Google Music vs Spotify

The modern world today prefers to listen to music by streaming rather than collecting albums or downloading individual music tracks. Of course, music streaming services like Google Music and Spotify are very convenient to use. You can listen to the songs wherever and whenever you go. Google Music is actually included in every Google account in a free radio version, but there is also a paid on-demand version. So, Google Music competes directly with Spotify, which is also available as free radio and paid on-demand. How do Google Music vs Spotify compare to each other? Which one is the best music streaming service?

Both Google Music and Spotify are aware that they are competing directly against each other, and that’s the reason why they have very similar subscription plans. Still, there are notable differences that may make you prefer either Google Music or Spotify.

Both of the two music streaming services are available in free versions. However, Google Music’s free version only allows you to listen to stations. You can’t really select individual tracks, and you also can’t create a playlist. On the other hand, Spotify’s free version is different that it allows you to create playlists, but you can only play the playlists or artists’ catalogs in shuffle. In addition, you need to listen to an advertisement every two or three tracks.

Google Music does not have any student plan. On the other hand, Spotify provides a student plan which only costs $5 per month. Beach of the two services provides a family plan for six accounts, which costs $15 per month.

Nevertheless, perhaps one of the biggest factors to consider when choosing between Google Music vs Spotify is if you are an avid YouTube user. Although the paid versions of the two services are equal at $9.99/month, Google Music can give you a better value for the money because it includes YouTube Red – a feature that allows you to download YouTube videos for offline viewing. This is a very useful feature, either for listening to YouTube’s music collection offline or for saving important videos. Spotify doesn’t have any comparable feature.

See also : Spotify vs Apple Music.

Sound Quality
The next difference between Google Music vs Spotify is regarding the sound quality. Both services allow you to adjust the streaming quality. You can choose a lower setting if you are worried about the bandwidth consumption, for example when you are running on the cellular data.

Google Music allows you to set specific settings for Wi-Fi and mobile network. So, you can set it so that the streaming quality is always high when on Wi-Fi, but low when using mobile network. There are four settings: low, normal, high, and always high. All of the settings are available for both free and paid versions. You can also set it so that it only streams when on Wi-Fi in order to save your cellular data.

Spotify has a toggle to enable/disable streaming on mobile network. But there is just one option to adjust the streaming quality, which will be applied for both Wi-Fi and mobile network. There are four quality settings: automatic, normal, high, and extreme high. However, the extreme high quality is only available for premium users.

Music Collection
Both Google Music and Spotify have very rich music collections. They each have more than 30 million songs available. Google Music is great because of two reasons. First, it allows you to upload your own tracks to the cloud. This is useful when you want to listen to songs that aren’t available on the service. Since it uploads to the cloud, you can listen to your personal collection from any device. Second, Google Music has “clean” versions of many songs, so it is more child-friendly.

Spotify allows you to add your own tracks to your playlists. However, they are simply stored in the local storage and not uploaded to the cloud. Hence, you won’t be able to listen to those tracks from another device, unless you transfer them manually. Spotify adds labels to “explicit” songs to help parents choose more child-friendly music, but some unlabeled songs are actually also not suitable for children.

Music Recommendation
Google Music has been praised for the accurate music recommendation. When you open the app, you will be presented with several stations that are chosen based on your habits and tastes. For example, there is this “Music for a Small Room” station which has focus-friendly songs without lyrics. You can then select a particular genre, such as electronic, classical, or acoustic guitar. Although Google Music does not have the famous “Discover Weekly” feature, it is hardly a disadvantage.

On the other hand, Spotify’s most famous music recommendation feature is perhaps “Discover Weekly”. Every Monday, it gives you a playlist of new songs based on your preferred genre. However, it can be a little bit hit-or-miss. Sometimes, you discover four or five nice songs. Other times, not a single song has managed to capture your interest. Nevertheless, Spotify allows you to select specific music genres if you want to delve further.

Offline Listening
The next difference between Google Music vs Spotify is about the offline listening. Google Music allows you to download songs that you have purchased as well as your own tracks which you have previously uploaded to the cloud for offline listening. If you are a paid user, you can download all tracks for offline listening. Google Music is better than Spotify because it allows you to download a song to five devices, and you can associate up to ten devices to your account.

On the other hand, Spotify only allows downloads for paid users. If you are a free user, you can’t download the songs for offline listening. Then again, you can only download a song to three devices.

Google MusicSpotify
- The paid version includes YouTube Red- Has a student plan which is more affordable
- All streaming quality settings are available for free and paid users- The highest streaming quality is only available for paid users
- Upload your own tracks to the cloud to listen on other devices- Your personal tracks are stored locally
- Offline listening for up to five devices- Offline listening for up to three devices
- Has more “clean” versions of songs- Some unlabeled songs may be explicit

In general, Google Music is indeed the best way to go for a fun and convenient music streaming service. It allows you to enjoy the highest streaming quality and utilize the upload/download feature even if you are a free user. It has individual settings for Wi-Fi and mobile network. Don’t forget that the subscription plan also enables YouTube Red. Spotify has been considered as a great service, but now Google Music makes a serious contender for market domination.

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