Comparison: 7 Services You Listen to Music by Streaming

Who likes to listen to music has four options: buy a CD, to have the unique experience to remove the plastic bag and smell the ink liner notes; buy digital music, which cost almost the same price as the physical media; spend time downloading pirated music; or use streaming services, which are coming up in weight to Brazil with very competitive prices.

Not long ago, the Brazilians had little streaming music services available. No more: we do not have the famous Spotify, but we are getting many cool options since October 2011, when the Rdio. Arrived in Brazil in partnership with Hi Along with the release of Windows 8, Microsoft released here your Zune Pass, now renamed Xbox Music. And in recent months, it was time to receive the Rara and Deezer.

But which one is best for you? We tested seven streaming music services, six of them available in Brazil, and gathered the positive and negative results of each of them to help in your choice.

What is legal?

If you hear music that no one knows or artists who do not typically license their works to streaming services like AC / DC and the Beatles, you are likely to get frustrated with the collection of these sites. But Deezer solves this problem in a very simple way: you can upload your own music through the menu “My MP3”. They will be available anywhere, including on your smartphone.

The Deezer is also one of the few services that let you listen to music even when no internet access, including a computer – the others offer similar functionality, but only in mobile applications. To locally store the songs, you must install an extension in Chrome and sign the Premium + plan of R $ 14.90.

Who does not want to pay for music can opt for the free plan. Six months in the band, but with limitations: no ads, audio quality is lower, you can not hear music without connecting to the Internet and even through mobile devices. After six months, the account will be limited to two hours of music per month.

What is not legal?

The Deezer mobile applications are lacking, especially on Android. The buttons are tiny devices with larger screen resolutions – you must have patience to play in the right place. Also, the entire interface is based on the style of Android 2.3; nothing Holo. Even having been upgraded for less than a month, the Deezer application has face old.

The web interface is somewhat limited not support hotkeys – by default, you can not rewind, fast forward or pause songs without getting by clicking the buttons, as in Rdio and Spotify.

What is legal?

There is no doubt that the biggest advantage of Grooveshark is to have a free plan without limitation: you can listen to as many songs as you want, at the time you want, how long you want. Yes, Deezer also offers something similar, but after six months of use, the user can listen to only two hours of music per month, which is insufficient for agood part of the people.

What is not legal?

As the songs available on Grooveshark are sent by the users, the legality of the service is rather questionable – so much so that the major record labels are suing those responsible for the service, which has been banned in some countries. It is basically a sharer music, only the web.

Outside the legal framework, the collection formed by the users cause several problems: everything is disorganized, the sound quality is quite variable, there is no consistency in the tags of the files, many songs are repeated and the number of albums per artist is lower than the other services, not to mention the fact that many CDs are incomplete.

What is legal?

The prices Rare are competitive: if you listen to music only on the web, the monthly cost is less than other national competitors (R $ 7.99). And have promotion in the first three months: the web plan costs only $ 1.99, while the plan to access mobile apps can be used for only R $ 2.99 in the period.

What is not legal?

The Rara web interface lags behind competitors, especially for not having any social resource – it is more difficult to discover new music and there is no way to know what your friends are listening to, such as Deezer and Rdio. It is also not the most pleasant.

Mobile applications do not help change this impression: despite not being “ugly” are not very functional and can not organize music by artist or album. In addition, the Rara does not offer integration with social networks and not scrobbling music to Last.fm.

The bitrate of the music ranges from 48 kbps to 72 kbps. The Rare use eAAC + codec in conjunction with Dolby Pulse to provide good audio quality with reduced size (each song is about 1MB), but the format does not perform miracles. It is painful to hear how a 64 kbps MP3, but the audio quality is lower than other paid services. Anyway, if you use the headphones that came in the device box or is not as picky about audio quality, this should not be a problem.

What is legal?

Rdio has a strong social appeal: rather than being just a service for listening to music, it focuses on discovering music. On the right side of the player, for example, there is a great sidebar listing all the people you follow (in my case is just over 50), along with the music they are listening and, of course, a button to hear it instantly.

Rdio Each user has a profile, like this one, where you can see what the person has in his library, which songs she heard recently and links to social networking accounts.

You can also create, share, access and build playlists, which is pretty cool. Want to listen to 400 songs over bought on iTunes last week? Someone has created a playlist for it.Like the soundtrack of a movie like Forrest Gump? It has multiple playlists here.

And as the name suggests, Rdio also works as a radio, like Pandora Internet Radio, which is not available in Brazil. Access the page of an artist, click Tune station and listen to all the songs by that artist (or similar artists). You can also listen to stations from your music collection or your friends.

What is not legal?

Rdio Android app is very functional and has a nice look, but suffers for being too slow, even more powerful smartphones. If you are using another application and want to switch to the player Rdio may wait several seconds until it is restored. In addition, he often hangs during startup and freeze controls; you can not change lanes or visit your library, and your only option is to restart the application.

