Categories: Blog

Laurence Kellett

Cats, coffee, bikes, boards, martial arts and modesty. Question Everything .

51 Comments

HD · February 20, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Nice review but I hate to say that both of these easy to use services are unavailable in my country.

    fleff · February 22, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    Wow, where do you live? South Pole? Sorry, I’m not trying to be rude. Maybe you will be able to subscribe to Dr Dre-iTunes-streaming soon?
    Or try Wimp, which is a great norwegian service.

John Richard · February 20, 2015 at 1:39 pm

One of the most critical features of Google Play Music’s service that Spotify doesn’t have (and what keeps many with google over other services) is the ability to upload 20,000 songs to your account. This is an incredible way to keep a full library when the service does not offer tracks from a particular artist you enjoy.

    Laurence Kellett · February 20, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    Good point, John. Thank you. I never bothered to upload my own music to the service, and so completely forgot about that when I was writing this.

      Anton Gully · June 26, 2015 at 6:03 am

      I wonder if the ability for users to upload their own music is part of the reason why the social side of GPM is so limited. I mean… some guy has a share going of what he’s playing and there’s a bunch of bootleg stuff on there, instantly the music companies are accusing Google of encouraging piracy – I mean they already are but it would be just another stick to beat them with.

      Oh, really helpful article BTW. I went to see which speakers are available with the GPM casting support and it’s still kinda stark. I’m really after something like Amazon’s Echo with voice recognition and multi-speaker, multi-room support. Maybe next year… which will give me time to win the lottery.

        Laurence Kellett · June 26, 2015 at 6:24 am

        I have never though of this side of it at all, but you put forward a really good point!

        Yeah, I’m always on the lookout for Cast support speakers – so far non of them are very low-end. Considering how cheap a Chromecast is, I expect some budget-deals to be honest.

    Victor Bergsten · February 20, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I agree!! However, in my opinion this is also Google Play Music’s most buggy feature.
    The recognition is often very bad, and I end up having to manually edit all album names etc. after the uploads finish.
    Also, for some reason the “drag and drop” upload often gives very little information on upload progress and such.

    Maurice · February 20, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    This! It’s been a key part of why I chose Google Music.
    Knowing that if necessary I can cancel my subscription for a period, I can still stream my personal music collection.
    The Radio feature is a fantastic reason to get the subscription.

otooo · February 20, 2015 at 1:42 pm

The lack of chromecast support isn’t spotify’s fault. Basically, they don’t want to deal with google restriction on chromecast platform (read bad music experience).
Anyway, spotify connect is a feature you can’t miss, if you are a music addict.

    Laurence Kellett · February 20, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    I didn’t intend to throw any blame around. Whatever the reasoning for it, It was a feature I wanted, but couldn’t get, so added towards the reasons to switch to GPM.

    As for the Spotify connect feature, I searched around for some speaker with compatibility, but found that they were either too expensive for me, or they were cheap but ONLY compatible with Spotify connect, which isn’t what I wanted in a speaker.

    Cheers for the clarification about the Chromecast issue!

    Jan Matz · February 20, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    What do you mean by bad music experience on Chromecast ? Plug it into the HDMI port of an AV Receiver and you will get, depending on your equipment, a much better experience than any Sonos or other Spotify speaker could give you.

      Laurence Kellett · February 20, 2015 at 3:55 pm

      I don’t want to be fiddling around with wires when the functionality is there to use Connect, Chromecasts or Bluetooth to play music, if I’m bluntly honest.

        Jan Matz · February 20, 2015 at 8:16 pm

        Sorry. Didn’t get that. You don’t have to fiddle around.
        The Receiver is connected to my TV and to my BlueRay. So I can use it for music and all other stuff chromecast offers, use it for bluerays and for the TV. Great surround sound with mighty basses plus great Music experience.
        Fiddling around with cables was once and no changes since then.
        Of course it is not that mobile as Sonos but for mobility I can take some Bluetooth box.

      otooo · February 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

      It’s not a limit, but:
      1) very poor computational power
      2) Impossible to run native code

      ..and other no technical issue 🙂

    ArchangelRenzoku · February 21, 2015 at 7:22 am

    Also note there is a third-party app called Spoticast that has the functionality you require.

George · February 20, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Nice review. I’m using Google Music since beta times and I’m very happy with it. I couldn’t care less for any of your Spotify pros. I don’t need social features in my music service and the Google Music radio works better then any friend of my could. So for me Google Music is the perfect fit.

    Laurence Kellett · February 20, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    It’s all about personal choice, I suppose. Whatever works for you, works for you. I’m glad you’re content with GPM 🙂

Siema · February 20, 2015 at 2:14 pm

You might have missed the biggest issue with GPM (at least) I have encountered during each of my 3 attempts at switching: catalogue size. GPM’s music selection is miniscule compared to Spotify, especially if you count lesser bands. Every time I tried to move my Spotify playlists I discovered that about 1/3 of tracks doesn’t exist on GPM. And no, upload is not a solution here. You can’t share your uploaded tracks to friends. Heck, you can’t even share GPM tracks to non-GPM users. To listen to shared track, you have to register to GPM along with entering payment details. What sane person would enter their card details anywhere only to listen to one track their bud shared?
Somehow, Spotify CAN allow free playback, even to unregistered users and Google, with their ridiculously massive cash backend, can’t?

    Laurence Kellett · February 20, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I would have to politely disagree with you on the music selection point. When I switched, I individually re-created my two favourite playlists (Both with around 500 tracks in) and saw at most 2 or 3 songs that I couldn’t find on GPM. Now, this could be because I have reasonably mainstream music taste, although I wouldn’t say I do.

    The point about not being able to play just one song – I can see how that might be a problem, but if I was only sharing one songs, I’d be much more inclined to use a service like Youtube or Soundcloud anyway.

      Siema · February 20, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      Most of my playlist is on the rock/metal side of music, maybe that’s why.

      As for sharing: it’s a reasonable solution, I’ll give you that. However on mobile it would kinda kill the idea of one-tap share.

      patt · February 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      I agree with him the only reason I prefer Spotify is because of bigger music selection,before I switched to spotify I used play music for about 1.5 mo.
      I use Electronic Dance Music while Play Music has a lot of it Spotify has so much more.

kim · February 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I have used Google Play Music for years for free (uploading my iTunes catalog). So it was natural for me to sign up for the paid version. If for nothing else, because they offered 20% discount to existing users. I have used paid versions of Deezer, Rdio and Wimp before, but only the free version of Spotify. I am perfectly happy, and do not want to change. Should I change, it would be for Deezer that comes second for me.

    Laurence Kellett · February 20, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    Interesting. I can’t say I’ve ever checked out Deezer. It’s something I’ve always sidelined along with Rdio and Pandora. I’ll take your comment as a recommendation and check it out.

Jan Matz · February 20, 2015 at 3:11 pm

The main reason I left Spotify about 2 years ago was the frequent loss of offline music, which is totally annoying when your on a commute or anywhere else without proper internet connection.
Sad to hear Spotify didn’t fix this yet.
Rdio was pretty good only switched to Google because of the discount and haven’t had any problems with it so far. Probably since one year or so.

Olav Rønnestad Birkeland · February 20, 2015 at 3:34 pm

One more thing to consider:
Spotify 320kbps Vorbis beats Google Play Music 320kbps MP3
I actually use 160kbps Vorbis when streaming outside the house, and there is no problem. I can hardly ABX Vorbis at 160kbps. Mp3 on the other hand.
So, in my opinion, Spotify offers both higher quality music, and more saving of bandwidth. Can you even choose quality in google music?

    Laurence Kellett · February 20, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    In terms of poor bandwidth streaming, I team with Google. Spotify’s desktop app loaded the entire song and played it straight through, regardless of inter (I love this!). However, after buying a chromebook, which doesn’t support desktop apps, I have to use the online streaming service. Spotify’s is terrible with poor connection, and is infuriatingly stop-start. GPM is good, even with crappy bandwidth.

    GĂĽnther Pirker · February 21, 2015 at 11:04 am

    Yeah you can choose quality and therefore bandwidth used in the google music android app.

Leonardo Gandini · February 20, 2015 at 4:04 pm

First day Google Play music user! It’s way more flexible aka I can upload every mp3 I can imagine!!

Irish · February 20, 2015 at 5:07 pm

You also cant forget the fact that multiple users can use the same google music account at the exact same time (2 devices playing music from one account at same time) while that is not the possible with spotify

Mukul · February 20, 2015 at 5:09 pm

Yea google music is nice. But I found spotify`s library to be more exhaustive. Specially if you listen to world music

Mr. Bill · February 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm

Google music for me over spotify subscription because:

Chromecast support.
You tube music key – offline save and listen with screen off. And you tube is amazing for live stuff.
music upload/match – i did it once and that’s it. Worked fine. I never buy/rip CDs anymore.
you can still always use spotify free tier (with ads)
no noticiable difference in music availablity – in fact more, because artists like taylor swift pull from spotifiy due to the free tier. Then if neither has it, you tube always does.

OF · February 20, 2015 at 6:33 pm

I tried both for two months. as much as I wanted to love GPM, it just wouldn’t let me. First, the app is crazy buggy. It’s constantly loading assets and scrolls like ass. my biggest gripe with it is the playback. whether I have a song downloaded onto my my device or streaming, it buffers. Skipping tracks? Buffering. Spotify never does this. Spotify plays just like a music player that just plays local files. No buffering, no delays, even when skipping forward in a song. My only beef with Spotify is that it doesn’t recognize songs I have stored on my phone.

    gmaninvan · February 22, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    Turn on cache during playback on google play music. Solved

      OF · February 22, 2015 at 10:51 pm

      Cache has always been on. Unsolved.

Ivo · February 20, 2015 at 8:19 pm

I tried switching from Spotify to GPM but I can’t bear how slow it is. I just measured it. When press play on random not downloaded song on Google it takes about 5 seconds to start playing. On Spotify takes about 1 second on the same song. Do you have the same experiance or it’s just me?

spajdo · February 20, 2015 at 9:41 pm

For offline listening I use play music (purchased albums) and for online I use spotify (free account)

ErZillio · February 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Good comparison! I love Spotify (premium since 8 months) but I don’t have problem with app crash or lost playlist. All my music is on the external SD and works fine! I use always a bluetooth receiver (Sony mw600). Spotify is super to discover new music!!

ArchangelRenzoku · February 21, 2015 at 7:30 am

I feel like the only one who cares that Spotify has crossfading, gapless playback, and support for 3rd party equalizers.

I loved GPM as it was a way to connect my music and Google World together, but I just feel like I’m still getting more bang for the buck on Spotify.

Not to mention the *collaborative * playlists feature. I share my playlists with my roommates and we play it on anyone’s device when we have a party.

There is a 3rd-party app out there called Spoticast that will help with your Chromecast woes, but it has its bugs right now (depending on your handset) and also doesn’t support the crossfade/gapless function just yet. In fact, you’ll have to turn it off in the app to get normal playback working correctly. But… In addition, you could just cast your screen using the Chromecast app and play Spotify. Works just as well with a small drop in audio quality. Turn it up and you probably won’t notice.

jabba · February 21, 2015 at 11:49 am

I have been using and advocating Spotify for a number of years now, but using less and less and finding even less reasons to recommend to friends. Even now when I got a full year free through my mobile provider, I prefer using Deezer and Google Play Music. Spotify’s success is going to be its downfall. They are becoming more and more a fully locked platform and that surprises me because there are so many other cool options out there and devices where their music could be enjoyed. For a start, Spotify does not support saving to SD card on Android, that is a biggie for me, with Deezer and Google Play Music, I can fully utilise my 64GB microSD. No Chromecast was already mentioned, but my concern is that they already said that they won’t be supporting Audio Cast, which will be the next big thing. Another minus for me is they manage to have the worst and featureless app on Sonos platform. So, as soon as my subscription is over, I will be leaving Spotify for good. I like Google Play Music a lot, but with the announcement of Deezer Elite outside of US, I will probably be 90% Deezer and 10% GPM (for my uploads).

