Just in case you have been out of the online music loop for a while, maybe it’s time to get acquainted with online do-it-yourself music services. Several sites have emerged from decades of experimentation that started back in the 1990s. Trendsetters in this industry include Pandora, Spotify, and Grooveshark. All three are highly recommended as the modern way of listening to music at home or on the go.
All three music services allow music artists to get paid while allowing greater freedom and flexibility to online users of listening to the music they want hear. Both Pandora and Spotify use a complex yet efficient model for creating playlists using your music preferences. Groveshark, on the other hand allow you to search and select songs or browse other user’s playlists to create your own.
Each of the three services have their own unique features. However, all have the following in common:
- An impressive collection of songs and artists
- Freemium models supported by advertisements
- Affordable premium subscriptions that provide higher-quality audio and no advertisements
- Social media integration and features for music discovery
Pandora’s greatest feature is it’s simplicity (it’s a bit outdated but continues to make improvements). Grooveshark and Spotify, by constrast have more modern features. If you’re not paying for the upgraded subscriptions at Pandora or Spotify, be prepared to be interrupted by audio advertising. That is a huge negative for Pandora, as they have some of the most annoying and loud audio ads that repeat every few songs (if there’s a McDonald’s executive reading this, PLEASE get rid of whoever is making those ads).
The subscription often start with a free trial offer that comes with ads that shoulder the expenses of music licenses but will soon bug you to upgrade to the premium services that get rid of advertiments and also add high bit rate streams for better audio and mobile access.
If you are serious about your music, prefer no advertisements, want higher-quality audio, or simply want to support these great music sites, be sure to sign up for the upgraded services which are dirt cheap. At Spotify, online users may opt to try the Premium upgrade at only $10 per month offering users top-notch quality streams without interruptions. At Pandora, it’s $36 per year for the premium, ad-free service while at Grooveshark it runs at $6/month.
For less money than you spend at Starbucks, you can get the benefit of having a jukebox in the cloud. You get the freedom to choose the songs you want to hear and then change these with another batch of songs depending on your mood.
All of this is also great news for music artists as piracy is a non-issue. Users can share their music playlists, but are not allowed to download the audio files. They can only listen to the music online. The do-it-yourself online radio services like Pandora, Spotify, and Grooveshark are a breakthrough in the music industry (comparable to the invention of MP3 player). These three are by no means a comprehensive list, if you have a personal favorite, let us know in the comments section.