To stream or not to stream

Adam Sheffield, Sports Editor

Let’s be honest here, when was the last time you actually bought a song or CD? The music-streaming industry is constantly changing, and iTunes is slowly becoming a thing of the past.

While Apple Music, YouTube, and Pandora certainly still have a place in the music industry, two websites are taking the forefront: Spotify and SoundCloud.

Personally, I have both apps on my phone, and I find myself flip-flopping between the two quite frequently. I carry about half my music on each app, which raises the question, why not just use one? And from a social media aspect, which is better?

Spotify launched its app Oct. 7, 2008, and as of June 2015, it has amassed over 75 million users. Due to its partnership with Facebook, many people were introduced to Spotify after seeing it mentioned on their newsfeed after a friend played a song from the site.

Spotify playlists are often heralded as the best feature of the site. Spotify itself releases things called “mood playlists” which allow you to listen to a variety of playlists based on how you’re feeling. Examples of playlists include “Good Vibes,” “Intense Studying,” and “Party Hits 2015.” You also have the option to make your own playlists, which can feature whatever songs you want. Spotify features 20 million songs and over 1.5 billion playlists made as of 2015.

Regular Spotify, as well as the app, costs nothing. Spotify Premium, which costs $9.99 per month, comes with added perks. It allows you to select any song you want, which is not a feature on the normal app. In the normal app, you can only shuffle playlists, which becomes frustrating if you want to hear a particular song. Premium also features better sound quality, no ads, and allows you to download music so you can listen to it offline.

“Even though it costs money, the

ability to listen to playlists whenever you want without wifi is great,” said senior Ceejay Xiong.

Within Spotify, you can follow certain artists, as well as other users. This means you will receive an update whenever they post something new. Another feature is the running feature, which matches the music with the tempo at which you’re running.

SoundCloud is a much more “user-run” site, which has both pros and cons. Unlike Spotify, SoundCloud allows anyone to upload music. This means that you are bound to hear some great songs you’ve never heard before, but also there is a lot of plain weird stuff on the site. Also, SoundCloud only allows you to upload 3 hours worth of recordings per person. If someone wishes to exceed that, it will cost $145 dollars per year for unlimited uploads.

“SoundCloud is great for unknown or rising artists, specifically EDM artists. As a result, there are a lot of hidden gems you wouldn’t be

able to find on Spotify,” said Xiong Much like Spotify, you can also follow people and artists, as well as make playlists. The key difference between the two comes down to

quality vs. quantity.
Even though Spotify has over 30

million songs, as of Dec. 2014, over twelve hours of content are uploaded to SoundCloud every minute. This means that SoundCloud has an immense library of options, but a lot of it is either terrible quality or just not good. Spotify is more selective with their songs, which means quality is much improved.

Both websites/apps are likely to be around for awhile, and both have their place in music. If you’re looking for a place to find well-known artists, as well as good sound quality, then Spotify is your go-to music place. But if you want to discover new music, try to make a name for yourself as an artist, or even listen to a podcast, SoundCloud is the app for you.