Review of Online Music Players
Songza.com - Launched in 2007, this online music player uses playlists 'created by music experts' to compliment your mood or current situation. Songza offers a variety of playlists based on the day and time of the week.
Pros: Easy to use. Very easy to find music you actually want to listen to and probably haven't heard before. Free. Free app for use on the go.
Cons: Social aspect is lacking, not really a deal breaker. Generic format with little room for user customization.
Pandora.com - Pandora, originally launched in 2000 as part of the music genome project, is one of the most popular online music streaming services. It offers a premium paid service which eliminates advertisements and allows the user to download a companion desktop application.
Pros: Boasts over 800,000 tracks. Allows user customized stations that are constantly changing based on taste. Free (ad-supported). Mobile app for play on the go.
Cons: Free mobile app limits users to 40 hours a week (only a worry for hardcore listeners). Ads can get annoying if using to entertain. Doesn't have smaller artists and doesn't allow for specific song selection.
Spotify.com - Launched in 2006, Spotify is a commercial music streaming service available as a free ad-supported service with time limitations or as a premium paid service. The thing that makes Spotify unique is that it allows the user to search for and play full songs and create custom playlists, unlike Songza and Pandora which select music for you based on previous songs listed to by the user. It is also unique in that a web based client is not yet available (as of May 8th 2013).
Pros: Free ad-supported service available. Large library of music. Allows for search and selection of individual songs and the ability to create custom playlists. Easily links with Facebook to share music with friends. Strong social aspect.
Cons: Must download desktop client. Mobile only available for premium customers. Advertisements are lengthy and occasionally play back-to-back.
These are just my favorite three online music streaming services and many more are out there! Each, although essentially providing the same service, have unique uses and I frequently find myself using all of them in the same day. Which online music provider do you use the most? Why? Are the premium features worth it?