I personally don’t think I could survive without music. Now that’s quite blunt and maybe a little extreme, but I hate working in silence and find it hard to focus on tasks without background music. My favourite genres are Dance/Electronic and Alternative/Indie, and I usually accomplish the most while listening to these genres. What is your favourite genre? How do you listen to it? How do you discover new songs from it?
There are more music listening services out there than I have fingers and toes, but here are a few of them:
Google Play Music All Access is a new music service with features from a few services packed into it. First I’m going to shorten the name down to Google Music for the remainder of this article, because let’s face it, it’s a terrible name (good luck marketing department). The key features are search, radio, and explore. Search is similar to Spotify in that the user can search for any song/album/artist, and play it any number of times. Radio is similar to Pandora in that the user can create custom stations for any song/album/artist, but with an added key feature that they are not limited to 6 skips. Explore is similar to Sound Cloud’s Explore in that the user can explore a number of genres and discover new music.
SoundCloud is a great music service, which is free to the public. I use SoundCloud to explore and listen to a lot of electronic music. SoundCloud is great for following artist and listening to music which is not uploaded to places like iTunes and Google Music. Before Google Music was announced, I used SoundCloud for 80% of my music listening, but now I use it about 20-30% of the time.
YouTube is not specifically a music service, but has most songs uploaded to it. It’s not the best place to find “new” music as music is normally uploaded to other services first. YouTube is however great for listening to a quick sound, although even that’s getting slower with all of the advertisements before the songs. I don’t use YouTube to listen to music very often, but it is an option.
GrooveShark is another search service which is free, but because of their bad press and law suits, it’s hard to recommend them.
Radio (FM)…you know… the one with the antennas coming out of the music player, does anyone listen to it anymore?
I currently use a combination of Google Music and SoundCloud on a daily basis. I like the fact that the artists who’s music I listen to are paid when I listen to their music through Google Music. I have debated just buying the artist’s albums, but being a student I think google Music is the most cost efficient. I’m currently using the free 30 day trial, but I will be subscribing to the $7.99 (if subscribed before June 30th, $9.99 if not) monthly service.