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From Queen to Fat Boy Slim, Iron Maiden to Elton John and everyone in between, many of us turn to music in both good and bad times.
Music can be a powerful invoker of emotions, and a simple harmony may send you right back to a beautiful day at the beach, remind you of someone, or it could even be a guilty pleasure that makes you smile when it’s played.
From the release of the CD to the mp3 player, vinyl, mini-disks and 8-tracks, technology is constantly evolving dramatically. Even Apple have now stopped producing the iconic iPod!
With the advances of technology came smartphones, and now most modern smartphones can download apps, so listening to podcasts and playlists, new and old records alike, is all at the touch of a button or a voice command away.
Aside from listening to music, with some of the modern music apps you can usually create your own playlists, share your favourite tracks, or even catch up on the latest episode of a podcast.
in this blog we compare Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Deezer to see what you could get by using these apps.
Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer
Amazon Music launched in the UK in 2008 and in 2019 announced the launch of Amazon Music HD, a new tier of ‘Lossless’ quality music with more than 50 million songs in High Definition, and millions of songs in ‘Ultra High Definition’, making it one of the highest-quality streaming audios available.
Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming and media services provider founded in 2006 and is one of the largest music streaming service providers.
Apple Music was introduced to the UK in 2015. This platform allows users to access around 90 million songs, more than 30,000 expert-curated playlists and comes in 4 different plans; Voice, Student, Individual and Family, more on these later.
Deezer which was founded in 2007 is a French online music streaming service, like the other platforms listed, paid subscribers to Deezer can download and listen to music offline.
Comparing music app plans
Each of these apps vary in pricing, always look for one that suits your budget (students can usually get a cheaper deal). If you’re a family or living under the same roof, then consider a bundle for all of you.
All four apps offer a free trial, although these vary in length. The subscription will usually automatically continue after the trial period ends unless you cancel it.
Apple Music’s most basic plan is a new plan called ‘Voice’. You can access all the songs and playlists the other plans have among other benefits. On the downside, this plan isn’t available on other non-iOS supported devices, and there is no option to download any songs.
The ‘Individual’ plan is similar to their ‘Student’ plan. Looking at them side by side the only difference between them is the price. To get the student plan you have to be a university student, Apple will require verification.
Having a Family plan will allow up to 6 users, at an additional cost, to stream ad free music and videos. You and your family can also access your Apple Music Library, listen to live and on-demand radio shows, download 100,000 songs to your library, and see what your friends/family are listening to, and more.
Alongside the free trial, Spotify has an option, called Premium Duo, which allows two people living together to each get their own Premium account, but at a reduced cost compared to what you would each pay for your own individual account.
They also offer Premium Family, for 6 people living under the same roof. In addition to all the other premium benefits, this plan also comes with ‘Spotify Kids’, which has singalongs and playlists made just for children . Along with an Explicit filter, where the plan’s manager can choose if members get explicit content.
Deezer offer a free trial of their platform on the Deezer Premium or Deezer Family plans, after the trial period the subscription to the plan you choose will then start.
Deezer’s ‘Family’ plan is similar to Apple Music, where they also allow up to 6 individual accounts to listen to ad-free music. Additionally, the Deezer Family plan also has a ‘Kid Profile’ so you can keep control of what your kid(s) are listening to.
Deezer Premium grants users personalisation of playlists and ad-free tracks with hi-fi sound quality, ability to stream across different devices, plus you get to download your favourite songs and listen to them offline.
Amazon Music, like the other platforms, offer a free tier, which is restricted compared to the others. For example, you can only access Amazon’s “top playlists,” can’t use offline playback, and like the others, would have to sit through ads interrupting your music.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can upgrade to the Amazon Music Prime or you have another option to upgrade, called Amazon Music Unlimited.
Amazon Music Unlimited is a premium music subscription service, where you have access to songs ad-free, gain offline playback and Amazon Music Unlimited is available in both HD and ‘Ultra HD’.
Spotify free and paid users can access the Spotify app on iOS, Windows, iPhone, Sonos, PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox Series X, and more.
The Deezer music platform can connect to iOS 14 or higher, Android 6 or higher, Chromecast, Xbox, Alexa, Siri, in the Chrome browser and others.
Apple Music users can stream music on any of their iPad, Apple Mac, Apple TV and iPhones. You can also play Apple music on a Windows PC, on an Android device (by downloading the app), and on Sonos, amongst other devices.
Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Unlimited Music can be played on an Alexa device, Fire TV, Fire TV Stick or Fire Tablet. Also, via Sonos speakers, on your iPhone, Android phones and tablets . You can connect your PC or MAC, web browsers, smart TVs and even some cars to play Amazon Prime or Amazon Unlimited music.
Amazon Prime Music and Amazon Unlimited Music can be played on most devices including, Alexa and Sonos speakers, via your phone, tablet, PC or MAC and via smart TVs or the Fire Stick. Even some cars can play Amazon Prime or Amazon Unlimited music.
Not available in all countries
Although all the apps are available in the UK, it’s worth noting that these four apps are not available in every country, or one app maybe available where the others are not.
Amazon Music has a much lower availability than the others.
- Amazon Music 'Free' (with ads) tier and Amazon Prime Music are only available in 12 countries, and is not available in New Zealand, most South American countries including Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay and more. Amazon Free is also not available in India.
- Amazon Music Unlimited is available in 49 countries excluding Switzerland and India.
- Apple Music is available most countries, excluding Albania, São Tomé and Principe, Pakistan Palau and Afghanistan.
- Spotify is currently available in most countries, and have announced expansion into another 36 including, Barbados, Chad, Fiji, Georgia, Haiti, Maldives, Nepal, Palau, Senegal, Trinidad and Tobago, Zimbabwe and more.
- Deezer is not available in the Bahamas, Belize, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, China, Curaçao, Eswatini, Guyana, Haiti, Macau, Malawi, San Marino, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago. It is available in over 18 counties though - a full list can be found here.
How many songs can I listen to?
Spotify – has over 70 million songs in its library – for both the free and the premium subscriptions. Although there is a limit to how many songs you can have per library which is 10,000 songs.
Also, be aware that, Spotify counts each time you’ve saved a song, no matter which playlist(s) the song is in. Which means that if you put your favourite song in your music playlist, and your exercise playlist then that same song will be counted twice.
Apple – Once known as iCloud Music Library, has access to over 90 million songs, within your iTunes - now called Apple Music Library – you can listen online or offline and download a whopping 100,000 songs to your library!
Deezer – has over 73 million songs in its catalogue, and all but the free version plan allows users to listen to Deezer offline, and you can only have around 2,000 songs in your playlist.
Amazon Music - Amazon Prime users have access to a music library of 2 million songs. If you upgraded to Amazon Music Unlimited, where you have access to 90 million songs in HD and millions of songs in Ultra HD.
What about Sound quality?
Spotify offers four sound quality options, ‘Low’ (24kbps), ‘Normal’(96kbps), ‘High’(160kbps) and ‘Very High’ (320kbps), the ‘Very High’ setting is only available to Premium subscribers.
Apple Music offers four audio quality settings, alongside Lossless and High-Resolution Lossless audio as well and offers users Spatial Audio through Dolby Atmos content across 3 of their Apple plans.
Amazon Music Unlimited offers five audio quality settings on both desktop and mobile apps. Which includes their HD audio feature, where you can get ‘CD-quality audio' (850 kbps) and the Ultra HD setting (3730 kbps).
Deezer also offers four audio quality settings (including HiFi), Basic (64kbps), Standard (128kbps) High Quality (320kbps) and also offer ‘HiFi’ (1,411kbps) quality.
Other apps vary, when you’ve subscribed to your chosen music service, you should be able to adjust your sound quality to suit your needs.
Music apps and the data they consume
Data used when listening to music varies for app to app, some of these use more than others, but often there are ways of lowering the data used.
For example, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and Apple Music all let you download songs to listen to when offline, you can always set a data cap within your own settings, and more.
Amazon Music’s highest standard setting takes up about 65 MB an hour or 3.5 MB per song.
Adjust your data spend in your settings menu within the app you can switch the quality of your audio to Standard or Data Saver, although as the name suggests it may affect the quality of your audio. You can also select stream only on Wi-Fi or Offline Mode, which may also help reduce your data spend.
Deezer uses approximately 144MB of data per hour. As with the others Deezer offers a way to download and listen to music in ‘Offline mode’, which you should find in the app’s settings -> Preferences and the select Offline Mode.
Apple Music also uses approximately uses 40MB per hour, as with most (if not all) apps you can reduce your spend by making sure you’re on Wi-Fi especially if you’re downloading songs to play ‘offline’.
You could also lower the quality of your sound. Tap Audio Quality -> Switch on Lossless Audio, tap Cellular Streaming to choose a setting. None, High Efficiency, High Quality, Lossless, or High-Resolution Lossless.
Spotify if you’ve downloaded songs but you are not in offline mode, once you’re no longer connected to Wi-Fi then you will be using your mobile data.
Listening to the ‘normal quality’ (96kbps) on Spotify will use 2MB or more of data per every 3 minute song, roughly equating to 40MB per hour. If you're on a limited Data tariff with your mobile network, you may want to consider saving data your data usage. You can do this by switching on 'offline mode'.
Make sure you download when on a trusted Wi-Fi and also consider checking your apps permissions to see if you can reduce your data spend even more.
Have a look around before choosing or subscribing to a music app to make sure it suits your needs, remember that you could share the costs if you live with someone or are a family by getting a bundle.
Information correct at time of publishing June 2022.
We are in no way affiliated with the above apps.
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