Other times, they’re part of the overall ambience of raid fights or dungeon runs. A large portion of WoW’s best songs are heard while exploring its vast areas.
Our farms were essentially the preface to garrisons, but in a much smaller, manageable package. There’s just something super nostalgic about this piece for me, and it could be the fact that I actually really loved the goofy quests and huge veggies in Valley of the Four Winds.
Ashen vale’s music, in particular, contained all the best Night Elf tracks, and was mystical, calming, adventurous, and perfectly complemented the nature-loving, hippie race. Except to my poor Night Elf rogue I deleted years ago.
Thunder bluff’s music encompasses those traits, plus adds in hints of tribalism and mysticism. Thunder bluff, despite being pretty empty these days and often a pain to navigate, is still one of the coolest main cities in WoW.
It hints that its residents have a lot of work ahead of them, but reminds everyone on that floating rock that the Karin Tor will prevail. I spent so much time in Dun Borough, just listening to the music, getting lost, and wondering how to shoot stuff with my bow.
Let’s just say I melee’d all the way up to level 10 because I didn’t realize you had to be at a certain range to shoot mobs with a bow equipped. While I ran out of slots at the last second on this list, I also wanted to throw in an honorable mention to the Storm wind piece here.
This is the music heard in the Drained starting area, and it’s oddly one of my favorite tunes from that entire expansion. The landscape’s giant mushrooms, odd colors, cool-looking plantlike, and gauzy moths completed that area for me.
The original piece, from Wrath of the Rich King, is simply beloved. It made us all want to plop down our flying mounts and start building a real-life house in Grizzly Hills, hidden beneath the trees and bird-filled canopy.
This is the track that first plays after you finish the Alliance version of Legion’s pre-expansion scenario where a certain important someone dies. The first time I heard it, I immediately stopped what I was doing, turned up my computer’s volume, and just kind of listened in awe.
Ah, this song… Enjoying that first Alliance boat ride into North rend will always be one of my favorite WoW moments, partially due to the scenery that makes up Howling Fjord, but mostly because of this wonderful piece of music. Sprawling peaks, hidden crevices, glaciers, a sky ride, a Viking-sorta theme that worked incredibly well for the zone, and a daily quest to help seals fall in love.
This was a rather short Night Elf piece Cataclysm added to Ashen vale. It’s incredibly gorgeous, uplifting, heroic, and encompasses the Horde vs. Alliance struggles that Cataclysm brought front and center in zones like Ashen vale and Stone talon Mountains.
Cataclysm, overall, was definitely one of WoW’s worst expansions in my humble opinion, but it did have some great music and locations. Much in the way Howling Fjord’s music made Would for me, this song defined my TBC experience.
I spent hours in this zone, fishing, gathering herbs, or killing beasts for raid food. Sometimes I just turned on the music to relax, write, and plan my next great gaming adventure.
I more like the ones from older expansions, especially Salvador zones (feels like nature). Despite all the bumps and downs that WoW has had over the years, the art and music has always been spot on.
Leveling, questing and doing stuffs through musics, you’ll feel like you’re literally into the game The remix good from Legion, but the original still my favorite BGM from the game.
That music honestly makes me want to cry at how beautiful it is. So we’ll have to dig pretty deep to find out which streaming services comes out on top.
We’re going to split up this comparison into topics, from price and sound quality to whether you can use them online and what the apps are like to use. All the main music streaming apps charge the same amount for their standard premium services.
Amazon offers a discount for Prime subscribers, and you can save even more by paying for the full year up front. Four of the services here offer a great student discount, Apple Music, Deezer, Tidal and Spotify.
All charge students £4.99 for their standard service, with Tidal also offering its HIFI tier at £9.99. Student validation happens through Unidays and NUS Extra (Spotify only) in the UK, meaning you’ll need to be studying at a proper university or college.
With a phone, Spotify will only let you listen to music from a limited number of playlists, and you’ll also have to put up with the occasional ad.’ Apple, Spotify, Google, Tidal, Amazon and Deezer all offer a ‘family’ plan that lets up to six people connect to the same account at once.
Unlike the student deal, there’s no checking that you’re only teaming-up with your brother, mum and auntie, so you can more-or-less share with whomever you like. Tidal, Deezer and Soyuz have rather more interesting higher-price subs too, ones that boost the quality of the music you stream.
