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Lifestyle // Click Chick
Alison Young

PS4 Versus the Xbox One?

Spotify now offers free access to its streaming music catalog on iOS and Android devices | Photo courtesy Spotify

Spotify now offers free access to its streaming music catalog on iOS and Android devices | Photo courtesy Spotify

Last week Microsoft announced it sold more than 2 million Xbox One consoles worldwide since its launch, which is about the same as its Sony rival and the PS4. So it’s an almost even playing field, but people ask me all the time, “Which is better, the PlayStation 4 (PS4) or the Xbox One?”

The answer is complicated, because it’s really whatever your preference is. Each console has its own functions and personality. Personally, I prefer the PS4 because of the game selections. It seems the PS4 is more focused on the core gaming audience with a revamped controller, game recording and Twitch integration (a streaming service where you can broadcast your gameplay). The Xbox One has the same DVR capability as the PS4, but it’s built as an all-in-one entertainment hub. You can connect your console to your cable or satellite TV set-top box and control those devices through the Xbox One controller or voice- and motion-based commands.

Of course, both of these are top of mind for Christmas presents (if you’re willing to spend). The PS4 baseline price is a bit cheaper at around $450, and the Xbox One is about $550.

Click Chick’s Mobile App of the Week: Spotify

Since its launch a few years ago, this is the first time Spotify is offering free access to its streaming music catalog on iOS and Android devices. This follows the recent news about Spotify negotiating a free mobile tier with major record labels.

Previously the app was $4.99 for an ad-free Web experience and $9.99 to be able to listen across multiple devices.

This new mobile access is similar to Pandora or iTunes Radio, but as with the Spotify desktop interface, it gives you more control over your playlists. If you use your tablet, you’ll see the more freemium experience you’re used to seeing on your desktop, and on your phone it’s a shuffle service. This difference is due to the way the agreements were set up with the record labels.

Spotify automatically will recognize what type of music you’re listening to. So if you’re jamming out with Lady Gaga, you’ll hear 20 percent Lady Gaga music, with 80 percent Gaga-like music. There also are seasonal playlists or circumstantial playlists that Spotify will give you based on your listening habits.

From your smartphone, you can access all of your precompiled playlists in shuffle mode, or use the free-standing shuffle product. Unfortunately, you cannot perform unlimited search-and-listen queries. At least Spotify allows you to pick and choose the songs you want to stream, but it still lags behind the leader, Pandora. It has 24 million active users, whereas Pandora had triple the amount at 72.4 million.

Don’t forget to check this out. I just put it on my iPhone.

clickchick@outlook.com

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