Groove Music has gone bye-bye; what should you use now?
With the announcement that Groove Music is shutting its doors at the end of the year, many faithful subscribers are wondering where now to turn for a great streaming music experience on Windows 10. Here are the best alternatives to Groove so that you can get back to jamming.
To make things easier for current Groove users, Microsoft has partnered with Spotify. You’ll be able to import your existing Groove playlists and collection into Spotify, and many users might be able to take advantage of two months of free Spotify Premium.
You can continue to use Spotify for free, but you’ll have to put up with ads, and you’ll only be able to play pre-determined mixes. If you do opt for Spotify Premium, which costs about $10 per month for one person, you won’t hear any ads, you can play any track, and you can listen offline. A student plan for $5 per month and a family plan for $15 per month (up to five people) are also available. Apps are available for desktop, mobile, and Xbox, but they are separate apps that each require a download.
See at Microsoft Store | Windows 10
See at Microsoft Store | Windows 10 Mobile
See at Microsoft Store | Xbox
While it’s currently only available for U.S. customers, Pandora has about 30 million songs that are curated by 80 musicologists to deliver a listening experience that closely suits your interests. A free version of Pandora is readily available in which you can listen to ad-supported radio, but there are also paid plans. Pandora Plus costs about $5 per month for a single user, and it’s basically personalized radio without any ads. You can choose up to four stations to keep for offline listening, and you can skip around and replay any songs you want.
Pandora Premium, which costs about $10 per month, gets you a full gamut of features, including access to the entire music library, the ability to create playlists, offline listening, and no ads. To test out its service, Pandora offers a 30-day trial for Plus, and a 60-day trial for Premium. Best part? The UWP app works with Xbox, desktop, and mobile.
See at Microsoft Store
Audiophiles out there will no doubt love Tidal’s high-fidelity model, which delivers music in an uncompressed format; something that seems to be disappearing in the streaming age. A HiFi subscription costs about $20 per month for a single user, plus there’s a $30 family plan for five users, and there’s a $10 student plan.
If you don’t need HiFi and just want access to nearly 50 million songs and 175,000 videos, a Premium plan costs about $10 per month, with family and student plans also available. A 30-day trial is available for all plans, so you can get a good idea whether or not Tidal is for you.
As far as using Tidal on your Windows 10 devices, there is a desktop app available for download from the Tidal website, but you’ll no doubt be more interested in the unofficial UWP app for Xbox, mobile, and desktop.
See at Microsoft Store
Now that iTunes is coming to Microsoft Store, Windows users will easily be able to take advantage of Apple Music. You can get a three-month free trial to see whether or not it’s for you, over which time you’ll no doubt be enticed by the 40-million-song library. If you do decide to stick around, choose from a $5 monthly student plan, a $10 monthly individual plan, or a $15 monthly family plan, which provides music for up to six people.
Apple Music allows you to add 25,000 of your own songs to your music library for streaming at a later time, discover new music with Beats 1 radio, and share music with your friends. If you’re thinking about moving to an iPhone from Windows 10 Mobile, this might just be your best choice.
See at Apple
Google Play Music
Much like Apple Music is usually an iPhone user’s top choice, Google Play Music is quite attractive for Android users. It boasts a collection of 40 million songs, plus you can add up to 50,000 of your own songs to the service for later streaming. There are radio stations and podcasts in the free version of the service, but paid plans offer a lot more, including unlimited playlists, mixes, and sharing.
An individual plan with all the bells and whistles costs about $10 per month, plus there’s a family plan for six people for about $15 per month. If you’d like to test out the service, a 30-day free trial is available.
An unofficial Windows 10 app for desktop and mobile, called gPlayer, is available for about $10, plus there are a few other options in the Microsoft Store.
See at Microsoft Store
Check out these links for more info on streaming your music in the Windows ecosystem.
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