Online music streaming services unlock many new sources for avid music listeners March 20, 2013 Lifestyle The mystical entity we call the Internet is a treasure trove of information, images, videos and especially music. Recently, popularized music streaming platforms have embedded music into our social profiles on Facebook and other sites. With applications like Spotify and 8tracks, people now have opportunities to listen to music whenever and wherever they desire. Here is a guide to the best music platforms out there. Spotify Perhaps the most popular platform available, Spotify provides unlimited access to nearly every song ever released at three price levels: Free desktop use with advertisements, Unlimited uninterrupted desktop use ($4.99/month) and Premium uninterrupted mobile use ($9.99/month). The simple interface displays friends’ activity (if connected to Facebook), while they can likewise view what artists and playlists you are listening to. Premium users can sync playlists across devices and listen offline, making it valuable in the car or at the gym. The ability for users to send songs or subscribe to friends’ customized playlists with a click makes Spotify stand out from other services. Also, other music applications run synergistically with Spotify. For example, the application “Bandsintown Concerts” compiles concert information on when your favorite artists are coming to town. The “Tunigo” application offers an array of specialty playlists, varying by moods and genre, while “Pitchfork” reviews the latest and greatest new music. But like most of these other streaming platforms, Spotify fails to offer original songs by classic artists such as The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, and even certain modern artists like Spector have refused to sell their rights to Spotify. Mog Mog is another music player that offers free music and radio streaming, plus other paid perks with an upgrade. The free option with Mog operates right from your web browser. Users must “earn free music” by inviting friends, or else upgrade to the Basic level ($4.99/month) which provides unlimited desktop listening, or the Primo level ($9.99/month) for unlimited mobile and desktop listening. Users can create and share playlists, add songs to their “Favorites” list, and discover new music similarly to Spotify, but the outstanding difference between the two services is that Mog can operate conveniently via web browser, while Spotify subscribers must download the application onto their computer or mobile phone. However, the fact that Mog is much less popular and, therefore, has a smaller user network than Spotify makes it far less useful. 8tracks While other platforms involve complicated subscriptions and pestering commercials, 8tracks has stayed faithful to the idea of simple, free radio. To find a mix without even logging in, users input a mood or genre, then select one of the suggested playlists. If signed in, one can create, publish and share mixes for free, which is as close to making mix tapes as we will ever see again. Discovering new music is easy on 8tracks when users can easily connect with others, albeit strangers, who share the same musical taste. While not as complex as other platforms, 8tracks remains a faithful radio standby. Rdio Initially, Rdio accomplished most of the same features as every other music platform, but just at a higher price. Now that Rdio is priced at the exact same level as Spotify and Mog, its social network has become much more valuable. While Spotify and Mog operate based on the user’s network of Facebook friends, Rdio operates on its own social network in addition to its Facebook and Twitter connections. Users can actively interact with others who share similar music interests in order to discover new artists. Rdio also works seamlessly with nearly every application on the market, from your mobile phone (even you Blackberry users!) to your home stereo system through Roku or Sonos. Rdio’s sleek, white web interface also adds to its dynamic appeal. Rdio is a great alternative to other subscription services, but at the moment its smaller user network makes it less popular than its competitors. Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.