It’s written right in my bio: if you see me without headphones, run. Through years of heavy usage of music apps and services of all kind, I’ve taken stock of the streaming music services available today. Amazon Music Unlimited is quite the capable music subscription, but if you find yourself wanting something more — or if you’re an Amazon subscriber looking for a replacement for the music locker Amazon is retiring — here are the streaming music subscriptions to look to instead.
Want to subscribe to a streaming music service without leaving your carefully cultivated personal library behind? Google Play Music lets you mix subscription music with purchased music from Google Play and up to 50,000 uploaded songs as you wish in a single, unified library. Google Play Music also comes with YouTube Music, meaning you get two music apps for the price of one!
Drawing on YouTube’s jaw-dropping selection, Google’s newest music app lets you mix official albums and music videos with fan covers, concert performances, remixes, and so much more. Your Mixtape leverages Google’s AI prowess to keep you rocking out all day and all night. There are still a few bugs being worked out, but it’s a worthwhile part of YouTube Premium.
Spotify’s student bundle is the best in media streaming today, and it’s hard to break away from the siren song of Spotify’s shuffles once that discount ends. Between its many exclusives, famous algorithms, the simple magic of Spotify Connect, and a recently upgraded offline policy, Spotify is a music service with a lot to love.
Availability matters and Deezer is available in more countries than any music subscription service in the world. Between a music catalog that’s 53 million songs and counting and a robust podcast and audiobook selection, Deezer keeps the music flowing in almost 200 countries.
When it comes to quality music in a quality experience, Tidal offers 1411 kbps FLAC files on its HiFi plans, and a slick Android app to match. Tidal’s HiFi plans are more expensive than normal subscriptions, but its large selection of discounts — including a military discount — help soften the blow.
If you used Amazon’s music locker, Google Play Music is ready to welcome you with open arms. Mixing subscription, purchased, and uploaded music in one library, you can listen to just about anything on Google Play Music. If you can’t find it there, you’ll probably find it on its eventual successor, YouTube Music, which is included with Google Play Music and YouTube Premium subscriptions. Device-hoppers, give Spotify a look; Spotify Connect lets you bounce your current queue from phone to computer to Chromecast and beyond without losing your spot or throwing off your groove.