A few weeks ago I wrote about the upcoming Nokia Music+ service that was coming to Lumia devices. Nokia Music+ launched in the UK last week and yesterday we saw the release here in the US so I took it for a spin.
I bought a red Nokia Lumia 920 over an HTC 8X because of added services like the free Nokia Music service. Music+ is subscription service available for just $3.99 per month. While it is a great deal compared to all the other $9.99 per month music services (Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody), there are limitations that justify the lower cost.
I personally like music discovery so a service like Nokia Music+ works well for me. However, if you want to listen to specific artists or albums then you may not like the mix method of song selection found in Nokia Music+. You can create custom mixes, several premade ones are provided, by entering an artists name and have a mix with up to three artists to help you define the type of music you wish to listen to. Selecting the artists does not mean you will only hear their music, but you should hear the same type of music in the mix.
Also, Nokia Music+ does require a Lumia smartphone to enjoy content on the go. I understand that there is supposed to be a Nokia Music web app to listen to music via a web browser when you pay for the Music+ service, but I have not yet found such an app and am trying to get an answer from my Nokia contacts. I tested out the web browser functionality on my Samsung Galaxy Note II, Apple iPhone 5, and Microsoft Surface Pro and it works just fine. Simply visit music.nokia.com/us/en and then enter your Nokia account login information. You can browse the store or select and play mixes. It doesn't look like you can create mixes, but having some cross platform playability is just fine with me as this web player app is still shown as being a beta.
I created a custom mix and then downloaded songs for my cross country flight last night and enjoyed fresh music for nearly the entire flight on my 920. Here is what you get for $3.99 per month, as stated by Nokia:
- Unlimited skips: Whether you like to skip from track to track, or just want extra control over what you hear. There’s no stopping you with Nokia Music+.
- Unlimited downloads: The free service allows you to download up to four Mixes (each of which contains hours of music) and play them without an Internet connection. The paid service removes this limit – you can download a massive supply of offline music you can swap as you wish.
- Higher quality: Nokia Music+ allows you to download music at eight times the existing quality. To save on wireless data consumption, you can choose to only download high quality when you’re on WiFi.
- Lyrics: Words to the songs you’re listening to, right on your Nokia Lumia. Either in a scrolling list, Karaoke-style format, or a display you can scroll up and down.
- On your desktop: The Nokia Music+ subscription also gives you access to the service without your phone. A web-app gives you the ability to play Mixes on your computer, smart TV or other connected screens.
You can hear the difference in the quality and if you enjoy your music on a set of good headphones then the low monthly price is worth the improved song quality.