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From Apple Music, to Spotify: How do streaming music services compare?

Which streaming music service is right for you?. Ian Waldie/Getty Images

TORONTO – Apple Music, which officially launched Tuesday, has been the focus of the music industry for the last few weeks. But many other streaming music services came before it and offer similar services.

Below we compare some of the most popular music streaming services to see how they compare.

Apple Music

Can I use this service without paying for it?

Apple is offering a three-month free trial for Apple Music starting Tuesday – but you will automatically be charged $10-per-month when your trial is over.

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Those who don’t pay for a membership will still be able to listen to Beats 1 radio, however.

Price per month: $9.99 per month for an individual membership, or $14.99 for a family plan that allows up to six family members to stream content.

Supported platforms: iOS, Mac, PC, Apple TV, web and Android (coming in the fall)

Song catalog: Over 30 million songs

Sound quality: 256 kbps

Offline streaming: Yes. Apple Music allows for 25,000 songs to be stored in your music library offline. According to the company, they are working to get that number up to 100,000 for iOS 9.

Radio: Yes. Plus, Apple Music also features Beats 1 – a live 24/7 radio station hosted by DJs, including former BBC host Zane Lowe, that will be broadcast from Los Angeles, New York and London.

Bonus features: A social networking-like feature for artists dubbed “Connect,” which allows them to release content such as lyrics to an upcoming song, behind-the-scenes video, or even new tracks to fans.

Currently, Apple Music is the only streaming service that will have pop superstar Taylor Swift’s latest album 1989.

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Spotify

Can I use this service without paying for it?

Yes, however you will have to deal with ads and you are only given six times to skip songs.

Price per month: For full streaming with no ads it will cost $9.99 per month.

Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, PC, Mac, PS3, PS4 and web

Song catalogue: Over 30 million songs

Sound quality: Up to 320 kbps

Offline streaming: Yes. You can sync up to 3,333 songs per device and keep them offline for up to 30 days.

Radio: Yes

Bonus features: Right now, Canadians who don’t have a Spotify account can get three months of a premium paid account for 99 cents.

Rdio

Can I use this service without paying for it?

Yes, however you will have to deal with ads and you are limited to the number of time you can skip songs.

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Price per month: Rdio offers two paid subscriptions – “Rdio Select,” which has no ads or skip limits and allows users to keep 25 mobile downloads, costs $3.99 per month.

A full “Rdio Unlimited” subscription costs $9.99 per month.

Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and web

Song catalogue: Over 30 million songs

Sound quality: Up to 320 kbps

Offline streaming: Yes. “Rdio Select” subscribers can keep up to 25 songs offline and users who subscribe to a full “Rdio Unlimited” plan can keep unlimited downloads.

Radio: Yes

(Global News’ parent company Shaw Media has a partnership with Rdio.)

Tidal

Can I use this service without paying for it?

No – not unless you sign up for a month’s membership.

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Tidal offers a 30 day free trial when you sign up for a membership; however, you can cancel your membership at any time.

Price per month: $9.99 per month for standard sound quality, or $19.99 per month for high definition sound quality.

Supported platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone and PC

Song catalogue: Over 30 million songs

Sound quality: Up to 320 kbps, or 1411 kbps with high definition

Offline streaming: Yes. However, it’s unclear how many songs you can store offline.

Radio: No

Bonus features: Exclusive content from artists like Beyoncé. The superstar released a video for her song “Feelin Myself” with rapper Nicki Minaj to the platform in May.

Google Play Music

Can I use this service without paying for it?

Yes. Google allows users to store up to 50,000 of their iTunes songs on the service for free and listen to its radio-style playlists.

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Price per month: $9.99 per month

Supported platforms: iOS, Android and web

Song catalogue: Over 30 million songs

Sound quality: Up to 320 kbps

Offline streaming: Yes.

Radio: Yes. Google Play Music subscribers can listen to their purchased music offline, or download music from Google Play for when they don’t have an Internet connection.

Bonus features: Currently, Samsung Canada customers can get six months of Google Play Music for free.

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