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Beats Music, the newest streaming service

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Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, iTunes Radio, Google Play All Access and Rhapsody. When it comes to streaming music, the choices seem endless. Personally, I’ve been using Spotify since my freshman year of college. I’ve been looking to pay for a “premium” streaming service for a while now. While looking at blogs and comparing the options I read about the launch of Beats Music, a new service that’s making buzz across the Internet because it counts Dr. Dre and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor among its founders.

Because I’m an AT&T customer, I qualify for a three-month trial of Beats Music. And so began my experiment. Right after signing up, I was asked to “tap” on music genres and artists that I liked so the “music curation” process could begin. After selecting some of my favorite bands, and eliminating those I didn’t like my front page was full of playlist and artists suggestions that were super accurate – from albums I love to albums I’ve been meaning to listen to. One of my favorite features is the amount of playlists already created by the Beats Music team. I loved The Knife’s 2013 album “Shaking the Habitual” and have been looking to listen to some of their older stuff. Beats Music recommended an “Intro to The Knife” playlist. Many well-known bands and artists have these “Intro” and “Deep Cuts” playlists for those looking to get into a certain artists but are unsure of where to start.

Another of my favorite features is “The Sentence.” With four “fill in the blank” options, the service tries to create an accurate radio station. Two of my personal favorites,  “I’m in bed and feel like being blue with myself to indie rock” or “I’m in my apartment and feel like making bad choices with my BFFs to pop” both gave me songs that were on-point. The more you “love” or “hate” tracks, the better the recommendations get.

However, one of my main problems with Beats Music is how unreliable and clunky the web version is. “The Sentence” isn’t available online and the mobile application is ten times easier to use. I was met with crashes and bugs navigating the online version and it was harder to find albums and playlists online. Often I found myself just using the service on my phone even when I was working on my computer. Also, I miss the social aspect of Spotify, while I can “follow” websites and blogs, I have to admit that I love creeping on what my friends are listening to.

I still have about two and a half more months on my trial, and hopefully with time the Beats Music team will address the web version and add some of the mobile features. In the mean time, the battle of what service I’ll pay for continues and I have to admit, Beats Music is slowly beating the competition.

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