We’ve all searched for the best music streaming service out there, but the choices are just too many. So, since picking a single option is a fairly hard decision, we’ve got a list of viable recommendations that are definitely the best in this category. These options aren’t just your ordinary tools for listening to radio stations online, but a new approach to discovering music based on the type of song, artist or genre you select.
Most options follow this approach, while others have their own unique way for delivering a rich and customizable experience. What’s more, they support multiple platforms including mobile devices running Android, iOS and Windows Phone amongst others, allowing you to access a vast catalog of tunes from anywhere, even when offline.
We’re mostly picky about the kind of music we listen to, but then again, we do get tired of listening to the same playlist or artists over and over again. That’s mainly why Pandora is one the best music streaming service. Here, you won’t have to run through hordes of songs. All you need to do is enter an artist of your choice and a selection of tracks with similar musical elements is created. You’ll also be able to drop in feedback on the automated songs which are taken into consideration to improve the service. Pandora is only available in the US, Australian and New Zealand. It can be accessed on mobile platforms like Android iOS and Windows Phone in the form of dedicated applications. Free listening includes ads, while a monthly subscription of $3.99 permits unlimited hours of commercial-free streaming.
This is one such music service which works on almost any desktop and mobile platform out there including Symbian and WebOS. Spotify is pretty intuitive to use, but requires you to sign up through Facebook or via email. The tool automatically prepares a roster of songs based on the artist, album or track you’ve chosen and it even allows you to create an unlimited number of stations. If you don’t happen to like a particular selection, a skip option is made available. Also, each station is said to improve based on your feedback which involves liking or disliking a song. Spotify comes in 3 subscriptions, namely free, unlimited ($4.99 per month) and premium ($9.99 a month).
What makes Rdio a viable candidate on this compilation is it allows you to stream music without the annoyance of ads. For new users, the company is offering 6 months of free music service for desktop and browser streaming, while listening to tracks on mobile devices will require a monthly subscription which is $9.99 for the entire package or $4.99 for web access only. Rdio offers a wide plethora of song for your listening pleasure. You can search for artists, albums or even playlists, queue your own selection of tracks and also sync them to a mobile device over Wi-Fi for offline playback. Supported platforms include iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Windows and Mac.
4. Slacker Radio:
Slacker Radio is much like every other candidate on this list. It offers free access to a wide catalog of music, but with the inclusion of ads. However, its no-cost service isn’t just limited to PC listening as even mobile devices can get in on the action. For a commercial-free experience and various rich features such as on-demand access to entire albums, customizations and offline support, a subscription model is made available. The radio plus choice eliminates ads and brings in unlimited skips for $3.99 per month, while the premium option provides tags along unlimited on-demand access to content. There are over 200 ‘expert-programmed’ stations made available which are customizable.
Music Unlimited is one part of entertainment services offered by Sony and it’s certainly one we’d recommend for the PS3, PSP and Vita consoles as well as other devices from the Japanese conglomerate. Even Android smartphones and tablets are supported. It gives you access to a vast selection of channels which are categorized based on genre. Also, these stations automatically adjust to your liking based on whether you like or dislike a song. There’s no free listening here, but you do get a 30-day trial, while a monthly subscription will set you back $9.99.
6. iTunes Radio:
For Mac Apple TV, iPhone and iPad owners, iTunes Radio is one of the most viable options out there. The service has over 200 stations based on genre and they’re said to evolve depending on what music you listen to and download on iTunes. There are two main features here, ‘Play More Like This’ or ‘Never Play This Song,’ which help the software to determine which tracks to play. Additionally, the option to create and customize stations is also present. This service can be accessed through Siri by simply asking the virtual assistant to ‘Play more like this.’ For an ad-free experience, Apple is offering the iTunes Match subscription for $24.99 a year.
7. Xbox Music:
Like Sony’s Music Unlimited makes a viable selection for PS devices, Xbox Music is worth taking a look at for the 360 console, the Windows Phone 8 platform and even Windows 8 desktop. The software in our lineup of best music streaming service comes preloaded on these devices and all you have to do is set it up. Streaming music is basically free, but if you want enhanced features such as offline listening, the ability to create and save playlists across various devices, and skip an unlimited number of songs when streaming a SmartDJ radio station, you’ll have purchase a Music Pass ($9.99 a month) or try out the service for free for 30 days.
So did you find the best music streaming service amongst the aforementioned choices? If not, you could take a look at Google Music all access, Nokia Music, iHeartRadio and Grooveshark. Let us know which of these are amongst your favorites.