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Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
5/10/23 9:25 a.m.

I have been using Youtube at the office for music. I'm considering a streaming service like Pandora. Since I really don't like commercials it will need to be a paid version. Who has a better paid service now? I used to have Pandora and was going back to them but many reviews don't have them in the top ten lists. 

Spotify is $120 a year. Pandora is $55. Is Spotify worth twice the money?

So who do you use and why did you pick them? 

Thanks

EvanB
EvanB MegaDork
5/10/23 9:29 a.m.

I switched from Pandora to Spotify years ago for better music selection. Spotify seemed to have better suggested playlists and more variety. I haven't tried pandora recently to see if there is still a difference. 

RevRico
RevRico MegaDork
5/10/23 9:52 a.m.

I switched to paid spotify after years of hacked Pandora. 

I actually have the "couples" program with spotify so me and the wife can both be ad free for like $12/month. 

Much better selection, way more intuitive search options. I'm not into podcasts or audio books but they're pretty well stacked there too. 

Pandora, even on "super shuffle"or whatever its called got to be as repetitive as the radio. Same songs, same order, every single time.

Spotify I'm having issues with same songs filling multiple playlists, but that changes weekly. Monday's with discover weekly and Friday with release radar have also been introducing me to lots of new and interesting stuff. 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
5/10/23 9:57 a.m.

I've used Spotify for more than a decade.

I especially like the paid version because I can create playlists, download them to my phone, and listen while driving without using data. 

ChrisTropea
ChrisTropea Associate Editor
5/10/23 9:59 a.m.

I switched from Apple Music to a Spotify family plan a few years ago because it was the best priced option for my wife and I at the time. I really like the selection of playlists and how the app itself works vs Apple. 

I also like that I can have my podcasts and music all in the same app vs having to use a specific podcast app. 

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
5/10/23 9:59 a.m.

I use free Pandora for the most part.  I usually put in on when I am in the garage, doing house stuff, ect so its just background noise.  

Beer Baron
Beer Baron MegaDork
5/10/23 10:03 a.m.

Spotify 90% of the time and Amazon Music 10% of the time.

Spotify has a great library and far and away has the best User Interface and controls. Does a good job of "stations" and recommendations. Creating playlists is easy. I like it's standard method where: I put on an album or a playlist; it plays to the end; then it switches to recommended music based on what I'd just told it to play.

One of my favorite features is the ability to control the playback from any linked device. So I can set it to stream from my PC or my TV, but as long as my phone is on the same WiFi, I can effectively use it as a remote. That is what is happening today as I play music for a canning run. The PC is the streaming device, but I can change up the playlist from my phone from everywhere.

The bitrate quality is a good compromise. It's good enough for driving, working out, or background music at work, and low enough bitrate to not completely kill my wireless data.

Amazon Music is for when I'm streaming stuff on the good stereo at home. Better sound quality, but not worth it for driving. Pretty cheap.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin MegaDork
5/10/23 10:07 a.m.

I use free pandora.  If it starts to get repetitive in a way I don't like, I put in a new seed song.

Puddy46
Puddy46 Reader
5/10/23 10:12 a.m.

Another Pandora to Spotify convert here.  Switched originally because my office started doing a thing called Music League, and it required a Spotify account.  Once I tried it, I never went back to Pandora.  Better for podcasts, better variety, and better interface.  

I'm cheap, so I'm on the free version, which leads to my only complaint.  The commercials can be quite repetitive, and will drive you mad.  I've been pitched enough Taco Bell in the last month to last me a lifetime.  If you go premium, that easily solves the problem, though.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
5/10/23 10:19 a.m.

As an emphatic Luddite, the "stream" I most often listen to is generated by my CD player, which reads a CD and sends an analog signal to my receiver.

Sometimes I'll look something up on regular old Youtube.  There are a lot of music videos on there.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic MegaDork
5/10/23 10:21 a.m.

+1 another one for Spotify. The ability for creating playlists. They have podcasts (I don't think Pandora does but haven't checked recently). The couples pricing. Also last time I looked higher quality  audio then Pandora.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/10/23 10:21 a.m.

I used free Spotify for a few years, but after a while the commercials just got to be terrible. Like every other song, and they only ever had 2 commercials in rotation.

I switched to free Pandora 3 years ago or so and it has far fewer commercials. Of course this is moot since you are paying.

But it really depends on what you want out of your music service - they are different in approach.

Spotify is geared toward playing specific songs or artists you tell it to play. Pandora is meant to introduce you to music you may not know, but is in the style you select.  A lot of the music I really like now, I never would have heard if Pandora hadn't connected me with it.

