Apple | May 20, 2020
User-friendly apps that are updated frequently and have enough features without being overwhelming, Free version is impressively robust.
Streaming music is cheap or even free in the case of Pandora and Spotify and outpaces any physical format when it comes to ease and convenience.
Allows you to follow artists and to be alerted when they release new music or announce an upcoming show. It's easy to build your own playlists.
When you're stuck at home, music can provide a sense of order amid the coronavirus chaos. Streaming music is cheap or even free (in the case of Pandora and Spotify) and outpaces any physical format when it comes to ease and convenience. Sure, vinyl may be making a resurgence among audiophiles, but if you're concerned about sound quality, then streaming still has a lot to offer. In some cases, subscription services can sound indistinguishable from, or even better than, a CD. We've checked out the leading on-demand music streaming apps and options services such as Spotify, Pandora Premium, Apple Music and Tidal as well as Amazon Music Unlimited and YouTube Music to see how each platform stacks up for your subscription buck.
While most boast music catalogs of more than 50 million songs, each has its own unique pros and cons. We've also left out services that only play music in a radio format and don't offer a la carte listening. It's a close race between Spotify Premium and Apple Music but Spotify wins thanks to a fun, easy-to-use interface, an extensive catalog and the best device compatibility. Spotify also offers our favorite free tier. Without paying a dime you can still stream over Spotify Connect to numerous devices and you don't even need to provide a credit card. Apple Music is a close second and it's the only one of our top three with a digital locker to store your own library of songs (YouTube Music, below, is the other music locker option). If you own an Apple HomePod, you'll need this subscription service to summon music with your voice.
Learn more: APPLE ACQUIRES NEXTVR, FORMER VIRTUAL REALITY STREAMING VIDEO SERVICE
“Apple Music has grown to become one of the most popular streaming services. It offers plenty of features and a wealth of discount options for families and students
In third place is Tidal, which offers a wide selection of music beyond its most eye-catching urban names. Its higher-priced options are especially suited to people seeking the best audio quality. Currently it's a great deal too, offering four months of music for $4. So here's what we think of the the top six music-streaming services. It's worth noting that all of these services will work on the major platforms -- Android, iOS, PC and Mac. Actual device compatibility varies widely, particularly on smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home.
“Spotify is the pioneer in the music-streaming space, and it's arguably the best known. It offers a number of curated music discovery services, including its Discover Weekly playlist, and is constantly implementing new ones, such as Stations.“
Spotify is the pioneer in the music-streaming space, and it's arguably the best known. It offers a number of curated music discovery services, including its Discover Weekly playlist, and is constantly implementing new ones, such as Stations. The service's (now optional) Facebook integration makes sharing music on Spotify easier than competitors. Spotify allows you to send a track or album, collaborate on playlists with friends or peek at what your Facebook friends are listening to. Also newly announced is Group Session, which enables more than one user to add to playlists on the fly -- great for parties; anyone remember those? Spotify Connect simplifies connecting to wireless speakers and AV receivers, and it works on both the Premium and the free tier.
Over time, Apple Music has grown to become one of the most popular streaming services. It offers plenty of features and a wealth of discount options for families and students. There's also ton of curated playlists, many hand-crafted by musicians and tastemakers, but it still lacks the robust sharing options built into Spotify. It combines your iTunes library with music you don't own, rounding out what you can play. A combination of human music experts and algorithms help find music you'll want to hear based on what you play. You can control what you hear or search for new music using Siri on iOS devices or Apple HomePod. Has a music locker via iTunes Match ($25, £22 or AU$35 a year). It's currently the only choice for Apple HomePod owners who want to request songs by voice. As you'd expect, the Android app and experience isn't as smooth as the iOS one.
WITH AMERICA AT HOME, FACEBOOK, GOOGLE MAKE MOVES TO WIN MORE OF GAMING MARKET
Apple | May 14, 2020
NextVR’s eponymous VR video service never fully took off with users, despite offering 360-degree video access to select concerts and sporting events, including NBA games, WWE wrestling matches, and NHL highlights. But Apple apparently saw value in the company, and following weeks of speculation confirmed today (via Bloomberg) that it has acquired NextVR for purposes unknown. Based in Newport Beach, California, NextVR was an hour south of Los Angeles, where many of Apple’s TV+ operations are located. While Apple isn’t confirming the specific reasons for the deal, it’s quite likely that the NextVR team will become involved with future TV+ initiatives, enabling Apple to expand the breadth and/or literal depth of its video offerings. Apple TV+ currently offers only 2D videos, and no sporting or other live programming, though the company has been working on a mixed reality headset with an AR focus.
VentureBeat | December 19, 2018
Originally promised back in June, a new Apple TV feature called Zero Sign-On has finally gone live with its first cable company partner Charter Spectrum just in time to meet Apple’s “this year” deadline. But part of the promised functionality is missing, and will most likely be delayed until 2019.During its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on June 4, Apple announced that tvOS 12 would include Zero Sign-On, a setting designed to dramatically simplify the app setup process for cable subscribers. Described as the next logical step after single sign-in, which unified multiple “TV channel” apps with the same login credentials, Zero Sign-On lets a cable subscriber simply hit a “continue” button to confirm that the Apple TV is using the provider’s network. Supported channel apps can then receive authorization without any additional effort on the user’s part.