Music streaming services allow you to stream an unlimited amount of music for a low monthly fee of around $10. Examples of popular music streaming services are Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Spotify. But before signing up for the first service you run across, take time to find out which service would benefit you the most.
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Here are 5 factors to take into consideration when choosing a music streaming service.
1. Music Catalog
Browse the service’s music catalog to make sure songs and albums by your favorite artists are available. For instance, if you’re a Taylor Swift fan, avoid signing up for Spotify, which features none of Swift’s music. Most music services allow you to try the app for free before making a commitment, so take advantage of the trial to make sure your favorite tracks are available.
2. Free Trials and Subscriptions
Most of the top music streaming services offer free trial periods that can last up to 90 days. This allows you ample time to explore the music catalog and familiarize yourself with the app before making a long-term commitment.
Also, check into whether services have free subscriptions. If you don’t want to pay for a music streaming service, free subscriptions offer full access to music with some caveats. For example, you may hear advertisements between tracks, and be unable to play certain tracks on demand.
3. Device Compatibility
Consider the types of devices you’ll be using the most with your music streaming service. Many services have limitations on the amount of devices you can use, and may not be compatible across all your devices.
If you plan on streaming music on your iPhone while exercising outdoors, verify the app is compatible with iOS. If you plan on syncing the service with your Chromecast audio device, go with either Rdio or Google Play Music — both of which support Chromecast. If you enjoy listening to music while working on a desktop computer, make sure the service is compatible with your operating system.
Some streaming services offer discounts for college students, or discounted family plans for large households that use several devices. If you live with roommates or have a large family, look into family plans before registering for a service. This could result in massive savings for everyone in the household.
Confirm the music streaming service is available in your country, or at the locations you travel to frequently. For example, popular streaming services Napster, MOG, and Rara aren’t available in the U.S., while Rhapsody is exclusive to the U.S. Make sure the service works wherever you plan on spending the most time.
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