The Comprehensive Guide to Listening to Your Music – Aryaman Trivedi

To say that I am addicted to music would be quite an understatement. According to Spotify, I listened to 18,634 minutes of music last year. That’s 310 hours, or about 13 days.  Oh and I use four apps to listen to music, so this is only about 60% of it. Anyway, the important thing is, I’ve been messing around with music apps for a while now, so here’s the definitive guide to listening to your music.

The Apps

Here’s a list of the some of the most popular music apps.

  • Wynk Music
  • Jio Music
  • Hungama Music
  • Gaana
  • Saavn
  • Google Play Music
  • Spotify
  • Soundcloud

I personally use Google Play Music, but Saavn is probably your best bet if you’re a free user. That said, here’s an in-depth analysis of each of these apps.

(Note: These are not in any particular order.)

Wynk Music

Subscription:

    Unlimited Streams and downloads (with ads): Rs. 49/Month/Free for Airtel customers

    Premium: (Same as above without ads):Rs. 99/Rs. 49/month for Airtel customers.

Wynk is Airtel’s try at making a music app. It’s actually pretty good -unless you want to listen to English songs or are a non-Airtel free user.

Despite doing excellently in the Hindi song selection tests and scoring a whole 7/7, Wynk floundered when it came to any International songs less than mainstream – the library is basically non-existent.  Besides, as it turns out, if you’re a free non -Airtel user you can stream songs only a 100 times every 30 days, and these 100 streams include repetitions of the same song. Even if you’re only moderately serious about music, this is very, very low. Downloading songs is a paid feature as well.

That said, if you want to listen to your selection of Indian songs, Wynk is the best pick, with an (as mentioned above) excellent Indian library in a perfectly alright app, which can be a very good deal if you’re an Airtel customer.

To conclude, get Wynk if:

  • You’re mostly into Indian songs.
  • You’re an Airtel customer, and/or are ready to pay for music.

Skip it if:

  • You’re mostly into international (English, K -Pop or whatever) songs.
  • You’re not an Airtel customer and don’t want to pay.
  • Mainstream is for casuals

 

Jio Music

(Skip this if you’re not a Jio customer [Why though?])

Subscription:

Jio customers: Free

Non-Jio Customers: Good luck with that.

Jio Music is very similar to Wynk, in that unless you want to listen to Indian songs, you should probably look elsewhere. However, it definitely one-ups Wynk in one way-it’s completely free for the Jio customers in every way, so even if it’s not the best thing around, no harm in keeping it nevertheless.

  • Jio came out to be second best in its Indian song selection, and is almost equal to Wynk in its international song selection. However, its interface is prettier and the search function multiplicatively faster, which leads me to slightly prefer Jio over Wynk, but I still wouldn’t use it myself because I listen mostly to international.

The conclusion for Jio is more or less the same as Wynk.

Get Jio if:

  • You’re mostly into Indian songs.
  • You’re a Jio customer, because there’s nothing to lose.

 

Skip it if:

  • You’re mostly into international (English, K-Pop or whatever) songs and need the extra storage space.

Hungama Music

Subscription:

Unspecified number of streams and downloads(with ads): Free

    Hungama Pro (Unlimited everything with HD quality and no ads): Rs.99/Month

Probably the worst contender in this list. Yes, it has all the usual features for free, but both its Indian and international libraries are pathetic. The discover feature is cool though: you select a mood, and it plays new songs accordingly, but that still can’t help its poor library. Or the app itself–the interface is cluttered, and search results take forever to load. Honestly, the less said about this app, the better.

To conclude, get Hungama if:

  • You hate yourself.

 

Gaana

Subscription:

Unlimited Streams with ads: Free

    Unlimited everything in HD quality without ads: Rs.99/Month

Gaana is somewhere in the middle of the pack–both its Indian and International libraries are alright-neither poor, nor exceptional, so you could live with it. It has a great app though, with a night mode feature which I wish other developers would include in their app too.  The search results are quick to load, the UI easy to navigate, and the recommended songs accurate enough. So get Gaana if:

  • You casually listen to both Indian and International music.

