Pandora’s Box of Streaming Music
If you’re unfamiliar with Greek mythology, here’s a quick lesson. The first woman, Pandora, was given a box (“Pandora’s Box”). It just so happened that this box contained every horrible, evil thing in the world. She opened it out of curiosity, and now we have to deal with diseases, plagues, the Kardashians, and the band Journey. Legend has it the only thing that remained inside Pandora’s Box was hope. To put this into context, if you’re sick of Pandora Radio and all of its evils — too many commercials, repeating songs, country music on rap stations, only being allowed to skip four tracks per hour, etc. — there’s hope! (Plato would probably throw a copy of The Republic at me for even thinking that connection works. Whatever. I tried.)
Anyway, here’s some alternatives to Pandora that will restore your hope in online music streaming:
Spotify is just like iTunes… if iTunes was addicted to Adderall. After downloading it, not only can you play music in your own library, but you can search for and stream pretty much anything else. One of the main advantages Spotify has over Pandora is that you can search for an artist, and then listen to only that artist — no more terrible dubstep remixes when you only want to listen to Kanye & Jay-Z. Of course, with the free service comes ads. (For $5 a month, you can bypass the ads, and for $10 a month, there’s no ads, you can download songs, and you can listen to your music on any other device.)
Pretend for a second that it’s Friday night, you’re pre-gaming with your boys, and you’re getting ready to hit up Indibro. Once your conversation about who has the ‘most baller’ Sperry’s dies down, you realize your apartment is dead silent. That’s where Songza comes in. Based on what day it is, and what time of the day it is, Songza has playlists ready for you to choose from. In your case, you choose Friday night, then Pre-gaming with Friends (other options included A Sweaty Dance Party and Putting on Your Party Dress), then Southern Rap Club Anthems. Ludacris’ “Move Bitch” comes on, and you and your bros are finally ready to throw back some Jagerbombs.
Similar to Songza, 8tracks is composed of a bunch of playlists. You enter a mood, genre, or artist, and then choose a playlist (my personal favorite: F Me Like A Hipster). What’s different about this one is that you can create your own playlist that other users can potentially search for and listen to.
Grooveshark is sick. You can swim through music based on genre, artist, song, etc. A really cool feature is the queue at the bottom of the page; you can drag and drop songs, put them in any order you want, and listen instantly. You’ll be grooving like a shark in no time. Grooveshark must be a hammerhead, because it nails online music streaming! A shark wouldn’t really have much room to swim in a stream, though… Alright, I promise I’m done with the shark jokes.
This one’s incredible. Daytrotter, controlled by the Horseshack recording studio, allows users to essentially sit-in on recording sessions and hear music in its raw, unsliced, pre-mastered form. In addition to these sessions, there’s videos (of both individual live songs and full concerts), as well as playlists composed of songs previously recorded at Horseshack. Unfortunately, after a 7-day trial period, you have to pay $2 a month to use Daytrotter. On the upside, once you pay you can download sessions. Forget about those two PBR 12-packs you were going to buy this weekend, take your $24 and buy this. (Check out our more in-depth Daytrotter review from a few weeks ago.)
Bros, this last one’s for you. If you guessed that RageChill plays music in regards to where you sit on the rage to chill spectrum at any given moment, you’re right. It sounds pretty cool, although at the moment it’s down for maintenance. Or maybe it’s just in a chill phase…we all know it’s hard to rage all the time. And besides, we’re so close to spring break, you’re probably almost down for maintenance too.
If none of these work for you, you can always rip songs from YouTube or take your laptop to the HUB and tap into other peoples’ iTunes libraries.
Is your go-to for music streaming missing? Let us know in the comments section below.