Music Streaming Service Buying Guide
I know that streaming music and to a certain point satellite radio have become the new way of listening to music as the radio has seemingly fallen by the wayside. However, with all that you have available to pick from when you are finding the streaming service it can be very difficult for you to find the right service that should subscribe to. Since that is the case, I have decided it was time to come out with the buyers guide that I used to make up my own subscription decision. I will be completely honest as I do use Amazon Unlimited Music, which is an added on subscription to Amazon Prime, but it is well worth the cost if you ask me. However, here is my buyers guide that can help you in making your own buying choice.
Check Out The Song Library
A key factor to consider is the size and range of the song library. I know that for me one of the deal breakers is if the service is missing one of the bands or the soloist that I like to listen to. However, you do have to use some judgment here and think about the songs that are listed and how many of your favorites are going to be missing. If for example, the number of songs that you would miss out on is only a couple of songs or on band then you may end up okay as they do add in songs and remove songs over time so it could help in getting the music you want to listen to and as the music changes over time it will make it easier for you to learn new music and hear some of the old music.
Look For The Availability Of Apps
Since you are most likely going to end up using these on mobile devices you should know about how available the apps are going to be for your devices. Sometimes you will find the apps are not going to be optimized for your devices and this can make it difficult for you to use the apps at times. At the same time, though, you may notice that some of the apps are going to be very easy for you to use and available for all the devices you could be listening to music on. Often, if the service is a good service and one that is reliable you will notice they will be listed in the PlayStore and in your app store for your Apple based devices as well. No matter what the key thing that you need to do is make sure you have the app available or you could lose your ability to use the streaming service for what you wanted to do and that is typically listening to music on the go.
Figure Out The Ease Of Using The Apps
When you are starting to figure out how to use the apps, you will want to look at how easy it is to use the apps and know if the apps will actually help you out or if you are going to have some issues with the app not working easily for you. A good example of this is what I have to do with the Amazon app all the time for music. That is I have to figure out what they have changed each time I go to use it after an update. That is because the updates tend to change a lot of the layout, but the basics stay the same. What else you will notice when you are looking at the apps is the learning curve you have. When you have a learning curve you will want to know more about how steep the curve is and how long it will take you to learn the app, but I can tell you that on all the apps I have used it has been minor changes to the layouts..
Get A Free Trial If You Can
With most of the services, just like when you are streaming television, you will notice that you are able to get a free trial to most of the services. These trials are going to be a blessing that you will want to take full advantage of. Generally, the trails that you have available will be lasting for a full week, but sometimes the trial period is only 3 days. However, when you have free trial make sure you make the most of it. The trail will allow you to get the most out of the service and have a chance to figure out which one of the options will work best for your needs.
One thing that you need to consider is if you have to put in credit card information or not. If you have to put in credit card information, you will be charged if you do not cancel before the end of the trial period. So it is very important that you consider this as you could have some issues in trying to get the proper service before your card is billed because you were not paying attention to the time frame you had left.
Find Out How Many Users Can Be On The Account
If you are a single person you can skip over this part as it will not impact you. However, if you are like me and getting the service for your entire family, then you will want to know many people can be on the account at any given time. For example, when I was using Pandora, which has been several years they would not allow you to have more than 3 people on the account at any given time. Well, I have a family of five which would not work for me at all. Since this is the case, I decided to look elsewhere and found the Amazon Music Unlimited plan that is subscription based, but it did allow me to have up to five accounts at one time with each individual person getting their own music.
Do Research On Reliability Of The Service
Okay, I cannot stress this point enough and that is you need to make sure the service is reliable! If the service is not reliable, then you will be paying for something that you cannot even use. So I have to say, you will want to make sure you look and see how reliable the service will be for you to use. At the same time, though, you will want to make sure you know if the service is one that you can listen to where you are going to be going or if you will lose service. A great example that I have found with this is the Amazon Music, which I love to death, but if my cell service drops from LTE to 4G I tend to lose my service rather easily and while it is not the end of the world it does mean I have to restart the service once I get my connection back.
Look To See How Often The Service Is Updated
I never really considered the number of times the service would be updated as being a major sticking point. However, after getting caught up with some of the updates when I went to leave my house and then finding out the app needed an update that it did not do on its own that I had to wait. So I have to say you will want to find out how often the apps you are going to be using are going to need to be updated. What else you will want to check out when you are looking at the services is how often the song lists and banks are updated. This way you can know more about the concerns you may have about your music being removed or getting new songs added to the song bank.
Make The Choice On The Service
Subscribing to a streaming music service is a great way to find only the music you want to listen to. However, with all the options that you have available, you need to use our buyers guide here to make it a little bit easier for you to find the service that will work best for you. Then you can start to learn even more about the services and the features to look for without having to be concerned about the service not living up to all the hype that you are giving it or even worse subscribing to a service that does not give you everything you are looking for. No matter what, you will want to make sure you check the buyers guide and compare the services you are considering using to see if they fit the parameters of what you should be looking for.