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Opinions on the music-discovery performance of current streaming services (and how to get the most out of them)?

mkarikom

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Sure, we all have a stash of cd rips and high-res content that was repeatedly vetted and benchmarked on various gear...
But nothing compares to the thrill of hearing something for the first time that fits so perfectly in the moment.

As someone who does ml by day (outside the entertainment industry), it is clear to me that the more we listen, rate, search, and curate an account within a given service, the better our music-discovery experience can be.

In light of these concerns, I'm just interested to hear other peoples' user-strategy regarding discovery: do you eg "try to sync your various accounts (I was doing this with tidal, spotify, amazon music hd, way too much effort)", "just go all in on one service (my current strategy with spotify premium)", "rely on genre-specific services", "I don't use automated music-discovery (see Ray's post below)"....
 
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RayDunzl

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As someone who does ml by day

What's ML? Music Listening? Did I guess right? I'll bet I didn't...

I really don't use "the services".

If I like some group, I investigate the players behind the headliner.

If they're good enough to play with X, and I like what they did, it makes me wonder who else hired them, or what they did on their own.

Repeat with the other members of whatever was found.

That's my main "discovery" method.
 

dougi

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I generally just use Spotify premium and the various discovery mechanisms through that. I quite like the "new release radar" and the other "discovery" one they curate every week. Plus the various "daily" mixes. The artist radio option isn't bad. I do find that sometimes the genres are a bit too narrow though. I used to prefer the discovery in Pandora, where you could find out why it thought you liked the song but sadly not available in Oz any more.
 

Chrispy

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A few years back I thought Pandora had the best algorithm (depending how you filled out your stations) but I think Spotify does pretty good these days for my tastes. They have one recommendation list thats annoying as its only based on latest flash in the pan current pop sort of stuff (which simply just doesn't match up to my tastes but I suppose they gotta try and sell something).
 

richard12511

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Roon has the best album recommendations for my tastes, though I wish they would bring back the star ratings on albums(as those helped me a lot).

Spotify recommendations are pretty good, and Tidal and Qobuz are a several tiers below. Don't have much experience with Apple music.

Check out Music Map and Music Roamer.
 

Helicopter

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I use Amazon Music HD, their algorithm isn't great, but it lets me know when an artist I like releases something. I find a lot of stuff in the music threads here, and I will read about bands and musicians on Wikipedia.
 

Chrispy

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In general I'd think all of these algorithms depend on your input/selections. When I trialed Tidal and Qobuz I found Tidal the worse in this regard, but don't think I'd given either as much input as I have to the others (Pandora, Spotify) due longer use....
 

Jim Matthews

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I listen to XM radio in the car (2.5 - 4 hours daily) and search intriguing artists after jotting notes. Amazon music has decent "referrals" but a curator is a better shortcut.

Steven Van Zandt's "underground garage" and Seton Hawkins "South African Jazz" bring all sorts of gems to my attention.
 

Alexanderc

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If you’re a classical music listener on Amazon (I am), you need to know exactly what you’re searching for and exactly how to spell it or no joy. Thousands of Bach albums, but if you search for “Bach” you’ll only see the 20 most popular.
 

Chrispy

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If you’re a classical music listener on Amazon (I am), you need to know exactly what you’re searching for and exactly how to spell it or no joy. Thousands of Bach albums, but if you search for “Bach” you’ll only see the 20 most popular.

But what about based on your selections made, what does Amazon do for you in the way of suggested music/playlists? It probably would be good if they'd allow for some language/spelling differences, tho.
 

Alexanderc

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But what about based on your selections made, what does Amazon do for you in the way of suggested music/playlists? It probably would be good if they'd allow for some language/spelling differences, tho.
The way it now, it is not good. Not as good as Qobuz for sure (I compared them). If you know what you’re looking for Amazon is fine, if you want to expand your horizons, look elsewhere.
 

Chrispy

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The way it now, it is not good. Not as good as Qobuz for sure (I compared them). If you know what you’re looking for Amazon is fine, if you want to expand your horizons, look elsewhere.

What particular device/app for Amazon? Or even Qobuz for that matter. Not all equal.
 

Alexanderc

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I used the Mac apps for both when I was comparing them. Doing the same search in both yielded different results despite the fact that that searching for specific albums almost always got the specified album on both services. Harder to explain that to demonstrate, but YMMV.

In the end I went with Amazon because my family was already invested in that service and because Qobuz doesn’t allow mobile streaming in Apple CarPlay (songs have to be downloaded to the device).
 

FrantzM

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I would rate Spotify the best, followed by Roon. For classical music? Spotify is a mess and so is Roon, even their search sucks :p … for Western Classical.. have to check out Deutsch Gramophone , they seemed to be decent for Classical and their catalog is immense but I haven’t used their services for the past 5 years or so …
 
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Dan R

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Spofity does a good job letting me know when artists that I enjoy have released new music. Artist radio is good too.
 

Helicopter

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I suppose the stations on Amazon Music are more useful than anything else there, notably recommendations. I've had really good luck here on the forum though.
 
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