Pure Music – we test listen the new music streaming service
What is Pure Music?
Pure Music is a new music streaming service created by Pure, a company best known for its range of DAB radios. It will be available from December priced at £4.99 a month. You can use Pure Music on your computer, smartphone or Pure internet radio, but to get access to it you need to subscribe to the service on the Pure Lounge website – Pure’s online portal. Similar services include Napster, Spotify and Sony Music Unlimited.
What do you get for your £4.99 a month?
Pure Music provides unlimited access to millions of track for subscribers to stream. You don’t have to purchase the individual tracks to listen to them – your £4.99 a month allows you to listen to everything in the Pure Music library. There’s a wide range of music available, but some artists catalogues – like The Beatles – aren’t available.
If you’re using a smartphone you’ll need to have the Pure Lounge app installed – the iPhone app can currently be downloaded for free from iTunes, at least until December – you can also run this app on an iPad. An Android version of the Pure Lounge app will be available soon.
What’s it like to use?
Typing in the names of individual tracks using buttons on the radio is slow and tedious – it’s far easier to listen to streamed music on a Pure internet radio by setting up and populating playlists in your Pure Lounge account on your computer.
Playlists will automatically be visible in the playlist menu on the radio and they’re easy to create online – you simply drag and drop tracks into your playlists.
You can search for specific tracks or artists by name using the search box, or search by ‘top tracks’, ‘top albums’ or genre, the last of which brings up lots of albums to choose from – although I’m not sure I’d class Coldplay as rockers.
In an album you can also click the ‘similar artists’ link to help you find more tracks to populate your playlists.
Pure says that when the service goes live in December all tracks in Pure Music that are available to stream will also be available to buy. However, some artists have opted out of allowing their music to be streamed, so you won’t find Led Zeppelin or The Beatles in Pure Music.
If you’ve got more than one Pure internet radio at home you can stream music to them both at the same time – as long as they’re using the same network IP address.
Pure Music subscribers can stream music to smartphones over wi-fi or 3G with the Pure Lounge app.
However, you can’t cache tracks and listen to playlists offline – an option that is available on Spotify’s more expensive £9.99 a month Premium Service.
If you’re using 3G rather then wi-fi to stream Pure Music tracks to your phone, this will contribute to your data allowance.
Find reviews of Pure DAB/internet radios
What is Pure Tag?
Previously, owners of Pure internet radios could pay a small set up fee to enable them to use Pure’s Flowsongs service to purchase tracks using the radio with credit in their Lounge account.
Flowsongs will change it’s name to Pure Tag and will no longer involve a set up fee, so it’ll be available to non-subscribers to Pure Music too.
You can tag songs for free by pressing the ‘tag’ button on the radio – this adds the tunes to your ‘tagged tracks’ menu in the Pure Lounge online. If you want to buy the track you can do so straight away using the buy button on the radio – as long as you have credit in your Lounge account – or buy it later by going to the ‘tagged tracks’ menu on the Pure Lounge website.
You can’t directly add tagged tracks to Pure Music playlists if you haven’t purchased the track. However if you then search for the song in the Pure Music menu and find it, you can add it to a playlist without having to buy it, which feels a little disjointed.
How does Pure Music measure up?
Like Spotify and Sony’s Music Unlimited services you pay a monthly fee to have advertisement free access to streamed music. Price-wise Pure Music is competitive – Spotify Unlimited costs £4.99 a month – the same as Pure Music. Sony’s cheapest service is £3.99 a month, but it doesn’t let you create playlists.
You can’t import music from your iTunes account or music already stored on your computer into Pure Music. The music you stream will be from Pure Music’s catalogue only.
Accessing music subscription services on DAB/internet radios isn’t unique to Pure – you can subscribe to receive last.fm on internet radios like the Revo AXiS – but combined with the Pure Tag and Buy feature that’s been available since last year, it does offer a something a little different from its competitors.
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