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Pandora >Tidal>Amazon Unlimited >Spotify, and now Google

Discussion in 'Streaming Services' started by Alobar, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    I'm really going through these streaming outfits about as fast as my Chevy goes through gasoline. I never found everything that met my wishlist with the streaming companies thus far. Oh to be sure each one did some things right, but all of them I found lacking in much of what I was looking for.

    So after recently canceling the last one (Spotify) I was considering going back to Tidal for another go around, but while on my Hawaii trip this year my smartphones music player app choked somehow and wouldn't play anything in the phones memory and while on the plane I opened up google play music app just to try to get something playing on the headphones and since have found much of what I was missing from the other streams.

    First thing after signing up for the service it actually wanted to know what I like, my tastes, genre, artists etc. This could be as extensive or as simple as I wanted. I spent a good 15 minutes checking boxes of music I like now. Then I started playing my music I loaded before leaving home but this time I had the option to thumbs up or down my own music! This is huge to me since it bases recommendations to an extent on likes and it seems this will save a lot of time in finding relevant recommendations for me which is probably the main reason I am interested in streaming at all anyway.

    As for sound quality, was tough to tell the difference between 320 Mp3 I loaded and Google streamed music however that is still to be determined. It doesn't sound half bad at all really and I tend to be a bit fussy about sq in any source.

    Bottom line i am cautiously optimistic about Google. It seems like they did at least the initial setup as well as I could ask for. It has already put out some promising and interesting playlists based on likes as well as the initial questionnaire (which can also be added to). Whether google will screw this up like they often do is anyone's guess but I think it has potential for if not greatness, at least a decent service for those like me who are just after new material which to play or purchase.
     

     

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  2. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Apple started this with little balloons you use to make selections at the onset. I have both and prefer Apple Music, but it depends on whether you use iOS or Android. I would probably just live with Google Play if I mainly used Android. It has some nice features especially if you have Google’s Home products available and Casting devices for audio.
     
    Alobar likes this.
  3. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    FYT :D
     
  4. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    Thanks for your testimony! I'm still with Pandora (Plus) mainly for jazz but I'm not wedded to it by any means. I dislike never being able to select a song to play (Premium offers that). But I'm also wary of signing over even more of my life to teh goog. OTOH I'm already using Chromecast Audio all over my house. Hmm. Would be cool if I could port a few Pandora stations over to Google Play to jump-start the business.
     
    Alobar likes this.
  5. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    What do you feel is better with AM over Google? I have not used any apple products since my iTunes years but could give AM a go if Google doesn't pan out. I have android and at this point probably will stay with that.
     
  6. Condorsat

    Condorsat Audio Enthusiast

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    Mog > Xbox Music > Spotify & RDIO (same time) > Tidal

    I've never used Pandora much ... I'm more of an album guy. Don't use playlists much either & mostly play a full album at a time.
    From that standpoint ... not much difference between the streaming services for me. The better equipment I buy the better
    streaming sounds so far ... I'll be on the upgrade path for a few years going forward or maybe longer.

    I'm trying out Neil Young archives now as well ... but aside from this service ... all have been lossy at higher bit rate.

    Note: I don't stream on phone ... I just use a laptop > usb Dac on my mains.
    My streaming rig sits next to my TT.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

     

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  7. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Alert! Apple now owns Beats, so I think we are both right. :beerchug:

    I prefer Apple's (Beats?) suggestions and their layout. However, I subscribe to Google Play Music because it comes along for the ride with Youtube Red. I think Apple has a three month trial, so you can always try it out to see how it works for you. There are people on this board that prefer Tidal's layout and suggestions, which I think it the worst, so it comes down to your specific taste.

    The advantages of Siri, AppleTV, Apple Watch, etc.. are where AM shines, but you may still like the other features better.
     
    Alobar likes this.
  8. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    When I get back home I will be curious to see how Google play music will work from my win 10 machine. Right now all I have is my phone and cans..

    I suppose anyone who grew up with vinyl or tape tended to listen to full sides of albums but I often got bored with a side half way through . I sometimes mixed up music a little by recording a "playlist" on the reel to reel but that usually got boring as well. I bought an Accutrack even so I could skip songs..

    Now I mostly listen to lists based on Metadata and randomized. I can listen all evening like this. .
     
  9. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    Apple has some human-curated playlists that stand out. Otherwise most services these days are pretty much indistinguishable in content, but have different features. I switch between them regularly, taking advantage of the various offers.

    Pandora is nicely integrated into my car's audio system, so I have their premium sub to play albums there and via Sonos, but it only allows stations via Alexa and Google voice. Its app can also cast to Chromecast and Sonos.

    Spotify does allow voice control of albums on Alexa/Google/Sonos, but its app is horrible. I usually play albums, Spotify wants me to shuffle them, which is sacrilege. I don't bother with creating playlists; Spotify is all about playlist creation. Its app can cast to Chromecast and Sonos.

    Tidal can cast to Chromecast and Sonos, but so far has no voice support. Their app is nice, but insists on showing me music I have zero interest in every time I start the app.

    Amazon quietly added Chromecast support to their app, but no Sonos casting yet. They can be fully voice controlled, including full albums, via Alexa, and are fully integrated into Sonos.

    Just got a Google voice controlled speaker for the nightstand. I asked it, generically, to "play some music". It remembered what I played when I had a sub over a year ago, and selected songs matching my taste. No pushing rap or obnoxious rock, unlike Tidal and most of the others. Their Songsa integration provides some decent ready-made playlists, though not as well tuned as AM's. When Sonos integrates Google Assistant next year, I will probably re-subscribe to GPM, as it will cover most of my want list better than any other service. I also have hundreds of albums stored in the Google cloud, for free, which I can play via GPM.

    Apple Music isn't available via Alexa or Google voice. It's nicely integrated into Sonos, but can't cast to Chromecast or Sonos. Airplay 2 is coming to Sonos next year, so maybe I'll look at AM again at that time. Apple wants you to buy a $350 speaker to be able to use far-field voice control, probably just for AM. Apple fanboys will bite, but Amazon, Google and Sonos offer far better value propositions, better voice systems, and much more flexibility. Apple has a hard sell proposition outside its fan base. They will need a Dot-like device to even begin to be competitive.
     
    60 Cycle Hum, Alobar and +48V like this.
  10. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Yup, My gist here is that Apple "inherited" the concept rather than starting it. ;):)
     
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  11. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

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    Sounds like the big differences between AM and Google is in integration with devices I don't even have or have plans to have anytime soon.

    So interesting how we all listen to music differently and how it is packaged by the streaming outfits is either important or not depending. For me I am in search for new material to later buy and integrate with music on my HD in cd quality and above. Going on my theory that 95% of the music out there is crap (to me) I tend to not listen to just anything. Fine tuning the algorithm to find and play what I want to hear is the primary function, over device integration or even sq although some of that has secondary importance.
     

     

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  12. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Interesting. I did not know about this.

    Google sells a $399 speaker, so there are different markets that pay for SQ. I have discussed the HomePod at length in another thread, so I don't think I will regurgitate it here.

    Many of us have different ways we listen to music and that makes it easier for us to choose a service. If I was going by only playlists, I would go with Apple Music, but then again, YMMV.
     
    kray likes this.
  13. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill No marigolds in the promised land Subscriber

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    This. Plus <my edit >
     
  14. chicks

    chicks Lunatic Member

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    They're going to start selling Google Chromecast on amazon.com, too. Probably a peace offering to get Google to again allow YouTube on the Echo Show.
     
  15. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Yes, I think Google dropping Youtube from the FireTV was more than they could handle.

    How does Casting works with Alexa? I don't see it as a skill and I don't see a place to pair them. Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
  16. +48V

    +48V hi-fi or die

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    Android only. No Alexa at this point.
     

     

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  17. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    Darn, that would have been a nice addition to the Dot...though, I doubt I would have ever used the Home again.
     
