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How to Manage Your Spotify Playlists: 10 Tips and Tricks

Playlists are a core component of Spotify. Not only does the popular music streaming service have curated collections of songs to suit specific genres and moods, but you can also make as many of your own playlists as you like.

So, here are some tips to help you manage your Spotify playlists. Note that most of these tips are for Spotify’s desktop apps. But once you put them into practice there, you can enjoy the same benefits on your smartphone too.

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1. How to Select Multiple Songs on Spotify

Spotify Multiple Song Select

You probably know that you can click and drag a song in a playlist to move it, or press Delete to remove a highlighted song. However, there may be times when you want to remove many songs from a playlist. It’s also convenient to move them around a playlist in batches.

To accomplish this, hold down Ctrl (or Cmd on a Mac) to select multiple songs. Then, drag and drop them to move them to another playlist or around in the current playlist. To delete all of the selected songs, right-click on one of the chosen tracks and click Remove from this Playlist (or hit the Delete key).

You can also easily select several songs listed consecutively in a playlist. Click the first one, then hold down Shift while you select the last one. That action highlights all tracks between the two. After that, you can delete or move the block of songs as above.

2. How to Import Local Music Into Spotify

Spotify Local Files Import

Using the Spotify desktop app, you can transfer playlists from iTunes or other sources to Spotify by importing them. First, copy the desired songs and put them in an easily accessible folder on your computer. Then, launch Spotify and go to Edit > Preferences. Scroll down to Local Files and click Add a Source.

From the file window, choose the folder of songs you just made and click Open. You’ll then see it appear in the Show songs from list; make sure it’s enabled, as well as the Show Local Files slider at the top of the section. If you’ve imported music from other local sources, you might want to uncheck them here so you can easily copy just the new music.

After this is done, you’ll see all the selected files in the Local Files section of the sidebar. Since imported music doesn’t feature clickable artists and albums, you should click New Playlist in the left sidebar and add them to a fresh playlist for easy categorizing.

You can grab all the songs inside Local Files with Ctrl + A on Windows or Cmd + A on Mac. Then drag or copy and paste them into the new playlist.

3. How to Identify Your Current Playlist

Spotify Click Album Art

Sometimes, you might hear a tune while listening to Spotify and wonder what playlist it’s in. When using the Spotify desktop app, click on the album art in the bottom-left corner to immediately jump to the current playlist (or album).

Note that when you mouse over the album art, you’ll see an arrow icon in the top-right. You’ll need to click anywhere but this to show the current playlist. If you click the arrow, it will make the album cover larger or smaller instead.

4. How to Duplicate Spotify Playlists

Spotify Duplicated Playlist

Copying a Spotify playlist is handy if you want to make a backup or customize a base playlist to send to someone else. You have to do so manually, but it’s not difficult.

To duplicate a playlist, click New Playlist on the left-hand sidebar to create an empty playlist. Give it a name, then open the playlist you want to duplicate. Click the first song title once to select (but not play) the track.

Then press Ctrl + A (Cmd + A on Mac) to select all of the songs. Finally, click and drag (or copy and paste) the highlighted songs to the new playlist in the left pane.

Similar to duplicating, did you know you can have Spotify find more music you’ll love by right-clicking and choosing Create Similar Playlist?

5. How to Add All Liked Songs Into One Playlist

If you want to make a mega-playlist of all the songs you’ve saved to your library, you can copy them into a new playlist using a similar method to the above. This is a great option if you have Spotify Premium and want to download a big playlist for on-the-go listening without using data.

Create a new playlist as mentioned above. Next, choose Liked Songs from the Your Library section of the left pane. Click on one track in that section to highlight it, then press Ctrl + A (or Cmd + A on Mac) to select all the songs. Finally, drag or copy-paste them to the new playlist.

6. How to Share Playlists With Others

Spotify Share Playlist

Want to share your favorite playlists with a friend or create one specifically for them? Spotify makes it easy to share playlists with anyone who also uses the service.

Open a playlist, click the three-dot icon at the top, and select the Share field. You’ll see several ways to share it. If you’d like, you can send it over social media platforms such as Messenger or Telegram with one click. Otherwise, use Copy Playlist Link for a URL you can paste anywhere.

If you want to let other people add songs to the playlist, select Collaborative Playlist from the three-dot menu. This lets anyone with access manage its contents, so you may want to make a backup for yourself first.

7. How to Change Playlist Sorting Options

Spotify Sort Playlist

By default, Spotify playlists sort tracks based on the order you added them. However, you can change this by clicking the headers at the top.

Click Title, Artist, or Album to sort alphabetically by that field. The first click will sort from A-Z, while the second changes it from Z-A. This also works with the Calendar icon (which shows the date you added the track to the playlist) and the Clock icon (which represents the track length).

Click the Calendar once to show the newest songs first and twice to show the oldest songs first. The first click on the Clock will sort by shortest songs the first time and longest songs the second time. A third click on any field will remove the sorting.

When you haven’t applied any sorting (meaning no green arrows show next to any of the headers), you can manually rearrange the tracks in your playlist. Simply click and drag a song and you’ll see a green line appear. Let it go to drop that song in the new position. You can also move songs in bulk, as explained earlier.

This lets you fine-tune the order of a Spotify playlist before sending it to someone, gradually ramp up the songs’ tempo, and more.

8. How to Edit a Playlist’s Image

Spotify Edit Playlist Art

By default, Spotify creates playlist art using the first four album covers from songs in that playlist. For your own playlists, you can change that generic image to anything you wish.

Open the playlist, then hover your cursor over the existing playlist image and click the Pencil icon. Doing that opens up an Edit Playlist Details box. Click the picture on the left side to upload a new image from your computer. Finally, click the green Save button in the Edit Playlist Details box.

We have a guide detailing how to create the perfect artwork for Spotify playlists if you need some help.

9. How to Like All Songs in a Playlist on Spotify

Spotify allows you to “like” an album or song by clicking the Heart icon to the left of a track or at the top of an album page. This lets you add the songs to your Library for easy access.

If you find a playlist you love and want to save all (or many) of its songs, simply select them as we’ve discussed. From there, either right-click and choose Save to your Liked Songs or drag them to the Liked Songs item on the left-hand sidebar.

Unfortunately, there’s no option to save all of the albums represented in a playlist, so you’ll have to do those one-by-one.

10. How to Filter and Search Spotify Playlists

Spotify Playlist Search

Spotify playlists can contain thousands of songs, making it difficult to find the right track quickly. To easily search a playlist, click inside the Filter box at the top of the tracklist or press Ctrl + F (Cmd + F on a Mac). Type into this box and Spotify will show matches in the song title, artist, and album name.

You can use this to confirm whether a song is in a playlist or see all the songs by a certain artist. Once you have just those songs pulled up, you can easily select them all and right-click to add them to the queue, remove them from the playlist, or take other actions.

