Picking a music streaming service. AGAIN.

I am really hating the shift that Google has done from Google Play music to YouTube Music. Sometimes I want a music video. But let’s note that many artists create long intros, skits, interruptions in the song, long blank times for credits, volume changes, and other things that make their music video not the best option for listening to their song.

I’ve already used a number of past applications. From Napster to Grooveshark I have used some defunct platforms! I have a SoundCloud account, plenty of purchased music in Amazon music, and a Last.fm account. But I liked the Google Play and YouTube connectivity — I didn’t want to lose the dedicated music option though.

I jumped on the Google Play opportunities right as it released. I picked up plenty of their free songs and bought a few full albums before eventually paying for the monthly family plan for unlimited streaming. And now, a few weeks into having to skip a 2 minute intro to songs FAR too often, I’m ready to dump this Google “service”.

And so I just did. Not a moment too soon either, because renewal looks like it was just a day away.

But now I’m on the hunt for something to replace it. My initial thoughts…

Spotify. I was really interested, until learning that they paid 100 MILLION US DOLLARS to have the Joe Rogan Experience on their platform. So my money would undoubtedly be paying for a guy that has given Alex Jones of InfoWars a platform as a guest to further spread conspiracies. Jones believes climate change is a hoax, is opposed to vaccines, promotes the idea of white genocide, pushed the pizzagate bull, and has repeatedly called school shooting instances false flag events or that survivors were crisis actors. I’m sorry, but anyone that gives this guy air time for anything other than a retirement from his lies will not get my business.

Apple Music. Naw. I’m a PC user with an Android phone. If nothing else pans out I’ll come back and give it a try.

Amazon Music. Argh. I just feel like I bet on the wrong platform. I have the Google speakers and Chromecast and Android phones. But maybe should have gone with Amazon’s Alexa instead. For that one reason I’m leading away from Amazon. Okay, maybe that’s not the ONLY reason. The other thing that bothers me is the net worth of Jeff Bezos. I just struggle with sending more money to the richest person on the planet. I just wish he had a more employee-based business and had massive support of NGOs. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and even mark Zuckerberg are much more generous with their earnings. All that said, I am tempted a bit by the pricing of the HD music service. While twice the price of the service I’m mourning, I’d sure consider it if the equipment I play music on might make the sound quality worth it. If you’re considering this service, then try Amazon Music with an unlimited free trial and I get $3. Chances are, I’ll just be using it to buy music from them anyway (see the last option on my list).

Tidal. Speaking of sound quality… I remember my dad’s Bose 901s. The turntable. The big 70’s headphones with the coiled cord. I’ve got a box of albums that some have survived the early marriage purge of “Do you know how much this record is selling for on eBay?” and am a bit of an audiophile despite tolerating cassettes and tinny headphones for a decade. I had a mixing board as part of my sound setup in the early 90s that lasted more than a decade until I transitioned to digital crossfades when I invested in DJ equipment. The Mackie SR-1530 powered speakers I bought then, cost over $1,000 each and weighted in at a hefty 100 pounds each. They got 5 years of hard use before I sold them. Anyway, Tidal apparently is the streaming service for people that like their audio quality on the hi-fi side.

Pandora. Yeah, maybe. It’s got some features I need, plus it sounds like the predictive playlists would be nice. It’s right there on the averages for the basic monthly plan fees, and is compatible with my devices.

Audio Station. Here’s an other option. I’ve been pretty good about downloading the songs that I purchased, regardless of platform. I have a few CDs I could rip. Then I give myself a $10 a month budget to buy and download songs. All get uploaded to our NAS and I use Audio Station on my computer and phone to play the music I own outright. I don’t need access to a quarter of a million songs. Let’s face it, I probably listen to no more than 500 songs and maybe only add another 5 new songs a month. I bet some months I would find if difficult to find $10 worth of music that I wanted to buy once my major playlists are populated. The only drawback to this is my available time. If I was about to start a 4 day weekend then this might be a great project. But the lure of the ease of just installing an app and setting up automatic payments is strong.

So, for now, I remain undecided. Might have to sit on this for another week. Or until a 4 day weekend comes along.

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