AH Epic App Battles 1.0

Epic App Battles: Google Play Music V.S. Pandora Radio

June 13, 2014 - Written By Justin Diaz

We all have our favorites when it comes to apps that provide similar services. Email, Calendar, Weather, and Music apps just to name a few. In this new segment we’ll be bringing you two different applications every week that we’ll pit against each other head to head, almost like a comparison but not quite. This is more of a straight up battle between two competing apps that offer similar functionality and may or may not have similar features. We know that different applications can appeal to different people for various reasons, which is why we encourage you to give your opinions and cast your vote at the end in our G+ comments thread. Who deserves the title of winner between these two epic music streaming apps? We’ll go through each application and at the end give our vote for who we think should be the winner, but we want your votes too. Which app should be recognized as the champion?

Google Play Music Google Play Music

There are many reasons to love Google Play Music. It brings together a vast library of music from nearly all genres, and throws it all together in one place. You can load up music from your own stash right into your Google Play Music library and access it from just about anywhere as long as you have a connection to the internet and can sign into your Google account. That is one of its best features, and it’s all thanks to storing your music in the cloud. This makes it easy to never worry about losing your music because you don’t have to store it physically on your device or memory card, but the option is there to download the music from your library any time should you want it for offline playback. Google Play Music also has a subscription based service called All Access, which gives you lots more features than the standard app. With All Access which costs $9.99 a month, you can add just about any of the music you can find in the music section of the play store to your library, all which can be downloaded and stored on your device for offline play as well. In addition to access to a virtually unlimited music library you can explore and discover new and popular music right from within the app itself, and listen to radio stations that you create or choose from a preset list of radio stations. There’s also the new “I’m feeling lucky” radio which creates a station for you based off of different types of music you have previously been listening to. Not only that, but any of the internet radio stations that you listen to have unlimited skip amounts. You can also create playlists, and stream music to your TV or monitor using the Chromecast. When it comes to streaming music apps and services, Google Play Music and its All Access service is one of the top apps and pretty much has it all. It’s more expensive than Pandora, but some might argue that you get what you pay for in this regard. All Access could also stand to use some better music aggregation.

Pandora Internet RadioPandora

Pandora and its music genome project have been around for years. Quite a bit longer than Google play Music. This gives them instant credibility because they have been used and loved by millions of users every day for a lengthy period of time and they’re only getting better. One of the best things about Pandora is that it’s strictly an internet radio app and service. It’s smart and intuitive, and often spot on with music suggestions based off of your searches and radio station creation terms. When you create a music station based off an artist or band name, it feeds an unlimited number of songs back to you based off of plenty of in depth criteria from music genres, similar artists, instruments used, and other things like a certain type of music’s sound. It’s complex and works very well, and best of all because Pandora only does internet radio, it’s free to stream. You can play music all day every day and never have to pay Pandora a cent, and create up to 100 different radio stations with the free Pandora account. You are limited to the amount of times you can skip songs per day though. However, Pandora does allow you to get more daily skips by subscribing to the Pandora One service, which also allows you an ad-free experience and provides fewer interruptions, meaning you can listen to your music longer before the station times out and pauses your music. Pandora One is also only $4.99 per month compared to Google Play Music’s $9.99, and Pandora also has Chromecast support which is another big plus. Just like Play music you can listen on a number of devices or anywhere you have an internet connection, and it’s even built into some vehicles allowing you to sign into your Pandora account to listen while you drive. Having Pandora in built right into your car stereo is great if you drive a vehicle that has that option, and without having to connect your device via Bluetooth or through an auxiliary port. But, Pandora like regular radio stations has ads, which means less time listening to actual music. Such is the price of Free.

Who Should Win

As we stated above, this an Epic App Battle where you guys vote for who you think should be the winner. Both apps have some pros and cons, and both have great and accessible user interfaces and are available on a number of devices and platforms, but based off of the more diverse set of content and features, our vote is for Google Play Music. So, what are your votes? Who should be the winner? Don’t use either application yet? You can grab Google Play Music here, and Pandora here.