Goodbye Spotify...

It's time to end a long lasting relationship.

Around 11 years ago, I discovered a music streaming service called Spotify. At the time, Spotify wasn't as popular as it is today and not too many people had heard of it. When I initially installed the app on my iPhone 4, I was amazed at the fact that I could search for a song and instantly play it - albeit the catalogue at the time was fairly small and ads would play pretty much after every song. This didn't stop me from using the service every single day from that day forward. Over time I eventually upgraded to the premium plan as I was honestly getting tired of all of the intrusive advertising that was popping up on the screen and after every other song. I didn't mind paying with my hard earned "pocket money" as I knew that some of this money would go back directly to the artists I enjoyed listen to. Fast-forward to 2022 and Spotify pretty much knows everything about my music tastes. I've got hundreds of playlists and thousands of liked songs spanning back a decade. The fact that Spotify's powerful algorithms knew exactly what music to suggest to me next, it kept me hooked to the service.

"You've got to check out Deezer"

Me and a friend were casually talking about music over a call on Discord one day, and she told me that she had been using a streaming service called Deezer for a while. She kept telling me that I should check out the service. I was wanting to try out different music streaming services anyway because I had read numerous articles saying that Spotify does not adequately pay artists for the amount of streams they receive.

I went on to sign up for Deezer. Luckily for me, the music service had a promotion where you get 3 months for free. I signed up and gave the music service a go.

What I liked about Deezer:

  • Deezer has better sound quality than Spotify.

Deezer's premium plan in the UK includes Hi-Fi lossless audio with the plan, whereas Spotify only has HQ for their premium plan. When I turned the Hi-Fi setting on in Deezer and played some of the songs I regularly listen to on Spotify, I was amazed at how clear and crisp the audio is compared to Spotify. It's literally a night and day difference. I don't think there's going back to Spotify's HQ sound...

  • Deezer's flow feature rocks

One of the best features that Deezer has is it's endless "flow" playlist. It will play songs that you listen to regularly and add new songs that you've never heard before, which Deezer thinks you'll like. You can also select different flow moods like motivation, party, melancholy and more. Depending on the mood you select, Deezer will play songs matching that mood.

What I dislike about Deezer:

  • Inconsistencies with the desktop/web application

The web and desktop app of Deezer works pretty well. It has a clean interface, albeit not as good as Spotify's - but it gets the job done. The main issue I have with these apps is that the web app has a cast option so you can connect to different speakers but the desktop app doesn't. It's really strange. Deezer's official response to this is:

Google no longer supports Chromecast setup using a computer. You’ll need to use a mobile device to set up Chromecast

Ugh. Why...

The great thing about Spotify is their connect feature, so why doesn't Deezer do something similar? Well apparently this is actually a highly requested feature in the Deezer community forums and Deezer have said they are working on such a feature. The thing is, it's been nearly 3 years since it was suggested on the forums, and there's no sign of any updates or progress on this highly requested feature.

  • Bugs with mobile application

Deezer's mobile app can sometimes bug out and crash. It happened a lot to me, especially when trying to use the flow feature. I'm sure Deezer will eventually fix this, but it hindered my listening experience.

So after a few months of tested Deezer, I came to the conclusion that the service was just not for me. The main reason being the web and desktop app.

Testing TIDAL

After trying Deezer, I was curious to try out other music streaming services and moved to TIDAL to see what it is like. It offers the same Hi-Fi lossless audio as Deezer, but for a cheaper price.

What I like about TIDAL:

  • TIDAL application UI

The fist thing I noticed when I downloaded TIDAL is that their UI looks fairly similar to Spotify - both on their mobile, web and desktop apps. This is definitely important for me I like the layout Spotify has.

  • Sound quality is superb

After playing all my favourite songs on the service, I can say I have very happy with the sound quality. It's crisp and clear, just like Deezer. In fact, I would say it sounds even better than Deezer with certain songs. This is subjective of course - and it depends on your speaker set up.

What I dislike about TIDAL:

  • Search needs improving

My one major complaint about TIDAL is the search function within the app. Unless you specifically spell a song name exactly as it was meant to be spelled, the song will not show up in the search bar most of the time. Spotify and Deezer have better search because you can type part of a song name and pretty much every time the song you want to listen to will appear.

What I've picked...

The service I have decided to stick with is TIDAL. The sound quality is so much better than Spotify. Again, it's literally night and day difference. This is the main reason I am sticking with this service. TIDAL also has a connect feature that is very similar to Spotify, so I can easily connect to different speakers from the mobile, web and desktop app. The price of TIDAL is also exactly the same as Spotify (in the UK), so I am getting Hi-Fi lossless audio with no extra charge.

TIDAL also pay artists significantly more in royalties compared to Spotify per stream. It's good to know more of my subscription money is going to the artists I love to listen to.

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