Wondering about other streaming services? I tried the following three and didn’t like them as much as our top picks. Here’s why.
Amazon Music: The best thing about Amazon Music is that its basic ad-free tier is included with Prime, but it’s sneaky. It has a song catalog of over 70 million tracks, but some artists and albums are banned unless you pay extra for Amazon Music Unlimited – $ 8 per month for Prime members and $ 10 per month for all. world. Audio quality at 256 Kbps is better than Spotify’s free level at 160 Kbps, but I prefer Spotify’s interface, music discovery, and curated playlists. The is a premium tier called Amazon Music HD which boosts streaming bitrate to an average of 850 Kbps. It costs $ 13 per month for Prime members and $ 15 for non-members. If you pay, there are better options.
Deezer: On iOS and Android, you can only “favorite” 1,000 albums and artists each. It is really too low. The music discovery suggestions are also pretty bad. I would listen to a band and Deezer would suggest something very different. Many curated playlists included songs from albums not available in the US, so I couldn’t play them. Not just obscure titles, but several titles in the Ray Charles collections, for example. It also had a creepy back button that skipped screens, like Apple Music.
Pandora: Pandora is still very popular, but it has been losing listeners steadily since 2014. The free tier still works like the Pandora of yore, where you can tune in to a radio station but can’t search for your own music. For the $ 5 per month tier, you have to watch an ad to find and play the songs you want. The $ 10 per month Premium tier promises unlimited hops, along with fine print that says “hops (are) limited by certain license restrictions.” The maximum bit rate of 192 Kbps is too low to be worth paying for. It’s a bad deal all around.