In today’s music market, CDs are out and streaming music is in. Instead of lumbering around with physical representations of the music, you have the ability to listen to music online – for free! You may not be able to skip songs and have to listen to an advertisement from time to time, but there are many services out there providing listeners with great music online. Most of these websites ask that you sign up for their service using an email address. The benefit of this is that your musical tastes are saved, and many of the websites select music you may like to hear and can tailor your experience.
Jango – Arguably one of the least complicated ways to get music online, Jango gives the user the option to either enter an artist or choose a genre. You do not even have to log in to play music; just click and go! This would be the first stop if you are worried about the complexities of streaming music.
Pandora – This website allows you to type in a particular band, genre of music, or song, and it will automatically play new songs for you. If you are looking to expand your horizons and experience new tunes, this could be a great option. There’s the ability to save a radio station, so when you come back, your music picks up right where you left off. Pandora also allows you to pick a thumbs up or thumbs down on a song, allowing the algorithm to better know your tastes.
Last.fm – If you are interested in hearing about the latest show coming to your area or reading blogs about musicians, Last.fm is a good choice. They broadcast weekly discovery songs to give you an idea of new music others are listening to on the website, and if you have a relatively mainstream musical taste, you can browse their top tracks and top artists compiled by the number of song plays. When clicking on a particular artist, you can view their tracks, albums, photos, biographies, and events as well as get links to similar artists.
Slacker – If you have a genre in mind, this is the perfect website for listening to music online. Maybe you are feeling relaxed, so you choose “Chill” or “News/Talk” is more your style. Slacker Radio takes away the stress of finding the perfect playlist of songs – choose one genre and listen for hours.
Spotify – While there is the option to purchase a premium package, there is still a free version of Spotify. Slightly different than other websites, users have to download the program to their desktop or phone. There are millions of artists who allow their music to be played on the application, though famously, Taylor Swift refuses to publish her music on this platform under the belief that it devalues her music. Users can search by artist, album, or song, and there is still a radio option that streams by genre. Great for discovering new artists and also listening to what you already love.