Family music streaming: Best options from Spotify, Apple Music, Google, Amazon and Deezer - MrLiambi's blog

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Monday, 7 February 2022

Family music streaming: Best options from Spotify, Apple Music, Google, Amazon and Deezer

Once your children get to a particular age, you'll find that having everyone using the same music account becomes difficult. Not only does it mess with your automatically-generated playlists, but more importantly it means you can't listen because someone else is using that subscription.

In comes the family plan, aiming to give multiple users access to streaming services without you having to pay the full price for multiple individual subscriptions.

Here we break down the costs, pros and cons of each different system and you'll find they're all competitively priced.

Spotify

Spotify is the big daddy of streaming services, 82 million+ tracks, 3.6 million podcasts and Spotify Radio, but importantly there's a lot of support for Spotify on other devices through the Premium service - on smart TVs, speakers, Android, Apple, PC, Mac - with Spotify Connect a major advantage.

The family price is £16.99/$15.99/€14.99 and for that up to six members get the same Premium level of service. If you're already a Spotify subscriber and you join a family, you can keep your playlists. 

You all have to live at the same address - but there's no limit on the number of devices - and there will be one individual bill. You will all have to have individual Spotify accounts linked to an email address - with Spotify Kids an exclusive part of Spotify Family, with content specifically for younger children.

There's ad-supported Spotify Free as an alternative, but it does have limitations - and if you're part of a Spotify Family you can't use any other discounts or use free subscriptions from third-parties, like your mobile provider.

There is explicit content filtering, which you can set on an individual basis so the primary account holder is in charge of what family users can and cannot hear.

The downside of Spotify is if you're using devices like the Echo in your household all linked to one account, it won't recognise individual family users, so you can't play across multiple devices.

Apple Music

Apple Music boasts 90 million songs and access to the Apple Music 1 (previously Beats 1) radio station. It is supported on Apple and Android devices, Apple HomePod, Sonos, PC, Mac, Amazon Echo devices and Google Nest devices.

Apple Music includes anything you might have in your iTunes collection including music you purchased from Apple, and you can sync iCloud music that you upload - with each member able to share iTunes purchases with the family. You also get access to Apple's expanding collection of Dolby Atmos spatial audio, as well as higher quality lossless audio on some tracks.

Apple Music costs £14.99/$14.99/€14.99 for a family of six and everyone will have to have an Apple ID to be part of the family - as it is with Family Sharing. You can create an Apple ID for children under the age of 13 using your own email address as an emergency backup; kids over 13 can create their own Apple ID. 

You can join a family if you've been an Apple Music subscriber previously, keeping your playlists and so on. 

You can also set content restrictions in Apple Music. This needs to be set on each device (it's not universal), but the settings can be locked with a PIN code. Apple Music will let you have multiple streams on devices like the Echo across your household.

Amazon Music Unlimted

While Amazon Music offers some "free" access via Prime subscriptions in Prime Music, for the full 75 million songs you'll need to take out a proper Amazon Music subscription - Amazon Music Unlimited. Prime Music only has a catalogue of 2 million tracks.

The Unlimited family account gives you six members and each user gets an individual account; each member needs to be at least 13 years old to have an Amazon account, so it's different to other Amazon Household accounts - like Kindle.

You can upload music to Amazon Music Unlimited and music you purchase from Amazon - including AutoRip tracks - are included. Amazon Music Unlimited can also be "cast" to Echo devices on the same network using Alexa Cast, while multiple streams within an Echo household are supported.

Amazon also supports higher resolution music, on some tracks, as well as Dolby Atmos and 360 Reality Audio on supporting devices.

There is explicit lyric filtering available and you'll have to enable this on each individual device, but there's no PIN protection so can easily be turned off.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music takes over from Google Play Music and offers a 70 million strong catalogue of official albums, playlists, singles and videos. It can be accessed on Android or Apple devices, PC, Mac, supports Google Cast streaming to many speakers, and is supported natively on Google Home devices. 

The family subscription requires all users to have a Google Account, which then allows up to 6 family members (including the bill payer) all living at the same address. You can only change family groups once per year. You can include children that you have setup using Family Link if your child is under the age of 13, otherwise everyone needs their own Google account.

It costs £14.99 / $14.99 / €14.99 for the family. 

There are parental controls in the YT Music app that will allow you to exclude explicit content in music. 

Deezer

Deezer offers 90 million music streaming tracks and plays nice with a wide range of platforms, on Android, iPhone, PC as well as smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Nest devices.

The family price is £14.99/$14.99/€14.99 and that again gives you 6 users - all of which have to be living at the same address - with separate profiles. Deezer is keen to point out that you'll get plenty of content perfect for younger kids with its Deezer Kids option providing music picks for under 12s.

There's a limit of 13 devices for the Deezer family account - 3 for the main subscriber and then 2 each for the secondary users.

There is explicit lyric filtering that can be enabled on each playing device.

Tidal 

You might not immediately think of Tidal when it comes to family music, but the service is competitively priced in line with other services. Tidal has made its name on higher quality music and indeed you get that here, with CD quality/1411kbps streaming rather than the lower quality that you'll find on some other services. However, the HiFi Plus - which offers the higher-teir of quailty, is a staggering £29.99 on the family plan.

You'll get up to 6 users and each will need their own email address to enable login. There is no option to block explicit lyrics on Tidal, but you can block artists. You can only use Tidal with the Amazon Echo in the US, not anywhere else, so it's a little more restricted and best experienced via the phone or desktop app for families.

Prices do vary across regions, however.



Source : https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/reviews/146582-best-family-music-streaming-spotify-apple-google-amazon-deezer

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