Although having a personal MP3 collection on your smartphone is convenient, music streaming appears to be the future. Spotify currently dominates this market, but there are a number of credible alternatives to the Swedish service. Here we compare the best music streaming apps for Android.
Apple Music is a recent competitor in the music streaming sphere, released on June 30, 2015. But Apple already had a great pedigree in regards to music services, with the iTunes store having been successful for more than a decade. Though the iTunes store offers more than 43 million songs (everything but The Beatles, apparently), its streaming service offers a little less at 30 million.
Apple Music isn’t just for Apple users, with a Play Store App currently in beta. Not only does it allow streaming of its immense catalog, but it comes with some unique extras like "Connect", a blogging feature which seeks to bring artists closer to their fans, allowing them to show music, videos and photos with followers.
Apple Music also includes the Beats 1 internet radio station which plays continuously in more than 100 countries.
Amazon’s Prime Music streaming service provides ad-free listening of more than a million songs, including hundreds of playlists and a number of radio stations. Amazon Prime Music’s catalog is small than that of its competitors offer, however, Prime Music is only a small part of the overall Amazon Prime service, which the $99 yearly subscription also covers.
This means that you also get access to more than 800,000 eBooks, free two-day shipping, thousands of movies and TV shows, and early access to its lightning deals.
Amazon Prime Music songs can also be downloaded for offline listening and it also has a dedicated Android app, found at the link below.
Spotify offers a free, ad-supported streaming service in addition to its paid subscription. A great aspect of this is that you (currently) get access to the same content whether you pay a subscription fee or not. The main downside to the free service in comparison to the paid is the audio quality, the ads, and the ability to use it offline.
The Spotify Android app is perfect for mobile because it allows you to download any songs in the catalog for offline listening on your device. What’s more, there is also a web-player and desktop app available, and all of your content and playlists is synced between them.
What began as a simple music player app and went is now a full, commercial streaming package with more than 35 million songs available.
Unlimited access to Google Music costs the same as a monthly Spotify subscription, but what could be the key difference is that it also includes access to YouTube Red. This means that in addition to the music collection you also get access to Google's YouTube video content ad-free, as well as offline and background playback and original films and tv series.
So which music streaming service is best? Let's quickly wrap them up. Amazon is possibly the worst as a pure music streaming service, because its catalog is limited, but it arguably has the best extras: no other service offers access to movies, books and free shipping from an online store.
Google Play Music also offers valuable extras. Everybody makes use of YouTube, and the opportunity to get even greater access to it in addition to a 35 million plus song library is mighty tempting.
Apple Music is all about the music. You won't get any TV or video streaming benefits here, but you will get access to one of the biggest music databases and an intuitive interface to discover new music.
Then there's Spotify. Spotify just works. It provides high-quality audio playback, it seemlessly syncs between devices, and it's perfect for parties and sharing because everybody just knows it.
What do you think is the best music streaming service for Android, and why? Let us know in the comments.