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Top 8 Google Play Music Alternatives to Try

Rahul is an app enthusiast who loves scouring the web for alternatives to popular apps and websites. Monopoly mustn't prevail!


Google Play Music—Still One of The Best?

For nine years, Google Play Music presented users with an enjoyable music-listening experience far removed from the days of only storing your music on your device or portable external storage media.

But the service wasn't without its quirks. For instance, it was not quite as well-rounded as the best of the competition, and continuously faced competition from an ever-increasing chasing pack.

In its heyday, the platform offered users a great experience, providing a good amount of content for the price. You could get access to more than 40 million songs organized in hundreds of playlists, with every user getting a standard cloud storage space for about 50,000 personal songs.

All these for a very affordable price. Google was also compatible with several devices allowing users to get their favorite music almost anywhere, and play almost anything they wanted in an ad-free ecosystem.

The Best Google Play Music Alternatives

Unfortunately, the Google platform hasn’t been active since it got discontinued in 2020. The good news, however, is that there are a few exceptional music streaming services to have steeped in its place.

So, here are the eight best alternatives to stream your music.

  1. Spotify
  2. Deezer
  3. Pandora
  4. LiveXLive
  5. Tidal
  6. Apple Music
  7. Jamendo
  8. Qobuz

1. Spotify

Spotify offers best-in-class features and intuitive user experiences while streaming your favorite music, comics, and podcasts. The app pairs these features with an extremely expansive selection of music and podcasts.

Contrary to established norms in the audio streaming industry, Spotify adopts a ubiquitous access model that means users can access their accounts across desktop, web, and mobile, while the app is supported across most desktop and mobile operating systems. This ease of access has been crucial to growth, while users also enjoy the vast library and several essential features for a great listening experience.

While the Spotify catalog is vast, you can easily search for your favorite music, use the recommendation system to discover new or trending songs, or build your custom playlist. You can also listen to live radio through the dedicated radio section, listen to podcasts, or follow your favorite comics.

Unfortunately, Spotify is a bit lacking in the sound quality department compared to its major rivals. Thus, it may not be the streaming app for you if you'd like to experience audiophile-grade streaming for your audio content.

Spotify Pros

  • Cool, collaborative playlists and Group Session options
  • Desktop app to play local audio files
  • Premium accounts let you hear select albums before they're released
  • Robust Student plan features Hulu and Showtime
  • Supports podcast streaming

Spotify Cons

  • Lacks Hi-Res Audio
  • No lyrics in web or desktop apps
  • The free version is frustrating on mobile
  • Low song bitrate
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2. Deezer

While not as popular as its major music streaming services, Deezer is a great option to stream your music, podcasts, and more with a clean user interface, easy-to-understand EQ controls, and a litany of essential features. Together, these provide Deezer users with a great user experience listening to their favorite music.

Deezer boasts an extensive amount of content, a good mix of mainstream and indie music composers, and the ability to play high-quality audio content. The app has a minimal appearance with a no-fuss design that looks great and allows for easy navigation across its many features.

Deezer offers CD-quality tracks in the 16-bit and 44.1 kHz FLAC format across its entire catalog. Some features, such as Tune My Music, allow Deezer users to import an external song library into their accounts to sync their favorite songs and playlists.

Deezer has also entered partnerships allowing the app to come pre-loaded in Mobee-K's smart USB-C headphones and a native support from Apple's HomePod and HomePod Mini. Deezer also includes the 360 Reality Audio route feature, a similar service to Dolby Atmos.

Like most of its rivals, Deezer employs competitive pricing plans without offering extra subscription perks, as does Spotify and Amazon Music. It excels, however, in delivering the best of its primary offering as well as a discounted plan for doctors and nurses.

