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A guide to music streaming

What is music streaming?

Music streaming enables you to play a song instantly without having to make a purchase or sacrifice storage space on your personal device of choice.

When you hit play, the streaming service begins downloading small blocks of data to progressively build the song, so that you can listen to it at the very moment it’s being downloaded.

Why choose streaming?

●      Try before you buy: if you’ve used iTunes or other online music stores, curiosity or desire to make a purchase has probably lead you to stream the sample. 

●      You can access the apps and music for free (and it’s legal). 

●      Create the ultimate virtual mixed tape: streaming services allow you to compile all of your favourite songs into playlists to suit any mood or activity.  

●      Explore new music: streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music have a library of millions of songs for you to rummage through. But don’t worry, they make it easier for you by suggesting songs based on what you already listen to.

Something is impeding my stream!

●      The quality of your stream is dependent on your internet access, speed and data allowance, and can drop out intermittently if one of   these things is insufficient.

●      Restricted access: most apps will limit the functionality of their apps by capping the number of times you can skip, or will play ads unless you subscribe to their premium version. 

●      Because the songs aren’t stored on your device, you essentially have to download them every time you want to play them.

●      While many music libraries on these stores are vast, not all music is available to these services.

Which stream should I take?

Signing up to a streaming service is easy and only requires a username, email address and password for you to get started. But which one do you choose?

There are really only two main services in Australia so here’s what you need to know.

Spotify – Spotify is by far the biggest streaming service out there, the most user-friendly and has a free app available for all devices.

Apple Music – one for the Apple devotees. It’s still very easy to use and can be integrated with the rest of your Apple products. However, it does incur a fee of $11.99 a month.