Streaming services: Spotify vs. Rdio vs. Google

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by Razeus, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Razeus, Mar 23, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015

    Razeus macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #1
    Well, I'm finally getting on board with streaming services.

    I'm a big music fan and my iTunes library is currently sitting at 250GB, mp3/acc of 256kbps or more.

    I'm currently using 3 services since they are all giving 30 day free trials when you sign up for premium accounts:

    Spotify: so far this is in the lead. I know more people on this, but yet, I don't care for them to know what I'm listening to or what they are, but I guess it's a way to "discover" more music. It's heavily playlists based, so it's great for making playlists of individual songs, but not a series of full albums. For example, if I want to make a playlist "Pitchfork's Perfect 10's", the only view is list view, and not album view. They really need to change this. The only way to get an album view is to add it your your "album" collection.

    The UI is nice, but can use improvement so I think the fonts and graphics are too big and generic looking.

    Rdio: So far I'm disappointed. The app simply crashes after every song. Looking on Twitter, it seems this problem has been going on for 2 weeks now. Not a good way for a new customer to rate the service. What's the point of a music app that can't play music? Part of the money I'm willing to pay a music service is not just for the catalog, but for the app improvements and customer service. A music app that can't play more than one song at a time, that has gone unfixed for 2 weeks, is a problem and speaks to the quality of the app and company that makes it. This is your bread and butter. 99% of my streaming (and downloading of tracks) will be done on mobile. This is unacceptable.

    The UI is extremely nice and the best one I've tested. Though there is no "album view" for playlists. Seems this is common so I'll just have to live with it. The Music.app is the same way so I'm not sure why these companies continue to overlook this feature.

    Google Play All Access Youtube Music Key (???): I think that's what it's called. I'm currently curating my iTunes library to reduce the number of albums I simply don't listen to anymore and are just sitting on my hard drive. I'm currently uploading the classics and really good albums. Alot of my greatest hits albums (ie R&B music) are being left off as well as all the singles I've acquired over the years. Also, I'm uploading many hip-hop albums that are STILL not available for streaming nor for purchase on iTunes for whatever reason, most likely because the samples never got cleared properly (late 80's early 90's) when all that was being worked out.

    While I have only 23k tracks that fit well within the 50k limit, I don't want everything in the cloud - just the "desert island" type stuff. I can always stream the one offs. The UI could use major improvement. I'm not sure why the Artists view are circles, as most of the faces don't even show within them properly. The Album view is a 2 column view, which is ridiculous if you have a ton of music, but I can that's what the search bar is far. I wish you can change the theme, because orange is horrendous.

    So far I'm leaning towards Google, since I can add my own files to stuff Google doesn't have (like I said, some unavailable hip hop albums, The Beatles, etc.). I really have alot of music on my hard drive that I don't listen to, grew tired off, thought was good but really wasn't. So curating is a must if I go with Google to keep things clean.

    I do like how all of the apps so far leave the artist and albums that I have in the Playlist section OUT of the album and artist view of the rest of the app. This is a feature that I wish Apple would have with the music app, but after all these years, I've come to realize this isn't going to happen. Having artists/albums from my Playlists showing up in the other sections for Artist and Albums means lots of scrolling, and the Music app is laid out so wrong with their tiny alphabet, that it's hard to jump the right area of artists or albums.

    My music library will getting archived to a backup drive and Dropbox when I pick a service.

    What are your experiences with these services?
     
  2. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #2
    Rdio finally updated the app to fix the playback issue. Another knock to Rdio is that they don't have device specific downloads. Meaning, whatever I download to my iPhone, automatically gets downloaded to my iPad. That's not ideal. I download way more stuff to my iPhone than I would for my iPad (my iPad is used to stream media) since my iPhone is always on the go in my pocket and downloaded tracks is a must to save on data.
     
  3. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #3
    If you like Spotify, but prefer an album-centric focus, try Beats. We subscribe to both, my wife prefers Spotify as she likes playlists. I prefer Beats as I prefer albums.
     