You Can Now Manage Your Spotify Playlists

Now, with the help of these handy tips, you should know how to get more out of your Spotify playlists. Having the right mix for every moment is a strength of the service, and these tips should help you keep your collection tidy.

For more help navigating Spotify, check out our Spotify keyboard shortcuts cheat sheet.

Read the full article: How to Manage Your Spotify Playlists: 10 Tips and Tricks

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The 10 Best Free Pandora Alternatives for Streaming Music

Pandora is one of the most recognizable music streaming services available. And most people who use Pandora love Pandora. However, if you’ve landed here it’s because you’re looking for the best Pandora alternatives. So, let’s start by explaining how Pandora works…

You open Pandora, select the genre or mood of music you want, and let the “radio” play some tunes. If you like a song, you hit the thumbs-up icon to add similar tracks to the radio station. If you don’t, you hit the thumbs-down icon, and the radio station plays less of that style.

It’s a classic, and very user-friendly, setup. However, not only is Pandora not available in many countries, there are tons of other music streaming services available. So, in this article, we list the best free Pandora alternatives. Presented in no particular order.

1. YouTube Music

youtube music pandora alternatives

How it Compares. YouTube Music is a music streaming service that is slowly replacing Google Play Music. Where Google Play Music featured as standard on all new Android devices, users will now find the YouTube Music app instead (on new devices—Google Play Music won’t suddenly disappear into the ether).

YouTube Music doesn’t supply an official number of available songs, because it draws on its deals with record labels, uploads to YouTube, mashups, remixes, and much more. The depth of the YouTube Music library is substantial. Library-wise, it has Pandora beat hands-down. But then again, it has most other services beat too, so that’s no shame on Pandora’s part.

The YouTube Music interface is easy to navigate, although it is far from the prettiest music streaming service around.

Notable Features. The incredible catalog of music is one of the most notable YouTube Music features, without a doubt. Aside from that, YouTube Music also plays host to live music streams from a wide range of artists. There’s also a YouTube Music integration for the Google Clock, which allows you to wake up to your favorite artist or playlist.

Cost. YouTube Music has three different subscription levels. The free version is YouTube Music, which is ad-supported (you’ll see or hear an advert every three to six songs), runs at a lower bitrate, and if you’re using the mobile app, it requires the screen to remain on at all times. The latter is a definite major downside to YouTube Music.

You can (and probably should) upgrade to one of YouTube Music’s premium tiers to unlock more features. YouTube Music Premium stops the ads, allows you to listen to music in the background on mobile devices, and to download music for offline listening. A YouTube Music Premium subscription costs $9.99/month.

Then there is the YouTube Premium subscription, which includes everything in the previous tier as well as access to YouTube Originals (YouTube’s original programming channels). The YouTube Premium subscription also removes ads from the main YouTube site, too. The YouTube Premium subscription comes in at $11.99/month. Is YouTube Premium value for money? It all depends on how you use YouTube.

Regional Availability. YouTube Music and its premium counterparts are available in over 70 countries.

2. Deezer

deezer pandora alternatives

How it Compares. Deezer’s library consists of over 57 million tracks, blowing most competitors out of the water, including Pandora. User interface updates in recent years have made Deezer easier to use. Still, there’s nothing particularly special about the interface. Is that familiarity a bad thing? Perhaps not if you’re jumping from service to service.

Notable Features. At the time of writing, Deezer has over 30,000 public radio channels available, as well as 100 million publicly available playlists. Of course, you’re not going to sift through all of those. Thankfully, Deezer’s search integration is useful and helps you find what you want.

Deezer Flow creates a personalized playlist that combines all of your favorite music, as well as new recommendations and those tunes you might have forgotten about. You can find exclusive DJ mixes, unique podcasts, and other Deezer Original recordings, too. You could also check out Deezer Next to see the artists the music streaming service is tipping for future success.

Cost. Deezer operates four subscription types. The free version of Deezer is ad-supported, restricts you to a single listening profile, and offers a limited number of track skips per day. The free version doesn’t allow offline playback, either, which is fairly standard for music streaming services.

The second tier is Deezer Premium, which removes adverts from the listening experience, introduces unlimited skips per day, as well as offline listening. Deezer Premium comes in at $9.99/month.

However, although you have “unlimited skips,” the Deezer forums have several posts from angry users wondering why they can only skip 150 tracks/hour. You could be making a playlist and skipping through tracks, only to suddenly find your account locked, so it is something to consider. The issue relates to how the Deezer development team attempts to stop account sharing.

Then there is a final subscription tier that contains two slightly different offerings. Deezer Family includes everything from the previous tier and also allows you to create six different listening profiles.

Whereas, Deezer HiFi includes everything from the previous tier but instead of additional listening profiles, unlocks 16-bit FLAC quality audio. Deezer HiFi is a brilliant option if you value high-quality audio, which many music streaming services eschew.

Both Deezer Family and Deezer HiFi will set you back $14.99/month.

Regional Availability. Deezer is available in over 185 countries.

3. Jango

jango pandora alternatives

How it Compares. Jango is one of Pandora’s long-standing direct competitors, operating since 2007. Both Jango and Pandora operate in a similar manner. But whereas Pandora’s song choices are based on the Music Genome Project, Jango’s recommendations are based on its users’ behaviors.

Notable Features. Each Jango radio station is customizable via the Variety settings. You can opt to add the most popular user choices to expand the radio station, or to add More Variety, or the Most Variety. You can also add specific artists to the currently playing radio station, too.

Jango highlights and promotes independent artists across its radio stations. When an independent artist comes up, you can leave feedback. Interestingly, Jango uses an internal cryptocurrency, known as NeuCoin. You can use NeuCoin to tip independent artists, helping them receive a small payment for their music.

Cost. There is no premium version of Jango. The entire platform is ad-funded. That said, Jango doesn’t bombard you with adverts and ruin your listening experience. The adverts are few and far between. Plus, you can reduce the number of ads per day to a single instance if you link your Facebook account.

Better still (and this is really impressive), Jango doesn’t interrupt the Android or iOS apps with any form of advertising.

Regional Availability. All countries worldwide.

4. Spotify

spotify pandora alternatives

How it Compares. Spotify has a lot going for it. With over 50 million tracks, 700,000 podcasts, and nearly 300 million users, Spotify has become the byword for music streaming services. At this point, Spotify also has a recognizable and familiar user interface. It definitely isn’t the most exciting interface, but it is extremely easy to use.

The biggest downside to Spotify is the poor audio quality. Spotify’s maximum audio streaming rate is a miserly 320kbps. In comparison, the premium Deezer HiFi option offers 1,411kbps (which is uncompressed CD audio quality), and Amazon Music Unlimited offers an average of 850kbps. Spotify’s offering is hardly “Premium.”

Notable Features. Spotify offers so much more than internet radio. Want on-demand streaming? Spotify is one of the best at it. Want to expand your tastes? Check out Spotify’s music discovery tools. You’ll also find lots of non-music content, including stand-up comedy and podcasts. And that’s not forgetting the end of year roundups detailing your listening habits, along with your best of playlist.