Don’t get Gaana if:

  • If you’re in the habit of exploring lesser known subgenres (Mainstream and semi – mainstream is for casuals)

 

Saavn

Subscription:

Unlimited Streams (with ads): Free

    Unlimited everything in HD quality without ads: Rs.99/Month

One of the best streaming services around. It not only had all the Indian songs I looked for, but also most of the International ones. Once again, the app is very well-packaged, with a quick and rather intuitive UI. Search is quick, and the radio well curated-I found two songs I liked immediately after firing it up for the first time. The ‘Artist Only’ feature for the radio (which plays recommended songs from the artist you were currently listening to) is really cool.  Admittedly, the ads are really annoying placed, but you can live with that. Or just pay for the app.

Get Saavn if:

  • You listen to both Indian and international music
  • You indulge in lesser known subgenres often

Don’t get Saavn if:

  • You’re hippie and have a very particularly hard-to-satisfy music taste.

 

Google Play Music

Subscription:

Free: lol

Unlimited everything in HD quality without ads: (3 month free trial, and then Rs.99/Month)

This is the streaming service of my choice, so I’ll try to justify my preference (bias) in the next paragraph or so.

Play Music has an excellent library, for both Indian and international music. The international library especially is best in class, with basically all the songs you could want. The app isn’t the most intuitive thing in the world, admittedly, but it works very well when you figure it out after two minutes of exploring (pro tip: open the ‘currently playing’ pane up and select the ‘add to library option’ in the 3-dot menu on the top right. This song can now be accessed in the ‘Last Added’ playlist). Searching is quick, and the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ radio is excellent (it uses Google’s AI research to map out your music taste. Awesome.) It also has a handy sleep timer in the settings, so you nod off while listening to music. Oh, and of course, it’s connected to Google’s ecosystem of apps, so you can just tell Google Assistant to play your playlist, or a particular song. I don’t regret this decision.

To conclude, get Google Play Music if:

  • You’re ready to pay for the excellent library.
  • Listening to obscure artists and genres is your daily cup of tea, but so is mainstream.
  • You’re heavily invested in the Google Ecosystem.
  • Did I mention that it comes pre-installed on most android phones?

Don’t get Play Music if:

  • You don’t plan to pay for music and/or dislike me.
  • You’re already using Spotify and don’t feel the need to download songs.

SoundCloud

Subscription:

    Free: Unlimited streams, no ads.

SoundCloud is the black sheep here. It features almost exclusively international music, so if you’re into Indian, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. It also has a terrible mainstream library. So why use SoundCloud? Because it’s a user sourced service, that is, users can upload their own music here. You’ll find all kinds of Indie songs here from lesser known artists-and if you’re a singer, producer, or cover artist, you can become one of them too. SoundCloud is the service to use if:

  • you’re the hippie lord who wouldn’t listen to mainstream even if it meant death,
  • or want to expose your musical talent to the world.

Don’t get it if:

  • “Sorry, what’s Indie?” (It’s the antonym of mainstream, more or less)
  • You don’t like Indie and listen only to mainstream.
  • You listen to Indian music.

Spotify

Subscription:

Unlimited streaming with ads and no skipping: Free but complex.

Unlimited streaming without ads and skipping: Free but dangerous and complex (and not exactly legal.

If SoundCloud was the black sheep, Spotify is multi-coloured and shoots flames. It’s not technically available in India yet, so you’ll have to go through a complicated procedure involving VPNs and APK hosting websites to install it. Even after that, it hardly has any Indian songs, and you can’t download, or even skip the songs in its excellent International library. Spotify simply isn’t for the casual, or even moderately proficient Android user. You need to be a connoisseur of technology if you intend to use Spotify, and in case you are, you can probably figure out the process yourself.

Or you could ask someone who might know about the matter. *cough* Me *cough*

Get Spotify if:

  • You’re a power user.
  • Listen to only International songs and often to obscure artists and genres.

 

Don’t get it if:

  • You listen to Indian music.
  • Are a casual/Semi proficient Android user.

 

Hopefully, you’d have figured out by now that Play Music and Saavn are the ones you should be going for. Or maybe you skipped to the conclusion, in which case, there you go. These will provide for all your music needs and more, and if there are any apps worth paying for, these are definitely the top contenders. Music is always worth paying for.

 

Happy listening!

 

 

Loading Likes...

2 Comments

Leave a Reply