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Pete Shields's picture
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Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

I yesterday took out a subscription to Spotify. I also have a long term subscription to Napster.

 

I have a dreadful ear infection at the moment and everything I listen to on my system sounds terrible.

I've today downloaded the 3.3 update for my Sonos today and will play with it tonight after work. Any sound quality issues I will not be able to pick up on though.

With my £15, 3 month subscription next being due by Napster early next week, I don't know whether to cancel it. 

So the question is. Has anybody with better hearing than me compared the two with their Sonos, and what do they think?

Is it worth me keeping both and which is best?

Hopefully the decongestants will kick in soon and I can pass judgement too 

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

I have the same subscription as yourself with Napster, and now I'm wondering whether to add Spotify. I've not used it before so I don't know how easy it is to use, how it's used or what it's capable of. I don't know whether certain artists might be available on one and not the other, among similar queries I have. I suppose I'll have to subscribe and compare and see what I think.


Isn't Napster a little varied in it's bit rate? Whereas I believe subscribing to Spotify guarantees you 320kbps? Being a Spotify n00b, I wouldn't mind people pointing out the differences....


 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

David

Spotify looks on the iphone looks to be identical as the Napster version to use. Plus it has the Iphone app, which is an added bonus.

I see a good article for a future WHFSV issue, comparing the various streaming music services.....getting it down on paper does tend to take some time though, and I'm on a deadline to cancel Napster! So any comments would be good over the next few days!

  

Anonymous
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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

I have had the napster £5 month and have been happy with it,


 I do like and use spotify  for free, Is there such a difference that warrants paying double for similar things?

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

I like the idea of the higher bit rate for Spotify. Just need some feedback on whether it makes much difference

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

Downloaded software this evening, dropped in on some Kasabian, Arvo Part and various prog rock tracks, all sounded purrty good to me.

 

I am a happy bunny, after all, I waited long enough for this "Sonotify" experiance!!!

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

First impressions:

1) Interface

Napster beats Spotify hands down on interface.

Spotify through Sonos 3.3 the interface on Iphone and PC has no charts/new releases/top 100, etc.  Just a spotify playlist player and a basic search engine. You need to make your own playlist on your spotify PC app(it can probably be done on the IPhone spotify app - haven't checked yet) to playback music through the Sonos.

If you pull up an album on the basic search on the Sonos iphone app, it does not allow you to play individual tracks and only adds the whole album to the queue.

Maybe Sonos are going to improve the Iphone app. The 3.3 update was released for PC early this morning, but the app  appears not to have been fully updated - Spotify app on PC says in it's news section that it's not yet available on Iphone and app is pending approval. If this is the case, then if a new app arrives it may correct issues.

I don't have the official Sonos controllers so I can't comment on them. 

2) Sound quality.

Had little time to test. Grabbed a song I'm familiar with and created a playlist of various formats. The song was Cinema Show by Genesis off the Seconds Out album. A song I've played on systems since my dad's old mono radiogram in 77. Quality improved as I went through each format i now have (original vinyl version is tucked away in the loft so is excluded) and the order in improvement was as follows (and as expected)

Napster/MP3/Spotify/FLAC/CD in that order.

Not much between Napster and MP3. Spotify in middle and again not much between FLAC and CD. A more open and detailed sound was heard as each format improved.

All importantly for this exercise a marked improvement for Spotify over Napster.

3) Speed

Napster only slightly faster

4) Reliability.

A few drop-outs initially on Spotify, none on Napster.

 5) Price

£10 per month for Spotify (including iphone downloads that my 15 year old son will definitely use) Vs £15 per quarter including 15 downloads for Napster. 

Overall:

Napster all the way based on interface & price.

I can sit in my armchair with cans on head and my Iphone and browse without moving to the PC is the main selling point of Napster for me. It's all there on my phone! Hopefully Spotify can catch up when the Sonos app is updated. Would be interested to see how both Spotify and Napster interface with the IPad app and if it's much different.

 

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

I have had another tinker and found that if I sit at the PC with the Spotify app open along with the  Sonos app, I can transfer songs via playlists from Spotify to Sonos. It's quite quick and transfers the songs to sonos almost instantaneously . Not as comprehensive as Napster lists though.

Quality through my system is very enjoyable though, far better than Napster......some more listening to be done tomorrow me thinks.....

Anonymous
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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

Just thought I'd chuck my own, personal view on Napster v. Spotify on Sonos.

Pete Shields, I basically agree with everything you've said, except your conclusion! I've been using Napster on Sonos for years now, and while I'm a little disappointed with how basic the Spotify menus on Sonos are (especially the lack of a 'New Releases' tab), for me the jump in sound quality is big enough for me to deal with them.

