From records and 8-tracks to MP3s and Walkmen, technology changes the way in which we absorb our music. At this point, few people have memories of hauling suitcases full of cassette tapes (or even CDs) around with them on vacation as kids, and in a few more years perhaps even the ever-ubiquitous iPod will be just a memory of the past, removed from it's throne by a software that streams music to you directly in your head.
Until then, we have to make do with the technology that we have - and increasingly music fans are incorporating cloud-based, streaming services into their repetoire. From long-standing services like Rhapsody, to just-released softwares like Spotify, there are a slew of streaming music services to choose from. So, which one will work best for you? Read on for the highlights of twelve of the top options and be sure to let us know what your favorite is in the comments!
Grooveshark is currently being sued by everyone under the sun for its controversial non-licensed music streaming service. As the legal pressures continued to mount in 2011, Grooveshark’s app was pulled from the iOS App Store, and the Android Market. Rather than go back and forth with Google and Apple, Grooveshark has opted to bypass the app stores with an HTML5 web app.
Game soundtracks get no respect. Not to sound like Rodney Dangerfield, but despite years and years of amazing music coming from games, gaming music is often treated by the public the same way your mom treated your 3rd grade art project. A dismissive pat on the head and a "good work, Danny, this is beautiful!"…followed by it being promptly buried under calendars, grocery lists, and "real" art on the refrigerator.
Things have been particularly rough for PC soundtracks where, due to a lack of audio hardware uniformity, music in the pre-CD audio era was a wildcard at best. Hell, even well into the late '90s there was no guarantee a PC even HAD a soundcard. Still, despite the limitations, we're not ashamed to say we not only respect PC game soundtracks, we flat out love them! The good ones at least. Click to see which soundtracks we love the most!
When Spotify arrived in the U.S., there was such fanfare that one part of the rollout plan was largely ignored. That free Spotify playback on the desktop enjoyed by so many users was only set to last for six months, and next week is Spotify’s six-month anniversary in the U.S. market. When that sweetheart licencing arrangement is up, free Spotify accounts are going to be much more locked down.
Rhapsody just went platinum. After a decade in the business, Rhapsody can finally celebrate amassing more than a million paying subscribers in the United States, which is still well short of Spotify's legion of 2.5 million paying subscribers worldwide, but it does qualify Rhapsody as the largest premium music subscription service in the U.S. To celebrate the occasion, Rhapsody boss Jon Irwin shaved his head, just as he promised he would.
Recently, a correspondent with more attitude than common sense excoriated me for having no taste. He could be right, but I doubt it.
I had mentioned in passing that I have thousands of CDs in my music collection, enough to fill a 3-terabyte hard drive. This particular adversary’s argument was that because taste is the product of a thousand distastes, obviously I had none because I had failed to winnow my collection. It doesn’t take a lot of smarts to realize that this is an inaccurate application of Sturgeon’s Law.
If you’ve ever worked in retail, you know all too well of the pain that comes with spending eight to 10 hours of the day in a store or shop this time of year. We’re not talking about the flood of customers, or the frantic pleading of managers with revenue-based KPIs to sell everything in your store but doors. It’s the music. No matter how much you love the holidays or dig your gig, hearing the same 40 Christmas songs looped continuously for a month will make you want to strangle David Bowie and Bing Crosby with a work sock. This, we encourage you to end the cycle of musical madness by partaking in The Punk Rock Advent Calendar, our Cool Site of the Week.
If you're a Sonos user, go grab your dancing shoes and air guitar, because the Sonos System Software 3.6 update gives you more ways to rock out. One of the big additions is Android tablet support via the Sonos Controller for Android app. With Android smartphones already supported, users are now able to wirelessly control Sonos from any Android 2.2 (or above) device with this update, including the Kindle Fire.
Amid all the doom and gloom around Spotify’s profitability for artists, the service has been doing quite well by the numbers. Without disclosing the breakdown by nationality, Spotify has announced that it has 2.5 million paying members. It appears that the expansion into the US market has afforded the music streamer solid growth.