Streaming Music is a huge opportunity to gain market share for so many companies these days that it has left the consumer with loads of new choices. These choices include: Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, Beats Music, Amazon Music, BeatPort, SoundCloud and many, many more.
a. Pandora – defines themselves as “Gives people music and comedy they love anytime, anywhere through connected devices.”
-Personalized stations (defined by favorite artist, song or genre), More than 1 million tracks
-Powered by the “Music Genome Project®” "captures the essence of music at the most fundamental level" uses over 450 attributes to describe songs and a complex mathematical algorithm to organize them.
--5 sub-genomes: 1. Pop/Rock 2. Hip-Hop/Electronica 3. Jazz 4. World Music and 5. Classical.
-Taxonomy is built by using music DNA and listener feedback to craft personalized stationsFree subscribers - hear 64kAAC+ - (AAC is a lossy data compression scheme for digital audio, optimized for low-bitrate applications such as streaming audio3).
Paid $4/month subscribers - hear 192kbps (still MP3 compressed file – but highest res MP3 file available)
Audio quality rating = 5 (due to compressed audio files)
Fun Factor rating = 7 (love the personalized stations, listener feedback and new music concept)
I love the organic exposure to NEW music by Pandora. A lot of music lovers and especially, audiophiles tend to stick to their jazz, blues, rock and roll or elecronica. While this is truly enjoyable, being exposed to new talent and new music really opens up our minds, our exposure to new techniques, new artists and new influences and even new genres. I don’t know about you but the day I stop discovering new music, it will most likely be the day I die as music is such a lifeline of my existence. I listen when I am sad, glad, happy, grumpy, frustrated, gloomy, confused, well, just about anytime as music has a very therapeutic effect on me. How does music make you feel? What’s your favorite way to listen to music? How about sharing it on our Music is a Movement page, we’d love to hear from you and why you listen. Thanks for sharing, music lovers everywhere will appreciate your efforts.
b. Spotify - define themselves as “Everything you want from music, completely free.”
What bitrate does Spotify use for streaming?
Free Subscribers hear Spotify in one of 2 Ogg Vorbis formats
• ~96 kbps Normal quality on mobile.
• ~160 kbps Desktop and web player standard quality, High quality on mobile.
-listen on mobile, tablet, or pc
-millions of songs, made possible by ads
-ready made, playlists plus New Music suggestions for every mood & genre
Paid Suscribers hear • ~320 kbps Desktop high quality or Extreme quality on mobile. - Only $9.99/month
-your music is everywhere, play any song, anywhere
-download music & listen offline in high quality audio
-no ad interruptions and no commitment (hmmm….download and listen in HIGH QUALITY….that's what I'd rather do)
How do I activate Higher Quality Streaming on Spotify?
Premium users can listen to music the way it's meant to be heard. Just turn on high quality streaming.
Here are the Mac instructions.
1. Click Spotify in the menu bar.
2. Select Preferences.
3.Under Playback select High quality streaming.
Audio quality rating = 7 (due to compressed audio files yet much higher quality with their Premium subscribers than Pandora One)
Fun Factor rating = 7 (love the personalized playlists, new music suggestions)
Listen Offline Spotify Premium allows you to play your playlists offline. It’s perfect for plane rides, the subway, or anywhere you don’t have wifi or an Internet connection. Moon Audio specializes in on-the-go or portable audio solutions with our hand-crafted headphone cables, mini cables and usb cables. Let us know if we can help you.
Spotify uses social apps to spread the word about their music streaming service. When you sign up for Spotify, they automatically add a way for their service to post via your social profile to social media showing that you are listening to a song on Spotify. Why? Because Spotify says, Music Brings Us Together. Here at Moon Audio, we agree, this is why we started our Music is a Movement page, please share why Music brings you closer to your world today. We'd love to hear from you.
c. Soundcloud - defines themselves as "world’s leading social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them everywhere".
-recording and uploading sounds to SoundCloud lets artists easily share them privately or publicly to friends, blogs, sites, & social networks.
-share on Twitter,Tumblr, Facebook, and Foursquare
-can be accessed anywhere using the official iphone and android apps, and hundreds of apps built on the soundcloud platform
-supports AIFF, WAVE (WAV), FLAC, ALAC, OGG, MP2, MP3, AAC, AMR, and WMR files. Max file size is 5GB.
-they don’t modify original audio files for download but they are converted to MP3 joint stereo for STREAMING due to a bandwidth issue.
Audio Quality Rating -
Fun Factor Rating - 8
We really like SoundCloud's merchandising of Exploring Trending Music & Trending Audio. This is a major reason we gave it such a high Fun factor rating. You can search SoundCloud by Genre on the left navigation or by Music icon on the center navigation with picture, banner and description. You can use social icons to promote your sound preferences here with : icons such as like, share, add to playlist, repost and even comment. It's a very interactive tool for music lovers to share their opinions, artists, genres, and more.
d. iTunes or BeatsMusic -define themselves as "best way to organize and enjoy the music, movies and tv shows you already have and shop for the ones you want to buy".
Free streaming radio stations with itunes radio
-works on MAC, PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, and Apple TV
-dj curated & genre specific stations
-over 85,000 movies, more than 300,000 tv shows
-download tv shows if you won’t have wifi
PAID itunes MATCH subscriptions
-stream media directly from iCloud at a rate of 256Kbps, otherwise, download to your computer and then watch, don’t stream
Stream settings are always dictated by the SOURCE
-supported compression methods: AAC, AIFF, MP3, WAV, Apple Lossless Encoder, default M4A files by itunes can be encoded with AAC or apple lossless encoder
-Apple lossless encoder does not discard any audio data during compression which means higher sound quality, BUT larger files require larger bandwidth for streaming
-AIFF and WAV do not compress audio data in files, and larger file sizes result
AIFF is the format used on CD’s, MP3 files are compressed, but offer lower quality sound than MP4 files. The benefit of an MP3 file is that they are compatible with most other media players and modern cd players.
-most radio stations stream via itunes at 128, 96, 64, 56 or 48 kbps.
-genius – can search your library on your computer or iOS device to find songs that go great together and organize them into genre based mixes and playlists you will love.
-with Genius Match – all your music can be stored in iCloud – even your imported cd’s, you can access all your music anywhere, wherever, for $24.99 per year. Plus, when you subscribe on your MAC or PC, you can listen to iTunes radio ad-free.
iTunes PLUS – files are sold in three prices for now: $0.69, $0.99, $1.29 each.
What happens to my old MP3 files? Apple is extending (for now) that any previously purchased music on iTunes, CAN BE UPGRADED – FREE when you subscribe to itunes Match. This is HUGE and very cool, thank you Apple.
This iTunes PLUS is the new standard on iTunes, available in highest quality at 256kbps AAC (twice the quality of protected music purchases) and without DRM (digital rights management).
-it can be also be burned on a CD, as many times as needed, synced to any AAC enabled device, and played on any mac or pc
-Now, to explain a bit further, 256kbps is still low res audio – it is NOT the same as WAV format or = to a CD original recording. It's better than an MP3, but its still compressed.