CrazyEngineers Archive
Old, but evergreen and popular discussions on CrazyEngineers, presented to you in read-only mode.
@Kaustubh Katdare • 16 Jan, 2015 • 1 like
rdio.com has began streaming music in India and has offered an alternative solution to the popular radio stations viz. gaana.com and saavn.com. I decided to do a quick overview of these three popular radio stations in India and try to decide which is the best online radio in India. One of the most important considerations of my review is the 'pro' or 'premium' services offered by these stations and which one gets you the most bang for the buck. I'm mostly comparing the desktop (web) based versions of the services and would request all the readers to share their experience with us.

rdio.com: Rdio is the newest of the lot; which's began its streaming services in India just yesterday. Note that rdio is basically relying on the database it acquired through takeover of Pune based Dhingana.com (read my earlier article on rdio acquires dhingana.com). What I liked the most about Rdio interface is that it's very simple; not cluttered with advertisements. You can quickly navigate to the stations you'd like to listen to or listen to your favourite artist. There's no information provided by the web-player about the bit-rate.

Rdio Pricing Plan:

Rdio offers three premium plans to choose from - which offer advertisement-free listening. The 'Web' plan starts at Rs. 60/month and gets you ad-free listening on web-browser. The Unlimited plan is priced at Rs. 119/month and extends the web plan to mobiles as well. The unlimited family plan is offered for Rs. 178.50 per month which gives you 2 of the unlimited subscriptions.

rdio-pricing-plan


Gaana.com: This is one of the most popular services offered by Times Internet Limited. This is the station we keep streaming at CrazyEngineers HQ all through our working hours. I do not like their interface much (too cluttered for my taste). It also has obnoxious advertisements; but they present their radio stations right on the front. Their regional songs collection is bit disappointing. I've always had hard time the latest regional songs on Gaana.

Gaana Pricing Plan:

Gaana's got simple pricing model: Ad-free music for Rs. 199/year (web only) and Gaana+ subscription is Rs. 120/month - includes ad-free music along with download facility. Note that you'll have to use gaana.com android/ios app to be able to listen to your music (it won't let you download songs as MP3s!).

Screen Shot 2015-01-16 at 1.12.17 pm

Saavn.com: I've found myself switching to saavn.com at times. These guys give you language options right at the top and also offer 'surprise me' / 'song of the day' options. I've found that their regional language collection is quite awesome and you're likely to find a song you're looking for on their service.

Saavn Pricing Plan:

Saavn's got separate pricing plans for the world that starts at $3.99/month for global audiences which includes synch with 5 devices and unlimited downloads. The India-centric plan is being offered at Rs. 120/month and allows downloads up to 3GB/month on one of your devices. There's also a carrier based billing plan that offers flexi-billing at Rs. 5/day OR Rs. 30/week OR Rs. 110/month - currently available only to Vodafone and Airtel subscribers.

saavn-pricing-plan

Audio Quality:

Unless you have a high-end audio gear; you won't be able to figure out difference in the stream quality. I've got a pair of Audioengine 2.0 desktop speaker set and I personally think Gaana.com's got the best quality of the lot. This is extremely subjective because I've convinced myself that anything that's labelled 'HD' is ought to be better. In short - you'll get almost the same sound quality with all these radio stations.

Conclusion:

If you don't mind ads - there's no winner. Every radio station has huge collection and plays good music.

If you like to play regional music: I think Saavn has and edge. They seem to have access to all the latest regional releases.

If you like to download music: I think Gaana.com has the best plan. They don't put a cap on the amount of download if you pay them Rs. 120/month. Otherwise, if you like to listen to high quality music, you may pay them Rs. 200 a year (not month!) and listen to 320kbps streams.

