Choices aplenty in music apps

Anila Kurian, DH News Service, Mar 9 2018, 00:23 IST
Parvathy Rohith listens to Apple Music

Amazon launched its app Prime Music on February 28, about two years and a half after Apple Music hit Indian shores.

Music streaming apps and websites allow users to listen to songs for free. Users who pay a subscription are spared the ads, and can download songs for offline listening.

Saavn, Gaana, Wynk, Google Play Music and Apple Music are already familiar names on the Indian music streaming scene.

All apps provide film music in the Indian languages. They also feature Indian classical music and international albums. Although the apps share similar content, they have their strengths in certain areas of their catalogues. Some are trying to distinguish themselves by curating playlists.

Nirav Thakker, senior project manager, says, "It's a no-brainer that a lot of people are interested in Amazon Prime Music because they've already paid for Prime Video. It's just been two weeks since the app launched, so it is too early to say whether it's good or not."

Thakker has been a user of Gaana, and likes the content on it. "I was introduced to it by a colleague last year. They have good playlists like 'Riya's Retro' and 'Kahaani Rooh Ki'."

Roji Varghese, 3D artist, uses Wynk. "I replay the music whenever I want. And by subscribing, I don't have to listen to advertisements every time."

Ashwini Ranjan, who works for a corporate company, is a Saavn user. "The playlists are pretty much the same on all apps," she says. Among those keen on exploring new international artistes, Apple Music is the favourite. The app is now available for Android users as well. Food blogger Parvathy Rohith says, "Apple Music has sections for cardio workouts, cooking and other daily activities. It introduces me to musicians I haven't heard of before, and the design is clean and easy to use."

Monika Manchanda, food consultant, finds streaming apps more convenient than CDs and other music media.

"You have pretty decent data on your phone and almost everyone has broadband at home. So you can browse through the lists. But the problem is when you don't have access to the Internet. You get stuck and feel lost."

Amazon Prime Audio enjoys a price advantage: for Rs 999, users get.

Why people like streaming apps

*Easy to download and use.
*Millions of songs on tap.
*No need to carry CDs, pen drives.
*Economical on data use.

Monthly subscription

Apple Music: Rs 60 (student), Rs 120 (individual) and Rs 190 (family)
Wynk Rs 99 for Android. Rs 120 for iOS
Google Play Music Rs 99
Saavn Pro Rs 95
Gaana: Rs 99
Amazon Prime Rs 999 a year (includes video and free shipping for online purchases).

Where are the CDs?

With many CD shops shutting down, people are going online and listening to music on their computers, phones and mobile devices.
In recent months, the fall in mobile broadband rates is making on-the-go listening easier and more attractive. Many music lovers play songs downloaded on to their pen drives, but that practice is declining.

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