Stream tracks are audio files that are fed to your device directly from a streaming service without the need for you to download them. This is done by delivering the file in small data packets that are buffered on your device until it is ready to play. This is the preferred method for music and other audio files because it means that you can listen to them straight away.
Almost all of the top music streaming services offer a variety of audio formats for their subscribers to choose from. These include MP3, WMA, AAC, OGG, and FLAC. Some even support a range of high-resolution sound formats including CD quality and hi-res recordings.
Amazon & Spotify
Both of the big music streaming services, Amazon and Spotify, have a wide selection of curated playlists that help you discover new music and develop a listening habit. These are based on your music tastes and preferences, and the more you listen to them, the more the recommendations will evolve.
There is no single best streaming service but you should try a few to find one that works for you. It is also worth looking into the cost of the subscription, as it can have a big impact on your monthly outgoings.
Tidal & Qobuz
Tidal offers a premium account tier with access to CD-quality streams as well as hi-res recordings. It also has a premium HiFi Plus tier that provides more advanced music streaming with MQA technology that can deliver higher-resolution sound at 24-bit/192kHz.
Despite being one of the oldest music streaming services around, Deezer has made a lot of changes in the past decade. For example, it rebranded its CD-quality tier to ‘HiFi’ in 2017 and launched an upgraded mobile app that now looks very good on both iOS and Android devices. It is still not as good as Spotify in terms of music discovery, but its app makes it easier to browse and navigate the catalogue.
It has been coy about revealing the bitrate it uses for its standard tier, but tracks still sound clean, snappy and entertaining. Compared with Spotify’s comparable streams (approximately 320kbps), they have greater subtlety, space around instruments and a pleasantness to their rounder-sounding presentation.
If you are a content creator, multi-track recording is a great feature that allows you to separate your audio into five discrete tracks: Mixed, Microphone, System Sound, Application and Stream Only. This gives you more options to isolate specific tracks and edit them later on.
You can create a multi-track audio recording by clicking the gear icon next to your Broadcast outputs in Streamlabs Desktop, then enabling the Create multitrack recording of microphone and system audio option. You can then select which of your outputs you want to record to.
The only downside to this feature is that you will need to manually save the stream recordings on your local drive. This is a small price to pay for the freedom it gives you to pick and choose which sounds you want to include in your videos.