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GeeJay
2014-05-20, 16:43
The kids are home from college, and I'm tired of hearing them play music through their iPhone and bluetooth speakers when we're together at home. The problem seems to be that I'm not subscribed to a music service.

I had the free version of Pandora (which I rarely used), but that doesn't appear to be supported any longer. I've almost stepped up and paid for, at various times, MOG, Pandora's premium service, Spotify, and probably a number of others whose names escape me at the moment. The thing that has kept me from pulling the trigger is that each one seemed to have some missing piece that made it not worthwhile for me to pay for it.

So, I'm seeking the best solution, with the following must-haves:

Works with my SB3s, Duet and Touch
Must be able to sync on multiple devices
Needs to have a large library, mostly mainstream pop, country, classic rock, etc., although for me I like to stray from the hits.
Must sound good on my mid-fi system...I don't need lossless, but I don't want 128k, either.
Needs to still be able to do all of this a year from now.

Like-to-haves:

Smart Mix compatible
Ickstream compatible (maybe they'll let me start testing it if I get the right service!)

I think I've covered everything. I'm hoping to get some good suggestions before everyone shows up for the Memorial Day weekend!

Thanks,
GeeJay

kc5f
2014-05-20, 18:01
When Last.fm stopped streaming last month I had to go through the same type of search. They had provided me an incredible service over more then seven years, but then CBS bought them and ran them into the ground. Sort of like Logitech and Squeezebox... I can't speak to Smart Mix and Ickstream, but here's what found:

Pandora's free service is still available on the Squeezebox lineup. I use it, but not often, because their library is somewhat limited. For the mainstream music you're looking for, however, it might be just fine.

One that I used even before Last.fm is Slacker. They also have free and paid versions, but have a wider mix of music styles available. And with the free version I rarely hear commercials on my Duet, Boom and Radio, unlike Pandora.

What I've ended up using the most is Spotify. The only problem is that it doesn't work with the older devices - only the Radio, in my case. But since I listen all the time on my Android at work, I can put up with not being able to sync it at home. It wouldn't work for you, but I haven't found another service that has multiple groups of, for example, Danish Big Band Hip-Hop. (One genre - not three!)

So I'd suggest checking out Slacker. Plenty of mainstream music, and if you do decide to subscribe to get rid of commercials, I think it's only a few bucks per month.

erland
2014-05-21, 10:53
Ickstream compatible (maybe they'll let me start testing it if I get the right service!)

From the latest ickStream newsletter:


We are especially interested in people who have access to premium accounts in music on demand services such as Deezer, Qobuz or WiMP and we would also like to have more beta testers who actively use the SoundCloud service.


We are continuously adding support for new services, so as long as you are selecting a major one it's likely going to be supported in ickStream some time in the future.

To get the full ickStream beta testing experience right now, you also need to run LMS on Linux/OSX and have an iOS device supporting iOS 7. If you are using Windows, it's enough if you are willing to run LMS in a Linux based virtual machine using VirtualBox/VMWare or similar virtualisation software.

Dogberry2
2014-05-21, 12:42
I still use Pandora's free service, and it works fine, including sync. I also notice that although I sometimes listen for 3 or 4 hours at a stretch, I haven't heard a commercial on Pandora in a very long time. And I like the selections they make based on my station seeds. I have about a dozen stations set up, most of which I seeded very specifically, and the stuff that comes up in rotation is almost always on target.

matka
2014-05-21, 13:22
I'm using qobuz.com for few years now, mostly because of 2 factors: they stream in flac and classical catalog is strong. Using your criteria:


Works with my SB3s, Duet and Touch Duet, Touch and Transporter, should work with SB3 in flac or mp3 but I have not tried it (can't find my SB3...)

Must be able to sync on multiple devices qobuz allows multiple connections but I have not tried syncing

Needs to have a large library, mostly mainstream pop, country, classic rock, etc., although for me I like to stray from the hits. Check the catalog, seems sufficient to me, I also found indie catalog quite good.

]Must sound good on my mid-fi system...I don't need lossless, but I don't want 128k, either. You can choose mp3 at 320kbps or flac, mp3 is cheaper, both sound great

Needs to still be able to do all of this a year from now. This one is tricky, I'm with qobuz since plugin has appeared (couple of years ?) and they seem to be expanding to other countries than France, but I have no idea what is their financial position or market share, not knowing that, I pay monthly instead of yearly.

If you can not set up streaming account via web because your country is not supported, send them an email and they will set your account with France attribute. You can try the service for 1 month free.

Good luck.

ButC
2014-05-22, 10:19
I still use Pandora's free service, and it works fine, including sync. I also notice that although I sometimes listen for 3 or 4 hours at a stretch, I haven't heard a commercial on Pandora in a very long time. And I like the selections they make based on my station seeds. I have about a dozen stations set up, most of which I seeded very specifically, and the stuff that comes up in rotation is almost always on target.

You have to be in the US to use Pandora through LMS, right?

Otto-Wilhelm
2014-05-22, 12:37
You have to be in the US to use Pandora through LMS, right?

Using a service like http://www.unblock-us.com you use Pandora outside the USA. I use it in Germany.

GeeJay
2014-05-22, 19:25
Well, I was able to get Pandora to work again using the web interface instead of trying to get it going through my remote. Not sure what the issue was, but I'm going to set up a few Favorites and see if that works better.

I'm not thrilled with the sound quality at 128k (one of my must-haves). I suppose I can pay for the subscription and get better quality, although that only gets me to 192k.

