Unlisted Music

Beyond Spotify: Exploring Alternative Music Streaming Services

Streaming music services have become a popular way of listening to music in recent years, and Spotify is undoubtedly the pioneer of this field. With over 350 million active users worldwide and over 70 million songs in its library, Spotify has become a household name for music lovers.

However, with this popularity comes controversy. The platform has been at the center of boycotts and criticism from artists, record labels, and consumers.

This article will give an overview of Spotify and its alternatives, with a specific focus on Apple Music. We will also discuss the various features and services offered by Apple Music, compare its pricing with Spotify, and explore the sound quality supported by the service.

Spotify and Alternatives:

Spotify has undoubtedly revolutionized the music industry by making it easy for millions of people to access a vast library of music. However, the platform has faced some criticisms.

One of the most significant criticisms is that it is not effectively compensating artists, with some musicians accusing the company of exploiting their work. As a result, some artists have boycotted the platform altogether, and many consumers have turned to alternatives.

One of the most popular alternatives to Spotify is Apple Music. Apple Music has a library of over 75 million songs and offers a range of features and services to its subscribers.

Other alternatives to Spotify include Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer, and Tidal. Although there are similarities between these platforms, each service also has distinct features that set them apart from one another.

Apple Music:

Apple Music has over 75 million songs in its library and offers a wide range of features. One of the appealing factors of Apple Music is that it integrates seamlessly with other Apple devices, such as the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

This integration allows users to access their music library across multiple devices seamlessly. Additionally, the service offers curated playlists, live radio, and various other features like social sharing and personalized recommendations.


Apple Music and Spotify share a similar pricing structure, with both offering individual, family, and student plans. The individual plans for both services cost $9.99 per month, but Apple Music doesn’t have a free version like Spotify.

However, Apple Music offers a three-month free trial that lets users explore the service without committing to a subscription. Additionally, students can get Apple Music for just $4.99, and families can add up to six users to their account for $14.99 per month.

Sound Quality:

When it comes to sound quality, Apple Music supports multiple formats, including AAC, MP3, and ALAC. At 256 kbps, AAC is the primary audio format used by the service, providing a high-quality audio experience for its users.

However, Apple Music also supports lossless audio through its Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos features, which provide an immersive audio experience in supported tracks and albums. Conclusion:

In conclusion, while Spotify is the pioneer in music streaming, there are valid reasons for exploring alternatives like Apple Music.

Apple Music offers a quality service with a vast music library, exclusive features, and seamless integration across multiple Apple devices. Importantly, Apple Music compensates artists fairly, which is a significant consideration in supporting ethical streaming services.

When it comes to the pricing structure, there is not a significant difference between Spotify and Apple Music, making it a matter of preference. Finally, the sound quality supported by Apple Music is also top-notch, further enhancing the listening experience.

3) Amazon Music:

Amazon Music is another one of the popular alternatives to Spotify with a vast music library. The streaming service offers two main tiers of plans – Amazon Music Prime and Amazon Music Unlimited, catering to a wide range of users and music lovers.

Amazon Music Prime is included in the Amazon Prime membership and offers ad-free streaming of over 2 million songs. Amazon Music Unlimited offers a much expanded library, with over 75 million songs and substantial music discovery tools, all for a monthly subscription fee.

Pricing Plans:

Amazon Music pricing plans are diverse enough to fit almost any budget. Amazon Music Prime is included in the Amazon Prime membership at no additional cost and provides access to a limited music catalog of over 2 million songs.

For users looking for more, Amazon Music Unlimited offers a wide range of pricing tiers that start at $7.99 for a monthly individual plan for non-Prime members, and $9.99 for Prime members. Amazon Music Unlimited Family and Student Plans are also available, at $14.99/month and $4.99/month, respectively.

For Amazon Echo devices, there is an exclusive Amazon Music Unlimited Echo subscription for only $3.99 per month. Sound Quality:

When it comes to sound quality, Amazon Music offers three tiers of audio quality – Standard, High Definition, and Ultra High Definition.

Standard quality plays music at 256 kilobits per second (kbps) MP3, which is similar to Spotify’s music quality. The High Definition (HD) music quality is streaming at 16-bit/44.1 kHz, providing better dynamic range and overall clarity in the sound quality.

