Streaming and You: A guide to streaming music (Part 1)

Streaming Media…it’s the future, man! This post and the post tomorrow will explain how you can get the most out of streaming your stuff pretty much everywhere.  This one will go about music aspect of streaming.

I love music, this is a given as I always listen to when I’m outside, on the bus, in the house, watching TV…you get the point. The only problem I have with that is that I don’t have the funds to have the space for the music. I listen to a lot of music (my Hard drive to this date has 6GB of music; My Sansa has 4GB). This is where streaming comes in to save the day! Most of these services are free while others have a free version and use a subscription which is mostly cheep.

For people that are still not ready (or are lazy) to pick out their own music or want to hear new music there is Pandora and Songza.

If you haven’t heard of Pandora (for SHAME!), it’s an internet radio service that allows you to put in an artist or genre of music to find others that are similar.  From there, you can pick which songs suck or that are awesome by choosing thumbs up or thumbs down which will tell your Pandora radio station to play more or NEVER PLAY THAT AGAIN. There is a free version that has ads every so often but the subscription for unlimited ad-free music is only $0.99 cents a month.  Pandora can be used on most internet enable devices such as your smart phone, tablet, Blu-Ray player, and smart TV allowing you to listen to it on the go.

Songza is like Pandora but a little more deeper. I talked about Songza in the past so I will make this quick: like Pandora, you can plug in a genre or artist to have music that is similar to it. Songza goes a step ahead though with music for just about any occasion — Want some music to set you off to sleep? There’s a playlist for that. Not only that, users can make other playlist for others to listen to (you can’t, but hey it’s not that bad). The best part, no ads. Songza, being a new service, isn’t on that many devices and with such you can only use it on your iOS devices and Android devices.

For the ones that want more choices with their music, there are quite a few things you can do. First the elephant of the room: Spotify. Again, I talked about this one before and I will keep this short: Spotfy is a media player that allows you to find songs you like and listen to them for free with ads. You can make a playlist of songs listen to them when ever you like. Over the time it has been out, it has added an apps feature that allow you to look up lyrics or find people with similar taste in music and a radio feature (a la Pandora).

There are three subscription models to choose from: Free accounts can listen to all the music they want with ads (UK and France free users have a 10 hour per month limit) while Unlimited takes away ads  and allows unlimited play for $4.99 a month while the Premium allows offline play of songs in your playlist, access to the smart phone app, better streaming quality AND access to exclusive music that makes it’s way on the app for $9.99 a month.  It is a free download for Windows, Mac OS, Linux (through a Linux preview or the Windows version with wine), Smart Phones, Set Top boxes such as Squeezebox, Boxee, Sonos, WD TV, and MeeGo.

Alright, tomorrow’s post will continue with other music streaming stuff that require some DIY love that will allow you to have full control over all the music with apps like Google Music and Dropbox.

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