Android users know this best: Google Music is a great service. You can purchase music and have it added to your library to stream. Along with purchases, you can upload 50,000 of your own music files (free of charge) to stream over a myriad of devices on multiple operating systems (Android, iOS, Mac, Linux and Windows). You can also “pin” or download songs and albums you like for offline usage.
When it comes down to it, Google Music is a very powerful service that a lot of people like. Still, not everyone is interested in using Google services. That’s understandable. Luckily, this type of streaming technology isn’t limited to Google. There are a few great alternatives, both paid and free.
1. Amazon Prime Music
Prime Music is probably the best competitor to Google Music on this list. That’s why it’s in the #1 slot. Just like Google’s service, you can purchase from tons of artists and add them directly to your Prime Music library. Along with just purchasing music, you can upload all of your music library directly to Prime Music and access it from Android, Amazon devices, iOS, Mac, Linux and Windows.
You’ll be able to upload 250 songs for free. This is obviously significantly lower than the 50,000 songs Google allows users to upload. However, if you have the money to spend, Prime Music is very much worth it as you get 250,000 songs to upload, and you can also add tons of music from artists with it being completely free (when the music is included with Prime). It’s very much hands off, and is the only Google Music alternative out there for users who aren’t looking to set up their own streaming software.
Not interested in signing up for an entire music service just to stream from your library to your devices? You should probably check out Subsonic. It’s not the only self-made solution on this list, but it’s probably the most polished.
Now, there’s something you should know: Subsonic is not as good if you just use the free service. You get a really butchered experience. Your server just won’t be as good. If you want to get the most out of the Subsonic service, you’ll need to pay them $1 per month.
That $1 price tag really isn’t a lot, and it goes a really long way. Subsonic is a media streaming service. Unlike Amazon Prime Music or Google Music, your Subsonic server is as big as the hard drive you install it on. What’s even better is that you’re not limited to just music. You’ll also be able to stream other forms of media like videos and podcasts. It’s quite a nice bonus!
If you’re looking for something as good as Google Music, and you’re not interested in relying on another cloud service, seriously consider Subsonic as your solution. Frankly, its awesome.
Want a self hosted solution but not interested in Subsonic? Don’t worry! There’s Ampache. According to the official website, it’s a “web based audio/video streaming application and file manager allowing you to access your music and videos from anywhere, using almost any internet enabled device.”
Ampache is a lot like Subsonic in some ways and different in others. Much like the Subsonic service, it’s possible to stick it on a home server along with your entire music and video library and stream it whereever you wish. Unlike the Subsonic service, it doesn’t cost anything and is completely free software.
This can be great if you love software freedom, but a bit of a drawback if you’re looking for something a little more straight-forward and professionally made. For example: Ampache does not have an official mobile app nor a clear community of mobile apps (like Subsonic does).
Still, this isn’t meant to be disparaging. Sometimes people don’t need a specialized group of apps to get their streaming service set up and going. If you want a music streaming service to replace Google Music and aren’t interested in spending any money, you really should give this service a shot.
Google Music is a really nice music service, but it’s not the only one out there. This list proves that! I hope that this article helps you to find a proper alternative to Google Play Music.
Do you know a good alternative? Tell us below in the comments section!