The Ultra High Definition (Ultra HD) provides lossless audio with resolution up to 24-bit/192 kHz.

4) YouTube Music:

YouTube Music is a free music streaming service that offers personalized recommendations based on users’ past listening experiences. YouTube Music also hosts a wide variety of music videos, live shows, and covers, making it a great platform for visually engaging music experiences.

Despite a rocky start due to its minimal library, the platform has expanded its offerings in recent years, competing with other music streaming giants. Catalog and Availability:

YouTube Music has a massive music catalog, building from YouTube’s music video library.

With over 70 million songs in their catalog, the platform provides among the most extensive collections of music in the world. YouTube Music is available in over 100 countries worldwide.

Although the platform faced criticism at launch for its scarce offering of certain artists, this has significantly improved in recent years, providing a vast range of songs to suit almost any taste. Pricing and Sound Quality:

YouTube Music offers a similar pricing structure as other music streaming services.

The standard YouTube Music subscription costs $9.99 per month and provides ad-free and uninterrupted listening, unlimited skips, and offline playback. YouTube Music Family Plan allows up to six family members to share the subscription at $14.99 per month.

The student monthly plan and trial period are available for $4.99 per month. In terms of sound quality, YouTube Music offers streaming quality up to 256 kbps.

While this is the same as most standard plans for other streaming services, the platform is yet to introduce a lossless format. However, the availability of live shows and video content complements the overall YouTube Music experience, providing a unique audio-visual experience.


Amazon Music and YouTube Music offer unique features to music lovers, which makes them a great alternative to Spotify. Both platforms offer different pricing plans, sound qualities, and music libraries, catering to different listeners’ preferences.

Amazon Music has a vast music library and offers affordable plans with different sound quality options. On the other hand, YouTube Music offers an unbeatable music video library, making it a great option for those who enjoy videos as much as the music itself.

Regardless of your choice, all these options provide music lovers with a variety of features and libraries to discover new music. 5) Tidal:

Tidal is another music streaming service that aims to provide unmatched audio quality and user experience.

The platform boasts a library of over 70 million songs, with an emphasis on high-fidelity and lossless music streaming. Tidal features exclusive content, such as albums and tracks from popular artists.

Additionally, the Tidal platform offers its subscribers a range of live events, concerts, and documentaries related to the music industry. Library and Sound Quality:

Tidal has a vast music library with a wide range of genres and a focus on hi-fi and lossless audio formats.

Tidal offers its subscribers two main audio-quality options: Tidal Premium and Tidal HiFi. The Tidal Premium plan streams music at 320 kbps AAC format, which is similar to other platforms. The Tidal HiFi plan streams audio in FLAC lossless quality, providing the best audio quality amongst all streaming platforms.

Tidal also offers exclusive content, including live events, concerts, and documentaries, which users can access through their subscription. Comparison of Pricing Plans:

Tidal offers two main pricing plans for its users – Premium and HiFi. The Tidal Premium plan is priced at $9.99 per month, while the Tidal HiFi plan costs $19.99 per month.

A student pricing plan is also available for $4.99per month. The prices are relatively higher than Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music.

However, from a sound quality perspective, the HiFi version of Tidal is unbeatable and justifies the higher pricing plans. 6) Deezer:

Deezer is a music streaming service that has been around since 2007 and has experienced significant growth over the years.

As well as boasting a streaming service with a vast library of 73 million songs, Deezer stands out by providing podcasts, audiobooks, and access to over 30,000 radio stations worldwide, making it a platform for more than just music. Deezer’s hi-fi music streaming quality is also worth noting, as it provides an optimal listening experience.

Hi-Fi Streaming and Other Features:

Deezer’s platform offers hi-fi streaming, which allows users to stream lossless audio in the standard FLAC format. The platform supports CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio, as well as higher quality 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution audio format.

The platform’s unique library of podcasts, audiobooks, and radio station features provides a one-stop-shop for all your entertainment needs. Deezer’s mood and genre-based playlists are also curated to suit the listener’s preferences.

Comparison of Pricing Plans:

Deezer offers three main pricing plans: Deezer Free, Deezer Premium, and Deezer HiFi. The Deezer Free plan is an ad-supported model, which offers unlimited streaming of radio stations. The Deezer Premium plan is priced at $9.99 per month, which allows users to listen ad-free to music streaming, access to Deezer’s entire library, and offline playback.

