I really got into listening to music during my freshman year of high school and I started out on Youtube. For the most part, I would find an album that I liked and then stream it. I discovered a lot of my favorite bands through random albums in my recommended page. The problem was, not every album that I wanted to listen to would be available on Youtube, or the people that would post the albums would litter the video with ads. Although this was annoying, there is an alternative way of listening to music through this platform. Listeners can make and save individual playlists for bands and artists, and if they are willing to get Youtube Red (that is, the premium version that cost money), there is even an option to download the videos and listen to them offline.
While Youtube does have passable ways to listen to music, its pitfalls far outweigh its advantages even though it is free. One of the bigger disadvantages is that the screen cannot be turned off during listening and will drain the phone’s battery. Youtube will also eat away at the phone’s data because videos use far more data than an MP3 version of a song. There is also a distinct lack of sound quality when compared to actual streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music, which allow the listener to decide which audio quality they would like to stream at.
About halfway through my junior year, I decided to get an actual streaming service instead of just using YouTube. I did a lot of research about whether I should get Spotify or Apple Music considering those are the two biggest names in the game. They were the exact same price so that was not a determinate for either one. I decided I would check out Spotify and do the free trial because I had read that the format is far easier to use than Apple Music. The first band I listened to with Spotify was the Beatles because their record label is notoriously strict about copyright laws and almost none of their music can be found on YouTube. After one week of using Spotify, I was shocked at how good the music sounded, how easy it was to create a playlist, and how easy it was to queue up and save songs.
Since then, my whole family has jumped on the Spotify train. Before, my mom and my sister used Pandora to stream music, of which I was never really a fan. The fact that there is no option to create playlists or specifically choose which song to listen to, or just listen to an album all the way through, is a definite deal breaker for me. While it is free, I would personally rather use Youtube and put up with a few ads because I’ll have ads anyway.
Other streaming services include Amazon Music and Deezer, which were never really an option for me. I never saw the use in looking at other services for the same price because they didn’t have the same brand recognition. Spotify has been one of my favorite subscriptions simply because it is so convenient. The fact that I can text people while using the app, or open social media, or just make my own playlist with no ads justifies the price alone. Not to mention the discount for college students (which is Spotify Premium and Hulu for only $4.99).
I think if a student can spare the money for a quality streaming service, Spotify is the most worthy investment. As a student, I’ve even found new music that helps me in my education, such as instrumental study music playlists. Spotify might not be for everyone, but anyone who likes music as much as me would have a hard time passing up all of the qualities it has to offer.
By Broc Ingold, staff writer