Bloom.fm full review
Don't fancy paying through the nose for Spotify Premium? Well a new app on the block, Bloom, is a cheaper alternative to satisfy your music streaming desires. The firm calls it 'mobile music, made easy'.
Bloom was launched earlier this year on iPhone but has now arrived for Android smartphone and tablet users and the idea is simple. You download the app for free and don't have to pay a penny if you don't want to. However, there are three different subscription packages to choose from giving you some handy extra features. See all Android app reviews.
In its most basic form, Bloom.fm is a free radio-style streaming app, with adverts, where you select a 'station' either based on the top 100, genre or an individual artist. The app will then effectively put together a playlist from a catalogue of 22 million songs, up to date one we might add, and you can skip tracks you don't like.
It's a tried and tested method but what sets Bloom apart from the competition is its pricing options and its interface.
If £10 per month sounds like too much for streaming on the go, then Bloom 20 offers this feature for just £1 per month ad-free if you buy online instead of the app. What's the catch? This doesn't include streaming and you can only select or 'borrow' 20 tracks to listen to offline.
Bloom 200 is the same as the one just describe but you can borrow up to 200 tracks at any one time for £5 per month. Full Bloom costs the same as Spotify Premium, giving you unlimited borrowing and adding streaming when on the go.
Although the two latter packages are perfectly reasonable, it's the £1 per month option which makes Bloom.fm attractive. 20 tracks might not sound like a lot but it's easy to chop and change which tracks you have borrowed before you head out of the house or office.
Sealing the deal is a beautiful and smooth interface which combines a fantastically eye catching design with great animations, although certain elements look childish. Bloom.fm has a nature theme with bee character, honeycomb pieces for your library and flowers. Navigation is difficult at first with no real tutorial but it only really took us minutes to figure it out.
You can search for the music you want to listen to but the app also provides a visual way of finding new artists and bands with an innovative petal layout.