02nd Sep2011

Comparison of Music Access Services

by Mrs. Gunn

Spotify, Mog, Rhapsody, Rdio, Grooveshark – they’re all fantastic services, but which one is best? Personally, and this may sound a little demanding, but I’d like to be able to take all my songs, upload them into a cloud, be able to listen on unlimited computers and devices, and also have access to all 11 million other songs to integrate into my playlists. Oh, and I’d like to download to listen offline as well, for a low to moderate monthly price.  So… does this exist in the legal world? I went on a quest to determine which was the best music access service, and here’s what I found out.

First of all, Grooveshark seems to be the ideal way to integrate everything, but they are currently battling a lot of legal issues right now. You can upload your music into their cloud, but get this – it then becomes available to the entire world! This could be really great, in that an undiscovered artist could get some exposure without having to go through Tunecore or iTunes. But at the same time, you can imagine the RIAA and record labels are not liking this. They also just came out with  a way to download as well, called Groovejaar. They way they justify the legality is by making it possible for artists and labels to request their music to be off the service. It’s basically like YouTube for mp3s.

After Grooveshark, my personal favorite for streaming only is Mog. The quality of the music, and ability to look at tons of playlists and see what other people are playing is fantastic. Unfortunately there is no integration of your own music, so if you want to hear something that’s off their cloud, you have to go into a different application.

That’s where Spotify, Rhapsody, and Rdio come in. While the quality isn’t as great, (Spotify is 160k, Rhapsody is 128k, and Rdio is 320k  desktop and lower with 3G) the ability to sync your own music with their library through a desktop app is pretty cool. The Both Spotify and Rhapsody allow you to integrate your own songs with theirs in your playlists. They all allow downloading at the $9.99 level. So then it becomes a matter of library, sharing, and number of devices. From what I’ve looked at, the Rhapsody library is the biggest. This is why I subscribe. However, Rdio and Spotify trump Rhapsody for the sharing/discovery aspect. Spotify allows three devices offline at the $9.99 level. Rhapsody is pretty strict with the number of logins – they only allow one login at a time, and only one mobile device sync.

If Rhapsody would allow me to upload all my tunes to their cloud, I would definitely stick to them, as they have improved their mobile app and flaky service. However, I’m still looking… I just wish Mog would create a desktop app, and then allow you to upload your music to their cloud. Then it would be perfect. I’d definitely pay $9.99 per month for that. It would save me money in the long run because I wouldn’t need to have so many GB on my mobile.

So, what services did I miss? Leave a comment below!

Check out the chart I made which compares everything!


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