Google Play Music All Access vs. Spotify

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GavinFarrington...

One feature I like about Google is that, if you own indie bands that don't appear in Google's Streaming Service, they still become a part of your overall library simply by uploading them to your account from your computer.  In this way, both available and non-available music become a part of your one library.  Last I checked, if it's not already on Spotify, you have to maintain a separate locally stored music library for the stuff you own but Spotify does not.

Correct me if I'm wrong about that?

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neo1piv14

This article could have used an "other" category for the features that they don't both have in common. I mean, if you're willing to tolerate ads, Google does offer a free music streaming service available on almost every single internet enabled device known to man. They just call it "YouTube."
Google Play Music also has Chromecast support. For a house as Google saturated as mine, that's a pretty big deal because it means I can listen to music on my bike, walk in the front door, and with two screen taps, it picks up where I left off, but on my living room sound system. I guess I've just drank the koolaid, but that's a pretty nice feature to have at a moment's notice.
Not having used Spotify before, I don't know what it can do as far as local device caching, but I know that caching a few playlists to my phone with Google's Play Music app kept me going for a few hours when I was road tripping through a part of NM with no service. Just my $0.02

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KenLV

For the Spotify paid service you can download the contents of your playlist(s). So yes, local device caching is available.

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Obsidian

Where does Beats Music fall into this spectrum? I know it was just launched a few days ago, but a follow up might be worth it just to get some coverage.

To the people who torrent their music, you really do suck. You're not entitled to that work by that artist. As long as you know you're stealing, keep doing it; but don't try and justify it somehow.

I still buy physical CDs, and I DO rip them for my own devices, as I feel that is fair use. According to Amazon I can now also stream them should I deem that something I want to do for the hundreds of albums I've purchased on that site.

There's still some gray area for used CDs though and I'm not entirely sure where I fall on that nuance of this debate. Arguably the artist isn't getting anything from the sale of a used CD, but it's still legal to sell them.

Look out ... it's a logic trap!

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Engelsstaub

I wouldn't worry too much about that "gray area." It's no different than people who borrow books from libraries or people that buy them from used book stores..the author doesn't get paid there either. Artists haven't lost huge amounts of sales to used CD sales and borrowing older CDs from libraries. That's why it's not deemed illegal like jacking stuff online.

AFAICT: second-hand sales of CDs is fair-usage. They're not selling you a license to use the CD. Technically you're supposed to delete your copy if you sell it, but one has the right to transfer ownership.

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stradric

I feel like a lot of nuance is lost in this article. Google Music has the power of Google search and all of the other sophisticated data categorizing algorithms that come with it. I find that Google does a real good job of finding music that I would like based either on my existing library or the music that I'm currently searching for.

It's hard for me to find new music these days. So far Google Music has turned me on to some really good stuff. I've tried Spotify before they were asking for a Facebook login and I found it to be lacking in that specific category. Then they added required Facebook logins with all of the personal information harvesting that goes along with it, so F them.

So when it come down to it, the right service is the one that fits the individual best. Saying that Spotify is the clear winner is a bit sensationalist and irresponsible.

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Paul_Lilly

"So when it come down to it, the right service is the one that fits the individual the best. Saying that Spotify is the clear winner is a bit sensational and irresponsible."

Actually, we broke the comparison down into five categories and declaried Google the victor in one, Spotify the victor in two, and called it a draw in two. There's nothing sensational or irresponsible about that, or our conclusion:

"For now, Spotify remains the undefeated champ, a sure sign of a mature contender that knows the ropes."

Barring benchmarks, there's going to be an amount of subjective analysis and I think we did a good job explainng our reasoning throughout the article. You are, of course, free to disagree with our analysis and use the app of your choosing. In fact, with most services offering free trials, we'd encourage testing them out on your own. Not everyone has the time or desire to do that, which is why we run these pieces.

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Engelsstaub

I'm almost done with my free two month trial of Spotify Premium. I think I'm going to let it auto-renew. (Haven't really tried Google's service or the new Beats one yet.) At first I was against the idea of "renting my music." I still buy records and CDs of bands I like...I will continue to do so with the added convenience of being able to listen to almost any album I want in decent sound quality.

If I listen to an album three or four times and if I decide I want it I'll still buy the CD, record, or FLAC (if it's on HDtracks or Bandcamp.) If the music isn't good enough to me to warrant a purchase I'll delete the playlist and move on to other stuff.

See, this is what the freeloaders keep saying: "try before you buy!" Well services like Spotify and Google Play Music are a fair way to try almost anything before you buy. They basically separate the lying entitled thieves from those who are serious about supporting the artists they profess to be fans of.

But for some people Spotify or a similar service is all they really need.

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KenLV

I realize this is a reprint of a several month's old article, but the beauty of having a complimentary website is that you can update out of date stories. For example...

Regarding the pricing model, Spotify is available on mobile devices FREE now too. Yes there are commercials, like the free PC version. You don't have true "on demand" access, but you have access to your playlists in a "shuffle" mode. Which is generally fine unless you really want to listen to a particular song or playlist in a specific order.

Personally I bounce between Spotify, Pandora and Slacker as they all tend to play the same songs in a "Station" with too great a frequency.

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neo1piv14

"Personally I bounce between Spotify, Pandora and Slacker as they all tend to play the same songs in a "Station" with too great a frequency."

Agreed. I used to pay for Slacker premium, and I realized I only paid for it so I could keep skipping all the songs they had on repeat. By the time I stopped using Slacker, I was hearing the same songs between 3 and 5 times an hour on a station where I had liked over 150 different songs. I just assumed they had some kind of licensing deals worked out where certain record labels had different songs available at different prices from month to month.

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Mikey109105

These are all great services, but I don't use any of them, nor do I plan to. I'll simply torrent my music like I've been doing for years.

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Innomasta

Gee aren't you special.

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KenLV

"I'll simply torrent my music like I've been doing for years."

READ: "I'll simply steal their music like I've been doing for years."

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Engelsstaub

You know the excuse I always hear from people who think they're entitled to everyone's musical work and can't be bothered to buy an album once in a while? "Bands don't make money off albums anymore; they make a living off touring and merch sales."

That's twofold-bullshit. Record companies are getting a huge cut off most bands' merch at shows. Almost every metal band I like, many of which have millions of followers on Facebook, have to package tours with multiple bands just to get a small venue half-full. Hardly anyone I know that torrents everything goes to more than two concerts per year.

Some day all we'll have left is Timberlake, Metallica, and a few of the top-forty performers in each genre. You'd think 10 bucks a month for Spotify would satisfy the entitled but they think it's fair to the artists to help themselves to their work. Not to mention the studio-time, costs of producers and engineers, etc.