There are so many streaming services available out there that it’s difficult to know what you should go for. Not everybody wants the exact same thing out of their streaming service. Some want it to function more like radio, others want to listen to what they want when they want, and so on. Some want to find things based on pricing, and then there are those who just want storage for their massive music collections.
Well, there’s something for everybody. Hit the jump to see some of the key streaming services.
Spotify is our current favorite. We’ve found most of our favorite music on it, with the exception of one or two bands that no seems to have anyway. The interface will be familiar to iTunes users. As with most of these services, free listening is limited and interrupted by commercials. Shelling out the five bucks will give you unlimited music with commercial-free listening. For $10, you get mobile listening, offline mode, no ads and unlimited streaming. That’s in line with the other services that offer similar features. (Link)
We like MOG because it offers on-demand listening. It also offers radio listening based on your personal preferences in music. This also allows you to download songs if you want to listen offline as well. It’s available not only through your browser, but also for iPhone and Android. It’s $9.99 a month, which is along with what Spotify costs for a plan that will get you the same features. (Link)
Pandora is probably one of the most popular streaming services out there. It’s okay for casual listening in the car or something, but it’s not exactly our favorite. You can choose an artist or genre, and then you must leave the rest up to the stream. What’s nice is that streaming on your iOS or mobile device is free. You get 40 hours of streaming, and there are commercials, but $36 a year will remedy that. It gets rid of ads and gives you unlimited streaming. (Link)
Rdio is another service that offers on-demand listening. It’s priced similarly to other services that offer on-demand music. You will pay about 5 bucks a month for desktop use and $10 to stream to your mobile device. It’s also possible to use it on devices like the Roku box. Pretty cool, and the price is nice. (Link)
Another on-demand service, Rhapsody runs $9.99 a month for listening on one device. This means, for instance, you can listen on your computer and your iPhone. Now, if you want to pay $14.99 a month, you can get up to three devices covered. This would be something like your computer, iPhone, iPad and the BlackBerry you use for work. Users can also purchase MP3 versions of songs for $.69 to $1.29 per song. (Link)
Slacker Radio streams content in a fashion similar to Pandora. You choose an artist or song you like and you can listen to similar music based on your tastes. there are two plans, but they bring you the same stuff, which is unlimited streaming, unlimited skips (skip a track you don’t like), no ads, and ABC news content. The difference in the two plans really just comes down to how you want to be billed. $4.99 a month or pay $47.88 for the year (which breaks down to $3.99 a month). (Link)
7) Amazon Cloud Player
Amazon Cloud Player is a service that allows users to store their digital music collections. The keyword here is “their” collection (that’s debatable, too, but that’s a whole different writeup). Anyway, you will only be able to upload music you are currently in possession of or buy direct from Amazon. So it’s like using iTunes, but you’re screwed if your internet connection dies.
The application is browser-based, so if you’re not a fan of that this one may not be for you. Though you can also use the Amazon music downloader to grab your files and store them locally if you so desire. You can use 5GB for free, or you can upgrade ($20/year minimum, or you can buy a full album to get 20GB) and have unlimited music storage. Again, they must be songs already in your possession, or songs obtained through Amazon. Also, it works with Android, but there is no iPhone app. (Link)
Which do you use?
We didn’t cover everything there is out there. There are several, but we’ve talked about most of the important ones. Each has unique features. We hope this list makes it a little easier to sort through the major ones and help users come to a decision that works for them.
Which caters most to your needs? Let us know in the comments. If we missed one that you prefer, go ahead and mention which service you use and some of the cool features. We’re interested.