That’s where the (free) music takes me…

One of our Tipsters was telling us how her younger sister had come home this week aglow with excitement.  “It’s so cool!” young sister exclaimed.  “I’ve just bought a record player.  It can play albums!”  She apparently then spent an afternoon at a discery in Soho buying “old school” albums.

Another Tipster with a background in radio was telling us about the excitement the industry felt when Dire Straits made the then momentous decision to issue their latest album (‘Brothers in Arms’, one of my all time favourites) on the brand new CD format.  Then came iTunes, then music players and now today we don’t need to buy anything other than a streaming subscription.  A what?  Well, you no longer have to upload your entire music collection to every device you own.  You can sign up to a music streaming service, where the music is played to all your devices over the internet.  And in many cases it will cost you nothing.

If you decide to sign up, the good news is that you’re spoilt for choice. Whether you go for Apple Music or Spotify, you’re guaranteed to find a huge catalogue of music, a host of playlists to help you discover something new to listen to and offline playback so you’re not eating into that mobile data package on your phone.

But which one stands out from the rest and will give you the best overall music streaming experience?

We’ve been using –

 

over the past few months here at Tipster Towers to cover the leading contenders.

Our informed Tipster tip is… try them all!  That might sound like a bit of a cop out, but they all have at least a 30 day free trial. Apple Music has a three month trial.

Amazon music is included if you have an Amazon Prime membership and you can play it through your Alexa/ Echo device too. There’s not that much to choose between them all, for general use, although Spotify has a free version that runs ads.  If you want the full service they all cost around £10 per month although there are higher quality options of around £20 per month.

They all sound great.  Having said that, the most exacting of audiophiles using the most expensive of headphones or speaker setups should probably only consider Tidal or Deezer’s Elite option.  If you own a Sonos, the multi-room speakers are set up to work with both Tidal and Deezer’s high quality services, as well as with Spotify and the others at their standard quality.

My personal favourite is Spotify, but it really comes down to which one you like the look of and how easy you find it to navigate. As always, please get in touch if you need a Tipster’s Touch to tickle your tech.

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It’ll be alright really

Douglas-AdamsA couple of years before he died, Douglas Adams wrote

 “I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:


1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is just normal

2. Anything that gets invented between then and when you turn thirty-five is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it.

3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.”

This comes from an article Adams wrote for the Sunday Times in 1999. It’s not really about technology – it’s about how set in our ways and resistant to learning new tricks we all become. It’s worth a read: http://bit.ly/1h70MFz

Here’s some of the things that we’ll take for granted in 10 years time:

Cloud computing – all your photos, files and music stored in your own personal place on the Internet;

Constant wifi – constant connectivity to ultra-fast data; (for some it’s the most basic need: http://bit.ly/19NXYo5)

Streaming music and TV – we’ll have screens rather than “television sets” and those huge collections of CDs and DVDs that we spent decades of pocket money on will all be in a box.

These technologies are becoming mainstream now – time to learn some new tricks.

(Thanks to Chris Lewis for the quote.)