9 February 2018

REVIEW: Deezer

It's a breeze-er

If you're looking for a new streaming service to sign up to, or if you've never tried one and only tend to listen to music via a gramophone, read on. Recently we've been rockin' to the digital delights of a streaming service that is starting to make waves in the industry and giving the likes of Spotify and Amazon a run for their money... by being clever. We check out Deezer.

For those to whom music streaming services are a mystery, Deezer is essentially Netflix for music. Their library boasts a huge stock of 43 million songs, all of which are available to listen to whenever you like, as well as curated playlists, charts, digital radio stations, and podcasts. If it has been designed to entertain your ears, you'll probably find it on Deezer.

The service, which as well as being a website is also a mobile and desktop app, has a clean, white interface, and is positively minimal in options and buttons. Which is a good thing. There are selected, suggested tunes on the home page, and a handy bar to the left for your playlists, liked songs, and the all-important search bar. Sign up takes about three minutes, with a free 30 day trail period up for grabs when you do. After that, it'll be £9.99 per month for the Premium+ version (which is what we tested), or indeed £14.99 for the family plan with up to six separate user profiles. So pretty much the same as most other services out there.

While using it, we found that Deezer had a very broad, capable search function, bringing up what we were looking for each time, or at least the related of suggested songs. Playing a track, album, or playlist was also a slick affair, and we never experienced any kind of stutter or freezes (Deezer freezer?) while streaming. It just worked, as a paid-for service should.

Deezer does have something that makes it stand out from the crowd, however, and that is Flow. Flow is the cleverness we mentioned above, where the service learns what you like and what you don't, and then tailors a flowing playlist of tracks that it thinks you'll enjoy. Flow mixes things you've already heard and liked, with stuff that is related to it that you might not have. It will also throw in a few random tracks to get a better sense of your tastes: you then simply hit the X button to never get that track suggested again, or the heart button to approve.

Flow works really well at introducing you to new music and artists, and we found we activated Flow for background sound while working or playing. Having to pull out your phone to hit the dislike button when a song played we didn't like was a bit of a pain in the arse, but after a while it seems like it knows you quite well and hits the mark each time.

Apart from the curated playlists which are apparently made by real-live humans, you can also enjoy DJ-curation in the form of radio. Deezer features a wealth of national and international stations, so if you have a favourite one you can integrate it into your other music listening. So great for the office where people are suggesting songs, while also wanting to hear the news.

So although there isn't much to distinguish Deezer from other online media services, we think that people who enjoy being introduced to new music, while also binging a few classic tracks, will love Flow. And hey, you've always got 30 free days to try it, so what's to lose?

© The Test Pit

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