Musical technology is constantly evolving. From records to tapes to CDs to digital players, our society has gone through a wide variety of music playing technologies and methods in the last few decades. Today, music streaming software has overtaken all these methods. Rather than buying individual songs and albums, listeners can simply access them over the Internet with music streaming apps, and music streaming sites, allowing them to hear all their favorite tunes without any upfront investment. There are many different services that let you stream music online free of charge or for a modest fee.
A giant in the music streaming industry, Spotify makes our list of the top music streaming apps in part because of the sheer cornucopia of songs available on it. There are currently more than 30 million tracks you can listen to with this service, meaning that no matter whom your favorite artists are, odds are you’ll be able to find all their songs here. Spotify also has the benefit of being a free online music player, supported through ad revenue rather than subscriptions. But if you don’t want to listen to ads, you can skip them by subscribing, which costs $10 a month for individuals and $15 for families.
Owned by rap legend and entrepreneur, Jay Z, Tidal is renowned as one of the highest-quality streaming services in the country. Anyone who cares about audio quality should opt for this service, which provides a higher level of audio resolution than any of its competitors. A standard Tidal subscription costs $10 a month; if you want to take audio quality to the next level, you can purchase a lossless subscription for $20. The standard subscription offers 320 kbps resolution, while the lossless one provides 1411 kbps. Make sure your Internet connection is fast enough to handle this.
Ideal for those using iPhones or other Apple products, this service fuses music streaming with social media. Not only do you have the ability to listen to all your favorite artists, but you can follow their online activities and see what they’re doing. Like Spotify, Apple Music is available for free or by subscription, depending on what you’re looking to get out of it. Subscriptions range in price from $4.99 a month for students to $14.99 for families, allowing you to pick the price range that best suits your walk of life.
For those who prefer peaceful music in the background, Pandora is the best way to get it. This music streaming service comes with a free listening option that lets you skip over tracks and vote on which ones you like. You also have the option of buying a subscription, which ranges from $4.99 to $9.99 per month in price depending on what features you’re looking for. The subscription provides the same control over your listening that you get with Spotify and Apple Music, all while preserving the best features of the free Pandora service.
Music streaming lets you enjoy all your favorite songs for free or at a limited monthly price, and the best app for streaming music depends on your preferences. Consider signing up for a streaming app like:
- Spotify, which offers access to tens of millions of songs from a multitude of sources
- Tidal, which has better sound quality than any other streaming service, provided your Internet provider offers the speeds to sustain it
- Apple Music, which combines the best features of music streaming with a social media-like platform for following your favorite artists
- Pandora, which gives you free listening and subscription options and is ideal for background music