I’m a longtime Pandora subscriber. My friend uses Spotify and thinks I should, too.
Both services have free and paid accounts. Free users get ads. Paid users don’t have to endure ads, and the stream quality is better.
The two services do differ. Let’s look at the paid versions.
Pandora has a library of about a million songs. You begin by creating a radio station from a song or an artist, and Pandora will begin playing songs based on your selection.
You never know what song or artist will play next on your station, but you can be sure Pandora will do its best to make sure the songs and artists are ones it thinks go well with your original selection.
Because it’s not an “on-demand” service, you can’t ask Pandora to play just the Rolling Stones. You can create a station based on the Stones, but you’ll also get the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and others.
You also can’t rewind or replay songs. You can skip up to six songs per station per hour.
You can give a thumbs up or down to specific songs, and Pandora will learn your likes and dislikes to tailor the station to your tastes.
You can also add artists or songs to the listening criteria of a station anytime after you’ve created it.
Pandora also has premade, genre-specific channels all ready to go. In the mood for Broadway show tunes or swinging Christmas music? There are stations for that.
Pandora’s monthly fee is $4.99.
Spotify, $9.99 per month, is an on-demand service.
If you’re in the mood to hear Pink Floyd all afternoon or you want to listen to the soundtrack to Star Wars over and over, Spotify is for you.
Want to make a playlist with only girl singers? No problem.
You can pick and choose specific songs and artists on Spotify, which has a library of more than 20 million songs.
Call up an artist’s page on Spotify, start playing a song from the list, hit the shuffle button and you can listen to that artist all day.
You can think of Spotify as your personal music collection. When you find an album you like, you can add it to “your music” with one click. Your music is also available to download for offline listening if you’re a subscriber.
There is also a radio station feature much like Pandora’s, including pre-loaded genre stations.
Spotify adds new music every week. When Kendrick Lamar’s album was released early a few weeks ago, Spotify had it the same day.
None of the streaming services has all the music. Taylor Swift removed her music from Spotify, and the Beatles are only on iTunes, but I’m pretty happy with the Spotify selection.
Right now, Spotify has a trial subscription offer of three months for $1.
This is a no-brainer — I signed up for the trial. I figure I get the whole summer to explore Spotify and in the few days I’ve been listening this week, I’m thinking I just might be a long-term Spotify customer.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2015 The Dallas Morning News
Visit The Dallas Morning News at www.dallasnews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.