- 54 Posts. Joined 6/2013
- Location: Sydney Australia
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It really comes down to interface preferences and what types of devices you use.
Spotify, Beats Music (previously MOG), and Google Music All Access generally have the same audio quality. Ogg Vorbis is typically better quality than an mp3 at the same bit rate, but at a certain quality level, the music is audibly transparent from a lossless file, and I have not seen any reliable evidence that a well encoded lossy track can be identified from a Red Book CD.
I prefer Google Music as it passed my Pink Floyd test for the available library, and they encode their music using Lame version 3.98 with CBR 320 kbps (Insane) settings. To add, Google Music has a seamless integration of my own music with their online library. This allows for me to fill in any gaps with music that may not be available to stream. And my own music just appears like any other album, song, or artists that I have added to my personal library. When I shuffle my library, or play a genre, artist, or song radio station, Google plays music randomly from my own collection as well as songs from their catalog of 20 million tracks.
Naturally, being Google, it all works flawlessly on my Android devices, and I picked up a $250 Samsung Chromebook that I use exclusively as a mobile jukebox. If I have an internet connection, I can can play millions of songs, both my own ripped CDs along with any of the songs in Google's catalog. My Chromebook can connect to one of my DACs with a USB cable, and I get excellent sonic quality.
I signed up when Google Music was first announced in the US, and I am locked into a $7.99/month payment. I used Rhapsody for several years, then used MOG and Spotify for over 2 years at the same time, before trying Google Music and eventually dropping both MOG and Spotify.
Then, the killer secret with Google Music is a program called Song Spout. It is $17/year, but oh my, it makes Google a game changer.
This is also a flagrant violation of copyright, so enjoy your illegal music.