I've emailed Sonos to try and find out if the iPhone app is getting an upgrade soon. I'd personally like to see a better layout first, then the addition of tabs for new releases, top picks, etc, and then some integration of Spotify's social features.

But as I said, that improved sound quality is probably enough for me. Will give it a few more days before making the final decision on whether to cancel Napster, though...

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

Tom

 

Today, I have had a more considered listen to Napster and Spotify through my Sonos.

Tom, were obviously agreed on the interface issues - Sonos need to address these for Spotify. Due to lack of new releases/top picks on Spotify, today I only tended to be drawn to music that I was already familiar with. Part of the attraction of Napster is you constantly try something new without too much hassle - and if it's not to your liking, you can quickly change to something else.

I today made up a playlist of more music that I was familiar with and back to back tested the Napster and Spotify versions. The difference in quality was quite defined. I waivered slightly on my preference in my last post last night due to the quality issue and I am being drawn to Spotify the more I listen to it.

To get full benefit though, the Iphone app does need an update. Will be interesting to see if anybody has used Spotify/Sonos on an Ipad or a Sonos controller and whether the Spotify interface is any better. It looks like to get the best from it at the moment, I'll have to use my laptop to make my Spotify selections instead of my Iphone.    

I have until the 9th October to cancel my Napster account before I'm charged for another 3 months, so more testing is in order.......

 

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

Latest version of the Sonos software for iphone, although basic, now lets you chose individual album tracks when searched. It's quicker and far easier to operate and today had no stalling.

Hopefully Spotify/Sonos have nailed it now. Just need those added features that Napster has such as charts, etc. That would make it perfect!

Sound quality is excellent.....I'm afraid Napster's a goner! 

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

Napster is no more...I ended up going for Spotify Premium for the sound quality, but not the features...

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

I can't bring myself to cancel my Napster - I've found so much more music via Last.FM and accessed it for regular listening on Napster - and as you've mentioned Pete, using Napster is a breeze via the Sonos app, which I use on my iPad, which makes it even easier. If I was listening to more music, I'd have both. But with paying an X-Box Live account, Napster account, and a Sky HD account, I'm trying to get the most out of all of these to make them worth paying. I'm not sure I want to triple my outgoings for music seeing as it's not a major part of my free time, especiall as most of my listening at home is predominantly background music. My favourite stuff I find on Last.FM/Napster I tend to buy on CD too so that I can use it at work, and sometimes pick up the vinyl if it's available - so that needs to be added to my outgoings for music. Plus, my system sounds so good with music, I can't image how much better it could be!


 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

I agree with your comments on Last FM. What a great program. I tend to listen to it on the S5 in the kitchen, pick a favourite artist as a starting point, then listen away. I do tend to scrawl down anything new I like, then it's over to Spotify on my PC, to create a playlist for the Sonos at a later stage. Works well and Spotify has most tracks. 

I ended up cancelling my Napster account because there just were'nt enough hours in the day, with Spotify/Sonos, Sky HD, 2 x Xbox Live Accounts (for my two sons), guitars, dodgy internet downloads and a PS3 taking all of my time up.

Sometimes, it would be good to go back to the pre- internet age, where all I had was my Arcam/Mission based CD system and terrestrial TV, oh and the (pre-marriage/pre-children) pub....I used to know the words to every song I owned in those days. Now I have thousands of stored songs, and millions on-line, and music seems to be so much more disposable.....

 

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

We use Napster in our store. The one major advantage of Napster over Spotify beside the free music is that you can transfer music files from Napster onto Sony / Creative mp3 players for the duration of being a member. This is also one major advantage of needing to buy individual tracks on *other* legal music download services, you can download/transfer as much music as you like using Napster. Doesn't sound as good as vinyl/CD on a proper separates set-up but the quality is still reasonably good and even better if you use a proper outboard DAC and soundcard with a digital output. Inamongst helping customers, we manage to discover some new music daily!!

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Re: Sonos Spotify Vs Napster

OK, I'm a bit late to this debate! Been running both for a little while now. Spotify gives me the iPhone app, which is a plus. Napster are "in negotiations" to release a UK version of their app. When it comes to the Sonos controller, Napster wins hands down. The new releases menu is far superior, the pre-defined playlists are better. At the moment, I only keep Spotify because of the iPhone app, once Napster release one I'll be ditching Spotify. Yes, the quality is better, but if you can't find the tracks that's rather irrelevant. 

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