Online Music Roundup:
Most days I feel like my head is going to explode when it comes to music. Overwhelmed is an understatement and something that should be fun as shit has become a nightmare. I want to listen to new music, I don’t want to spend a million bajillion dollars on an album that I’ll end up hating, and I am lazy about hunting for music. Also, I’m the asshole who wants that shizz to sync right up to my best friend, iPhone without me having to digitally Macguyver my way into a rainy day playlist.
BUT as of this morning, I think I got myself sorted here people. For the rest of you, who feel a little overwhelmed by the world of iPanodifty…I’ve made a handy dandy guide to the best ways to get your music fix.
Pros: Spotify is by far my favorite of the bunch here. A music lover’s dream, Spotify offers a huge selection of music, that you can drag and drop right into fully customizable playlists. It’s free (to a point) and getting an invite is pretty easy. (If you need one, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org) Another sick feature of Spotify, and what sets it apart is the share feature. Basically you can make online “mixtapes” (playlists) and send them to other Spotify users for no cost. Feel free to share on FB, Twitter, or in the blogosphere with ease. Spotify offers free service, but it’s limited, so do yourself a favor and pay the 9.99 a month…think of it as Netflix for music. I promise, you won’t be disappointed and you can cancel anytime. The cherry on top is the offline mode feature. Basically (if you are a premium user), Spotify can become your iTunes, and you can even listen to your playlists when you aren’t getting cell reception…i.e. riding the subway just got WAY better.
Cons: The free version is limiting, unless you only listen to music at your desk and comes with some jarringly irritating ads. You also aren’t going to be able to listen for an unlimited amount of hours…so if I were you, I’d buck up and pay the 9.99 a month. Another limit of the free service, no offline listening, but you can still sync your playlists to the VERY easy to use mobile app.
You should use Spotify if you… are a music lover, are insatiable when it comes to new music, want to listen to full albums, and know what you want to listen to. It’s not great if you want to be fed playlists, or want to have music suggested to you OR if you are wanting to “own” your music, a la, iTunes.
Pros: Sometimes it’s nice to turn off your brain and let the computer think FOR you. Pandora’s been around for a while and most of you probably have already used it, and probably still continue to. Pandora makes music simple and pretty much effortless and if you aren’t into seeking out new music, and you want new music to find you, it’s perfect. Pandora also has a mobile app that works pretty seamlessly, just like their site. It’s also nice to have Pandora open in your web client rather than having to download an application on your computer.
Cons: My main complaint about Pandora, is that if you are a picky music listener, like I tend to be, the Pandora algorithym can be VERY off…here’s how most of my Pandora experiences go:
::Enters Fleet Foxes into Pandora::
1st song: “Oh perfect…Helplesness Blues…I love this song”
2nd song: “Umm…Coldplay’s Fix You….I guess this song is ok”
3rd song: “Higher by Creed!!!! WTF (commence furious hitting of the “skip song” button until no more free skips are allowed and headache ensues)
::Close Pandora tab::
The point is, if you want to control what you are listening to, it’s not great. Also, I wonder how deep their library is because I ALWAYS end up listening to some god-forsaken Kings of Leon song for way too many times per session.
You should use Pandora if you…don’t want to control your playlists, don’t want to search out new music, and if you are ok with ads. Theme stations tend to also be great on Pandora, hello Summer of the 90’s station.
Pros: Free, make your own playlists, and easy to use. Pretty much the older, less agile Spotify that lacks some good features.
Cons: No sharing playlists, and not as intuitive and robust.
You should use Grooveshark if you…somehow didn’t get a Spotify invite yet.
Pros: If you want chatroulette, IM chat, unlimited music, and a way to kill lots of time at the office, Turntable.fm is for you. The great thing about Turntable.fm is that you can share and create a musical environment with your friends, and sometimes strangers (if you want). I love that you can comment and chat about song choices, give people DJ points for a great song played, and also, give yourself a break from g-chat for a couple hours. They have a pretty deep selection of music and the chat works seamlessly within this web-based music client. Also, who doesn’t love their little avatars? ADORBZ.
Cons: Not a music listening service for those who want to stand back and just put their music in the background. Also, choose your friends and DJ’s wisely…as it can go awry REAL quick. You are pretty much one bad song choice away from ruining your work vibe.
You should use Turntable.fm if you…want to waste copious amounts of time during the work day. And you want an interactive listening experience.
Cheers to navigating the information super highway musically together,