Deezer – a Spotify alternative
Frustrated with Spotify's web player and audio book support (what support, you ask ? my point exactly ...) I decided to give Deezer another try, using the free 30 days premium test offer. The test subscription will not end automatically, by the way, so if you are not convinced of Deezer, make sure to cancel your subscription in due time!
The most important criteria for a music streaming service is of course music availability. Deezer not only claims to have more titles available than Spotify (55M vs 45M), after migrating my playlists using Soundiiz, there was basically just one important title missing from my rather eclectic music collection, which was a cover version of 'You Spin Me Round' by Dope, and even for that there was at least a live recording available.
Which reminds me to mention the first very useful Deezer feature to you, which is a replace button for missing songs. That button will bring up a list of search results, which in most cases points you to an identical replacement for the song (e.g. album instead of single track).
Deezer still has Likes, you can 'heart' songs and they will be added to a special category. Of course this is not much more than a default playlist you can't rename, but I still like the feature and never really understood why Spotify abandoned it.
MP3 upload (for songs like e.g. 'Cop Killer' by Body Count) works much better than Spotify's P2P system, too, you just upload your files once and have instant access from all your devices.
The absolute killer feature for me is the Audio Book App. It keeps audio books in a separate playlist and saves progress on each individual book when you stop listening. Spotify has the same huge number of available audio books, but in Deezer you can actually listen to these books continuously, even if you decide to listen to something else in between.
I didn't have much time to check out Deezer's discovery features yet, but a short test run of the 'Flow' was promising, i.e. much less annoying than most of the playlists Spotify generated for me. Then there's the Filtr app which promises Pandora- style playlist generation from a combination of tags, artists etc.
While there are a lot of official playlists for new content and different music styles, third party content (by celebs, music magazines, radio stations etc.) is somewhat limited compared to Spotify.
This is not the only disadvantage, although Deezer's web player is much more powerful (you can even rename and sort playlists ...), it's not 100% stable and sometimes you have to refresh the browser to make the menus work again. The desktop app is almost identical to the web client, so if you don't need offline you can safely skip that download.
Also, if you depend on Spotify's client integration (things like seamlessly continuing a song on another device or remote controlling a device from another client) you won't be happy with Deezer, except for the library itself and the Audio Book App there is no synchronization whatsoever between clients.
Anyway, after a couple of days I must say I'm quite convinced, Deezer is as good as Spotify in most aspects, and even better in others (audio books !!!), so for my part, I'll cancel Spotify premium and stick with Deezer for a while
The pricing is very similar (including family accounts) and there's even a “Hifi” option with lossless FLAC encoding for audiophiles.