I'm sticking to Spotify for now
3 min read

I'm sticking to Spotify for now

Comparing major Hi-Fi music streaming services
I'm sticking to Spotify for now

I have been a Spotify user since 2016. Despite some bugs and shortcomings here and there, I have been very happy with the Spotify experience. If I had to sum up the points I like about Spotify:

  • Native last.fm support. This is extremely important for me, I love last.fm!
  • Student discount (50% off)
  • Great audio quality with OGG Vorbis 320 Kb/s audio
  • Good, multiplatform desktop app (which is not a web view for the web player, although I have a feeling that might change soon)
  • Great web player which has been getting better over the past years. Limited audio quality though. I don't use it but I appreciate how smoother it feels compared to the desktop app
  • Spotify Wrapped
  • Listen count on tracks
  • Very helpful for discovering new music
  • Great playlists

There are some downsides, which are not deal breakers for me at the moment:

  • Their apps are not the most stable, especially the Android app.
  • No 2FA, I stopped counting the number of times I've seen people getting their account hacked
  • Dumb limits on playlists. I didn't hit them yet although I have 7k liked songs which is under the 10k limit.
  • Artist mismatch. This seems to happen with every other service too, and it's annoying as hell
  • No Hi-Fi/Hi-Res/CD Quality although we might get it... someday?
  • No Stats! We want Spotify Wrapper year-round
  • No possibility to change username
  • No possibility to unlink an account with Facebook if that account has been created with Facebook Login. This does not concern me but I would be extremely pissed if it were the case.
  • No lyrics

Although I'm content with what Spotify has to offer, I was curious about the Hi-Fi offers from the competition, which I had the sudden urge to check last weekend.

Note: I used Soudizz to transfer my music (favourite tracks, playlists...) from Spotify to the other services.

Deezer

  • A lot of songs were missing compared to Spotify
  • Korean music availability is not as good as Spotify's or Apple Music's, but it's decent. At least Kpop is recognised as a genre, although with a limited selection of playlists.
  • There is a 2000 songs limit on favourite tracks and playlist. This is... This is beyond me. Complete deal breaker. I have 6842 liked songs on Spotify. My biggest playlist is 2695 songs. It's not like I could just remove a bunch of songs and go under the limit...
  • Great, last.fm is supported natively too
  • There is a Hi-Fi offer at 20€/month, without any student discount
  • So you're telling me people willing to pay for Hi-Fi and having audio equipment worth thousands can't have more than 2000 songs in their playlist? That's hilarious
  • Their web app is good, it's fast and responsive. Their desktop app is the website embedded in an electron client
  • They have lyrics! Spotify please bring this baaack.

Qobuz

  • Their apps are decent
  • They are focused on Hi-Fi, although you can also get the standard plan
  • You can purchase and download CD-quality music
  • Where is Korean music? It's not even recognised as a genre
  • Tiny library. Deal-breaker
  • Native last.fm support

Apple Music

  • no last.fm integration! Deal-breaker. And third party apps don't scrobble everything
  • Awful Android app.
  • Great iOS and macOS apps
  • I would only recommend them if you're into the Apple ecosystem
  • Great library though!
  • Kpop is recognised as a genre, they have a bunch of playlists and even some exclusive that Spotify does not have! Very good point.

TIDAL

  • Very good surprise! I always dismissed TIDAL but it's a solid alternative.
  • Great apps, honestly.
  • Hi-Fi quality, sometimes even "Master" but no one really knows what is means
  • Hi-Fi Student offer! Thank god you can be a student and like quality music. Very good move.
  • Native last.fm! Thank god
  • I didn't use the service quite enough to test it out, but their recommendation algorithm seems great! I especially like the "recommended tracks" feature.
  • Although TIDAL seems to have 10 millions more tracks than Spotify somehow (60M vs 50M, probably exclusives), I had about 25% of my library missing. It was better than Qobuz but not enough.
  • Most of the missing tracks were Kpop, which is once again not recognised as a genre here, too bad.

Summing up

To sum up, each of the alternatives have at least one deal-breaker for me:

  • Qobuz: they don't have my music... 🧐
  • Deezer: dumbs limits 😠
  • TIDAL: missing tracks 😔
  • Apple Music: no last.fm 😥

TIDAL and Apple Music are really close to making me switch. But as of now, I'm not willing to give up 1/4th of my music, nor last.fm.

At the end of the day, I'm still happy with Spotify! For now...