and those are the streaming services I want to write about.
My review is my opinion only and you may agree or disagree. The four services I want to look at, start with the streaming music service I subscribed to for the longest, which was Spotify and I will mention why I left that service. I have also used Amazon Music, Apple Music and Deezer.
For the sake of transparency, this post does contain affiliate links, if you do decide to click on the link and subscribe I will receive a very small commission which will help to support the Reviewing Life Experiences website.
I enjoyed using Spotify for many years and Spotify has a tremendous number of albums in its’ library. The reason I started to look around for a new streaming service was because of an ethical issue. Daniel Ekk invested £85,200,000 ($115,339,500) into an AI defence company. I felt that I didn’t want to support an organisation that supports warfare. I may have stayed if he had invested in something that would benefit the world like health care or medication. I could not subscribe to a company that supported war and death.
What I like about Spotify
Spotify has been around since 2006 and has a huge library of music. So, if you are looking for a song or album you will find it. Besides music on Spotify, you will also find audiobooks and podcasts, which aren’t found on all music streaming services.
One of the things I like about Spotify is that you can cast it on other devices like a Google Nest Home or a Nest mini. Some of the apps I am going to talk about can’t do that.
If you enjoy listening to audiobooks you can listen to a number of them through the Spotify app. I don’t know how many audiobooks are on there, but you can search by name of the book, the genre of books or the theme. If you were looking for a Harry Potter audiobook, then type in the search box what you are looking for and some will come up. There are other books by other authors there too obviously.
I don’t listen to podcasts but if you enjoy them there are a number of both free and premium subscription podcasts you can listen to. People like Joe Rogan, Fearne Cotton, the BBC and the Financial Times have a podcast to name a few.
Spotify also creates a playlist with your favourite music that you play a lot and also gives you recommendations on the music you might like based on what you listen to.
What I don’t like about Spotify
There are very few disadvantages with Spotify if I am honest. The main one is the sound quality. When I was looking at a music streaming services in 2023 I would say that Spotify is lacking, it isn’t as good as some of its rivals such as Apple Music and Deezer. If you want a higher quality sound from Spotify then you will need a premium subscription rather than their free level.
Cost of Spotify
Spotify starts as free but it does interrupt the music with adverts. If you are ok with that then you will be fine. £5.99 for students to get the premium level while everyone else will pay £9.99 which is for a single user, £13.99 for two separate Spotify accounts and £16.99 for a family account with 6 individual accounts.
Amazon Music Unlimited
I had Amazon Music for about a year, and I left because I broke from the Amazon ecosystem when I swapped from Amazon Alex to Google Home. Google and Amazon haven’t played nicely together for quite a while so you could play Amazon Music on a Google Nest Home or mini.
I recently noticed that the Amazon Music app would connect to a device with Apple Airplay. I still use Amazon Music in my car as I subscribe to Amazon Prime, My Garmin Satnav has Alexa built-in so I can play music via a Bluetooth connection in my car.
What I like about Amazon Music Unlimited
If you are an Amazon Prime member then you get Amazon Music Unlimited at a discount price of £8.99 a month for new subscribers, which is excellent value and beats all the other music streaming services.
When I was a subscriber to Amazon Music Unlimited, I found that there was a great list of music that I enjoyed in their library. The adverts on the Amazon Music website they say have 75 million songs in HD and Ultra HD. From what I understand from the Amazon Music website HD music means that they offer tracks that play in CD quality and are better than CD quality. as I said in my blog about the Panasonic SC-PMX802 Mini Hifi System I am no audiophile, but I know what I like.
I can’t honestly comment on the HD quality of Amazon Music as I have not experienced it, but if it is equivalent to the Apple or Deezer music streaming service then it will be a good value for the money. Also, you do not have to pay extra to get HD-quality music, it is included in the premium subscription that you pay. You just need a device or system that will play with that quality.
The Amazon Music app will allow you to cast the music to another device from your iPhone or iPad using Apple Airplay, I don’t know if you can cast using an Android phone.
What I don’t like about Amazon Music Unlimited
don’t think this is a disadvantage of Amazon Music really but If you are an Amazon Prime member you can get access to 2 million tracks. This is what I use in my car. If you request a song that isn’t one of the Prime Music Alexa will let you know that you can’t play that track and offer you a chance to subscribe to Amazon Prime Music premium service.
Cost of Amazon Music Unlimited
To access Amazon Music on a single Alexa device then the price starts at £4.99. that is £1.00 cheaper than Apple Music if you are using Siri/Voice to request an album or track.
The next tier is £8.99 if you are an Amazon Prime Member and £16.99 for the family plan with 6 family members using the account.
I didn’t subscribe to Apple Music for long but I did try a 3-month trial that I received when I bought a new Macbook Air. I will talk about the reason I left Apple Music in the “What I Don’t Like about Apple Music” section.
What I like about Apple Music
One of the advantages of Apple Music over Amazon Prime Music is that it works ok with Google Homer to request a track using Apple Music, I couldn’t do that with Amazon music. The only downside was if I was to say “OK Google play Ed Sheeran on Apple Music” then the Google Home would play some random track. But hey this section is about the advantages of Apple Music.
Apple Music has over 90 million songs and 30 million playlists. The sound quality as I have mentioned in previous sections is up to CD quality, which is great.
Apple Music also has Spatial, and Dolby Atmos built into their apps to produce a surround sound effect in some of their music. I never used that as I don’t have any Dolby Atmos devices, unfortunately. Maybe one day.
What I don’t like about Apple Music
The main disadvantage for me is that to get the best out of Apple Music is to be in the Apple ecosystem. Ok, I do have apple products but if you want to get the best out of Apple Music then you need to have devices that are compatible with Airplay or have an Apple Homepod, Apple EarPods or Beats headphones.
Maybe people don’t mind being locked into the Apple ecosystem, but if you are happy with that then maybe Apple Music is a great place to subscribe and stream your music.
Another disadvantage with Apple Music is that if podcasts are something you enjoy then you will need a different app to listen to them. I can’t comment on the quality of the Apple Podcasts as Podcasts isn’t something that I tend to listen to.
Cost of Apple Music
Apple Music starts at £4.99 with a Voice plan in which you can ask Siri to play any music you want. But that is limited to asking Siri for what you want to listen to rather than searching for albums and tracks you want on the Apple Music App.
The student plan is much cheaper than the single or family as it is with other music stream services. The Student plan is £5.99.
The next tier is £10.99 a month for a single subscription or £16.99 for a family subscription which is for up to 6 people in a family.
I have recently moved from a Deezer subscription to Apple Music. The main reason is that it is slightly cheaper than Deezer, though the option to cast music to a google device isn’t there like it is in Deezer.
I was paying £11.99 for Deezer but now paying £10.99 for Apple Music. It is only a small saving but in the current economic situation, it is a saving worth making.
I am currently using Deezer as my main music streaming service. I took out a 1-month free trial and decided to stick with them.
What I like about Deezer
Deezer offers a premium service if you don’t mind paying, there is no free tier like Spotify it is just a premium service. The music quality is excellent and both my partner and I enjoy the sound quality we get through how HiFi when we are streaming it.
Deezer claims to have 90 million songs in its catalogue. Deezer library includes podcasts, Radio channels and also audiobooks in the same way Spotify does. For me, Deezer does everything Spotify does but better.
I was also able to export my Spotify playlist to Deezer using a website called Tunemymusic.com which allows you to move a playlist from one music streaming service to another. So when I made Deezer my main music streaming service I was able to bring my playlist along with me.
Deezer also has something called flow which allows you to listen to the music you like but it will play recommended music based on what you listen to. That is useful if you are looking for new music all the time as I do, I get tired of listening to the same artists so it is great to be able to discover different ones.
You can listen to music in standard, high quality or high fidelity. You do get to choose in the Deezer App what quality you want.
If you are listening on your phone while on a train or walking you may decide to listen to music in high quality so that you are saving your precious data. When you get home and you connect to your home WiFi you may decide to listen to it in high fidelity. You can set up all the options separately on your Deezer App.
What I don’t like about Deezer
To be honest there isn’t a lot to dislike about Deezer. The biggest thing for me is the price, though the basic account is free this does come with adverts, like Spotify.
I don’t know how many tracks that include and the sound quality is only up to the level of MP3. Remember Napster? it is like listening to that.
The premium tier is expensive but you get a lot for it. If that changes I will let my readers know.
The price is higher than any of the competitors mentioned above but for me, it is worth it for now.
Cost of Deezer
As I already said in the previous section Deezer is perhaps one of the higher prices subscriptions, which would include Tidal and Qobuz.
The basic account is free but Deezer does have a Deezer Premium subscription that starts at £11.99 for the person. The Deezer family account goes up to £17.99, which allows you to have one subscription but 6 separate accounts.
Music is a powerful thing, it can change society, change thoughts and change fashion. I love music for many reasons, one of them is it can change my mood in an instant. from sadness to dancing. The reason I subscribe to a music streaming service is that I can choose a song, a track an album that suits my mood at that time without having to search through a record collection or a CD collection.
A song comes to mind and I can play it. There are many good reasons for streaming music. I also know the arguments against it like, if you buy a CD or record you have it forever (well nearly) but you are only renting a song on a music streaming service. for me, it is the ease and convenience of having music at a thought.
It is always good to do research before purchasing a subscription to a music streaming service. if you get a chance to have a free trial with a music streaming service then go for it, you only need an email address.
I hope you find your perfect service and if you don’t keep searching.
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