Google is definitely shutting down Google Play Music in 2020 with YouTube Music as its successor. The move makes sense. After all, YouTube is the most popular music on demand site in the world. Additionally, YouTube Music is getting some Google Play Music features, like the ability to upload your music for streaming at a later time.
However, this move is the last straw for some people who want an alternative other than YouTube Music. The good news is that you have a lot of options. There is also some bad news. YouTube is the most popular music streaming site in the world for a reason. It has it all, including a lot of music that you can't find on traditional music streaming sites. It's easily accessible, and you don't even need an account on the website to stream on demand.
Additionally, the Google Play Music membership also works as a YouTube Premium membership, making it the best double punch in the history of audio and video streaming. There is no music streaming service with these features. Therefore, you will never find a 100% perfect YouTube Music alternative. Some services come close, though. Here are the best alternatives to YouTube Music and Google Play Music.
The best alternatives to Google Play Music and YouTube Music
Apple Music is the closest approximation to Google Play Music right now. It has a huge library of over 60 million songs, the ability to listen to both on-demand content and radio stations, and the ability to upload up to 100.000 songs of your music. The process for the auto-load feature is a little tricky unless you have a Mac, but it's still there. Apple hasn't fixed all the app bugs on Android yet and that's a shame. However, it has almost all of the same features as Google Play Music.
Plex is an excellent solution for people who don't want to lose the ability to listen to their music. It doesn't have a streaming service like Google Play Music, but you can basically make your own streaming service. Set up Plex on your computer and point it to your music folder, then get the app and stream your music straight to your phone. To accomplish this, you have to pay $ 4,99 for the app, and the $ 4,99 / month Plex Pass adds extra features and functionality. Plex now also has a dedicated music app if you just want to use it for music.
Spotify is one of the obvious choices when quitting YouTube Music or Google Play Music. It is the largest music streaming app. You can also listen to music on demand for free (with ads), listen to radio stations, and the service also includes podcasts now. Desktop apps are solid like all mobile apps. You can even use it in many newer cars without any further nonsense as long as your car has a data connection. Either way, it fills the free void of music on demand (with ads), but YouTube's hilarious collection of underground and independent artists is missing.
SoundCloud is a surprisingly decent option for a YouTube Music replacement. It has the traditional streaming service if you want it for $ 9,99 per month. However, SoundCloud also has a huge collection of music from independent, small and underground artists. In fact, it's the only streaming service that comes close to YouTube's huge selection. The app itself works well and you can find all kinds of weird things in there, including royalty-free music and podcasts. You can listen to some content with the free version, but if you want popular music, you have to pay for it.
One of the benefits of uploading your music was quality control. Google Play Music allows you to upload high quality music and convert it to 3kbps MP320. It's not hi-fi, but it's better than many streaming services. It's no better than TIDAL, however, as TIDAL allows for true hi-fi listening. The app allows you to download music for offline listening, create playlists, listen to existing playlists, and stream music to 16-bit, 44,1kHz FLAC or 24-bit, 96kHz MQA. It doesn't get any better, although Deezer's hi-fi option comes close. You can't upload your own music, but it does everything right.
Virtually any other streaming service
A proper alternative to Google Play Music or YouTube Music has the specific features that make those services good. If you don't need or use those extra features, you can basically switch to any other streaming app and be perfectly fine. There are a few applications, including Pandora, Deezer, iHeartRadio, and others. Many people are associated with the name of Google Play Music, but not its characteristics. If you can go further, you can use just about anything.
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