Spotify is stepping up the fight to Pandora in other ways, too. The Spotify Stations playlist app offers a Pandora-like experience, complete with thumbs-up and thumbs-down, and music suggestions.

Cost. Spotify offers two subscription types: free and premium. The free Spotify version is ad-supported, does not allow offline playback, and does not allow access to the highest quality audio playback Spotify offers.

A Spotify Premium subscription unlocks offline music playback, all smartphone app features, removes any ad interruptions, and unlocks Spotify’s highest music quality playback option. A Spotify Premium subscription comes in at $9.99/month.

There are two variations to the Spotify Premium subscription. A Spotify Student subscription unlocks everything in the Premium subscription but only costs $4.99/month (with a working student email account).

There is also the option of Spotify Family, which offers everything in the Premium subscription for up to six accounts living at the same address. The Spotify Family account costs $14.99/month.

Regional Availability. Spotify is available in over 80 countries.

5. AccuRadio

accuradio pandora alternative

How it Compares. AccuRadio is one of the oldest internet radio streaming services still active, serving users since 2000. At the core of AccuRadio’s long-running success is simplicity. The AccuRadio interface is simple and easy to use, allowing a reasonable amount of user station customization. AccuRadio doesn’t have the largest music catalog, but it is more than enough to keep you listening.

Notable Features. You can blend up to 15 channels together to create a specialized listening experience. You can also rate songs on a five-star scale, then use the Five Star Radio feature to listen only to your absolute favorite songs. One of AccuRadio’s best features, especially in comparison to Pandora, is unlimited skipping for all accounts.

Cost. AccuRadio doesn’t offer a premium account or subscription service. The platform is ad-supported, although you can reduce the ad frequency if you create a free account.

Regional Availability. All countries worldwide.

6. TuneIn

tunein pandora alternative

How it Compares. Music is only a small portion of what TuneIn Radio does. This service is all about internet radio in the truest sense: tapping into live radio stations through the internet. Online-only music stations do exist, and they’re perfectly fine, but TuneIn Radio’s selling point is its live radio streams.

As a Pandora alternative, it definitely lives up to the radio streaming service moniker.

Notable Features. TuneIn features over 100,000 radio stations from around the world, plus thousands of podcasts. You can filter your streaming selections by music, sports, talk, and trending stations, as well as kids’ radio and podcasts.

Cost. TuneIn offers a Free or Premium subscription. The TuneIn free subscription is ad-supported, playing an ad when you launch a radio station or podcast.

The TuneIn Premium subscription removes banner ads from the TuneIn site and desktop clients. It also enables you to listen to live play-by-play coverage of every NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL game. A TuneIn Premium subscription removes adverts from the MSNBC, Fox News Talk, and CNBC radio stations.

A TuneIn Premium subscription costs $9.99/month.

Regional Availability. All countries worldwide. TuneIn Premium accounts are only available in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

7. iHeartRadio

iheartradio pandora alternative

How it Compares. iHeartRadio brings radio streams from over 850 local stations under one roof, plus podcasts, music playlists, and more. The result is a Pandora alternative that covers a wide range of content types. iHeartRadio is easy to use, similarly to Pandora. One plus side to iHeartRadio is the user library, which allows you to customize and edit your recently listened to stations, podcasts, and artists.

Notable Features. The aforementioned user library, known as Your Library, is a useful tool for customization. There is also a handy suggestions section that offers up new music, podcasts, and radio stations you might enjoy. As iHeartRadio is an umbrella for the iHeartMedia network, you can listen to hundreds of live radio stations from across the US.

Cost. There are three iHeartRadio subscription types.

The free subscription offers free live radio at any time, personalized artist radio stations, and access to the iHeartRadio podcast selection. Free iHeartRadio accounts may skip six tracks per hour, per station, for a maximum of 15 skips per day across all artist stations.

An iHeartRadio Plus subscription allows unlimited song skipping across all stations, on-demand song and artist play, and the option to save and replay music from the radio. The Plus subscription comes in at $4.99/month.

Finally, the iHeartRadio All Access subscription includes everything in the previous tier, as well as unlimited access to every single iHeartRadio song, plus you can create an unlimited number of playlists. An All Access subscription costs $9.99/month.

8. Radio.Garden

radio garden pandora alternative

How it Compares. Radio Garden is an almost-unique music streaming option on this list. Instead of selecting artist or genre radio stations, you spin the globe and find radio stations broadcasting all around the world.

In comparison to Pandora, Radio Garden brings the entire world of music to your mouse clicks. You can tune into tens of thousands of radio stations, listening to every genre, style, artist, and more.

Notable Features. Radio Garden features an incredible number of radio stations. There is no user curation or individual station management, as these are live radio stations. You can add radio stations to your favorites list, as well as search for a specific radio station, city, country, or region.

Radio Garden keeps a list of weird and wonderful radio stations, too. You can tune in to an ambient nature sound broadcast, the sounds of a theatre organ, and even listen to truckers chatting.

Cost. Radio Garden is free to use. You may hear local advertising, depending on the radio stations you tune in to.

Regional Availability. All countries worldwide.

9. Radio4000

radio4000 pandora alternative

How it Compares. Radio4000 is a different proposition to Pandora. Instead of skipping and liking tracks, you can move around a world map and listen to radio stations curated by individuals. The result is a music streaming experience that exposes you to lots of new music without the restrictions of skips or missing artists.

The user interface is basic but simple to navigate, offering two web player options.

Notable Features. Radio4000 lets you build a personal radio station that you can broadcast to other people that click on your location, which is a nice feature. All of Radio4000’s tracks come from YouTube, which means you have access to the vast YouTube catalog. The downside to that is the potential for a track to disappear, and there is no consistency for audio quality. Still, the range of music available more than makes up for that.

Cost.Radio4000 is completely free.

Regional Availability. All countries worldwide.

10. Amazon Music

amazon music free pandora alternative

How it Compares. Pandora’s drastically increasing catalog size means Amazon Music is now the slimmer option. However, many users prefer the more traditional music streaming service interface found with Amazon Music, instead of Pandora’s sometimes tricky streaming stations.

Notable Features. The Amazon Music catalog consists of 2 million songs. In music streaming service terms, that is a tiny number. Still, the Amazon Music catalog updates frequently to introduce the latest tracks, sometimes long before Pandora. There are options to filter playlists according to mood, genre, and activity.

Cost. Amazon Music is Amazon’s free subscription to the Amazon Prime Music service. The free subscription allows anyone with an Amazon account to listen to ad-supported music via the Amazon Music service. The free subscription was previously only available to Amazon Echo owners. However, this free version of Amazon Music is only available to the US, UK, and Germany at the time of writing.

Those with an Amazon Prime subscription can use Amazon Prime Music. If you already use Amazon Prime for its many other benefits, then you can think of Prime Music as a free bonus.

Then, there is Amazon Music Unlimited, which unlocks around 60 million tracks, unlimited ad-free on-demand listening, variable bitrate control, offline downloads, and much more. An Amazon Music Unlimited subscription costs $7.99/month for Amazon Prime subscribers, or $9.99/month without Amazon Prime.

Finally, there is Amazon Music Unlimited HD, which includes everything from the previous tiers, but allows users to stream music in Ultra HD quality. Amazon’s Ultra HD quality streaming means audio playback with an average bitrate of 3730kbps, significantly higher than any other music streaming option. An Amazon Music Unlimited HD subscription costs $12.99/month for Amazon Prime members, or $14.99/month for those without.

Regional Availability. Amazon Music free is only available in the US, UK, and Germany at the time of writing. Amazon Music services availability varies by subscription type and region.

What Are the Best Pandora Alternatives?

I’m a very long-term Spotify user and will continue to be so. But the beauty of services like Pandora, Jango, and Radio Garden is uncovering new music, which they offer in spades. However, if the quality of the audio is important to you, try Deezer HiFi or Amazon Music Unlimited HD. Along with these other music sites for audiophiles.

Read the full article: The 10 Best Free Pandora Alternatives for Streaming Music

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7 Awesome Ways to Find and Share Music Playlists

Music streaming is now an unstoppable juggernaut that more people are making use of. Ease-of-use and ease-of-access have helped to propel the competing apps into some of the most popular on the planet.

One of the best things about the growth of services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music is music sharing and music discovery.

You no longer need to sit and listen to the radio for hours to record your workout songs or make a mixtape for your crush. Instead, you can make your playlist in minutes and share your playlist in seconds.

With that in mind, here are the best ways to find and share music playlists.

1. Spotify

spotify playlist creation

One of the simplest ways to share a playlist is to use Spotify itself. It’s the best tool if you want to make playlists for parties or create joint lists with friends.

The first step is to create a new playlist. You do this by navigating to File > New Playlist. Give the list a name and click on it to open it. Add a couple of songs, and you’re ready to share. At this point, there are a few different routes you can take:

  • Make the list public: Use this option if you’re planning to share it using some of the other tools on this list, but be aware that anyone will be able to find it by using Spotify’s search function.
  • Share the playlist’s URL: The list itself will remain private, but anyone who has the link will be able to access it.
  • Make the playlist collaborative: This is a great option for parties and family get-togethers; anyone who has a Spotify account will be able to add music and choose what’s currently playing.

You can access all of these features by clicking the three horizontal dots and choosing your desired option.

2. 8tracks

8tracks playlists

8tracks went offline in 2019 due to financial issues. However, following a buyout, the service is back. Today, 8tracks is once again one of the best places on the web for both sharing playlists and discovering new ones.

The name “8tracks” comes from the nature of the playlists offered—each one needs at least eight tracks to be accepted into its library. The service does not work with Spotify, SoundCloud, or any other similar service. It’s a standalone product that is ad-supported and legal.

A premium subscription tier will remove the ads. Once you’ve registered, you can either browse the site and listen to user-created playlists or create your own list for other people to enjoy.

3. SoundShare

soundshare

SoundShare is a playlist-sharing app rather than a website. It works by pulling together music and playlists from Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, and YouTube.

The app’s main purpose is to bring a social element into the various services, but a great offshoot of this is the ability to share and create collaborative playlists with friends and family, regardless of which music service they subscribe to.

The social features include liking songs, commenting on what your friends are currently listening to, and a way to find and follow users with similar musical tastes. The app also supports Apple AirPlay and has a Shazam-esque music recognition tool.

Sadly, the app is only available on iOS at the time of writing.

4. r/SpotifyPlaylists

spotify playlists reddit

Reddit has two playlist subreddits that are worth having a look at. The first is r/SpotifyPlaylists. With tens of thousands of subscribers, there’s a steady flow of new playlists getting shared every day.

The community is also active, so it’s rare that a playlist is posted without a few users providing feedback and suggesting changes and additions.

(NB: As the name suggests, this subreddit is only for playlists created using Spotify. Playlists from other services will be removed by the mods.)

5. r/Playlists

reddit playlists

Another of the best ways to share playlists on Reddit is to head to the service-agnostic r/Playlists. Most of the playlists come from Spotify, but there are some from other apps too; YouTube Music playlists are posted frequently.

Finally, if you’re a Reddit user, make sure you have a look at the subreddit dedicated to your music streaming service of choice (most mainstream services have one). The focus of the dedicated subreddits is typically split 50/50 between troubleshooting and playlist sharing.

6. Playlists.net

playlist.net

Playlists.net is a site that allows anyone with a Spotify account to submit and subscribe to playlists. Adding your own playlist is easy—you just need to make it public and add the URL.

Where the service really shines, however, is in playlist discovery. Discovery features include a playlist generator, a daily chart of the hottest songs on the site, and an extensive search function.

There’s even an extensive blog post on how to make a shareable playlist—it’s definitely worth reading if you’re serious about creating and sharing playlists.

7. Playlist Party

playlist party web app

If you’re looking for the best way to share music with friends, check out the Playlist Party app. It allows you to create and share playlists among a group of friends, then listen to the tracks simultaneously so you can share the listening experience.

All 57 million tracks on the site are free to listen to and you can use any of them in your shared playlists. Better yet, there are more than 1 million existing playlists for you to dig into; you don’t even need to go through the hassle of creating your own playlist if that’s not your thing.

When you’re listening to your playlists with friends, the app offers a chat feature so you can talk about the music without interrupting the audio.

At the moment, Playlist Party is only available on iOS. The developer has promised that an Android version is in the works. You can also tune in via the web player.

More Things to Do With Playlists

These methods will provide you with a starting point for creating and sharing playlists with family and friends. It’s not easy to find a reliable way to send playlists to other people when there are so many streaming services around, but these options should cover most bases.

If you’d like to learn more about playlists, check out our articles detailing how to set a Spotify playlist as an alarm and the best ways to download YouTube playlists.

Read the full article: 7 Awesome Ways to Find and Share Music Playlists

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You Can Now Save More Than 10,000 Songs on Spotify

Since launch, Spotify has imposed a strict limit on the number of songs you can have in your library. This number was set at 10,000, and if you tried to add more than 10,000 songs to your Spotify library you’d be told that you’ve run out of room.

However, Spotify has now removed the limit of having 10,000 songs in your library. Which means you can save as many songs as you want. Unfortunately, Spotify has kept some other limits in place, which could lead to you getting frustrated in other ways.

Spotify Lifts the 10,000 Songs Limit

Spotify boasts more than 50 million songs. Which is more than the vast majority of its users will ever listen to. However, despite the impressive size of its library, Spotify has always limited the number of songs you could save to Your Library to 10,000.

While this may sound like a lot of songs, the longer you use Spotify the more more likely you are to reach it. Which led thousands of users to complain about the limit on the Spotify Community as long ago as 2014. And yet Spotify kept the limit in place.

However, now, Spotify has announced that it’s lifting the 10,000 songs limit. In a Community Blog post, the music streaming service revealed that it’s rolling out an “unlimited library experience”. Which means you can now save as many songs as you want in your library.

This affects songs and albums, so you can now like/save as many as you want. However, the 10,000 songs limit still applies to offline downloads and playlists. So, you still won’t be able to turn your whole library into a playlist or download every song to your phone.

Making Spotify Less Frustrating to Use

If you’re still seeing the message which reads, “Epic collection my friend. There’s no more room in Your Library. To save more, you’ll need to remove some songs or albums,” don’t worry. Spotify is rolling the change out gradually, so it may some time to reach everyone.

Most users won’t even notice this change, as they never reached the limits of 10,000 songs. However, for those that hit the limit years ago, it will end a major frustration with the app. And they can now save or like all of the songs and/or albums they previously had to reject.

For more on Spotify, check out:

Image Credit: Ivan Radic/Flickr

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The 7 Best Music Streaming Services for Audiophiles

Music streaming services haven’t traditionally targeted audiophiles by focusing on audio quality. Spotify and Google Play Music both boast maximum bitrates of 320 Kbps, while Apple Music comes in at just 256 Kbps.

This might sound like a lot, and for most users, it’s certainly enough. However, when you compare the quality of most streaming services to CDs—which typically offer 1,411 Kbps—there’s no contest.

If you’re an audiophile, this poses a problem. You demand the clearest and most refined music available, and don’t want to put up with low-quality audio. As such, your options are rather limited. However, here are the best streaming services for audiophiles.

1. Tidal

tidal logo

Tidal is the best-known high-definition music streaming service around right now. Operated by global rap star Jay-Z, the service’s entire reputation has been built on its high-quality audio offering.

Tidal offers users two different plans. The Premium plan costs $9.99/month and provides a music bitrate of 320 Kbps. If you’re an audiophile, you need to focus on the Hi-Fi package. It offers lossless, CD-quality 1,411 Kbps music for a monthly fee of $19.99. Both packages have family plans available.

And just because Tidal doesn’t have the same allure as the big three—Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music—don’t worry about not being able to find something to listen to. At the time of writing, Tidal boasts more than 60 million tracks.

2. Qobuz

qobuz playlist

Another of the leading audiophile streaming services is Qobuz. Based in France, entrepreneur Yves Riesel launched the company in 2007. In addition to streaming services, it also offers music downloads.

Unfortunately, the app does not have the international reach of some of its competitors. While Tidal is currently available in 54 countries worldwide, Qobuz operates in just 12: the US, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and Austria.

Today, Qobuz holds the largest catalog of lossless CD and hi-res albums in the world. The library, which spans 50 million songs, has both new releases and niche genres.

Two subscription plans are available, Studio Premier ($15/month) and Sublime+ ($250/year). The audio quality is the same on both plans, but Sublime+ allows for cheaper music purchases.

3. Deezer

deezer hifi

If you live outside Qobuz’s supported countries but don’t want to subscribe to Tidal, Deezer might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Although it’s not known for as an HD audio music streaming app, the $20/month Deezer Hi-Fi offers 16-bit, 1,411 Kbps FLAC audio. In comparison, the regular Premium plan only offers 320 Kbps and the free tier just 128 Kbps.

The lossless plan was originally introduced in 2014 thanks to the company’s partnership with Sonos. At the time, it was only available on Sonos speakers. Today, however, the Hi-Fi subscription works on most smart speakers, including Bang and Olufsen, Harman/Kardon, Sony, and Google Home.

4. Primephonic

primephonic playback

Primephonic launched its streaming service for classical music fans in 2014. It was instantly popular, as users praised the app for its reimagined approach to cataloging tracks, its impressive artist biographies, and its ease-of-use.

Classical music-loving audiophiles will be delighted to learn that Primephonic streams all of its content in 16-bit, 1,411 Kbps CD-quality if you are happy to pay for the $15/month Platinum plan. A cheaper $10/month plan is available with 320 Kbps MP3 streaming. Primephonic also lets you buy music. Again, all of your purchases will be downloaded in high-definition audio.

The use of FLAC audio for classical music makes sense. It’s the music genre that has the most to gain from high-definition audio. After all, you don’t want your Mozart masterpieces to sound like something your school orchestra has thrown together.

5. Amazon Music HD

amazon music hd details

Amazon Music HD is one of the newest audiophile music streaming services on the market following its launch in the second half of 2019.

More than 60 million HD songs are available on the platform. Around 50 million of them are in 850 Kbps and 16-bit/44.1 kHz, with a further 10 million available in 3730 Kbps and 24-bit/192 kHz. That’s more than 10 times the quality found on most rival music streaming apps.

Before you sign up, make sure your device supports 24-bit songs. If you own a pre-2015 Android or iOS gadget, you will probably be out of luck. Amazon’s Fire devices are all supported.

A subscription to Amazon Music HD costs $15/month (or $13/month if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber).

6. YouTube Music

youtube music videos

YouTube Music initially launched with a maximum bitrate of 128 Kbps, though that has since increased to 256 Kbps. But that’s still way behind some of the other apps in this list, so why have we included it as one of the top streaming services for audiophiles?

Well, for the music videos. Music as an art form is about more than the audio. Ever since Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles became the first music video to air on MTV in 1981, artists have been falling over themselves to produce more and more extravagant video content. As you can see in our brief history of music videos.

If this side of the music world appeals to you, YouTube Music is king. Not only is there a vast selection of music, but you can watch the videos, concerts, and recording sessions that accompany your favorite tracks.

7. Spotify

spotify playlists

Spotify offers its users a maximum audio quality of 320 Kbps. However, despite the lesser quality, Spotify is still worth considering if you’re an audiophile purely for the vast library. More than 50 million tracks are already available, with a further 40,000 being added every day.

The service’s music discovery tools are also unrivaled. Even if you have niche tastes, Spotify will still be able to find new music that you’ll almost certainly love. For music lovers who want to embark on an audio journey, there are few better ways to broaden your horizons.

And remember, Spotify is one of the most device-agnostic services. There is a Spotify app available for just about every operating system and smart speaker on the market. Some of the lesser-known services don’t offer such widespread support.

Interestingly, in 2017, Spotify announced that it was planning to enter the world of high-definition audio streaming. Branded as Spotify Hi-Fi, the company started testing it around the world. Since then, the trail has gone cold and Spotify has offered no further updates.

It is still one to keep an eye on though; Spotify is already one of the world’s top music streaming services. If it did enter the HD music arena, its vast library and powerful music discovery tools would make Tidal vs. Spotify a more interesting battle.

Keeping Even the Pickiest Audiophiles Happy

These music streaming services for audiophiles should be more than enough to keep everyone satisfied. Yes, even the pickiest audiophile. And if you don’t already own one, here are the best digital audio players for music without your phone.

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Transfer Your Music From Google Play Music to YouTube Music

Google Play Music isn’t long for this world, with Google planning to kill the service at sometime in 2020. However, all is not lost, as Google has a ready-made replacement in YouTube Music. And now you can transfer your music from one to the other.

YouTube Music Is Replacing Google Play Music

While Google is one of the most innovative tech companies in existence, the company has a habit of killing its products and services. And so it has come to pass for Google Play Music, which is set to be shuttered in 2020 to make way for YouTube Music.

However, with the end now in sight, Google is actively encouraging you to transfer your music from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. And, as detailed in a post on the Official YouTube Blog, it has launched a quick and simple way to do so.

How to Transfer Your Music From Google Play Music to YouTube Music

You can transfer your artists, albums, songs, playlists, uploads, purchased music, and recommendations across from Google Play Music to YouTube Music. You can also transfer your podcasts to Google Podcasts by visiting this webpage.

To transfer your music from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, either visit music.youtube.com/transfer or follow the instructions below:

  1. Download the YouTube Music app for Android or iOS.
  2. Open the Settings menu and click Transfer from Google Play Music.
  3. You’ll see a list of everything you’re going to transfer.
  4. If you agree to the terms of service, click Transfer to start the process.
  5. When it’s complete, you’ll get a notification and an email letting you know.

If you can’t yet see the option to transfer your music from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, be patient, as Google is rolling this out gradually over the next few weeks.

Other Music Streaming Services Do Exist

Once you have made the switch from Google Play Music to YouTube Music, you have a number of options open to you. You can listen for free using the ad-supported version, or pay the standard $9.99/month to upgrade to YouTube Music Premium.

As keen as Google is to get everyone using YouTube Music, it’s far from the only streaming music service. So, with that in mind, here’s how to pick the best music streaming service for you, and how to move to a new music streaming service.

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Vinyl vs. Digital Music: 5 Reasons Why Digital Is Better

There has long been a debate pitting vinyl vs. digital. Vinyl collectors claim that their format of choice is superior, citing reasons why vinyl is better than digital. However, others, including myself, think differently.

The fact is that digital music is much better than vinyl, and in this article we’ll outline the reasons why. And by digital music we mean CDs, songs purchased on iTunes, and music you stream on services such as Spotify and Apple Music.

1. Going Digital Will Improve Your Taste in Music

If you ask an art critic what their favorite painting is, they probably won’t say something well-known like the Mona Lisa. Rather, they’ll recount a unique story about a lesser-known piece that speaks to them personally.

Music is similar. Someone whose favorite band is an extremely popular group of the day—even if that artist is available in a record shop—doesn’t have much of an imagination in their musical taste. Having a developed taste in music means understanding what you like and why you like it rather than following what’s popular.

You can be a discerning listener that only listens to music digitally, just like you can visit record shops and still only buy albums from Top 40 artists. Music streaming services like Spotify boast excellent recommendation tools that help you find more music you’ll love, even if they’re not well-known.

The Discover Weekly playlist, for example, updates every week with 30 new tracks based on your listening tastes. By default, Spotify will continue playing similar music when your current playlist or album ends. And you’ll find a Fans Also Like section on every artist to branch out further.

Spotify Recommendations For You

With both built-in and external tools in your favorite music streaming service, you’ll discover dozens of bands (and maybe even genres) that you wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. That will help expand your musical tastes much more than buying old records from big-name artists.

2. Streaming Services Offer All the Music You Need

It’s difficult to overstate how powerful digital music streaming is. As long as you have an internet connection, you can think about what kind of music you’d like to listen to and start playing it in seconds.

And you have complete control over the mix of music you want to play, too. Feeling nostalgic for an album that represents your teenage years? Want to mix everything from your favorite artist? Or maybe you want to jump into music from a new genre to try it out. It’s all really simple with digital.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6aQpDzlGkoI9VIqRepZSZy

Compare that to vinyl, where you have a small selection of records to listen to. If you want to listen to something that you don’t own, you’re out of luck unless you trek all the way to the record store and hope they have a copy. And flipping the record every few songs gets old quickly.

Going digital also means your collection goes with you wherever you go. Paid streaming services let you download your favorite music for offline listening, so you can listen even when you’re offline. You can’t play your vinyl records in the car or bring them on a trip with you.

3. Digital Sounds Better Than Vinyl… Fact

Want to get the vinyl listening experience while listening to music on your computer or phone? First, start playing a song you like. Next, grab a bag of chips and rustle it next to your ear. That’s the signature vinyl crackle, and for much less than the cost of buying a record player.

A page on the Hydrogenaudio Wiki dispels several myths about the quality of vinyl and digital music. It explains that there is no objective basis to state that a vinyl record sounds better than a CD or streaming music.

Some albums might sound better on CD, while others sound better on vinyl. It’s all about the mastering used on that particular project. In addition, many modern albums released on vinyl use the same master as the one used for the CD, since vinyl records are expensive to produce.

Multiple tests have found that few people can tell the difference between a high-quality digital stream and vinyl playback. Even with file compression (how does file compression work), the 320kbps quality used by most premium services, combined with a good pair of headphones, will likely sound better than a mid-range record player.

If you’re an audiophile, you can download music in a lossless format, like FLAC. While most services like Spotify and Apple Music stream in a lossy format, dedicated services like Amazon Music HD or Tidal HiFi stream in higher quality audio formats.

4. Digital Is More Cost-Effective Than Vinyl

Browsing a record store

Buying vinyl isn’t cheap. While you can go to a record store and pick up some albums for a few dollars, cheap records are likely either in poor condition or not the music you want to listen to. And new vinyl releases can easily cost $20 or more. Spending that kind of money on every album you want to listen to adds up quickly.

Digital music streaming offers so much more for your money. Most services cost around $10/month (even less if you make use of streaming family plans) and let you listen to as much music as you want.

When a new album from your favorite artist comes out, you can listen to it that day without paying any extra money for the privilege. It’s easy to check out a new artist without feeling like you wasted money if you end up not liking them. And you don’t have to buy a whole album if you just want to listen to a few songs from it.

$10/month can either buy you unlimited access to millions of tracks at the click of a button, or one vinyl record. It’s a clear choice which is better value. Some might argue that vinyl records hold their value, but the chances are slim that you’ll ever make much money selling records on.

5. Digital Offers More Convenient Features

If you place importance on music management and organization, digital music is far superior to vinyl.

Playlists, which are a vital element of today’s music scene, thrive on digital music services. It’s easy to make playlists for your own use, to send to a friend, or for use at an event. You can even search playlists others have made to save yourself time. With vinyl, playlists are essentially non-existent.

Digital music streaming also makes it easy to share music with other people. Instead of having to physically lend someone a vinyl record, you can send them a link to an album or song you like on Spotify or another streaming service.

Spotify Share Options

Finally, digital services offer more convenient features. You can create an easy-to-search digital library, making it easy to find just the right track, start radio mode to keep the tunes going without manual input, and manually add tracks to the queue. If you listen to music all of the time, these are huge benefits.

Digital Is Superior to Vinyl

In this article, we’ve spelled out the reasons why digital music beats vinyl. While we have previously suggested that everyone should start collecting vinyl, it just doesn’t make sense to use it as your primary music source when there’s a better alternative available.

Digital music is superior to vinyl, and streaming services let you listen to whatever you’d like at high quality, whenever and wherever you want, for a fraction of the cost.

With that in mind, our comparison of Spotify vs. Apple Music vs. Google Play Music will help you decide which music streaming service to subscribe to.

Image Credit: Shattered vinyl via Shutterstock

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You Can Now Start a Spotify Group Session With Friends

Spotify has officially launched a new feature called Group Session. A Spotify Group Session lets you listen to music with friends, with everyone able to control what’s being played. Thus preventing one person from controlling all of the song choices.

As good as Spotify is, its usefulness has been limited when listening to music with friends. Like at a party, for example. One person is in charge, choosing what to play and when to play it. However, Group Session means that’s no longer a problem.

How to Start a Spotify Group Session

A Group Session lets multiple people listen to music on Spotify together, with everyone involved in the session able to control what’s being played and when. And to start a Spotify Group Session, all you need to do is share your unique Spotify code:

  1. Open Spotify and play a song.
  2. Tap the Devices Available icon in the bottom-left.
  3. Look for your code under “Start a Group Session”.

To scan someone else’s Spotify code:

  1. Open Spotify and tap the Search button.
  2. Tap the Camera icon in the top-right.
  3. Point your phone at a Spotify code.

Once either you have scanned someone else’s code or someone else has scanned your code, you’ll be connected together in a Group Session. Which means you can all now play, pause, and skip tracks, and add more tracks to the joint play queue.

Group Session has actually been in testing for some time, but is now being rolled out as a beta. Group Session is only available to Spotify Premium users, but that includes Family and Student users. If you can’t start a Group Session, try updating Spotify.

Download: Spotify on Android | iOS

Other Ways to Listen to Music With Friends

Group Session is a great new feature for music lovers who live in the same house. However, the COVID-19 crisis means you may want to cast your net a little wider. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to listen to music with friends far away.

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Where to Watch HD Music Videos: The 5 Best Sites

Music videos are amazingly popular online. Many of the most-watched videos on the web are official music videos. The only other videos that can compete with music for online eyeballs are movie trailers and viral ad campaigns.

The problem is finding these videos, especially if you want to watch HD music videos. And who wouldn’t want to see Lady Gaga strutting her stuff in high-definition? Or watch Beyonce smashing windows with a baseball bat in high-definition?

In order to help you find and watch the latest HD music videos online, we have compiled a list of the best websites to do just that.

1. YouTube

YouTube Music favorites

YouTube is, of course, the daddy of online video. Owned by Google, and owning everyone else in the sector, YouTube is the first destination most people will check out when searching for videos of all different kinds.

Once you navigate through the choppy waters filled with cats doing funny things you’ll find a site filled with different sections, one of which, fittingly called the YouTube Music Channel, is wholly dedicated to music.

Here you can browse through countless music videos to watch. You can also build a more personalized recommendation for music videos by logging into the YouTube Music streaming service.

The majority of official music videos on YouTube are available to watch in high-definition. But it’s unlikely to be turned on by default unless you’re signed into the site and have changed the settings.

By clicking Settings > Playback Setup and then ticking “Always play HD when switching to full screen (when available)” you can ensure you get the HD experience (at least when in fullscreen mode).

If you would rather not be signed into YouTube, or would rather pick and choose your settings on a video-by-video basis, just click the Settings button underneath the video and select “720p HD” or above.

2. Vimeo

vimeo HD channel

Vimeo is an online video site with a strong and dedicated community. It’s like the smaller, indie version of YouTube. It has embraced HD video and also provides a platform for content creators to showcase their work. This includes music artists, many of whom share their HD music videos on the site.

The HD Music Video Channel on Vimeo does what it says on the tin. Which means it contains an updating selection of the best HD music videos. These are the cream of high-definition music videos; ones which are deserving of only being watched in HD.

There is also a “Shout Box” which has regular comments added to it, many of which contain links to HD music videos that are often hidden gems.

3. IMVDb

imvdb videos

The Internet Music Video Database (IMVDb) is an online host for just music videos. Barely any sites dedicated exclusively to music videos exist (or they’ve become YouTube channels), so IMVDb stands out as a truly unique website. If you miss Vevo prior to its heavy shift over to its YouTube channel, IMVDb will scratches the nostalgia itch.

Of course, it’s nearly impossible to escape YouTube’s hold on music videos. All of IMVDb’s videos are still sourced from YouTube, so you’ll be able to use the same settings to ensure HD playback. However, IMVDb does offer a unique facet: the passion of its singular focus on music videos.

IMVDb offers some of the typical up-to-date music features like other sites. You’ll see the brand new releases and the top new music videos out right now. However, it also loves revisiting past music videos and sharing statistics as well.

You’ll see “best of” playlists from long ago, and IMVDb provides statistics for the top new music videos and top music videos of all time. Plus, IMVDb’s database statistics show the huge amount of music videos, artists, and credits hosted on the site. If you’re craving more, IMVDb provides commentaries and random video options too.

4. MTV UK

MTV UK music videos

Unlike its American equivalent, MTV UK still hosts music videos online. While MTV was originally all about music videos, the network has increasingly departed from them in favor of reality TV.

Thankfully, no region-blocking occurs with these videos. So you won’t have to figure out how to watch region-blocked media, and you can instead enjoy the music videos instantly. With that noted, MTV UK also shows some added love for music videos besides just hosting them on its own video player.

You’ll have the latest music videos, but you’ll also see the likes of the number-one singles of the past year, exclusive music video commentaries, lyric-teaching videos, and music video flashbacks.

Plus, MTV UK also features an exclusive page for its music video playlists. You can then watch all the videos on the week’s rotation for MTV Music, Club MTV, MTV Hits, MTV Base, MTV Rocks, and MTV OMG.

5. Dailymotion

dailymotion music video examples

When looking at potential YouTube rivals, Dailymotion tends to top the list. The French video and social site, however, doesn’t spring to mind for music videos as much as YouTube. However, with its huge database of videos, there are many popular music videos on the site.

Plus, if you’re looking for international music, Dailymotion provides many to choose from.

While Dailymotion does boast some music video channels, you’ll have better results searching for official music videos directly via its search function. Once you’ve found the video you want to watch, click the Settings menu in the upper-right of the video. Then click on Quality to adjust playback to HD.

If you’re craving more alternatives to YouTube and Vevo like Dailymotion and MTV, check out how to watch music videos on Apple Music.

A Brief History of Music Videos

Music videos are an artform in their own right, and the best artists and directors work together to forge short slices of genius. Just look at videos such as “This Is America” by Childish Gambino or literally anything by OK Go.

This article provides you with the best websites to watch HD music videos. However, if you’re more interested in the artform itself, check out our brief history of music videos. Which takes us from 1967 right through to today.

Image Credit: David Torcivia/Flickr

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5 Reasons Why Vinyl Is Better Than Digital for Music Lovers

There’s a reason music streaming services are so popular. Apps like Spotify and Apple Music allow you to access more music than you could ever listen to, all in a single app. They’re clearly the most convenient way to listen to music. However, that doesn’t make them the best option.

In most cases, vinyl is the best way to listen to music. The experience of putting a physical record on your vinyl record player, dropping the needle down, and enjoying listening to the music is unparalleled. Don’t believe us? Here are the reasons why you should listen to vinyl…

1. Your Taste In Music Will Improve

blank LP record and cover
Image Credit: BRRT/Pixabay

Music is subjective. The artists and songs I enjoy will likely differ from your favorite music. You probably remember the band or singer that made you first care about music, though. For most people, that won’t have been a Top 40 act. The charts are great for enjoyable audio—the kind you put on at a party or go to see on a night out with friends.

On the whole, chart music doesn’t make its way to vinyl. Some DJs use it, but modern pop music usually won’t be found in a music fan’s physical collection. Once you start delving into vinyl, you’ll uncover something that runs deeper than singles and chart success. A record isn’t a disparate collection of songs.

Instead, the track order will have been carefully considered so that the album flows well. This is especially the case with older records where the only way to listen to them was in order from Side A to Side B. Much like a good novel, the album makes sense as a whole. There will be standout tracks, and some will become your favorites, but the album itself will leave a mark, too.

You’ll get to experience the record as the artist intended. Playlists serve an important function, but they’ll usually jump between groups, songs, and even genres. Listening to an album is a cohesive statement from the musicians involved, and you’ll find yourself appreciating not just the songwriting, but their musicianship as well.

2. Record Buying Is an Experience

Browsing a record store
Image Credit: Free-Photos/Pixabay

We won’t pretend there aren’t advantages to online shopping. Digital retail has made a wider range of goods available to us at lower prices, all from the comfort of our homes. However, shopping from your smartphone or computer doesn’t give the same experience as going to a store.

Although you can find vinyl available on Amazon and other large physical retailers, the format has been kept alive by independent record stores. Fans of these establishments are passionate and loyal to them. You can spend hours perusing the collections, holding the vinyl records in your hand, and studying the artwork and track listings.

Services like Spotify, YouTube Music, and Apple Music all use algorithms to recommend new artists and tracks to you. This version of music discovery is driven by the data these companies have. If fans of Artist A tend to listen to Artist C, then you’ll get recommended those albums. There are even sites to discover new music on Spotify, too. If you buy your music at a local record store, they are run by knowledgeable staff who can recommend albums more naturally and diversely.

In some ways, buying a record is a gamble. At the moment you hand over your money, you don’t know if it will become your favorite album or something you never listen to again. It does, however, make you more invested in the music, and you are more likely to carve out dedicated time to listen to it. As you delve into record buying, you’ll get to know people, their opinions, and, ultimately, form friendships.

3. Vinyl Sounds Better

vinyl record player
Image Credit: Free-Photos/Pixabay

As formats have shifted over the years, so too has the technology. In the early days of the MP3, storage space came at a premium. So, to pack in as many tracks on your 256MB MP3 player, music needed to be compressed.

The original recordings or masters of an album are of a very high quality. These are used for the mixing process so that as much detail can be found as needed. This is comparable to photography, where it’s better to shoot in higher resolution than you really need, as then you have the most freedom when it comes to editing.

However, the files generated are far larger than you could feasibly store on your computer, phone, or portable music player. So the audio has to be compressed. During this process, some of the detail is lost. However, this is seen as a reasonable trade-off between quality and practicality.

Vinyl is a lossless format. The pressings are made straight from the masters and contain all of the detail the artist intended. It’s for this reason that vinyl sounds better than digital. For comparison, listening to vinyl as opposed to digital is like viewing the Mona Lisa with your own eyes rather than looking at a picture of it on a smartphone.

You’ll also hear vinyl enthusiasts discussing the warm sound they get from their record players. It’s certainly true that many people prefer the sound from a physical record, but your experience may differ.

There are multiple theories as to why this is the case. For some people, record players are a source of nostalgia, reminding them of an earlier time in their life. For others, it may be that the overall experience just feels better, especially when coupled with the lossless format.

4. You Can Resell Your Collection

second hand vinyl records
Image Credit: Free-Photos/Pixabay

When you buy an MP3 or subscribe to a music streaming service, there’s no possibility of resale. In effect, you purchase the right to access that content, but not the product itself. MP3s are indeed more versatile, but some online stores encode them with copyright protection, making it a challenge to move them between computers and libraries.

Vinyl records, on the other hand, have shown themselves to be a worthwhile investment. The technology has been available for many decades, but you can still purchase vinyl produced in the 1940s or 1950s, place it onto your record player, and enjoy it. So long as they have been looked after, the experience will be the same now as when it was first released.

Other physical media, like cassettes or VHS tapes, degrade over time as the tape wears, but the same isn’t true of vinyl. Sites like Depop and eBay make it easy to sell your old or unwanted items. You can also use sites like Craigslist to buy and sell used items online. So, since records tend to keep their value, if you need to free up space at home or unlock some additional cash, you can sell your collection.

Many records released since the introduction of CDs were considered collector’s editions, too. These versions of the record are often released alongside CD and digital copies and are limited in stock. The vinyl itself could be colored or feature the album artwork. As the supply is restricted, you may even find that they appreciate in value.

5. You Own Your Music

vinyl record collection
Image Credit: lppicture/Pixabay

When Spotify users opened their app in early November 2014, they found that Taylor Swift’s back catalog had disappeared from the music streaming service. Swift and her management removed her songs after a royalties dispute with Spotify. Her records returned three years later.

On a similar note, the steaming service removed R. Kelly’s music from all of their playlists after Spotify stopped promoting harmful or hateful artists.

This highlights one of the problems with streaming services. If you use Spotify, Apple Music, or Tidal, you don’t really own your music collection. The songs and artists you love may suddenly become unavailable, while you still pay the same fixed price per month. If you are a casual listener, this may not cause you too much worry. However, music fans enjoy revisiting their collections and repeating their favorite songs.

So long as you own a record player, your vinyl collection is yours, and yours alone. No streaming service can suddenly remove a physical record from your home. Vinyl isn’t subject to format changes or software updates. Most modern record players even allow you to record your collection to a digital format, too, so you get the best of both worlds.

Vinyl vs. Digital: Which Is Best?

Vinyl is one of the best ways to listen to music. To many, the superior sound quality and physical collection are enough to justify the investment. However, that’s not to say there aren’t advantages to digital music. Records aren’t exactly known for their portability, for example.

Having said that, you may have been won over by the benefits of a vinyl record collection. If so, you’ll need a good record player to listen to them on. To get you started, take a look at the best record players for all budgets.

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