I can actually remember taking cassette tapes, popping them into my radio and recording songs directly off the airwaves. In the early nineties, the local radio station was our “music streaming app.” We could fit a whole hour of music on that mixtape.
Then there was the CD, the minidisc, the MP3, the retro vinyl, and now internet streaming music pounds through your headphones. Although things may come full circle again with the 185 TB cassette tape by Sony, people aren’t going to abandon their smartphones for Walkmans anytime soon.
The way we find our music has changed over the last twenty odd years, and it’s bound to change again. But until that day comes, you’re going to still want to find your music on the internet, in real-time.
And we’re here to show you six of the best streaming music sites/apps to help you discover new music.
Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #1: Shazam Encore
Have you ever walked into a store or a coffee shop and they’re playing something over the loudspeakers? The song spoke to you on some deep subconscious level, it moved you like a wave on the ocean, but you didn’t even recognize it. It was something new to you and you needed to find out what it is.
To some of you this app, available on both Android and iOS, may be an old standby, but even the oldies can still make for the best current bit of fun. Shazam has always been known as the app that tells you what you’re listening to. You could open the app, hit the big blue button in the middle and in a few seconds have a song title, a band, and even possibly the lyrics to the song.
Now, with their premium version, Encore, you can pull up the music video, and link to the song on several of the popular streaming apps. Not only this, but you can pull all this info without even opening the app. It’s called “Auto Shazam.”
And with the “Explore” feature, you can see what is trending all over the world and then quickly access those songs.
Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #2: Spotify
It’s been two years since Tay Tay broke up with Spotify, but the streaming app never went away and it’s still one of the best places to find new music.
Despite what Taylor Swift says about art and the price tag, new indy bands find a voice on Spotify every day. And the “discover” button in the menu bar is where it’s all at. Just like Pandora’s algorithm, it will tailor your playlist to your Taylor Swift-like music tastes.
As you boot up the app every day, it will also give you the option of seeing the newest most popular music on the planet. Who wouldn’t want that?
Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #3: 8tracks
Before cassette tapes, there were 8 track tapes. They looked kind of like your old Atari cartridge and came out around the same time. They didn’t last very long, but someone decided to name their streaming service after the old limited medium.
8tracks is a free streaming app that picks new songs and aggregates playlists according to your mood or the weather or what kind of outdoor activity you’re doing. If you need a playlist to pump you up for your next SCA jousting tourney, this app might be the thing for you.
And what’s more the service aggregates music from services like INgrooves and DashGo in a massive database of 6.5 million awesome (maybe) songs.
Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #4: IndieShuffle
If you pride yourself in knowing about the most obscure new indy bands on the scene and your closet is full of flannel, this might be the app for you. This Soundcloud crawler blog takes indie bands, new and old, and stuffs them into genres.
In true blog fashion, IndieShuffle creates a review for each song in their database making it easy for you to decide what songs might be best for your daily mojo. Save and view your favorites from anywhere or simply find out what’s popular. Now, while you’re sipping your triple breve latte, go and download it on either Android or iOS.
Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #5: SoundCloud
SoundCloud is basically the YouTube of streaming apps. Anybody and their mom can upload songs to SoundCloud.
And with a social functionality akin to Facebook’s live video streaming service, you can see what people think of a song at various points of the song’s progress.
And, like Spotify, the app keeps you abreast of what your best friend is listening to over in Abu Dhabi while giving you a smorgasbord of remixes and covers of your favorite songs.
It’s also a great place to find podcasts if that’s your thing. And it’s not just for the obscure, indie-band loving hipster. SoundCloud recently signed a deal with Universal Music, giving its users access to top artists like Kanye and Adele.
Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #6: GooglePlay Music
Did you really think you could get away from hearing about one of the giants in mobile music listening?
With its access to the largest video search engine in the world, not only can you find out what’s new or interesting in music from almost any genre you can think of (I was just re-discovering 80’s Grunge bands the other day), you can quickly pull up the music video and see your favorite or least favorite bands try their hand at video production.
If it’s your neighbor’s garageband, this might not be the best thing. But sometimes you just need to know the meaning of that one song, and an artistic film reel accompanying that one favorite song might just unlock the deeper meaning the artist wanted you to find.
Being able to download and listen to songs on your beautiful head cans will set you back about $10 a month, but that will certainly keep you from upping your Verizon data plan to 20 GB next month.
Whatever your music fancy might be, you’re not going to go wrong with any of the above six.
And until we see the next iteration of music storage and playback, we’re going to keep looking to the internet for our next music sensation. So, let us know what music service site or app you use. Sound off in the comments below.