Of more importance is getting rid of the commercials. Unlike the previous poster, I am getting them every 4-5 songs.

Erland, I do have OSX and iPeng using iOS7, so that won't be an issue once I settle on a service I like.

Qobuz looks to be much more expensive than the other services, even if I can figure out how to get it in the US. Cost needs to be less than $10/month for me to feel it's worth it.

I'm leaning towards Pandora One. At $4.99/month it probably fits most of my needs at a wallet-friendly price, and I already have a few stations set up through the free account I've had for years. Truth be told, 192k is probably good enough sound quality, particularly since most of our listening will be outside by the pool.

Thanks for the ideas so far. I'll be checking in periodically to see if any other services get a frequent mention.

EDIT: Searching "Pandora" here I pulled up some posts that reminded me of something I first read several years ago when I last considered upgrading to Pandora One...apparently it doesn't work (or at least the higher bitrate isn't available) on SB. Does anyone know if that is still true? I now remember that was the reason I didn't upgrade when P1 was first made available.

ButC
2014-05-22, 21:26
Using a service like http://www.unblock-us.com you use Pandora outside the USA. I use it in Germany.

Any good free services like that? Or any other way to get around the blocking?

MarkusE
2014-05-30, 04:13
Any good free services like that? Or any other way to get around the blocking?
Deezer has a free access option called 'Discovery' which is available as an app on mysqueezebox.com. You can play so called 'Smart Radios' which plays one song of your favorite artist followed by artists, which are similar. After approx. 10 songs the next song of the selected/favorite artist is played again an so on. Very good music quality and a huge variety of artists. The 'Premium+' option has probably far more features, but nobody is obviously able to answer my questions concerning the deezer app and 'Premium+' here (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?98126-Deezer-App).

Eric Seaberg
2014-06-06, 11:20
Sorry I'm a little late in seeing this, but I subscribed to SKY.FM http://www.sky.fm/ along with Pandora. SKY FM has a great library and the paid service bumps you up to 256kbps. The sound is AWESOME. They also have mobile apps for streaming on the go. I'm tempted to cancel my SiriusXM subscription and use this instead! There's also a sister 'station' to SKY which is JAZZ RADIO http://www.jazzradio.com/. When you pay for SKY you also get JAZZ RADIO, which is also 256kbps.

It works great with LMS to all devices in sync.

cncb
2014-06-13, 17:39
Do any of the services allow different music to be played by different players at the same time with only one account? I checked with Slacker and the say they don't allow this.

garym
2014-06-13, 17:53
Do any of the services allow different music to be played by different players at the same time with only one account? I checked with Slacker and the say they don't allow this.

I believe Spotify does, if one is using the official logitech spotify app and Radios or Touch players. (but not with triode's 3rd party spotify plugin)

Otto-Wilhelm
2014-06-21, 10:32
Do any of the services allow different music to be played by different players at the same time with only one account? I checked with Slacker and the say they don't allow this.

Qobuz, WiMP and Deezer allow this and are not only suitable to play music via SB Touch and SB Radio, as is apparently the case for Spotify. Music can also be played via IPeng. Currently I am trying these 3 services. From the app UI in LMS I like Qobuz and WiMP more than Deezer, but is is difficult to have a clear preference for one over the other. For covering a broad range of styles including Jazz and Classical Qobuz and WiMP could be a good combination which would allow to stream CD quality Flac for a higher monthly fee.

radish112
2014-06-21, 13:09
I miss last.fm, but I'm now using Rhapsody. I pay $4.99 a month, and can do on-demand streaming. According to pp. 86, 87 of the 22.03 issue of Wired magazine (Questlove on the cover, "Love Music Again" the relevant article, ran a couple of months ago, and probably available at your local library), Rhapsody had a then-current track count of 20 million tunes.

Rhapsody has plenty of older tunes, a nice "Playlist" feature (e.g., "The 50 Best Tunes of 1968," etc.), and I can usually read a review of a new album in, say, the New York Times and find that Rhapsody has it available for streaming on-demand.

One thing to be mindful of: The default price for a Rhapsody subscription is $9.99, which allows streaming for a mobile device. This was the subscription that I first had, although I didn't care about using a mobile device; I wanted to use only my home Squeezeboxes. Someone on this forum told me how to obtain the $4.99 a month subscription, which works for my Squeezeboxes just fine. I don't remember how I did this, but with a little digging in this forum or elsewhere you should be able to figure it out.

Reading the Wired magazine article provides data on all the streaming services. You might want to give it a read, before you make your decision.

Cheers,

Steve

aubuti
2014-06-23, 09:49
One thing to be mindful of: The default price for a Rhapsody subscription is $9.99, which allows streaming for a mobile device. This was the subscription that I first had, although I didn't care about using a mobile device; I wanted to use only my home Squeezeboxes. Someone on this forum told me how to obtain the $4.99 a month subscription, which works for my Squeezeboxes just fine. I don't remember how I did this, but with a little digging in this forum or elsewhere you should be able to figure it out.
With the recent demise of MOG I went back to Rhapsody. I couldn't find the $4.99/month basic subscription anywhere on their site, so I phoned Rhapsody support and they set me up on the plan in less than a minute.

MeSue
2015-05-23, 12:19
With the recent demise of MOG I went back to Rhapsody. I couldn't find the $4.99/month basic subscription anywhere on their site, so I phoned Rhapsody support and they set me up on the plan in less than a minute.
This plan is offered online when you go through the motions of canceling the $9.99 plan. Been on it for a few years.