[TUNES] Here's Your Free Online Music
“Without music, life would be a mistake.” Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche did not overstate music’s importance by much. Fortunately, there's plenty of music available for free, via the Web or mobile devices. Here are the best places to find and listen to music online…
Where to Get Free Music
Many people can’t wake up in the morning, or even shower, without tunes in their ears. The morning commute, the humdrum of the office, the tedium of the gym, even making dinner can be unbearable without the sound of our favorite music.
But if you pay for all that sound, it’s going to run you a pretty penny: $10/month for the premium versions of Apple Music, Google Play, or Spotify, to name some of the best-reviewed streaming music services. Pandora’s $5/month or $55/year is about as low as you can go and still get a great library of songs with a decent set of playback features.
For those on a budget, here are some free streaming music options. They differ from subscription services in convenience, audio quality, and depth. In some cases, your listening will be interrupted by ads. But they may be sufficient to fill your need for any sound other than the real ones surrounding you.
Spotify supports streaming a wide variety of music on desktop, Web, and tablet apps. You can create playlists of your favorite songs, but on a phone you can only listen to your playlists in “shuffle mode;” songs from the list are played in random order, and the number of times you can skip an undesired song is limited. The idea is to annoy you into paying for premium service that eliminates these nuisances. Also, free phone users cannot download and listen to tunes offline, so if your phone’s Internet service is spotty, Spotify may be the wrong choice for free music.
Pandora offers a huge selection of radio stations; that’s it, no libraries in which to store your own music files, no on-demand titles. But Pandora has done a very good job of organizing its stable of radio stations by genre, and its apps quickly learn your musical tastes by the likes and skips that you make.
Pandora's Music Genome technology analyzes the melody, harmony, rhythm, instrumentation, lyrics and vocal styles of songs. This enables Pandora to suggest a playlist of artists and songs that you'll probably enjoy, even if you've never heard them before. I've discovered some music I really like this way. If you want to click on button and hear a lot of your favorite tunes all day without much more effort, Pandora is for you. (Note: Pandora acquired Rdio in November, 2015, absorbing Rdio’s music assets.)
More Online Music Options
Slacker, like Pandora, is all-radio. You pick an artist, song, or genre, and it will play a sequence of songs that are related. With the free version, you're not guaranteed to hear the specific song or artist you selected, but usually it rolls around before long. You also can’t skip commercials, and song skips are limited in the free version. There’s no saving of playlists or your own tunes for offline listening. Upgrade to Slacker Radio Plus ($4/month) and you get unlimited song skips, no ads, song lyrics and the ability to download songs on mobile for offline listening. Slacker is renowned for the crisp, hi-fidelity sound it delivers. One of its three main categories is Talk Radio.
iHeartRadio includes a library of 15 million on-demand songs, as well as live streams from over 1,500 radio stations. You can create “custom stations” based on songs and artists; essentially, these are playlists of songs streamed from the library. Custom stations are ad-free. The downside of iHeartRadio is rudimentary control; no pausing, skipping, or rewind.
Google Play Music debuted in June 2015, with an interesting mix of features in the free version (ad-supported, of course). You can listen to Google-curated radio stations; create a custom station based on a song, artist, or album; or listen to music you own. Google Play Music lets you upload up to 50,000 songs that you have purchased anywhere else, and roll your own playlists from them.
I've listed just a handful of the most popular online music options. Do you use one of these, or do you have another that you prefer? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 1 Mar 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [TUNES] Here's Your Free Online Music (Posted: 1 Mar 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved