Music streaming

Best Music Streaming Services – Classical Music

TIDAL, Pandora, Idagio, Deezer… they might sound like fabric softeners, but they’re actually just a handful of the growing number of music streaming platforms and services that are grabbing our attention (and our money). Some offer all kinds of music, others are specifically classical. But what should you check out? Here is our guide …

What are the best music streaming platforms for all tastes?

If you have varied tastes and only want to settle for one music streaming service, the choice is vast. The music offered, the sound quality and the costs are more or less the same …

Spotify

Cost: Free or £ 9.99 per month (Premium)

Arguably the best-known name in streaming, Sweden-based Spotify is a one-stop place for all the music you can think of. You can even enjoy it for free, if you’re willing for ads to interrupt your listening. The offer is very large and the search function is much improved, so if you know what you are looking for, you will probably find it quickly.

Deezer

Cost: Free or EUR 9.99 per month (Premium)

France’s response to Spotify, Deezer offers both free and premium services. It’s easy to set up and the layout is maybe a bit cleaner and less complicated than Spotify. You can easily tailor the selection to your tastes and, like other big players, the classic offer is wide. The major labels are all taken into account and new versions are easy to find.

Youtube music

Cost: Free or £ 9.99 per month (Premium)

Google’s take on music streaming, with a focus on playlists and mood. But there is no need to be put off by its millennial vibe or, indeed, its rather no-frills appearance. The search functionality is as intuitive as that of Spotify and the offering is just as broad. Type in “Beethoven” and you’ll come across playlists and essentials, but if you know who or what you want to find, he’ll find it, even if you misspell it.

Apple Music

Cost: £ 9.99 per month

Not to be confused with iTunes (Apple’s music management software), Apple Music is pretty much the benchmark for Apple aficionados. Like Spotify and Deezer, it offers a huge amount of music, playlists, and podcasts. The search function is a little less intuitive than Spotify’s, so you absolutely have to spell everything correctly. The way albums are listed or assigned can also be a bit hit and miss. If you search by composer, chances are you won’t see everything about that composer if the album or track is assigned to an orchestra or soloist.

Amazon Unlimited Music

Cost: £ 9.99 per month (£ 7.99 for Amazon Prime members)

Like Apple, Amazon has been offering a digital music platform for years and now offers varying levels of service. If you’re an Amazon Prime member (which for a monthly fee gives you access to on-demand movies and TV shows, as well as free shipping on Amazon Shopping), you can also get Prime Music. . This is a small scale service, with advertisements. If you want a lot more choice and no ads, there is Amazon Music Unlimited. Just like Spotify and Apple Music, it offers a wide range of genres.

Pandora

Cost: Free or $ 4.99 (Plus), $ 9.99 (Premium)

Currently only available in the United States, Pandora offers three packages. The free radio player works much like Spotify, with the paid versions removing ads and (in the case of Premium) allowing unlimited offline listening (basically what Apple Music allows, i.e. downloading albums / tracks / playlists on your device). It is sold as an intuitive service, which will offer listening based on traits and habits that it recognizes … a bit like Netflix? ‘You may also like…’

Which music streaming platforms give you the best sound and high resolution sound?

If you are a slightly more demanding audiophile and the highest quality listening experience matters – we imagine you in your padded “listening room” or in your favorite chair with VERY expensive headphones – then here are some platforms that offers a wide choice and great sound.

TIDE

Cost: from £ 9.99 per month

Okay, so TIDAL is actually like the major players when it comes to offering, choice and overall experience. However, it offers three levels of audio quality experience: Standard (AAC, like Apple and the like), HiFi (CD quality), and Master (Hi-Res). Of course, the better the quality, the more you pay per month – £ 19.99 for the ‘Master’ subscription.

Qobuz

Cost: from £ 14.99 per month

Another French platform, Qobuz stands out by offering only high-resolution audio – hence its higher cost. Like the other platforms, it is a multi-genre service, in addition it creates its own editorial content. It also offers high resolution downloads, which subscribers can access at a reduced rate if they sign up for the “Studio Sublime” package (£ 20.83 per month) … But why would you feel the need to do that, if you can access a great quality feed for less money?

Which are the best classical music streaming platforms?

So, you only want to listen to classical music? And you want that music to be in fantastic audio quality? Well, there are at least two platforms that you need to know about …

Primephonic

Cost: From £ 9.99 per month (Premium)

This service is sold as having “the definitive catalog”, and the offer is really wide, with new titles being added all the time, from big and small labels. There’s no free option, beyond a 14-day trial, but for £ 9.99 you get access to everything out there, with mp3 sound quality. If you want to make £ 14.99 per month, you get the same content but in high resolution audio. The search functionality is top-notch, and like Idagio (below), it’s designed for the needs of the classic listener. It also offers additional material, such as album booklets, educational and artist podcasts. Excellent value.

Idagio

Cost: Free or EUR 9.99 per month (Premium +)

This service is based on the Spotify / Deezer / YouTube model, but focuses totally on classical music. So, for free – but with ads – you can search, read, and build a listening library that takes full advantage of Idagio’s carefully curated selection. When you part with your money each month, you have access to higher quality audio (CD / lossless), ad-free, offline playback, and better mobile connectivity. Definitely worth a visit if you only listen to classic, but if you want a little extra detail like booklets, podcasts, etc., this is currently not for you.

About Michael Beek

Michael is the editor-in-chief of reviews for BBC Music Magazine. He joined the team in May 2018, after ten years as a freelance film music journalist and fifteen years at St George’s Bristol – where he was everything from ticketing supervisor to head of content and engagement. place.

Michael specializes in film and television music and was the music editor for Movies.com. He has written for the BBC Proms, the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Albert Hall, Hollywood in Vienna and Silva Screen Records. Also a presenter, Michael has hosted concerts and live events for the Bristol Film Festival and St George’s Bristol, as well as Debbie Wiseman’s “Music and Words from Wolf Hall” in venues across the UK.


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