Deezer Audio Streaming Quick Review
Brief: Like Spotify and Pandora had a baby.
Price: 10 currency units, US$, euro’s or £. Frowny face.
Specifications: 35 Million Tracks, 180+ countries and they say more than 6 million paying subscribers. Streaming is mp3 at 128kbit for free subscribers (sad face,) Premium subscribers get 320kbit mp3 and “Elite” get FLAC but this is bizarrely only available on Sonos equipment.
Platforms: You name it, Deezer is happy to play nice with everyone. Its main service is browser based so if you have a browser it should work. Other, specialised equipment are in abundance too. Denon HEOS, Sonos, Logitech Squeezebox’s, various TV brands, WDTV, etc etc etc. The only stand out in the bunch is Sonos, why only it can get the lossless service? I assume because Sonos gave Deezer a bunch of money. Granted not many setups will likely be able to show up the difference between 320kbit mp3 and FLAC anyway but it’s just such a weird thing to do.
Variety: They say 35 million tracks, so that’s a fair few then. It’s even more than Spotify’s 30 million!
Sound Quality: It’s good. I still find it weird that they do a lossless service but they won’t sell you it, it’s just crazy to me. Still 320kbit is more than good enough for practically all setups. You’re not really going to be streaming stuff (most likely via a mobile) if you simply can’t abide anything but lossless, red book quality. Never at any point have I found its quality wanting. It’s only in the rarest, trebley zones where mp3 shows up its deficiencies and make the treble break up, scratchy and brittle. It’s very, VERY rare an occurrence. You’re much more likely to have issues with the poor mastering of tracks and dynamic compression used before it was turned into an mp3 as being the root of any quality issues. Such is the state of much of modern music. Still I’d like to have things in FLAC anyway.
As for its prediction skills. It’s disturbing, it just keeps throwing stuff at me I love, some I’ve heard before, some I’ve not but it’s all stuff that I’m loving. A good measure of how much it gets me is how long before I have to start googling artist I’ve never heard of and go CD hunting. Day 1 it had me doing it, day whatever it is now and I’m still regularly doing it.
Value: IM still pissed at the £1=US$1 because it bloody well does not. Even at the crappy current exchange rate. £1 = US$1.54. Adding in VAT the US price of US$10 would become US$12 which equates to just £7.80 so non Americans are getting ripped off, Brits most of all. However it’s still the best music streaming service I’ve touched.
Pro’s: Musical prediction skills are creepy amazing.
Con’s: No lossless. Price gouging not Americans.