Music has become such an integral part of our lives, and many of us cannot live a day without some music therapy.
That said, how do you go about getting your hands on your favourite songs? Do you do it the old-fashioned way, going to the CD store to pick out a certain artiste’s album, or do you download them over the internet? One effective (and legal!) way is to use music streaming sites. This is because you get access to a wide selection of songs, for free, and they integrate social networking aspects too, which I will elaborate on a little later.
Here I have researched on 3 of the more popular music streaming sites and compared what other authors have to say about them.
Spotify lets you create playlists by dragging and dropping the songs from its library of over 13 million tracks. It has recently collaborated with Facebook, thereby integrating a social component, where you can share everything you listen to on Spotify with your friends. You can just send them the link to a track or playlist and they can listen to it instantly! As Spotify puts it, it’s “Social music made simple”. One big plus is that the music plays live, which means that you don’t have to waste precious time downloading the tracks. However, if you don’t sign up for its paid premium subscription, free users can only listen to up to 10 hours of music per month.
Another streaming site is Last FM. Similar to Spotify, it has a whole host of features including music and video streaming, custom playlist creation, uploading your photos, social networking, etc. One interesting feature of Last.fm is ‘scrobbling’, which builds a profile of your taste in songs and recommends you new songs.
Going further to compare Spotify and Last FM, Carl Westbury found that one edge Last FM has over Spotify is its free iPhone/ Android app, which makes listening to music on-the-go so much more convenient.
He also noted that Last FM has integrated far more social network aspects than Spotify, such as discussion boards, critiques, band profiles, touring dates and links to ticket workplace websites. If you’re an aspiring musician, you would also be glad to know that Last FM allows you to upload your personal audio, making it a great platform to advertise your music.
However, Mariana Ashley found that Grooveshark is the best online music streaming website out there, at least in her own opinion. It has a combination of radio stations that offer a great selection of music, and it allows users to save their favorite music into a cloud-based library. The basics are free, but you can upgrade your account in order to avoid ads and to access the mobile apps.
This article further pointed out that Grooveshark is similar to Spotify in terms of features and design, but it differs in the sense that Grooveshark merely streams new music that other customers have uploaded, while Spotify fills its large library by cutting deals with EMI, Warner Music, Sony BMG and other major labels.
Another reviewer went on to say that Grooveshark is different from the others in the sense that it is somewhere in between a torrent site and a streaming site. It allows users to upload content, then stream content back to their computers. One down side to Grooveshark is that, Apple and Google have removed the Grooveshark app from their respective app stores. As such, the only way to stream music from Grooveshark is directly from a computer.
Now that we’ve looked at these 3 sites and done some comparision, my personal favourite would have to be Last FM, mainly because I’m a sucker for listening to music on-the-go, and it is the only site that has a free iPhone/Android app that allows me to do just that.
Do you stream music from such sites? If you do, what would be your recommendations?