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Blog Battle: Music Streaming Services

It’s time for a blog battle. In our first of a new running feature, AYC team members will share their views on the latest in technology, culture, social media and more. Get ready for the “Can whoever is playing the music turn it down a bit I need to make a call,” messages in the office group chat. This week we’ll tackle a widely used application around the office: music streaming services.

Amazon Prime Music — Mike Leary, Interface Design Director 

Let me start out by saying that I am a analog music listener. I have a large vinyl collection and usually purchase my newer records off of Amazon. This is mostly due to my prime membership and the ability to have records delivered faster than anyone else can get them to my doorstep. That being said, I started using Amazon Prime Music because of the convenience of listening to the records I purchase through their app. Typically when you buy a newer pressing, you also get a free digital download which you can listen to through the app. However, I wish it was easier to download the music you purchase. Although it’s convenient within the app it would be nice to have that music accessible to other people — but I assume that’s for the pirating reasons. I usually listen to Amazon at work or in my car… if i’m at home i’m usually listening to records.

 

Spotify — Jennifer Russell, Project Manager

The music streaming service I prefer is Spotify. I use this service because I liked the free trial and decided to go commercial-free when I was feeling bourgeois. I generally don’t like to listen to music while I’m working, as I find music distracting, so I mostly use it in the car and at home while I’m getting ready. It has it’s pros and cons, of course. My favorite feature is being able to easily save a song to your ‘list’. It’s not quite a playlist but more like a library. On Pandora, it was harder to bookmark a song, so I would often forget about something I liked that I heard on Pandora radio. As for what makes this program unique, I would say number one is that Jay-Z does not own it. Also, you have a combination of personal playlists, public playlists and a pretty decent radio feature. I felt like Apple Music would go rogue when it came to radio. As for cons, since Beyonce is forever loyal to Tidal I have to wait a while for her albums to be released on Spotify. If you decide to go with Spotify, I highly recommend you check out the public playlist titled AYC Jams featuring the greatest hits of artists from Savage Garden to Jagged Edge. 

 

YouTube Red — Eva Dorcus, Account Manager 

The main reason I started using YouTube Music or “YouTube Red” was because it’s linked with the Google Home I got for Christmas. I realized that the playlists that YouTube were automatically making for me were very good and just like Pandora’s. I had been using Pandora for a while, but I wasn’t motivated enough to pay for music to get rid of commercials until it gave me a voice command link as well. Now THAT I’m willing to pay monthly for. Because of my hands free voice command access to music now I have dance parties with my kids almost every night! They are starting to learn how to use it though so I have to lock it every once in a while.

Music videos also come with YouTube, so it’s a super great form of entertainment that I didn’t know I had easy access to! 

Apple Music — Jackie Knell, Social Media Mangager

I used to be a devoted Spotify Premium user but I recently made the switch to Apple Music for one specific reason: The Beats 1 radio show Time Crisis. Beats 1 is apple’s internet radio station and has a ton of different shows, including ones hosted by Drake, Elton John and Zane Lowe, of One Direction fame. On Time Crisis, Ezra Koenig from Vampire Weekend and his cohost painter Jake Longstreth deep dive into irreverent topics spanning from 70s music to the history of the Frito Lay corporation to the latest pop music of today. As a lover of podcasts (Although this technically can’t be called a podcast), nothing beats hearing Ezra, who’s shtick involves never badmouthing even the most cloying pop songs, and Jake, a middle-aged rock guy who knows almost nothing about modern pop music, share their views on the top 5 songs on iTunes of the week. After using up my three-month free trial for Apple Music, I realized I was paying an additional $9.99 a month toward music streaming services solely to listen to this show. I mainly used Spotify for music but decided to stop paying for it and give Apple Music a chance.

Apple Music does have its perks. The service has a bunch of exclusive music deals like with Frank Ocean’s visual album Endless.  However, some of the features such as, “Play Next” just don’t compare to the ease of use with similar features on Spotify. For now, I’m working with Apple Music but I wouldn’t be surprised if I choose to go back at some point.

 

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