Whether we listen to it while we do our homework or to help us fall asleep at night, music is undoubtedly a very prominent part of our daily lives. The only downside to this is that music doesn’t always come cheap.
For example, buying one popular song on iTunes is usually $1.29. Pricing on an entire album ranges anywhere from $7.99-$19.99. For this reason, different companies are always creating new ways for music lovers to stream songs for free.
According to an article from CNN, most teens actually prefer streaming music to buying it. This makes sense considering that streaming music is “a more personal experience,” and a convenient one at that.
Thankfully for those teens and others like them, there are quite a few music streaming services to choose from, but which ones are the best?
One of the most well known streaming apps is Spotify, which currently has over 40 million active users. Making a Spotify account is free, but because of this, users must endure occasional advertisements.
The highly acclaimed streaming service is available to users as both a website and a computer/smartphone app. Both versions are visually appealing and it’s easy to navigate through all of the simple features.
Spotify also prides itself in allowing users to make their own playlists from a growing collection of over 20 million songs. In addition to this, Spotify offers ready-made playlists of different music genres, mood-songs and top hits. These are constantly being updated by Spotify’s staff.
Despite all that Spotify offers, those looking for a little more are welcome to buy a premium subscription for only $9.99 a month. Going premium allows users to listen to music without advertisements. Upgrading is most beneficial when using Spotify’s mobile app, as it gives you the option to pick and choose specific songs rather than only being able to listen to playlists on shuffle.
Another streaming option comes from the app Songza. Songza is similar to Spotify in that it’s completely free to use, but instead of making your own playlists, Songza does this for you based on your current mood and/or activity.
Upon entering the app or website, users are immediately taken to the Songza Concierge. Based on the time of day, Songza suggests different activities to play music for. For example, if it’s 5:30 on a Monday evening, Songza will list options like working out, doing homework or even cooking. Each activity breaks down into different sub-categories and from there, Songza helps you find the music you’re looking for.
Songza also offers more straightforward playlist options by allowing users to browse the different moods, genres and activities the service accommodates. If that’s too complex, users can simply type in the name of an artist or song into the search bar and create a playlist based on that. It’s the perfect streaming service for anyone who wants different playlists that caters to their everyday moods and activities. It’s also great for discovering new music and artists!
Songza follows in the footsteps of Pandora, yet another free public streaming option. Pandora is very much alike Songza with its original radio-style layout, but it lacks the personalization Songza offers.
After making an account, users can create “radio stations” based on their favorite artists and songs. Pandora then compiles a playlist of nonstop music that relates to the artist/song. With each song that plays, users have the option to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” the song. Pandora makes a mental note for the future based on how much you like/dislike the songs that are played. This is about the extent of what Pandora can do, but, for being a free and decent streaming service, we definitely shouldn’t be complaining.
With that said, all of these streamings apps are great for their intended purpose, but some offer more than others. Those looking for more flexibility and personalization should stick to using Spotify and Songza, while those with more simplistic tastes should try out Pandora.