I’ve been using Spotify for quite some time now. Checking my receipts, it looks like October 2011. So I’ve been a subscriber for over 3 years now. Overall it’s been a great service. For a monthly fee $9.99, I’m able to stream music on my computers and mobile devices. I can even use the service while overseas without using a VPN service. This was one of the reasons I didn’t try Google Music Play when it was released. I could’ve tried it out and qualify for the lower monthly rate of $7.99 and save $2 per month. Doesn’t sound that much but that would be $24 per year, and for the 3 years I’ve used online music subscription, I would’ve saved $72. I don’t see going back to buying CDs. I think being able to stream music online is a great service. Even with the stupid bandwidth caps ISP hits their customers and inconsistent coverage, you can always download a local copy of playlists and albums.
Spotify is not a perfect service. I don’t think such a thing exist. I’ve noticed songs I wanted to listen are not available. Some songs are available but it’s the clean version. It’s understandable. But here are some things that they could fix.
- The mobile app used to allow users the ability to store local/downloaded copies of playlists and albums in a location they prefer. This is beneficial for non-iOS users (because Apple devices do not have external storage options) to be able to use external storage devices for storage. Imaging you have an 8GB or 16GB device and it’s filling up. You would be able to store Spotify media onto larger external storage. Unfortunately, as of November 2014, this is no longer an option.
- The radio station is a nice feature. Unfortunately, it doesn’t change. What I mean is, if the station contains 20 tracks, that’s all you get. It doesn’t try to find more music that match the station genre. I guess it is designed that way, because that’s how radio works, same songs over and over.
- Spotify continues to ask if I want to follow friends. I don’t really care what they’re listening to. I want to listen to my stuff. Enough already!
- On Android, the song details are not displayed in my car’s display. I’m not sure if Google is not allowing 3rd party apps this feature or Spotify devs got lazy on the Android version. When using iOS, the song details display just fine.
Recently, Google is giving out 90 day trial for their Google Play Music service. On top of that, you get theYouTube Music Key beta. Perfect time to check out the service. For almost a week I’ve been using it and have been impressed. Just like Spotify, the library isn’t complete but I understood that going in. But here are the things that stood out so far.
- When you first use the app, it will ask you to select from a list of artists that you like listening to. I believe this is how they can match you with songs for random play or suggestions. I feel this is much better than Spotify.
- The I’m feeling lucky radio is great. Unlike Spotify, it truly does play random songs based on your history and the answers from the questions I metioned above. On top of that, it’s always different songs.
- The app has a smarter AI. This morning, it greeted me with suggestions for just waking up. Selecting it will take you to another menu that’s based on genre and other things. I pick one and was amazed at how less I used the skip button. As a matter of fact, it’s been over 30 minutes (I’m listening to it now while typing this post) and I’ve yet to hit the skip button. If this was Spotify, I would already hit the skip button a few times. Either it was a song I didn’t want to listen to at this time or I’ve already heard the song recently. You can refresh the station and it’ll load music in a different order. It does display how many times you’ve listened to the music. So I noticed some songs I’ve already played. But it just feels that it’s doing a better job with random selections than Spotify.
- According to this list https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/2843119, I’m still not able to use Google Play Music in Philippines… without a VPN – as of November 2014. Hopefully, they update this list and include it.
- Youtube Music Key is a great service and you get it at no additional cost. Not only do you get ad-free browsing but there is offline playback capability. But it’s only for the music side of Youtube. I was hoping that it was applied throughout Youtube. I’ve notice a huge increase in the frequency of ads when watching videos.
- It has a labs section where you can play with different plugins. Spotify has plugins as well. It’s neither an advantage or disadvantage but I wanted to mention it here. I haven’t played with it much to determine which is better or which fits my listening style better.
In conclusion, I’m probably going to cancel my Spotify service and replace it with Google Play Music. It’s for the same price, but for me it has a smarter AI, better search, and Youtube Music Key service. Being on Android, using Google service could have advantages as well, like getting new features earllier.