This is how it usually goes. One of your favorite artists releases a new album, and you’re a loyal fan, so you head to the local music retailer, purchase a hard copy of the CD, and upload it to your iTunes for access on your iPhone. Then, an artist you’re familiar with releases some tracks and rather than hit the record store, you just download it from the comfort of your home on iTunes. Then, there’s the artist you’re just now getting into, but you’re not really committed to just yet and you don’t want to do anything illegal to acquire their music. Sure, it may only be $1.29, but after a while, throwing around that kind of cash can add up. If you’re like us, and you’ve encountered this situation, we’ve done some research to find some cheaper, and maybe even better, alternatives.
The best thing about Pandora is that it is completely free. You pay for nothing, and just about every song that has been commercially released is at your disposal. The only downside is that you can’t choose exactly what song you want to listen to, but you can give Pandora an idea of what you like, and the incredibly smart Pandora computers will pick and choose what’s best for you based off of a thumbs up, thumbs down rating system. Of course, there are some times when it’ll miss the mark, but more often than not, you’ll run into songs that you loved and couldn’t remember that you did or songs that you never knew existed and now think are great.
Spotify is a lot like Pandora, but in the case of Spotify, if you’re on a computer, you can play whatever song you want (that’s available in their library), on demand. There’s also a randomly chosen feature, similar to Pandora’s radio. To enjoy the on-demand features on a smartphone, you’ll have to fork over a little cash monthly, which more than often equates to less than what you spend on music regularly.
3. iHeart Radio
This app’s name says it all. If you ‘heart’ radio, this app has the ability to pick up virtually any broadcast radio station you can think of and bring it right to your smartphone. So that early morning show from back home that you haven’t been able to catch since being back home, can be right at your fingertips, and ease the feeling of being homesick.
While iHeart Radio brings broadcast radio stations to you, 8tracks allows you to create your own station, or listen to and follow other people’s stations. You pick the genre, the music, the tracks, everything. It’s like creating your playlist with both commercially released music as well as indie music that only hipsters know about.
Each app has their perks and advantages, so check them all out and see what works best for you and your situation.