Tech Tuesday: A Guide to the Best Music-Streaming Services Online


Best Subscription Services
If you loathe advertisements and demand unlimited access to the music you love, then subscription services are the best choice for you. The top sites charge $9.99 per month, or the price of one music album per month, and offer unlimited streaming, personal music libraries, and offline mode, which allows users to listen to their music library without Internet access.

Beats Music and Spotify
These paid services both offer the works, with high quality streaming, personal recommendations, social media connections, and offline mode. Spotify is a more established service, so it has more automatic connections to home audio and TV audio devices, but Beats Music has a more user-friendly design. You cannot go wrong with either of these nearly identical top-quality services.

No. of Songs: 20 million
Quality: Excellent (320 Kbp/s)
Price: $9.99 per month

Rhapsody is a front-runner in music subscription that boasts an offline mode and an expanded music catalog. Rhapsody is easy to use and offers a wider variety of music, which is great for listeners of less popular genres like Classical and Jazz, but its streaming quality is not as high as that of its competitors. Streaming quality refers to the amount of data in the music files per second of streaming. When I listen to Rhapsody I do not find the quality lacking, but the numbers show that sites like Beats Music or Spotify offer higher-quality music streams. Social media is also not as featured on Rhapsody as it is on Beats Music or Spotify, but Rhapsody focuses instead on compiling data on its music, including in-depth written reviews of artists and albums.

No. of Songs: 30+ million
Quality: Fair (128 Kbp/s)
Price: $9.99 per month

All of these services are available on a variety of platforms: you can stream from your PC, home audio system, iPhone, or Android device, but keep in mind that the sound quality varies by the device. And if you don’t want to pay a cent for your music and, like me, you would rather hear an arrangement of nails on a chalkboard than another advertisement, try downloading a free ad-blocking service (which, by the way, is perfectly legal). With a little know-how, your favorite music, games, blogs, TV shows, and just about everything else can be found on the Internet for free!


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  • Kelly March 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm


  • elsa j March 13, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    terrific article – thanks so much

  • Ruth Nathan March 12, 2015 at 10:35 am

    So useful. Everyone at my gym is plugged in, so since there’s no one to even say hello to, might as well listen to music. It will be fun to try all of this out, but the beauty is in knowing where to go and what to do.

  • Lynne March 11, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    Thanks for clarifying music streaming. I never knew that you could stream a playlist from Youtube. Thanks

  • Jeden Dvatre March 10, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    A very useful article; much information well presented.
    Agree with anonymous about the need for information about those other strange and incomprehensible web things.

  • C-Dog March 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I like to rock that Groove Shark.

  • Anonymous March 10, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Great information. Would love to see WVFC do a similar explanatory piece on Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook,Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Vine.

  • Roz Warren March 10, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with listening to CDs.

  • Andy Johnson March 10, 2015 at 11:07 am

    Great! This was a very useful summary of information I have been trying to piece together. Thanks! I appreciate the information on the quality. Question: how much quality are you losing by using these services compared to listening to CDs? Yes, I still listen to CDs.

  • Suzanne Fluhr March 10, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Amy, this is very useful information for certain dinosaurs—like moi.

  • Roz Warren March 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

    This couldn’t be more useful or timely. Thanks!