Tracy Holland · February 22, 2015 at 3:56 am

Try spoticast from the google play store. It allows chromecast streaming of your spotify music.

Leon Overfield · February 22, 2015 at 10:19 am

GPM is the greatest IMO. I only use the free version and it does everything I need. My 2c

gpzbc · February 22, 2015 at 5:22 pm

I hate this dilemma. I think I prefer Spotify’s music discovery and social features, but the mobile app for GPM is so much better. And I loathe the fact that Spottily doesn’t support Chromecast. I use GPM with Chormecast all of the time. On the other hand, I hate the fact that GPM doesn’t have a proper desktop program. I don’t want to have to open up a web browser to listen to my music. I honestly can’t decide which one I like better. Ugh.

Matthew K · April 28, 2015 at 6:45 pm

Also the fact that you can get a student discount with Spotify ($5 vs the $10 from Google Play Music/month) is a huge deal saver.

SilenceKillsDesign · April 29, 2015 at 2:55 pm

I have to say, you nailed this one. I am as equally undecided as I was before reading this but, having used both services, your pro/con list is as spot on as it gets. I do like the fact that Google Play will automatically add new songs from specified folders on your computer—not sure if Spotify offers a similar feature or not.

Troy Johnson · May 6, 2015 at 8:36 pm

i have used both, and paid for both, spotify looks so much better and the variety of music is so much better, but if play music doesn’t have a song you can download it and it in to your library. but my biggest reason for choosing play music is that when you have a queue you can rearrange all the songs in the queue not just the ones you added, you can also remove any songs you wish where as you can only do it with added ones on spotify. you also get the option to play the song next or add it to the bottom of the queue on play music. i can also say to my htc one m8 “ok google play (the name of there song you wanna play, even if it isn’t in your library) and it will play it

Dan · May 13, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Google Play is optimal for voice-activated Android devices. Integration with Google Now allows me to call up a track, album or playlist without having to fiddle with the touchscreen, which is a great feature to have when driving. The library storage feature is nice, although I notice that GPM will call up a cover version of a song when I have the original sitting in my library (it only access the user’s library if it doesn’t have the requested track on file, at least through the voice interface). Also, I listen to a lot of comedy albums and old-time radio shows, and I find that the selection between the two services can vary. Some collections available on Spotify are not available on GPM, and vice-versa. Still, it’s not enough of a difference to dish out the cash for both services. The social aspect of Spotify is irrelevant to me since I have no interest in sharing what I listen to. Both have an easy-to-navigate interface, and I’ve experienced no streaming or download problems with either. In the end, I prefer GPM just because it’s the most Android-friendly app, and being that it’s all part of Google, I’m sure it’s designed that way.

    Laurence Kellett · May 31, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    I agree. GPM works perfectly on my android device, Chromebook and Moto360. All of which need to sync together, work well with voice search and tie into Google Now.

    srini1990 · June 1, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    You can add “On Spotify” and Google Voice will pick it up.

    For example the OK Google App, I just say ‘Play California Love by 2Pac on Spotify” it will search within my offline tracks, if Spotify is in Offline Mode.

Linda Miller · May 31, 2015 at 6:45 pm

I’m relatively new to streaming and Spotify Premium. Have loved it so far and want to be loyal – and have a dislike of the behemoth Google. However, you can’t use the Spotify radio / genre feature on the Sonos app / speakers, which I’ve just bought into. Why???? Have looked at the various on-line forums, and quite a few people have pleaded with Spotify to get this sorted, and in the meantime have recommended GooglePlayMusic. So I’m now a day into 30 days free trial.? It will be one or the other in a month. Heart wants to stay with Spotify but need genre/radio streaming function on Sonos. Thanks Laurence for the comparison. So helpful.

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