How to listen to music in sync with friends or public groups

Although we may now be allowed to meet in small groups, many of us still feel more comfortable staying home for the time being, to avoid the likes of public transport or having to travel to see friends.

If you want to have a party via video chat there are plenty of ways you can do so, either with platforms like Zoom, Facebook Messenger or FaceTime, however syncing music during these calls can often be a major problem. Either one person plays music and the sound quality for the others isn’t as good, or you can all try and play individual music, which, lets face it, is pretty rubbish.

Luckily, in today’s digital world there are a variety of platforms that can help solve this problem. Nonetheless, with everyone’s internet at different speeds, this still works better if you have headphones in, rather than playing straight through a laptop, as otherwise there is still sometimes a noticeable lag.

JQBX

JQBX is a platform that lets you set up rooms to listen to a playlist with friends or even strangers from all over the world in real time. You can use this in the web browser on a laptop or download the app to use it on your mobile. It is also free.

To use JQBX it is essential that everyone you want to listen with has a Spotify Premium account. This is required because all of the music that gets played in JQBX is supplied by Spotify. If you only have an Open account, you can’t be kept in sync because of all the ads.

If you want to give JQBX a try but don’t have a Spotify Premium account, you can always sign-up for a free 30-day trial. Just remember to set a reminder on your phone, or in your diary, to cancel it if you want to avoid being charged after the 30-day period.

To create a private room, with just you and your friends and family, one person will need to click ‘create room’ and set a password for the room. Next, this person should click “Invite”. This will create a link that you can share with others, which they will click to find the room. All that’s left is for them to type in the password and you’re ready to get going!

The creator of the group automatically becomes the DJ, and it is their job to pick songs for everyone to listen to. However, you can change this easily if the DJ is not up to scratch!

Vertigo

Vertigo works in a similar way to JQBX; however, it has one key difference, users can use it for free with Spotify Premium and Apple Music. So, if you have members of the group with different streaming services this will work for you.

To use Vertigo, one person in your group needs to start a listening party.

Vertigo also has a feature that allows you to add videos, photos, and live chat over the music you’re listening to. From your home screen, tap the ‘Start Listening Party’ button. You can set the party to public or private, and then invite as many followers as you’d like. 

Another cool aspect of Vertigo is that you can create a shared queue. This allows anyone in your live mixer to add songs to your session – unlike JQBX where only one person can be the DJ.

To allow a shared queue, simply tap the button with three stripes on the mini player at the bottom of the screen. Tap unlock your mix on the top left corner. Now friends can vote and add songs they want to hear!

As with JQBX, Vertigo works on both a web browser and on your phone via an app.

Discord

Finally, if you want to sync up your songs but don’t have any premium subscriptions and don’t want to do a free trial, you can use Discord.

Discord is a free application where you can create your own server and invite friends over. Then, select a music bot with preset genres or share songs from YouTube or SoundCloud. It does take a bit more effort to set up, so keep that in mind before you start the party.

The video below will help you set up the server:

Then you will need to install a music bot. This tutorial below will help you:

Once you have the music bot installed, you can listen to any songs from YouTube. You can also chat, play games, and share you screen with Discord. As part of a new update, you can also connect a Spotify account to Discord.

Enjoy your streaming! Got any questions? Write a comment in the section below.

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