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11GTCS Dork
5/10/23 12:34 p.m.

I tried out free Pandora and then free Spotify to get a feel for both.  I far prefer the music selection on Spotify, the ease of use and that it works equally well on several platforms.  It will give suggested playlists and they won't necessarily be limited to a specific genre.  I've had a paid subscription for a little over a year now starting not long after getting a new company car that has wireless Apple Car Play and it works nearly flawlessly.  I will also say that the sound quality is exceptional, there are settings to lower the playback quality to reduce data usage if that's a concern.  I have an unlimited data plan so it stays on the highest quality playback setting.

DjGreggieP Dork
5/10/23 12:51 p.m.

I was using Accuradio for the longest time. They have a plethora of channels, but no real way to 'playlist' anything except the '5 star radio' which is anything you 4 or 5 star so it can be a wide mix of everything. 

I finally broke down and made a Spotify account, tho I use still use downloaded music from Artlist and Monstercat for when I am streaming. 

Duke MegaDork
5/10/23 1:11 p.m.
hunter47 said:

Spotify is 100% worth it imo. Way wider music selection and you can listen to music you want to listen to. Never liked Pandora because I could never listen to a specific song, or album. 

Which is exactly why I like it.


Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
5/10/23 2:20 p.m.
Aaron_King said:

I will add that the thing I like about Pandora is that it works like a radio station, I don't have to feed it constantly.

Spotify does the exact same thing. Spotify can also just play you an album or a human-curated playlist.

If you play an album to the end, it turns into a station just like if you were listening to Pandora.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito UltimaDork
5/10/23 2:53 p.m.

For years, I was carrying around my music collection with me in one way or another. It went from cassettes, to a CD binder, to a few different non-Apple MP3 players, to a 80GB iPod Classic, and finally an Android smartphone. Also, I've tried a number of streaming services, including Pandora, Last.FM, Google Music, YouTube Music, Samsung Milk, Spotify, and more.

Earlier this year, my wife got us a family plan to Spotify, and I'm finding myself using that in the car more than I'm playing my MP3 collection stored on my phone. It works really well with Android Auto's voice commands, and listening to pretty much anything I can think of by just telling my car to cue it up makes me feel like I'm on the bridge of the USS Enterprise D on Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

I like that I can just tell my car to play "Yacht Rock Radio", for example, and it cues up the dulcet tones of Christopher Cross with basically no effort. And if I get sick of that, I tell it to play Slayer and seconds later my face is getting melted off. I mean, that's pretty damn amazing if you ask me. My music taste is ecclectic and sometimes obscure, and Spotify has more of the things I want to listen to than anyone else. Since it's popular, even some aftermarket HU's like the one in my Power Wagon have a Spotify function to offer similar features, and that's really cool as well.  

Honorable Mention: Bandcamp. This is a GREAT place to find new artists and buy their stuff (both physical and digital), and they do monthly "Support the Artists" days where they waive the fees to give artists a direct cut of the sales, which is cool. Wish I had this when I was a struggling musician! You can stream here too, but it's limited on what the artists allow. Sometimes they only give access to a few tracks, others give you their entire catalog. YMMV, and it's not a replacement for a full streaming service, but I felt it worth mentioning. 

mtn MegaDork
5/11/23 3:44 p.m.

Streaming gets Amazon Music. I use it on TVs and my phone. If I'm listening to music to listen to music, I'm probably either listening to a record, or else on youtube on my computer because I'm trying to learn to play the song on guitar. So streaming is just for the car (which I'm usually listening to radio) or background noise. Since I already have Amazon for Prime, it is the easy choice. 


The normal version that comes with the Prime membership, it works like Pandora. You can't pick the song. You can skip 5 an hour. The algorithm is pretty good, for me. 


If I didn't have Prime already, I'd probably go for Spotify. It wouldn't be Amazon. 

tuna55 MegaDork
5/11/23 4:19 p.m.

I'm nearly to the point of buying a bluetooth enabled MP3 player and rocking that instead.

jwagner (Forum Supporter)
jwagner (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
5/11/23 11:33 p.m.

First vote for Tidal?  We have the family plan.  Big catalog.  Most of it is CD quality.

I generally leave Radio Paradise stream for background music.  Use the mellow stream option when SWMBO is around. 

WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/11/23 11:53 p.m.
J.A. Ackley said:

I'm a Pandora fan. However, I'd actually love to know a non-streaming option (i.e. a downloadable outlet) for when I fly and drive in areas without cell service. You used to be able to download music for free off Amazon Music. I'd welcome suggestions for that.

I have the $55/yr Pandora account. 

If you're using the app, it should have a few hours of your top 3 stations (by listened hours) downloaded and automatically switch to "offline mode"if you lose connection.   If you don't want to use your data to stream music, but want to keep your data turned on, when you're in the app click on your profile> gear icon > and slide the "offline mode" to on.

Mike (Forum Supporter)
Mike (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
5/12/23 12:07 a.m.

I pay for YouTube Premium, so I have YouTube Music too. The neat thing is that the bar to put something on YouTube is low, and while they do have a pure music library, just about anything even slightly musical can be streamed out of YouTube music without video using the YT Music app. Live radio performance? Check. Covid charity concert stream? Yep. There's a lot of stuff there you cannot get somewhere else.