Deezer HIFI, Soyuz Hi-fi and Tidal HIFI all deliver CD quality lossless FLAG (16-bit/44.1kHz) for £19.99 a month, but Tidal also features a selection of “master” quality Hi Res albums using MA in at that price as well (though you need to access them through the desktop app currently). Years before Hi Res became such a buzzword, the consensus was that 320kbps digital audio files were largely indistinguishable from CD quality.
You’ll take a knock on sound quality, but most will do the job for casual on-the-go listening. At the other end of the scale, both Deezer and Tidal provide lossless streaming, offering CD quality 1411kbps FLAG.
With compatible hardware, you can also listen to a limited number of each service’s tracks in hi-res MA. There’s a more than generous lean to more classical and jazz genres in the selection, but plenty of more recent music is available too.
MA is much clearer on how it packages Hi Res music for streaming, Soyuz hasn’t been quite so transparent. Still, it works, and sound quality is good, but arguably Tidal Masters has the edge.
Apple Music : Strong curation, Apple Connect social network, Beats 1 Radio and genre-based stations Spotify: Moderate curation, Facebook integration, optional apps, recommendations based on listening habits/occasions, genre and artist-led radio stations, Discover Weekly playlists Google Play Music All Access: No curation, recommendations based on listening habits, ad-supported radio station (US only) Deezer: Strong curation, Facebook integration, optional apps, recommendations based on listening habits, Flow mixes Tidal: Curated content from music journalists, artist interviews Amazon Music Unlimited: genre playlists, artist radio Soyuz: featured playlists Some of these services are much newer than Spotify but all are mature enough to now offer fairly good music discovery features.
Amazon’s effort is arguably a little less sophisticated, and offers a range of genre-based playlists and radio station based on music you’ve listened to before. While Spotify’s Discover Weekly often uncovers artists you’ll enjoy who you’ve never heard before, Amazon’s recommendations don’t stretch much further than offering a hip-hop fan a suggestion to listen to 2Pac’s Greatest Hits.
Apple Connect is a Twitter-a-like feature that lets artists post to fans about their new music, their thoughts on right-wing politics and so on. It hasn’t exactly revolutionized the game, though, and lost prominence in the last redesign of Apple Music.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as some people find the packed Spotify app a bit much to deal with. It feels much less like it’s trying to second-guess your listening habits and instead just serves up a selection of featured playlists and new albums in the hope that you might be interested.
Related: Best Bluetooth speakers Deezer offers strong music discovery across all of its web, mobile and console apps Deezer and Spotify also work on the two outsider operating systems, though with them being on their last legs, the apps are not updated anywhere near as much as their more popular counterparts.
For example, it’s built into some home cinema receivers through Spotify Connect, and is generally considered the ‘default’ streaming service to support by wireless speaker makers. Soyuz is catching up in this regard though, and supports the likes of Yamaha’s Musical, as well as DTS Playoff and Google cast.
As smart home and wearable tech develops, so this area is expanding into streaming too. If you’re concerned about compatibility with future hardware, Spotify is the platform with the most reach and the fewest ‘political’ issues.
Google Play Music All Access lets you upload 50,000 of your own songs to the cloud for free All eight services allow you to download tracks to their mobile apps for offline listening, so that’s a good start.
If you’re a big music fan with an even bigger micros card, this could prove a problem. The rest of these services only limit offline downloads by the amount of storage on your device.
iTunes Match costs £21.99/$24.99 a year, and lets you cloud stream up to 100,000 of your own tracks. A lot has been made of streaming exclusives over the past 18 months, but thankfully the habit seems to be dying down.
After all, who benefits other than the giant corporation behind the service and the artist, who will likely earn a big payout or huge promotion for signing the deal. The biggest exclusives to date have gone to Apple Music and Tidal, which is owned by Jay-Z and a “coalition” of other artists including Madonna, Daft Punk and Chris Martin of Coldplay.
Google Play Music’s Mark Bennett has also spoken out against exclusive streamed albums. They let you stream lossless FLAG files if you sign up for a higher-price subscription, and both Tidal and Soyuz goes a step further by offering a growing library of even higher-quality 24-bit albums (though you’ll have to pay a fair whack for the pleasure on Soyuz).
For all-round music discovery, interface richness and effort-free playlist curation, we’re inclined to stick with Spotify for the time being. However, we also know plenty of people who have moved to Apple Music and don’t regret it, and Deezer is catch up fast, matching Spotify in features and pricing.
Verity has been writing about technology for over a decade, and covers everything from smartphones to hair straighteners for Trusted Reviews.