Take it or leave it? Comparing trial versions of music streaming platforms

November 23, 2017

Picky ain’t ya? Good! One can be disappointed in so many things today! Things can go from bad to all-out-war over just about anything. But. Not. Music. This one thing has to be just right.

How to make sure it will?

By trial

The trial version that is. A demonstration, if you will. By comparing the music streaming platforms we looked for certain aspects:

  • how does it sound (obviously)
  • what does it look and feel (that one is always a personal preference, but we’re gonna write about it anyway)
  • how long before we have to make our minds about buying the full thing (which might be important for those with compulsive buying disorder, right?)
  • and if any of those had any TOOL tracks in their libraries (we’ll never give up hope for this one!)

We didn’t just compare the platforms again, we checked their trial versions! To see which one would call out to us. From a marketing view, it was fun. But then again, everything is fun from a marketing point of view.

We’ve put Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Amazon Prime Music and Apple Music to this test.


Sound – All the platforms let you listen to AAC+ 96kbps during your tests. It’s a standard compression of any mp3 format file out there. It’s… standard, it’s all we can say. Yes, none of us is an audiophile, we can’t hear colors or anything. The only reason we write this is that there’s a promise of difference once you buy a full subscription for each music streaming platform. AAC 320 Kbps is what you’ll get if you sign up for Spotify’s Premium subscription or Deezer’s Premium+. You can squeeze out 16bit/44.1 KHz 1411 Kbps FLAC files from Tidal Premium. Apple Music offers a maximum of 256Kbps AAC and Amazon Prime varies in quality depending on its tracks. But during the trials, it’s all on a level.

Look and feel

You know what? We like Spotify, we embraced, molded by it… We never saw Tidal until we were grown men… So everything we saw was how different it was in comparison to our home platform. We had no trouble with all except said Tidal. That one was…too different for us.

The time…

…frame we had with each platform? Well…

Apple Music allows for a three-month trial version. During this time you can listen to any music, but the radio feature is restricted to the free live radio station Beats One, and other Internet radio stations, with advertisements. When it comes to the rest of the music streaming platforms – they let you listen to music for as long… as you can tolerate the advertisements in between your favorite playlists. Someone in marketing had a bit too much fun, having the idea that people won’t mind those. Imagine being at work, trying to focus on writing a monthly report on something very important and very close to the deadline. You help yourself with some music and every single time you get your vibe to write you get those ads that completely beat you off track! You’ll get the subscription just to feel that you’ve freed yourself from the ads that would hunt you forever if you heard them one more time! Ugh!

Ok, take it easy

Yeah… Sorry about that. It was a rough time.

Do you have to choose one platform?

Take it easy with choosing your streaming provider. It’s not like you’re going to be stuck forever with them. If you don’t like one, you can drop ’em until you find your match. There is this story we once heard about a guy that was unhappy with Spotify. He canceled his subscription and the last week he had the full version, his Discover daily suggested him tracks like: “Time to say goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli, Madonna’s “Don’t cry for me, Argentina” and “Yesterday” The guy just couldn’t do it and stuck by.

But your boots were made for walkin’ and that’s just what they’ll do. Go out there, check the trials and switch around the platforms as you please. You know what to do if you don’t want to lose your playlists, right?;)

Go out there, check the trials and switch around the platforms as you please. You know what to do to move your playlists between Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and others, right? If you don’t, check our app!

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