Deezer Pros

  • Vast catalog and device support
  • CD-quality HiFi tier
  • Envelope-pushing 3D audio
  • CD-quality streams
  • Support for Sony 360 Reality Audio

Deezer Cons

  • The free plan on PC is limited to 30-second snippets
  • Mobile apps lack MP3-upload compatibility
  • Can't rewind live radio streams
  • Lacks Hi-Res Audio

3. Pandora

Pandora is an excellent app for listening to, streaming, and discovering new music. It has lots of new features added regularly that keep most users enjoying the latest trends and products in both music and podcasts.

The Pandora Music Genome Project is the highlight of this streaming app. It is highly intuitive and adapts quickly to changing preferences in music and other audio content consumption.

With both free and paid plans, Pandora offers users the perfect opportunity to explore the vast collections of music across genres. The free plan comes with ad-supported personalized stations, but it also allows access to thousands of songs, podcasts, and the ability to play music on demand.

The Pandora music streaming app has lots of categories. However, its extensive search capabilities mean you can easily find your preferred song or podcast, while the recommendation feature brings new and trending music to the attention of users.

However, Pandora users have to suffer a clunky user interface with non-streamlined functions, some of the offered services are not available to global users in select countries, while their artists often campaign for fairer compensation terms.

Pandora Pros

  • Has a free plan
  • Supports podcasts too
  • Pandora Stories offers insightful album commentary
  • Displays artist tour and ticket information
  • Optional student, military, and family plans

Pandora Cons

  • Intrusive listening requirement on the free plan
  • Playlist creation walled behind Premium tier
  • The website occasionally slow to load
  • No cohesive visuals on the interface
  • Lacks Hi-Res Audio tracks

4. LiveXLive

Reinforced by its acquisition of Slacker Radio, LiveXLive is an excellent music streaming app that combines the DJs and curated radio station features from Slacker Radio with its own live performance features to offer users a dream experience listening to their favorite music.

The app is accessible on desktop, mobile, smart TVs, and the web, with the increased accessibility hence visibility contributing immensely to its continued growth. Like Pandora, LiveXLive users can also build their own custom radio stations on the music streaming app, which often combine established and upcoming artists as well as a variety of audio content.

LiveXLive also features live music streams, highly entertaining channels, and numerous podcasts. This has made LiveXLive develop a standing as one of the most complete streaming music services on the market today.

The beauty of LiveXLive is that you don't have to pay a thing with the free plan capable of rendering 128 Kbps, a limit of six songs, and most of its integral listening options.

To support this plan, however, users must endure regular bombardment with both audio and banner ads, but you can easily escape the ads with its reasonably-priced premium plans.

LiveXLive Pros

  • Excellently curated channels and playlists
  • Lets you purchase tickets for in-person or streamed concerts
  • A deep video well
  • Informative DJs
  • Optional news updates

LiveXLive Cons

  • Slightly cumbersome interface
  • No Hi-Res Audio
  • No family plan
  • Lacks song lyrics

5. Tidal

Tidal offers users an excellent experience listening to music, podcasts, and other audio media. Despite having the highest cost of entry in the music streaming scene, users get access to curated playlists, exclusive albums, video content, and master-quality audio among others.

Tidal promises and delivers superb sound quality for your music, podcasts, and more for music consumers, while a friendly artist payouts regime has proven instrumental in attracting established and new artists to feature their music on the platform.

Though pricey, Tidal offers a free plan with functional limitations. Upgrading to any of the paid plans allows access to a tremendously rich music catalog, music videos and lyrics, unlimited skips, and minimal ad interruptions among others.

To date, Tidal remains the leading music streaming app for audio quality around global markets world. Compared to its streaming rivals, Tidal songs always sounds great regardless of whether you're listening to CD-quality or hi-res streams. Its Tidal HiFi feature, for example, enjoys incredible sound quality across all genres of music and is often the difference between Tidal and similar services like Spotify.

However, it is dwarfed by Spotify, YouTube Music, and more in terms of catalog size, most of which have hundreds of millions in songs across genres.

