Many of you know the music streaming service, Spotify. It’s a great source to stream the latest hits, hear music on-demand, or create a station of your own to enjoy. A small drawback is that the mobile version is limited in its accessibility and features.
Now if you’re like me, you consider Pandora to be the number one, the original, the leader in music streaming services. While that last descriptor may be far from true compared to the newer services online today, I am older and stick with what I feel comfortable. By the way, it’s also not in the best of the best anymore.
That said, let me adjust my bifocals here and I’ll update you on some music alternatives available to satisfy your aural appetites.
As mentioned, Pandora is one of the first streaming services created and launched on the internet (also known as the World Wide Web for you Gen X’ers). Similar to Spotify, Pandora has free and subscription membership plans. It really depends on whether or not you want to hear ads. The paid service is ad-free and lets you skip a few more songs than the free version. You can create custom channels and even go a bit further to add artists you particularly prefer into those stations. Imagine a country station with a little bit of Korn or Motley Crue mixed in. Don’t know them? That’s why we have Google.
Next up is iHeartRadio. This is wonderful if you like to find local radio stations normally broadcasting on the AM/FM airwaves and if you like to listen to radio shows with live DJs. Some find the back and forth discussions lively, informative, and entertaining. You can select genres of music to match your preferences and iHearRadio will list stations for you to choose from.
One of the latest entries into the music streaming scene is Tidal. Tidal currently offers 2 plans ($9.99 and $19.99 per month) and was created with the artists’, as well as the listeners’, interests in mind. A couple of noteworthy features include higher sound quality with the more expensive plan and the ability to download content to listen offline with both plans.
If you have Amazon Prime then you have access to Amazon Music and all of its perks. If you haven’t footed the $99 annual charge for Amazon Prime then you are not able to enjoy the “evolving” music service and neither are you getting 2-day free shipping on your packages.
Of course Apple has to get their noses into everything mobile so why not mobile music streaming through iTunes? Although the interface is rather friendly and intuitive, there are still a few minor distractions that keep me from buying in outright. I am an Apple fan and have the phones and iPads to prove it, yet for some reason, the $9.99 monthly cost for an Apple Music account is enough of a deterrent for me.