Thursday, August 1, 2013 Leave a Comment
Are you yet to hop on board the music streaming revolution? Still can’t decide which service to sign up to? Or maybe the glitter that once made your current music service sparkle has started to come unstuck and you are finding it attached to random body parts months later (apologies- flashback to a bad glitter experience). In any case, here’s another online music service offering add to your consideration list….. Deezer. The name always makes me want to break into rhyming slang… alright, gov’ner? Feel like going for a few Britneys in the Ringo so we can ‘ave a rabbit about this new music service, then? In actual fact, Deezer has French origins, with the original version- Blogmusik being launched in gay Paree way back in 2006. It finally arrived on Australian shores in 2012. Today, it boasts over 25 million licensed tracks, 30,000 radio channels and around 30 million users worldwide.
On the surface, Deezer offers similar functionality to the ever-popular Spotify. Dig a little deeper, however, and you will find some additional features that may entice you to choose this service over others.
For a start, it is accessed via a web interface, thus not requiring you to download any software, and effectively making it accessible from any device with a browser. The interface is clean and easy to navigate. Based on a few initial inputs (such favourite artists) the home page will offer personalised recommendations, including new releases from artists you like, user playlists you may like, recommendations from your friends, and even upcoming gigs of bands you like. There is also a Deezer recommends tab which offers newly released albums, chart listings and personal Deezer picks (I noticed that they already had a Big Day Out 2014 playlist up- the morning after the official lineup announcement), all sorted under musical genres such as rock, indie, electronic and world music. I actually noticed a lot more indie music offerings on Deezer than Spotify, which of course appealed to my non-commercial leanings.
The Radio function offers access to a vast variety of radio stations, starting from the most basic genre selection (rock, blues, hip-hop) through to themed stations (Splendor in the Grass Official Playlist, Eminem’s 40th Birthday Radio) and then on to artist-based stations, where various industry types have created stations based on their musical tastes and influences. Whilst great if you want some musical variety and don’t feel like taking the time to create your own playlist, this function still falls short of the Pandora service for me, offering less variety and fewer surprises in playback selections. Interestingly, whilst all of the other services on Deezer are not offered on your mobile or tablet without a subscription plan, the radio stations are still accessible, so it’s a great free service if you are out and about and want to mix up your music.
There’s plenty of social media integration, allowing you to spread the joy evoked by creating the perfect playlist or hearing your new favourite song with your facebook and twitter friends. There’s also an App Studio which features musical quizzes, social networking, mixing, and song finder apps (to name but a few) and cheekily enough, even an app to import your Spotify playlists into Deezer!
If you want to listen to your own music library through Deezer, you’d better hope your music library is not too large, as you have to import songs one by one, so it could take a bit of time. Personally, I tend to switch back to my chosen media player to listen to my own music and then use Deezer when I want to hear something new, different or something I just don’t have in my library.
Deezer offers three subscription levels. The Discovery plan is their free service which will give you unlimited streaming from your PC for 12 months (and then limit you to 2 hrs/month). For $6.99/month, you can get the Premium plan, which removes all the ads, and offers high-quality audio payback. For a few extra dollars- $11.99/month- you get everything with the Premium+ Package, which in addition to the Premium plan lets you access Deezer on your mobile phone, tablet and IP TV, and provides an offline service where you can listen to music you have downloaded even when you have no internet connection. You can test drive the Premium+ service for free for 15 days to see if you think it’s worthy of becoming your music streaming service of choice.
So there you have it- ‘av a Captain Cook and see wot yew fink, alright? Spanish waiter, darlin!