Tidal Pros

  • Excellent sound quality, with optional Hi-Res Audio
  • Long-form editorial pieces
  • Music-focused podcasts
  • Exclusive backstage content, live streams, and concerts
  • Includes song lyrics

Tidal Cons

  • The free plan offers none of Tidals defining perks
  • Relatively expensive for a streaming music service

6. Apple Music

Apple Music is an entertaining and ever-evolving music streaming app that conveniently covers the space vacated by Google Play Music. It is the default music streaming app for all Apple devices and delivers excellent performance in discovering new music thanks to its vast library of about 75 million songs.

Apple Music also uses a robust song recommendation engine that's helpful in building your playlists, while the app integrates seamlessly with other music-related apps

In fact, Apple Music is more inclined towards helping users to discover new songs, videos, and artists through a combination of content recommendations, curated playlists, or its 24/7 digital radio stations. You can also import your iTunes music into your Apple Music plan to manage everything from a single account, with Apple Music compatible with all Apple products and then some.

Following upgrades with lossless audio and Dolby Atmos support, Apple Music now features a wide variety of radio stations, playlists, and other music-related content that make it one of the best music streaming services. However, it still stocks comedy as the only non-music content in its vast library.

Apple Music also comes with support for Spatial Audio, a compatible classical music streaming service called Apple Classical, as well as numerous other features that give a great listening experience.

Apple Music Pros

  • Huge library with more than 75 million songs
  • 24/7 Apple Music radio and TV video channel
  • Has a family plan
  • Rich Hi-Res Audio and Dolby Atmos sound
  • Includes song lyrics

Apple Music Cons

  • No free version
  • Besides comedy, no other non-music content
  • Lossless audio is not available on all platforms

7. Jamendo

Jamendo is a music platform for anybody who has even a marginal interest in Music or the industry. It features hundreds and thousands of songs composed by individual artists from around the world.

While Jamendo is an excellent website for independent artists with a raging passion for music, it is even better for music consumers looking for new tracks. It provides independent artists with access to free music distribution rights, enabling easier access to global radio stations reaching more users, artists, and other music lovers.

With more than 500,000 tracks from 40,000 artists, Jamendo is an excellent platform to find exciting songs from current and future stars. Jamendo users can support their favorite artists through a monetary donation or by voting for them to climb Jamendo’s charts.

With artists from more than 150 countries contributing songs, Jamendo’s library boasts incredible cultural diversity. It has an advanced search filter to identify popular, trending, or songs per your interests, as well as dedicated sections for indie artists or Jamendo licensing.

The music streaming platforms is loaded with different kinds and genres of music, while users choose whether to play them in MP3 or any other supported format. It also supports multiple international languages. For the artist, Jamendo allows free, unlimited music upload for private use. Artists can also apply for Jamendo licensing if the song intends for commercial consumption.

Jamendo Pros

  • Free song distribution for independent artistes
  • Supports multiple international languages
  • Considerable song library

Jamendo Cons

  • Smaller song library than competitors
  • Low song quality when streaming online
  • Artists need licensing to commercialize their songs.

8. Qobuz

Qobuz may not be the most popular music streaming service but it's an excellent option for listeners who want top-tier audio quality and have the hardware to support it.

Another great aspect of Qobuz is that you don't need a subscription to purchase music from its online store. Indeed, users can even get started on a free plan and upgrade later.

With Qobuz, you can access your account from both desktop and mobile devices, while the streaming service is compatible with PC, Mac, and Web as well as Android and iOS apps. Incredibly, Qobuz is the only audio streaming app that supports Amazon’s Kindle.

Qobuz also boasts of premium-quality HiRes audio and CD Quality streaming experience. The service allows users to either stream music or download their favorite songs, while Qobuz has multiple excellent integrations to mainstream HiFi and other audio devices.

Qobuz Pros

  • High-quality lossless and studio-quality audio streaming
  • Huge catalog with new releases and old
  • Interviews, guest playlists, and background articles
  • Well-designed apps for all platforms

Qobuz Cons

  • No free account
  • Lacks social components
  • No live stations or podcasts
  • Lacks smart speaker support

© 2022 Rahul Pandey

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