  4. keithneese macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2014
    Location:
    Alabama
    #4
    I use Google. I like being able to download full albums to my phone, plus have the music that is stored on my laptop available to me in the cloud. I've used Rdio and Spotify. Really, in my opinion, they are all good. The general functions that you will use on a daily basis are, for the most part, the same. I just seem to have settled on Google for now.
     
  5. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    #5
    I still think the best deal is iTunes Radio. $25 per year and you get streaming radio with stations, plus all your iTunes music in the cloud. Best deal out there.
     
  6. Rodster macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #6
    I'm a huge fan of iTunes Radio (free) but if I were to pay for a streaming service which i'm closer to doing it would be Spotify.

    1) 320 kps
    2) Equalizer
    3) Offline mode
    4) My Android devices are much smaller than any of my iPad's, don't have an iPhone.

    I should have bit on the PayPal $3.99 p/m for 3 months offer for Spotify. :rolleyes:
     
  7. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

    Joined:
    May 28, 2011
    Location:
    Williamsburg, Virginia
    #7
    Google Music gives you the ability to save music on your device, but that's the only benefit that I found over iTunes Radio. Plus, it was $10 a month, which is far more expensive.
     
  8. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #8
    $10 a month is pricey, the reason I haven't jumped on board yet.

    I'm using my student id for the $5 discount. $60 a year is what I'm willing to pay. Possibly $7.99.

    I'm not sure what music costs so much more than Spotify, because Netflix is more intensive operation and I have zero issue paying for that.

    When these music services want $10, I usually look the other way. If Spotify is trying to get more paid subscribers, I'm sure they think $10 is too much, giving the free to paid subscriber ratio.
     
  9. Razeus, Mar 25, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2015

    Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #9
    Gave Google Play Music a full run all day. It's such a mess.

    My uploaded tracks became a mess since non of the artwork stuck. I guess that's really an issue from iTunes since Apple insists on keeping everything in their walls. Just gave me another reason to ditch iTunes and get all my music from Amazon going forward.

    I created a few playlists, but all the artists and albums within them, show up in the Artist tab and Album tabs. Not ideal since I tend to have a lot of playlists. So if I want to listen to someone's full album, I have to scroll past a bunch of albums that are "onesies".

    Also, once the service gets loaded with tracks, the browser becomes a bit slow or 'stuttery' for lack of a better term. I've got about 13k tracks loaded on it so far.

    With All Access enabled, when I search for an album that's in my collection, I can't tell if it's mine or Google's (other than going into the info screen and seeing if it lets me "edit album"). Also, there were many duplicates (not from me, but on Google's end). There needs to be a "show only my files" filter or something to that effect.

    Spotify nails this feature. So far, it looks like Spotify is going to do what I need. I will be experimenting with local files and see how that works with them (The Beatles, Radiohead/Thom Yorke, Tool, several hip-hop albums). That UI though...jeez.

    I do wish these services would let you choose "album view" or list view.
     
  10. Razeus thread starter macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #10
    TL;DR

    Rdio
    Pros: beautiful UI; family rates
    Cons: no device specific downloads; no local file support; bug fixes are slow (would crash or stop after one song – 2 weeks to fix this); no real desktop app; no album view in playlists

    Google Music:
    Pros: integrate your collection; music videos included
    Cons: can’t tell local tracks from Google’s results in duplicates in search results, no clear way to tell yours from theirs; uploaded tracks have random or no artwork (could be iTunes issue); no student discount; no family rates; no desktop app (web version very slow/jerky); artists & albums in a playlist show in the main Artist tab and Album tabs (lots of “onesies” albums to scroll through when I want to listen to a full entire album); no album view in playlists

    Spotify:
    Pros: more social (my friends); more integration with other services; family rates; better organization; desktop app; local file support; student rates
    Cons: UI needs work; no album view in playlists
     

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