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Music streaming service reviews

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Last updated: 24 January 2019


Checked for accuracy by our qualified fact-checkers and verifiers. Find out more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Online music streaming for computers and smartphones has made many CD collections obsolete. These services are a music lover's dream, putting millions of songs in your pocket or on your PC. There are seven services operating in Australia right now including Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal. But while they all seem similar on the surface, there are a handful of little differences that will influence your streaming selection:

  • New to the concept of music streaming? Check out our buying guide to learn how it works.
  • There are a number of offer TV streaming companies that offer a similar service on the same devices (computer, smartphone, games console etc).
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We review seven popular music streaming services on computer and mobile platforms. Our detailed test reveals which services:

  • offer the best sound quality
  • consume the least data on mobile platforms
  • are the easiest to use on desktop and mobile.
  • support a broad range of additional audio devices.

Our interactive comparison tool also helps you find which services have explicit content filters, family-friendly settings, videos and offline access. Our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Per month. Standard/default subscription. All services on test include a free trial period.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 12 and 24

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    Audio quality score

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    Assessed on PC using each service’s default (non hi-fi) setting, by a panel of experts. Automatic quality adjustment was used when services did not offer custom quality settings.

    enter value/s in increments of i between 67 and 75

    Ease of use score

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    Assesses general layout, search tools, adding content to your library, genre browsing, playlist creation, offline mode and sharing on desktop (40%) and mobile (60%).

    enter value/s in increments of i between 70 and 84

    Included in this review

    Members-only access
    • Recommended
    • Overall score
    • Ease of use score
    • Audio quality score
    • Data consumption standard auto quality
    • Data consumption high quality
    • Good points
    • Bad points
    • Brand
    • Status
    • Model
    • Price
    • Free version
    • Windows
    • OS X
    • Web browser-based
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Other platforms
    • Quality settings Wi-Fi
    • Quality settings mobile data
    • Hi-fi grade audio
    • Offline mode desktop
    • Offline mode mobile
    • Explicit content filter
    • Child-friendly mode
    • Videos
    • Family subscription plan
    • Upload your own music
    • Import iTunes playlists
    • Simultaneous devices


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