If you’ve been an avid Google Play Music fan, we’re sorry to bring you sad, sad news. Google announced that it will kill off the music streaming platform and port all of its users to YouTube Music.
It makes sense though, why have two music streaming offerings, right? Google even detailed its new quick-transfer button inside YouTube Music for those who want to make the switch. But… but… what if I don’t want to? There are other options for music streaming, depending on your needs.
The easy route
The obvious, and easiest route to go is to give in to Google’s YouTube Music ploy. You won’t have to make a new account and lose your beautifully crafted algorithm of playlists. Just by porting all of your information to YouTube Music.
First, you’ll have to download the YouTube Music app on your phone (it works on both iOS and Android), and click the transfer button that’s located on the home screen of the app. The app should then upload your purchases, add songs and albums, playlists, and basically all your preferences from your Google Play Music profile.
The process could take a few seconds or up to a few days to complete, Google says, but once it’s done, your audio recommendations should appear in the YouTube Music app.
Some other routes
If the death of your favourite music streaming service is too much to handle, and you’ve got a vendetta against YouTube for showing you the wrong fail videos, there are other options. Very good options in fact, it just depends on what your music needs are. And what you can afford.
Here at Stuff we have an obvious favourite, that recently announced its premium family plan option in South Africa for just R100. But we’ll give y’all the benefit of a doubt and dive into some other options.
This one’s for all the audiophiles out there. Like, if you were born in the ’50s, you would have probs collected LPs because the radio quality was sub-par. Fair enough, check out Tidal if your ears can hear every spectrum of sound available, and don’t mind paying for it.
In the Premium HiFi tier (which costs R120 for a standard plan and R180 for the Family HiFi plan) , you’ll have access to millions of hi-res audio tracks, which are typically 24-bit/96kHz but do go up to 24-bit/192kHz. These audio files are called ‘Tidal Masters’, and the music files are encoded using MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) tech, which allows for more efficient packing of the hi-res data.
Okay, so obvs we all love Spotify, and for good reason. It doesn’t offer the excessive sound quality that audiophiles demand, but it has some of the best playlist features, algorithms and user interfaces in this list. Mind you, it does offer decent sound quality at 320Kbps, and it has a library of over 50 million songs.
These can be played on pretty much any device you own, thanks to intuitive iOS and Android apps and support in numerous smart TVs, and a lot of smart home kit. It costs R60 a month for one person and R100 for a premium family plan. What makes it awesome though, is its music discovery algorithms, which compile excellent weekly playlists tailored to your music tastes. And the more you listen, the more the playlists evolve.
If you’re not sure about this, Apple Music is ideal if you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem. It costsR60 a month or R90 for a family plan that allows for up to six users. There’s no high-quality tier like Tidal or Amazon Music, nor is there a free version like Spotify.
What makes Apple Music great, is its curated playlists and pretty relevant recommendations. If you’re an Apple user, this service is good enough to tempt you away from Spotify.
For a long time, Deezer was the go-to music streaming app in SA as it was one of the only options. Today it’s not the only option by far, but it still makes a great case to be your choice app for blasting beats into your ears.
With the exception of Tidal, Deezer is the only music streaming service that offers true lossless audio in SA. The premium tier costs R60 for standard and HiFi sound options, while the HiFi family plan was recently lowered to cost R90 per month, down from R120.
The Tencent-owned music app, Joox, came into SA in 2017, and has focused on bringing us as much local music love as possible.
Available as an app on mobile and desktop, the platform is a freemium service with a library of about 30 million songs that are free, some songs are only available for a premium, or “VIP” users. The premium tier can be paid weekly or monthly, the weekly charge is R30, while it’s just R60 monthly. So we’d recommend just going with the monthly option.