  18. Archguy

    Archguy Official Roiurama Factory Rep Subscriber

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    That's what I was thinking. Competition is making this 'streaming space' interesting, for now.

    Interesting exchange about the 'album sides' thing too. I guess I'd like the oppty to do it both ways.

    TWSS!
     
  19. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For serious listening, I use hi-res recordings (SACD, hi-res FLAC download, Blu-ray). For background music, I use Spotify, and I listen to KUSC via Tune-In. I have multiple hi-fi systems, and use Chromecast audio to stream Spotify and Tune-In, using an Android tablet, or Chrome browser on my PC.

    I’m trying to figure out a simple way for my elderly mother to enjoy music in her small assisted living apartment. I’m considering a Google Home Max.

    I thought I’d share an email that I sent to Google today, regarding the Google Home gizmo I bought 2 days ago in order to test its functionality. Any thoughts?

    ------------------------

    These past few days I’ve been experimenting with Google Home’s speech interface, as a potential solution for delivering music (Spotify Premium, Tune-In) for my elderly mother. (My Mom doesn’t use a smartphone or tablet.)

    Google Home is amazing. Its easy to play radio stations via a simple voice command: “Hey Google, play KUSC”.

    Playing a specific pop song is also straightforward. “Hey Google, play ‘Fields of Gold’ by Eva Cassidy”.

    However, I have not been successful in using Google Home’s voice interface to play multi-movement classical compositions from Spotify. (Perhaps this isn’t surprising, given the lack of standards for tagging classical music.) Based on experimenting for an hour, the only solution I found is to create a Spotify Playlist that contains all of the movements of the composition (e.g., Rachmaninoff’s 'All Night Vigil'), giving it a unique name (‘All Night Vigil’), and then say: “Hey Google, play playlist ‘All Night Vigil’. This of course is very cumbersome, and enables playing only those multi-movement compositions for which I’ve created a playlist. (And I have to remember what I called the playlist.)

    Even the most popular piece of classical music, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Spotify has more than 100 different recorded performances), won’t play correctly – not for any performance (Google Home starts with the 4th movement of some performance I didn’t want) – let alone provide the ability to select a recording (i.e., which conductor, orchestra, performance date, etc).

    It seems to be that the first step would be for the recorded music industry to standardize tagging of classical music (e.g., sub-genre, composer, composition, conductor, orchestra, soloists, performance date, etc).

    Then perhaps Google could offer an “advanced search”, prompting the user for each piece of information.

    “Hey Google, I want to perform an advanced search for music”

    Google: “What composer?”​

    “Beethoven”

    Google: “What composition”​

    “Ninth Symphony”

    Google: “What conductor”​

    “Abbado”

    Google: “What orchestra”​

    “Any”

    Than, if there are multiple matches, Google could play a list of options. (Often, a conductor will have recorded more than one performance of a composition, sometimes with the same orchestra, sometimes different orchestras.)

    While playing the recording, it would be nice to be able to say: “Hey Google, play the third movement.”

    Bottom line, the only way that I can find to play multi-movement classical music using the Google Home speech interface is to create my own playlist – with my own tag – for each piece of music. Am I missing something?
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
  20. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I cancelled Tidal over this issue. Here's my rant (which I've posted before):

    My opinion is that Tidal is not very smart from a marketing perspective. I listen to classical music and opera. Nonetheless, every time I logged in, Tidal pushed rap music (and associated imagery) at me. It seems to me that the smart thing to do would be to set the “theme” of the GUI (e.g., pictures of artists) – and, more importantly, the recommended recordings - based on the type of music that the CUSTOMER likes, not what the owners of Tidal like. Every time I accessed Tidal I got the impression that their service isn’t intended for me.

    Why not make a country fan feel at home, and recommend relevant recordings? And make a heavy metal fan feel at home, and recommend relevant recordings. And make a classical music fan feel at home, and recommend relevant recordings? Etc, etc.

    It’s Tidal’s right to push whatever music they want. It’s my right to not use their service.
     
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