Since the advent of the MP3 player and iPod devices, people have been able to take their music with them everywhere they go. But naturally, we become accustomed to access music at all times and eventually we get bored with our own small collections. If you’re not particularly tech savvy, or have a penchant for abiding by the law, here are the top five sites that can help expand your musical experience by streaming musical legally over your cellular network or WiFi.
- Pandora was first on the scene with its music streaming program, allowing members to access genres, albums, songs, and new music similar to their preferences. With a customized app, members can select the music they are most likely to listen to, like or dislike music that Pandora plays, and select artists or albums to further explore. Pandora offers a paid membership, where members can select any song or album and play in the order they desire, rather than having a random selection chosen for you, like free members experience.
- Spotify was second on the scene, and there is a little bit of a “turf war” going on between Pandora and this up-and-comer. Spotify users prefer Spotify because you can select playlists already designed by Spotify builders, or public playlists members create and share. You can save songs to your own “music folder” to access later, and the Spotify Spotlight has more focus on new music than Pandora. Paid members can also access their music from anywhere without the need for a network connection. It is essentially like you own all the music you want without paying for each individual song.
- Google Play also features a streaming music service, which allows users to create their own radio stations and even upload their own music to the Cloud. You can save up to 20,000 of tracks from your iTunes account for free, making this a great option for people who don’t want to lose their collection. Google Play offers a mobile app that allows users to select tracks or albums they want to listen to on-demand. However, it is a paid app and there are rarely promotions for a free trial, making it a more expensive option than the first two.
- Apple Music rounds out the list, providing “Genius” music comparisons on your current music collection, music you like when you stream, and providing you with curated content based on moods, artists, styles and setting. Of all the other streaming services, Apple Music provides the most customization options, and also provides unlimited access to the iTunes library- the largest music library in the digital world. You can also play unlimited iTunes Radio, and save music from the streaming service right to your device. This is the most expensive option, but there are a number of perks that cannot be found elsewhere.
If price is your main motivation for streaming music, definitely go with Pandora Free or Spotify Free. You may have to deal with annoying ads and skip limits, but you still get access to great music for free. If you’re looking for access to new music or great features, Google Play or iTunes Music might be a better investment, especially since it’s like adding the music you like to your own library when you pay for the membership. Happy Streaming!