Streaming Music: All the Songs You Want at Your Fingertips
Music lovers rejoice! Gone are the days of waiting for your favorite song to play on the radio. Music streaming services are making it easier than ever to listen to your favorite musicians, albums, and songs whenever you want.
You’re probably heard the term “streaming” in relation to video services such as Netflix or Hulu. With these services, users can watch shows or movies whenever they want, given that they have an internet connection. Streaming refers to this act of selecting on-demand content via the internet. Your favorite TV shows are not the only thing you can stream – there are many apps and programs which allow for music streaming.
Many of these music streaming apps are “library styled” services, which allow you to go in and pick specific artists, songs, and albums you would like to listen to. You can select any song you want given that it’s on the app (and with some of the biggest streaming apps, it probably is). You can create your own playlists, add songs to your “library”, and can always choose what to listen to. Many of these services also offer ways to find new music, with personalized internet radio stations and platform-created playlists. Premium services will allow users to download music for offline use, as well.
With most of these services, you will pay a monthly fee to access the entire library of songs, but some offer a free base version with ads.
There are a number of library styled music streaming apps, but some of the most popular are Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and Amazon Music. Each app has its associated pros and cons.
Spotify, for example, offers personalized playlists suggesting new music to the listener every week, curated based on their listener’s music-streaming habits. Spotify also boasts over 2 million podcasts and the most robust social experience of any of the streaming platforms. These features are available with a premium subscription for a charge each month. There is a free base version of Spotify which offers limited features of the premium subscription.
Apple Music has the highest sound quality of any of the listed music-steaming services, allowing listeners to listen to songs in lossless audio. Apple Music, however, does not offer as many features for listeners looking to discover new music, but there are still platform-curated playlists and personal mixes made based on your listening habits. Apple Music is charged on a month basis, with no free base version.
YouTube Music makes looking for new music easy with an intuitive search function and well-developed song recommendations. YouTube music has a free base version with ads; unless you pay for premium, however, you will have to pause the music in order to minimize the app.
Finally, Amazon Prime members get access to Amazon Music automatically, which gives users access to a number of songs with their Amazon Prime subscription. This library is limited, however, and for an additional charge each month, Prime members get access to the entire library. You can also get Amazon Music for the same price without Prime. The obvious pro of using Amazon Music is that, if you have Prime, you get access to the included song, in addition to Prime’s other features.
For listeners hoping to look for a specific niche, there are a number of other music-streaming services. SoundCloud is a great option for listeners who are looking for underground music, with a free base version as well as ad-free premium services. This service will be less appealing to those looking for popular music, however. Tidal allows users to stream music in extremely high quality. To truly take advantage of the service, however, listeners will have to pay a fee each month. Deezer offers robust personalized song recommendations, but is also more expensive than other services.
With so many different music-streaming services, there’s an option for every music enthusiast!
For further information visit your local branch of the Citrus County Library System and ask about our free technology classes. Classes are held throughout the county on a wide range of topics and subjects including The Cloud: Getting Started and Alternatives to Cable TV. For additional information about programming or to register for a class, please call your local library branch, go to the library’s website, citruslibraries.org, or follow @CitrusLibraries on Facebook and Instagram.