I also have Spotify Premium Duo and it's the best pure music platform I use these days. It feels like they understand what they're playing, so the algorithm is part of the draw. They have thousands of genres... I apparently love "escape room" which is equal parts strange and spot on with my musical tastes.

Finally Bandcamp. For my very favorite artists, I want to own the music, and Bandcamp pays them well and often has limited releases. The player app is fine, but Spotify can play music files off your device.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/12/23 12:05 p.m.
jwagner (Forum Supporter) said:

First vote for Tidal?  We have the family plan.  Big catalog.  Most of it is CD quality.

I generally leave Radio Paradise stream for background music.  Use the mellow stream option when SWMBO is around. 

Seconding Tidal.

Mrs. Hungary and I looked in to Spotify and we ultimately chose Tidal over it because of what we felt were ethical reasons.  Random googling now found me this:


That being said, we do have a complaint.  If we put an artist in as a search, we often get LOADS of songs by that artist before it kicks over to the mix of that genre that we actually want.  Entering a song into the search does not suffer that same drawback.  I know it sounds petty, but it's annoying when you're busy and want to "fire and forget".

I love Tidal's playlists.  Remember the 1980's and Funk Classics are my current two top playlists and I made a couple of my own.  I also like (and I'm sure Spotify does this as well) the ability to download all my playlists and have them when I don't have service. 

Previously I had used Youtube and Pandora to stream music, but no longer use either.

Over all, I'm 9/10 with Tidal.  Would stream again.


Noddaz GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
5/12/23 12:14 p.m.



Trent PowerDork
5/12/23 12:18 p.m.

Spotify has terrible ethics

Spotify is an awful curator of music information

Spotifys algorithm is well known and songs are being written to exploit the algorithm, not to be good songs but to make money via Spotify.

Spotify does not know the difference between multiple artists with the same name. A post hardcore band from the 90's is not the same thing as the soft jazz or mumble rap artist with the same name, figure it out!


All that said, I have a paid Spotify subscription because they have more of the music I want to listen to.  I have obscure and niche interests and there is more underground music there than any other service. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
5/12/23 12:51 p.m.

I prefer albums. (Currently playing: “Ultramega OK.”)

MartinKim New Reader
10/16/23 3:27 a.m.

I'm an Apple Music fan. With Dolby Atmos content, you may now stream 16-bit/44.1kHz, 24-bit/48kHz, and 24-bit/192kHz music through Apple Music and utilise spatial audio. AAC is the only high-quality Bluetooth codec used by Apple Music, and it broadcasts content at 256 kbps, making it much more effective than the majority of other open-source lossy options. What's more, I can download Apple Music tracks for free with a third-party tool, Apple Music Unlocker. It can download the lossless tracks from Apple Music.

DrBoost MegaDork
10/16/23 8:16 a.m.

I had Pandora for years, but have now been using spotify for a few years. With Pandora I feel like I was stuck in a rut. The same songs would play, little variety. Spotify seems to have a MUCH bigger catalog. There's one feature of pandora I wish spotify would include. The ability to shuffle all or some of your playlists. There are lots of times where I can rock out to Metallica right after some Elvis, and right before some 80's hip-hop. 

RevRico GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
10/16/23 8:20 a.m.

In reply to DrBoost :

Try the DJ option on spotify. Plays like 4-6 songs, then changes genres. Not quite Pandora super shuffle, but none of the set your watch to it like it's fm radio repetition of Pandora either.

dj06482 (Forum Supporter)
dj06482 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
10/16/23 11:49 a.m.

I'm cheap, and I pay for Spotify. The family plan with tax is like $18 a month, which I think is reasonable.  I used Amazon Music based on our Prime subscription for years, but when they switched to not being able to download anything and being on permanent shuffle, I gave up on them and switched.  So far, I'm happy with Spotify - good selection, quality is good enough for what I'm doing, etc.

Beer Baron 🍺
Beer Baron 🍺 MegaDork
6/12/24 12:27 p.m.


Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/12/24 3:20 p.m.

To complete this thread, I ended up with Pandora. I have 15 or so stations set up that cover everything from classical to metal and jazz to country. I can punch up the station I'm in the mood for and it cycles through. Good enough. 

tuna55 MegaDork
6/12/24 3:29 p.m.

I want an MP3 player with bluetooth, and a way to download the songs, after paying for them, from the artists.

Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/12/24 3:37 p.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

I'd love that and still do it with books when possible.

Unfortunately, that business model doesn't pay monthly so no one follows it. 


GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/12/24 3:42 p.m.
tuna55 said:

I want an MP3 player with bluetooth, and a way to download the songs, after paying for them, from the artists.

Your (media player) app of choice on your smartphone of choice + files from Bandcamp.

tuna55 MegaDork
6/12/24 3:50 p.m.
GameboyRMH said:
tuna55 said:

I want an MP3 player with bluetooth, and a way to download the songs, after paying for them, from the artists.

Your (media player) app of choice on your smartphone of choice + files from Bandcamp.

hey that is a pretty great thing! Is it pretty much -all- artists, or is it just a select few? I see a few holes just poking around. I really like this idea.

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/12/24 3:54 p.m.

In reply to tuna55 :

Definitely not all artists but a lot are on there.

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