Unlike Deezer and Spotify, Rdio does not allow you to listen to music on your PC when you’re not connected to the internet – you can only do this in applications for smartphones and tablets. If your connection is not the most stable, Rdio is probably not the best option for you.

If you want to hear a song that is not in Rdio, there is no practical way to solve this. Close Rdio, open another music player and listen to them. There is no way to upload their music, as Deezer, or listen to them on the same player, as in Spotify.

What is legal?

Only fully national, the Sonora charges more expensive than competitors, but it has a nice twist: you have the right to download a certain number of songs each month, according to your plan. These songs are in MP3 and do not have any DRM, so can be heard even after you cancel the service.

If you regularly buy digital music frequently, the Land of the service can be a good choice: the plan, the songs come out cheaper than if bought individually. The cheapest of R $ 14.90, gives access to two million songs for streaming and downloads 10 songs per month. It’s less than you would pay on iTunes, where one song costs from $ 0.99.

The music library is well organized and is divided into several genres, such as MPB, Rock and Jazz, and subgenres as Old Guard and National Rock. There is also a ranking of the most heard and some radio stations, which actually function as playlists and have preset songs.

What is not legal?

The music library of Sonora is still small compared to other services. The most popular artists are there, but you have trouble hearing unknown to the general public songs, which are easily found in the collection of over 10 million songs from competitors.

Sonora also does not have an efficient system to organize your own music collection. There is an option called My Music, but you can only add individual songs, not albums. In the end, this feature will only serve as a giant playlist, since it is not possible to sort your music by artist or album.

What is legal?

The highlight of Spotify’s desktop application, which works not only as a program to access the music service, but also as a player of common music. This means that if Spotify does not have any album you like, you can hear the missing songs without getting switching between applications.

The Spotify app also allows you to store up to 3,333 songs offline, which can help you in case of drop in connection or if you want to listen to music on your notebook during a flight, when no internet. This limit of 3,333 songs, by the way, is bigger than the music library of many people.

Both the desktop and on mobile devices, Spotify calls attention to the speed with which the songs are played. Even without a fast connection, listen to music on Spotify is almost like listening to music stored on your hard drive; playback starts instantly. This does not happen in Rdio, where the songs are not cached take a few seconds to start or even catch during the streaming if you’re on 3G.

What is not legal?

The biggest Spotify’s problem is that he is not yet officially available in Brazil, then you must use alternative methods to use the service.

You can use a free account Spotify through a VPN or proxy, but this is so laborious that is not worth it. The alternative is to sign the Premium plan, which gives unlimited access from anywhere in the world. The problem is that you can only subscribe to the service with a credit card issued in the few countries where Spotify works – an international credit card is not enough.

Who uses Spotify in Brazil usually part to third-party services that sell gift cards or include the signature directly in the user account. This ends up being more expensive than the services available officially in Brazil and the reliability of this method is very questionable – so much so that many people end up having their accounts locked by Spotify.

What is legal?

The Xbox Music is quite natural for anyone who uses Windows 8: it is in the player’s system default music, the Music application. In the future, Microsoft promises Scan and Match feature, which scans all your current music library and available for online execution, anywhere – something like iTunes Match.

The interface is nice and follows the Windows Metro style 8. There are four major areas: “My Music,” which shows all the songs in your library, including those that you added the Windows Media Player; “Playing”, which shows the music you are listening and some related artists; “All Songs,” which shows some suggestions and playlists (national heard more albums in 2012) and “Popular Songs” which includes things like Gangnam Style and Justin Bieber.

What is not legal?

The service is only useful if you use only Microsoft products. At the moment, it is not available on any platform other than Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and Xbox 360 – in the latter, in addition to signing the Xbox Music, you must have an Xbox Live Gold subscription.

As the Xbox Music has no web interface like most services, you can not use it on other operating systems or even in earlier versions of Windows. Moreover, in smartphones, Xbox Music works only on Windows Phone 8 – devices with Windows Phone 7 does not support (nor will support) the service.

Update: Windows Phone 7 and Windows 7 do not have the Xbox Music app, however, as some readers pointed out, Microsoft maintained support for the Zune Pass Zune application. Microsoft announced in October 2012 that the Zune client will no longer be updated, so the new features of Xbox Music will not reach users of older systems.

What’s up?

Now that you have read the more than 2000 words (thank you!), Gave notice that each service has its pros and cons. Even if I wanted to, I could not point out which one is best for you.

Personally, I really like Rdio: is the one with the most pleasant interface, has a good collection of songs available and applications for Android and iPad are reasonably good. Sign Rdio for over a year, and for being one of the first to be launched in Brazil, all my friends are there, which is very important for the social aspect of the service. I lost count of how many artists and bands I listened over the past year.

However, other services are also very good. The Deezer has a number of Rdio’s qualities and also includes useful feature to upload your own music. Spotify is an excellent choice for those who live in some of the countries covered, especially due to its very efficient application. For those who do not just want to hear, but also have the songs, Sonora is a very attractive service.

All services have free options or offer a few days of use without charge. Just access and test. Which one do you choose?

 

Gallery

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