At work I tend to use YouTube, both by finding specific tracks and by surfing the random suggestions it makes.

 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
5/10/23 10:28 a.m.

I drive around for work. Streaming music is my only source. 

Ive been unpaid pandora, but its getting repetitive. I have absout 100 artists and genre on shuffle,  and im guaranteed the same top 40 in heavy rotation. Maybe not the same songs every day, but multiple times a week. 

Ive been looking for ways to randomize it more, but been unsuccessful. 

Interested in following along here for suggestions. 

barefootcyborg5000
barefootcyborg5000 PowerDork
5/10/23 10:29 a.m.

Spotify (free) and Apple Music. Seems to cover just about anything I want to listen to. 
If I'm in the garage I'll usually tune 98.9 locally. Mostly 80s and 90s hits. Keeps me level and relaxed. 

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
5/10/23 10:36 a.m.

I'm a Pandora fan. However, I'd actually love to know a non-streaming option (i.e. a downloadable outlet) for when I fly and drive in areas without cell service. You used to be able to download music for free off Amazon Music. I'd welcome suggestions for that.

trigun7469
trigun7469 UltraDork
5/10/23 10:46 a.m.

I use the free spotify and youtube (free). My wife teaches a fitness class and started a trial for Apple Music, she uses her phone, does anyone create playlists? Pro and cons based on the ones you are using?

wae
wae PowerDork
5/10/23 10:50 a.m.

We have the paid YouTube Music family plan.  I have no idea how much it costs, but we have it because it's what we have.  I really like the "supermix" function where it will just go off and start playing music which is a good mix of tracks that I have definitely put in playlists or played "on purpose" before but also mixing in stuff that I've either never heard before or things that I've never specifically asked for.  My tastes are a little eclectic too so I'll get an Alestorm track followed by Miles Davis then maybe a Boston tune some Beastie Boys and then a track from a local blues artist I like.  It's kind of impressive that it can keep up with all that.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/10/23 11:02 a.m.

I pay for Spotify.  I think the selection is much better, especially for new indie stuff.  I found the AI on Pandora to be smoking crack.  I would finish a playlist of Billy Joel and it would suggest something like Black Sabbath.  I have found more cool stuff on Spotify by just letting it suggest stuff for me.

I was also able to upload my itunes playlists to Spotify back in the day, so that biased me a bit.  One downside (which may be true with all streaming) is that the rights seem to come and go frequently for certain songs/artists.  I know that sometimes it's because an artist gets ticked and pulls their music, and sometimes it's because the rights holder pulled permission because it's in a popular movie, but it can be frustrating.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
5/10/23 11:09 a.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I found the AI on Pandora to be smoking crack.  I would finish a playlist of Billy Joel and it would suggest something like Black Sabbath.

That's because Billy Joel sucks and it was trying to introduce you to music worth listening to.

 

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
5/10/23 11:21 a.m.

I've been listening to one of my regular Pandora stations since I started this thread. I am kind of surprised I haven't heard the first commercial. If they keep this up I may not need a sub. 

I'll have to see if my wife has an account somewhere. Maybe she can add me to hers. 

 

hunter47
hunter47 Reader
5/10/23 11:50 a.m.

Spotify is 100% worth it imo. Way wider music selection and you can listen to music you want to listen to. Never liked Pandora because I could never listen to a specific song, or album. 

 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
5/10/23 11:52 a.m.

Spotify was head and shoulders above the others when I started using it (which was years and years ago).  Supposedly the others have gotten a lot better, but now that I've got Spotify trained up on what I like I don't see any reason to switch.

 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/10/23 12:02 p.m.
Duke said:
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

I found the AI on Pandora to be smoking crack.  I would finish a playlist of Billy Joel and it would suggest something like Black Sabbath.

That's because Billy Joel sucks and it was trying to introduce you to music worth listening to.

 

Touche'

Aaron_King
Aaron_King PowerDork
5/10/23 12:11 p.m.

I will add that the thing I like about Pandora is that it works like a radio station, I don't have to feed it constantly.

No Time
No Time UltraDork
5/10/23 12:16 p.m.
J.A. Ackley said:

I'm a Pandora fan. However, I'd actually love to know a non-streaming option (i.e. a downloadable outlet) for when I fly and drive in areas without cell service. You used to be able to download music for free off Amazon Music. I'd welcome suggestions for that.

We have the Amazon music unlimited paid family subscription which lets you download for offline listening. 

If I'm listening to a playlist of album I like, I'll click download and save it to my phone for offline use. 

The interface for offline isn't necessarily intuitive, and I find myself having to manually switch to offline mode in the app to be able to see what's added to my library. 

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