Deezer HiFi, the premium lossless audio plan, costs $19.99 per month. Deezer music is affordable compared to other streaming services.

Additionally, Deezer Family plan-which allows up to six family members to share the subscription and costs only $14.99 per month, and the Deezer Student plan costs $4.99 per month. Conclusion:

Tidal and Deezer are fascinating alternatives to Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music, offering unique features suited for individual users.

Tidal stands out with its focus on high-fidelity and lossless audio streaming, offering a unique experience for the audiophile listener. On the other hand, Deezer has a unique offering of a vast library of podcasts, audiobooks, and radio stations, enhancing its position as a versatile entertainment platform.

Additionally, both platforms offer reasonably priced plans for listeners to choose from, making them both good candidates for music lovers or listeners who prefer alternative features. 7) SoundCloud:

SoundCloud is a music streaming platform that started as a platform for independent artists but has grown to be a popular destination for music lovers.

The platform boasts of over 250 million tracks created by emerging talent and established artists. In addition to streaming, SoundCloud offers unique features such as the ability to upload your music, build playlists, and follow artists, making it a community-driven streaming service.

Unique Features:

SoundCloud offers exclusive features that cater to music lovers and independent artists. One such feature of the service is the SoundCloud Go+ subscription, which is designed for DJs and avid listeners offering offline playback and ad-free streaming.

The Go+ subscription allows users to stream music on up to three devices simultaneously. Additionally, with SoundCloud Pro and SoundCloud Premier, independent artists can upload their music, share their work, and monetize their creations.

Comparison of Pricing Plans:

SoundCloud offers two main pricing plans – SoundCloud Go and SoundCloud Go+. The SoundCloud Go subscription offers ad-free streaming, offline playback, and access to over 200 million high-quality tracks.

The SoundCloud Go+ subscription takes the features of the Soundcloud Go subscription a step further by allowing users to stream music on up to three devices simultaneously and offers access to exclusive content, such as full-length DJ mixes. The SoundCloud Go subscription is priced at $4.99 per month, while the Soundcloud Go+ subscription is priced at $9.99 per month.

Compared to other music streaming platforms, SoundCloud is competitively priced, and its unique features cater to a younger and more independent listener demographic. 8) Qobuz:

Qobuz is a streaming service that promotes high-fidelity and lossless streaming of music.

Qobuz offers streaming in FLAC format, making it a popular platform for audiophiles as it supports higher frequencies and bitrate. The platform boasts a vast library featuring over 70 million tracks, curated by music experts and journalists.

High-Res Audio and Plans Offered by Qobuz:

Qobuz offers high-resolution audio streaming and download in FLAC format, providing the best audio quality amongst all streaming platforms. Additionally, the platform’s hi-res content library includes thousands of albums with studio-quality bit-depths and sampling rates exceeding CD quality.

The platform also offers curated playlists, special listening sessions, and exclusive content, making it a unique platform for music lovers looking for an optimal listening experience. Comparison of Pricing Plans:

Qobuz offers two main pricing plans – the Qobuz Studio Premier and Qobuz Studio Sublime+.

The Qobuz Studio Premier plan offers hi-res streaming access to over 70 million tracks, offline playback, and priority customer support for $14.99 per month. The Qobuz Studio Sublime+ plan is an upgraded version of the Studio Premier, offering hi-res streaming, hundreds of hi-res albums downloads, and discounted prices on all purchases of hi-res music.

The Qobuz Studio Sublime+ plan is priced at $249.99 per year. Compared to other streaming services, Qobuz is relatively expensive but is an excellent fit for audiophiles seeking higher-quality, lossless audio.


Both SoundCloud and Qobuz stand out as unique alternatives to popular streaming platforms. SoundCloud offers unique features catered towards independent music creators and enthusiasts, with a broad range of music.

On the other hand, Qobuz provides a unique, curated library of hi-res audio that cater to audiophiles looking for an optimal listening experience. While both platforms offer competitive pricing plans, they cater to different audiences, and therefore the better fit depends on the user’s preferences.

9) Bandcamp:

Bandcamp is an online distribution platform that supports artists and independent labels looking to sell their music directly to fans. The platform has grown in popularity and become an essential tool for emerging musicians to promote and sell their

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