If you were searching for one single word to describe the millennials’ lifestyle, “online” would be the perfect match, for sure. Many of us have already minimized, if not removed, the paperwork in the office in favor of cloud services and apps. Neither are we likely to download movies, let alone buying DVDs, nor would we prefer old-fashioned music CDs or new album downloads. A variety of stylish and intuitive online music apps, services and radios seem to have replaced them over the past years.
Quite predictably, the competition among music-streaming services has been recently growing so strong, that keeping a top position in user ratings for one year may now be somewhat a dream scenario for some of them.
Naturally, some of the players, launched in 2015, seem more streamlined in their design and features and, more importantly, less expensive, than those launched a year or two ago.
Let’s take a closer look at a few of them:
Initially launched in 3 countries in October, 2014, the service became available for a larger audience only in January, 2015.
The service features include: access to over 25M on-demand tracks/playlists and about 75K videos in the Music Library, recommended tracks and playlists, music streaming on Android and iOS devices and offline listening options.
The major Tidal benefits are the exceptional sound quality (320 kbps for a $9.99/month subscription and 1,141kbps for a $19.99/month subscription) and the exclusive audio and video content it offers.
However, the service doesn’t provide any Free membership options, and users may dislike occasional music buffering issues.
Free Google Play Music
Even though Google Play Music has been already available for a few years, its Free version was launched just a few months ago, shortly before the recent launch of Apple Music.
Accessible via a Google Play Music application on iOS (v. 7.0 and higher), Android (version 4.0 and higher) and the Sonos speaker systems, the service requires Internet connection for music streaming and [temporary] download on a user’s device.
The free version includes limited features, with neither a “Rewind ”option, nor users’ ability to see what the next track is.
However, free users can still enjoy the decent sound quality (up to 320 kbps), based on their data connection, pause and skip tracks (six skips or less per hour).
PlayStation™Music by Spotify®
Soon after the shut-down of Music Unlimited this March, Spotify® and PlayStation® Network have launched a new service to bringing their users’ gaming and listening experience together – PlayStation™Music.
The service requires linking users’ Spotify accounts with their accounts on PlayStation® Network and includes the following features:
- music streaming from Spotify® on PlayStation®3/PlayStation®4 systems and Xperia™ mobile devices;
- music playback in the background mode on PlayStation®4 consoles;
- remote music playback management using Spotify® Connect;
- offline music streaming on Premium users’ mobile devices.
PlayStation™Music doesn’t include a Free subscription plan, yet there is a Spotify® Premium free option that allows testing Premium features for a limited time period before upgrading to Spotify® Premium.
The recently launched Apple Music service has already become, perhaps, the most widely-discussed music service of 2015.
It offers a set of beneficial features, e.g. unlimited streaming of over 30M tracks in Apple Music Library, access and Beats 1 radio station, recommended playlists, exclusive music content, available offline streaming options and more.
Even though Apple Music offers no Free subscription, its users can enjoy a 3-month free trial and either upgrade to Premium subscription ($9,99 per month) or have their streaming options limited (no offline streaming, no unlimited access to Apple Music Library or expert recommendations, etc.), when the trial is over.
4shared Online Music Player
Just a week or two ago, 4shared released the redesigned and upgraded music player at its website that enables online streaming of tracks from the 4shared user-generated music library.
The main player features include:
- music search by audio file tags;
- streaming of similar tracks to the initially selected one using the “Playnext” button;
- auto-playback of similar tracks in the background mode;
- the new “Explore” section with recommended tracks/playlists.
The online player is free for all 4shared users (both Free and Premium members).
However, adding tracks to one’s 4shared account, downloading or sharing them via social media is only possible upon users’ login.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Top 5 Online Music Players, Launched in 2015
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