Quality of music and user-friendliness across music streaming platforms

December 8, 2017

Do you like comparing things? Do you like comparing things as much as we do? See what did there? We want to compare some music streaming platforms. Again. This time we’ll look at how user-friendly they are and how good their sound quality is.

Quick math

We kinda wrote about the sound quality differences between music streaming platforms in our previous articles. We sat down together and had a conversation about the weight of the music quality in our daily struggle. Here’s what we agreed upon:

A typical American listened to approx. 32.1 hours of music in a week. A week has 162 hours. On average, it takes him 110-130 minutes per day to get and from work. That’s over 10 hours per week. More than half of them listen to music from either their smartphones or computers (only 11% uses old-school standalone radios). So we’re getting our vibes on at work while commuting and during other activities on our way. The music of today is accompanying us through our days. That’s cool, but do we really care how good the quality is then? Look, we’re not bats, we can’t really hear all those high pitches, low-frequency stuff. We listen while we work, move or both. Those 320kbps are jus’ fine as long the music’s right. So the quality is a thing that doesn’t really concern us here. OR DOES IT?

User friendliness

Now that’s a whole different matter. The problem is, that from the visual or app’s UI standpoint, it’s mostly personal preference. We know that history shows examples of war waged over even more trivial matters, but this isn’t the case where we argue whether Star Wars are better than Star Trek, right? (shots fired, anyone?)

Nowadays the music streaming platforms have to compete against each other to woo their users.

As we all know for some reasons, most people prefer…


(we did write on that as well) There are ideas, that don’t include a clever AI. The one that calculates the user’s music taste into algorithms to serve him new tunes that will strike his fancy. This one has the biggest range because…well it’s just that good! Sometimes we think people who start music streaming begin their adventure with Spotify and just stay with it. Plus it doesn’t have Jay-Z. Win-Win.

Of course, there’s the other side of the binary coin.

The Apple Music.

(never forget the power of Apple products) If you as much of a fanboy/girl/how dare you to assume any gender – you want in on this. The word “seamless” is what you’re looking for here. The on-demand streaming service works with every Apple device, as well as on Android. If you don’t want to pay for it, you can still listen to Beats 1 Radio for free. Playlists and radio stations are updated consistently, and exclusive content from artists is a great way to find new sounds.

The Google Play

Is on par with it’s Apple flavoured counterpart. Has a fat library of tunes in it, as well as podcasts. But recently got yet another upgrade. A subscription to Google Play Music now also includes free access to YouTube Red, the company’s premium tier for YouTube. Pairing it with Google Home gives you a voice assistant that also works well with your music library.

Pandora does a step… backwards?

But not in a bad way. It’s a tip of the hat towards the radio. As in – radio is gone. Pandora’s taking over. It’s a perfect successor. Does one more thing, that distinguishes this music streaming platform from others. Its ad-supported option lets you create personalized stations while its $4.99 option unlocks unlimited skips and replays, higher quality music, and offline station listening. $9.99 gets you on-demand streaming, putting it on par with other streaming services.

Ok, we will write about Tidal now.

It’s delivering a premium Hi-Fi product that boasts uncompressed 1411Kbps FLAC audio streams that surpasses your typical stream or MP3 file. Considering that most online music services’ streams are in the 320Kbps range, Tidal’s audio quality is quite impressive. In fact, Tidal’s new Masters Streams are even more impressive, offering studio-quality audio courtesy of the Master Quality Authenticated audio codec. These FLAC-based streams sound absolutely terrific.

We said we like to compare? Yes, we do! But the way you’d think we will. If you’re looking for a guide on which music streaming platform to choose, we’ll send you off to try all of them for yourself. We had our experiences with all of these streamers and made our choices, based on trial and error, so why would we make it easy for you?

You can always move your playlists between all music streaming platforms – it’s easy 😉

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