Beyond the likes of Apple Music and Spotify and Tidal and such, there are other music services worth checking out.
There’s no shortage of music services in Australia, but most of the ones we all know are the popular ones, platforms that you can probably think of without much effort.
You know the ones: Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, Tidal, Amazon Music, and maybe even Deezer. Many of these offer the same or close catalogues of music, and some even offer extended features, such as support for Dolby Atmos or lossless audio as part of the standard package.
But there’s more than just those five or six music services, with others that cater to special needs. If you’re looking for something different to listen to, tuning into the other options could give you something else to get your sound on.
First stop beyond the world of Spotify, there are a couple of services worth checking out, focusing on music from independent artists, as well as folks who like to mix music.
Price: Free for online listening; from $2.99 USD per month per feed
A service focused almost entirely on independent DJs and mixes, Mixcloud is clearly focused on electronic music of sorts, delivering shows from the likes of Paul Oakenfold, DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Vadim, Deadmau5, Fatboy Slim, and many more, giving you access to their shows for free or downloadable with a monthly cost.
Price: $11.99 per month
With a track catalogue comprising of independent artists and DJs, SoundCloud’s plan to go is for your phone, and comes without ads and even supports the ability to mix tracks inside some DJ apps.
There’s a lot happening on SoundCloud, much of it from artists you’ve never heard of and via DJs mixing a bunch of different things, making it a service to look into if you’re over what the other services provide.
While most services cater to a variety of sounds, some focus entirely on specific genres. With at least two of them, classical is the main focus, handy if that’s all you want to listen to, and would prefer a service that lets you specialise in those sounds.
Price: 14 day trial; roughly $9.99 USD per month without concerts; $29.99 USD per month with concerts
Literally the classical equivalent of Spotify, Idagio like the other music services offers a catalogue of classical players, orchestras, and composers, as well as a way to jump into classical by the mood you’re in.
There’s also support for concerts depending on how much you want to pay, with the service about exploring the world of classical music.
Price: 14 day trial; $10.99 per month for 320kbps MP3; $17.99 per month lossless hi-res audio
Idagio isn’t alone in what it delivers, with Primephonic providing another classical choice with music curated by its team, which like Idagio allows you to explore the world of classical.
While Primephonic doesn’t have shows like Idagio, it does offer podcasts and interviews, not to mention playlists focused on specific instruments.
If you’re interested in music from outside the English market, there’s plenty to listen to, as well. Music services don’t have to be just in English, and even though you can find a variety of international tracks on Spotify, Apple Music, and others, there are also dedicated services you might want to check out.
Price: Free ad-supported edition; $4.99 per month or $39.99 per year with downloadable songs and no ads
Essentially Spotify for the Middle East and North Africa, Anghami offers both music from the region and from the rest of the world, catering to people looking for international sounds that may not be plentiful on the popular services.
Anghami says it has over 57 million Arabic and international songs, and also features podcasts, as well.
Price: Free ad-supported edition; $5.42 per month or $46.16 per year with downloadable songs and no ads
There’s also a style of this service catering to India, with over 200 million monthly users and a catalogue of Indian and international content.
Featuring music from 21 Indian languages with access to over 45 million songs, Gaana is basically Spotify for India.
Got a hankering to feel like you’re at a concert, but can’t quite get there for real? There also offerings focused on that. Bring your own picnic basket, turn the sound up, and feel like you’re there.
Price: 30 day trial; $12.99 USD per month or $129.99 USD per year standard def; $24.99 USD per month or $249.99 USD per year in lossless 16-bit HiFi worth Sony 360 Reality Audio
Pretty much the go-to place for live music pitched online, Nugs.net offers a combination of recently recorded live sessions from around the world, plus a bunch of old ones, as well.
There’s a lot of rock, blues, and country here, covering Jimmy Buffett, Widespread Panic, Metallica, Dave Matthews Band, My Morning Jacket, Pearl Jam, Tedeschi Trucks, and more
Price: 30 day trial; $3.99 USD per month
Another of the services that doesn’t seem limited by location, Wolfgang’s is all about live recordings locked in time across a variety of genres.
Dizzy Gillespie at Newport in 59 and Mose Alison at Newport in 64 are some of the jazz offerings, while Steve Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Traffic, Brie Springsteen, The Police, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, and Jimi Hendrix offer some of what’s in rock and blues, too.
It goes beyond that with some bands that might be a little out of your recollection including Harry Chapin and Jerry Garcia, while recent bands include Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Wilco, Aimee Mann, and Iron & Wine, among others. Basically, it’s a collection of live classics you might want to tune in and relive.