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One constant in the streaming music war is the fact that Spotify is the biggest dog in the game. In spite of Apple Music and Tidal's feature-rich offerings, Spotify remains the music streaming service of choice thanks to its extensive catalogue, collaborative playlists and podcasts, as well as numerous other appealing features. As a result of all of these factors and more, Spotify remains an Editors' Choice winner for streaming music services, alongside Apple Music and SiriusXM Internet Radio.

Spotify's success can be attributed to its widespread use. Launching the web player, downloading desktop apps (available for Chromebook, Linux, Mac and Windows), or installing one of the mobile apps is all you need to access Spotify (available for Android, iOS). Music streaming service Spotify can also be found on smartwatches and home video game systems such as PlayStation.

You can play M4P, MP3, and MP4 audio files stored on your computer using desktop apps instead of the web player or mobile apps. With this feature, you can stream and play all of your music and audio files from a single location. M4A files cannot be played back using the desktop app.

An additional benefit is shared between the Android and iOS apps. One of the web's most popular lyrics sites has collaborated with Spotify to offer Behind the Lyrics on mobile. As the song is being sung or rapped, this feature displays the song's key lyrics (but not the full lyrics). The web and desktop apps do not include lyrics. Additional information is also provided by Behind the Lyrics, such as a song's origin and/or inspirations. VH-1's classic Pop-Up Video show comes to mind when I think of this new feature.

How Much Will You Pay?

By signing up for one of Spotify's four premium tiers, you can get started with Spotify right away. You can listen to music at 160Kbps, manage your digital music files, and connect with others using the built-in social networking features in the free version, which includes audio and banner ads.

It costs $9.99 a month. Select albums from Spotify's catalogue can be heard before they're officially released, and you can play songs at your leisure thanks to the premium service. You can save songs to your computer, phone, or other device so that you can listen to them later. The audio quality is also increased to 320Kbps in this tier. Premium is well worth the added cost due to its superior features and build quality. The Editors' Choice for live content streaming services, SiriusXM Internet Radio, doesn't allow you to record audio from Spotify.

Using Spotify's Family Plan, six people can have their own individual premium accounts for just $14.99 per month. A family plan at this price falls in line with industry norms. Family Mix (a vulgarity-free playlist for your family) and Spotify Kids are just two of the cool features included in Spotify's family plan (a separate service aimed at children).

Spotify Duo is the only option if you need a plan that only covers two people. For a family of two, the $12.99-per-month tier is basically a Family Plan, but without Spotify Kids. It even has its own version of Family Mix, called Duo Mix.

Spotify offers a $4.99/month student plan, but this isn't your typical student plan. Ad-supported Hulu (normally $5.99/month) and Showtime (normally $10.99/month) are also included in this one. No other streaming music service can compete with this incredible deal. For $14.95 per month, you get Apple Music, Arcade, and AppleTV+ in Apple One, which is a bundle that includes all three services.

A Deep Content Well

In addition to more than 70 million songs, Spotify also includes audiobooks, radio shows, podcasts, poetry readings, and speeches in its vast collection of content. Among the many treasures in this collection is Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, which is featured in the HistorySpeaks podcast. Non-music extras like The Joe Budden Podcast and some Hulu Originals soundtracks can be found on Spotify. In contrast to LiveXLive's DJs and music history channels, as well as Tidal-like, in-depth music editorials and exclusive videos, these extras serve as a counterweight. There are, however, few music videos or concert videos on Spotify. That's why YouTube Music is better.

In addition to additional songs, clicking an artist's name brings up the artist's biography, photos, and links to other Spotify pages. Tests included jumping from Alicia Keys' bios to Booker T. and the M.G.'s' bios, reading the in-depth bios, and sampling tracks. However, LiveXLive's DNA station does a better job of fleshing out artist profiles through the use of interviews and playing the music that influenced the artists' sound..

Playlists and Community

Spotify's catalogue will not disappoint you. An A Tribe Called Quest album was streamed in its entirety We're in the clear now... Your Help Is Much Appreciated. Led Zeppelin's Led Zeppelin II and Hannah Williams & The Affirmations' Late Nights & Heartbreak. Major and independent artists, including Taylor Swift who had a notable dispute with Spotify over money that led to her catalogue being removed from the service, are represented on Spotify.

Spotify allows you to create playlists using any song or album from its extensive catalogue. Gapless playback is enabled by default on Spotify playlists. You can also crossfade songs in Spotify, and you can choose the number of seconds (1-12) that the music fades in and out. DJs (or want tobe DJs) may find it appealing, but we don't use it very often.

Turn on the collaborative playlist option if you want to collaborate on a playlist with a friend. Using the premium feature, Group Session, you can go even further. It allows you and other Spotify Premium subscribers to listen to the same content on your own devices at the same time—and control the content playback. Spotify Premium. Group Session can accommodate two to five people, and you can invite your friends and family to join you by sending them a link. Trolls won't be able to swoop in and disrupt your meetings this way.

Spotify's Sound Quality

Streaming music for free on Spotify at 128Kbps or for a small monthly fee at 320Kbps sounds great. A non-audiophile will find the sound quality to their liking on this device. IHeartRadio's 128Kbps streams are abysmal by comparison.

Spotify HiFi, a new feature that will be available later this year, will allow users to stream music in CD-quality, lossless audio (though, not Hi-Res Audio). You can also use your phone as a remote control for Spotify HiFi, which supports Spotify Connect. Spotify has yet to reveal the cost of this new subscription option.

As long as you have a good pair of headphones, you should consider Tidal's HiFi plan, which costs $19.99 per month. If you're looking for a high-quality, non-compressed 1411Kbps FLAC audio stream, Tidal has you covered. It gets even better with the addition of Tidal Masters, which is a music library with high-resolution, studio-quality audio streams. They have a great sound. Hi-Res Audio is also available on Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Primephonic, and Qobuz.

Cool Features

Additionally, you can set up an Artist Radio station that plays music from your favourite artists, as well as music from other artists that sound similar to them. When we tried out Harlem's Artist Radio, we were treated to tunes from the Dum Dum Girls and other indie rock luminaries. As with most music-streaming services, you can like and ban songs on Artist Radio to suit your tastes.

Spotify, as previously stated, does not have LiveXLive's knowledgeable DJs hosting specific playlists or Slacker DNA's stations filled with music history. As an alternative, there are Spotify Sessions, which are recordings made in the Spotify Studios by independent artists. Kelly Clarkson's passable cover of Prince's "Kiss" was tolerable, but John Legend's "All of Me" was a pleasant surprise.

You need a virtual private network (VPN) if you're worried about streaming music over a public Wi-Fi connection. By using a virtual private network (VPN), you can keep your device safe from prying eyes and, depending on the location of the VPN server, listen to music from other countries. Spotify's terms of service forbid the use of a VPN to circumvent licencing restrictions, so proceed with caution.

An Excellent Streaming Music Service

"Spotify" wins PCMag's Editors' Choice award because it is an excellent streaming music service." Music, exclusive tunes, and podcasts all combine to make it a top choice for streaming music and other pop culture content. Please check out the Editors' Choice selection LiveXLive, which features live concerts. As an Editors' Choice pick, Tidal provides access to high-resolution audio and early access to concert tickets.

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