What does your experience say about these radio stations? Do share your views, opinions and general comments about these radio stations. Are there other radio stations do you listen to? I look forward to hearing from you.
@Anoop Kumar • 16 Jan, 2015 I like saavn better than gaana. It's more sleek and light.
I had problem with Gaana, it doesn't work sometimes.
Btw, to go ad-free you don't require subscription, just install AdblockPlus 😁
@Kaustubh Katdare • 16 Jan, 2015
Anoop Kumar
I like saavn better than gaana. It's more sleek and light.
I had problem with Gaana, it doesn't work sometimes.
Btw, to go ad-free you don't require subscription, just install AdblockPlus 😁
Does it really block audio advertisements as well?
@Anoop Kumar • 16 Jan, 2015 • 3 likes I never encountered any type of ads. May be because I am using adblockPlus before saavan/Gaana.
Bonus: it also blocks youtube ads 😉
@Ankita Katdare • 16 Jan, 2015
If you like to play regional music: I think Saavn has and edge. They seem to have access to all the latest regional releases.
Bingo! That's one of the main reasons so many love Saavn. All the mainstream bollywood songs or English superhits are available on all of the portals. In fact for mainstream songs people still prefer 98.3 and 91.1 FM.
@Satya Swaroop Dash • 16 Jan, 2015 • 1 like I would like to crown Saavn as the best music streaming website.
The USP of Saavn is its UI. Whether you are on web or mobile these guys know how to cram in all the elements. I have checked out Saavn on web, mobile web (very low quality, not recommended), iOS (both iPhone and iPad), Android smartphones. These guys do not compromise on design. Perhaps that is why they have not outed a Windows Phone application.
It has some of the most extensive music archives. I was surprised to find some very old Odia music that is hard to find even in audio shops. The Radio service too works quite well. Selecting a artist the radio curates the station music without any hassle.
When it comes to ads on Saavn they are mostly regarding its Pro service and last less than 20 seconds.
@Anoop Kumar do you use Saavn on Mozilla or Chrome ?
In Mozilla, the website specifically asks to disable AdBlock Plus or it does not play the music.
@Anoop Kumar • 16 Jan, 2015 I am on chrome. And even they are asking you can checkout other ad-blockers ☕
@Satya Swaroop Dash • 29 Jan, 2015 After using Rdio on web and on its Windows Mobile app, here are my conclusions.

Pros:

- Excellent selection of radio stations: catering to your listening needs. My favourite is the Indipop.
- Allows you to know what your friends are listening. You can follow a Rdio user and listen to his/her choice of music.
- Minimalistic design that looks good on web (desktop) and better on mobile.

Cons:

- Limited number of skips per hour, six to be exact.
- Ads are very frequent. Once every two songs and they play it in 320kbps which means that the ads lag when they play on my slow BSNL connection.

Conclusion:Rdio is in its initial phase in India and there is lot of room for improvement. I am sticking with Saavn for web and Gaana or Hungama for my phone.
@Shashank Moghe • 29 Jan, 2015 I have used Gaana and Saavn here, where internet speed is not a problem. So my basic judgment factor is the quality of the audio. I don't really care much about the UI (although, against public opinion, I like Gaana's UI better, it is all black and orange as against green of Saavn), but then what do I know. Here is my review:

Quality wise, I think Gaana has an edge. I use skullcandy in-ear headphones, so I can tell the difference. They are cheap, but Skullcandy never compromises on sound quality. So its a good tool to judge audio. Saavn is not bad in quality, but as @Kaustubh Katdare rightly said, that word "hd" besides the song predisposes you to believe it is actually hd. Here, we have another provider, Spotify. The quality is best with Spotify.

Spotify > Gaana > Saavn (I don't know if Spotify is there in India yet, it has a good Indian songs collection- which is the only music I listen to).
@Kaustubh Katdare • 15 Oct, 2015 It's time to update this discussion. We've a new player like Apple Music and the latest news is that Micromax is investing in Gaana.com to make all their database available to huge Micromax customer base. The rivals of gaana.com may just note that this is going to be a big threat to their services. Read: Micromax ❤ Gaana.com To Stream Music To All Its Smart Devices | CrazyEngineers

Frankly speaking, I've narrowed down to Gaana.com and Apple's free music radio stations (the ones built into iTunes) for all my music needs. Occasionally, I turn to Saavn.com to listen to Marathi songs because I think Saavn beats others when it comes to regional songs collections and updates.

Apple's music was a disaster. Beats One is 'ok' but not something I'd be willing to pay for. Free music rocks! 😀
@Satya Swaroop Dash • 21 Nov, 2015 • 1 like A little update in this discussion about the first competitor, Rdio. Rdio filed for bankruptcy in the last couple of weeks and it was bought by Pandora. Rdio’s technology will be used by Pandora and the actual streaming website will shut down by 2016. Starting November 23rd, the service will no longer accept new customers and current subscribers’ subscription will be cancelled in the next billing date. All the customers will be reverted to ad-supported free plan.

Adios, Rdio, we loved your design and hope Pandora learns a lesson or two from these guys in terms of UI.
1.5k views

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