The popular music streaming service, Spotify , has slashed the listening time for non-premium users by half. This means that you can only have 10 hours of music a month. These are bad news for users all over the world. Moreover, if you are crazy about that new “Pitbull feat. Someone” track and you want to play it again and again, you better be careful, because individual tracks can only be played a total of five times. To fix this crime against humanity, I bring you some free alternatives to this service which are also efficient and easy to use.
Grooveshark: Spotify’s twin brother
This streaming service is pretty similar to Spotify, but this one works for web browsers only. You will not have to download any software to enjoy the music. You can search for your favorite music or radio stations, as well as share playlists. The main drawback of this service is that, as it was originally designed for sharing files, you will be listening to other people’s uploads. This means that the selection will include some poor rips. Have you ever wondered what Gorillaz Feel Good Inc. would sound like if Albarn and the crew performed in a bucket? Find it out now with Grooveshark!
- The Best: forget about ads and premium versions, just enjoy music.
- The Worst: you may find some 48 Kbps poor quality rips.
Soundcloud: Indie music for your ears
This is a service meant to upload and share your own music. Soundcloud is a great tool to show your creations to the world if you have some good tracks that haven’t received the admiration they deserve. Using this service you will find original tracks made by coming artists but also some known names. This service can be found in a range of apps: mobile, desktop client and web service. The web service is pretty good, since it allows you to follow artists, share music you found and create playlists with ease.
- The Best: useful for new music and audio producers.
- The Worst: desktop app only works for Mac.
Deezer: Support for every platform
Deezer is a French music streaming service with a wide range of 25 million tracks available in 182 countries. The best thing about this service is that you can carry your favorite tunes everywhere, since it supports pretty much everything: you can use it for iOS, Android, BlackBerry (unbelievable but true), Windows Phone, Smart TV’s, Sonos hardware and even some car audio systems. It also has a Smart Radio that will “learn” about your taste in music, and it will suggest you new tracks that you would like. If you want to listen to full tracks you will have to sign in with Google +, Facebook or your email. There is a drawback that this site shares with Spotify: the lack of some legendary artists such as Led Zeppelin or the Beatles.
- The Best: it supports every single platform you want.
- The Worst: its Smart Radio is not so smart. It sometimes offers music the site doesn’t have.
MySpace Music: Yes, it’s still alive
MySpace is not dead. This service was Facebook before Zuckerberg’s innovation became so popular, destroying sites like this one. However, we can still enjoy MySpace for playing our favorite music. You will find this service for Web and iOS, but if you are living in the UK you will soon notice that the iOS app doesn’t work in your location. The service is good overall, but among the 42 million tracks they offer, you will find some notable absences.
- The Best: most major artists are included.
- The Worst: 42 million list includes like 27 million tracks by unsigned artists. Not impressive.
YouTube Disco: Simple and efficient
YouTube Disco is a simple way to create a quick mix of the artist of your choice. You just have to open the service, type the name of the artist or pick one of the Top 50 list, and it will automatically create a playlist with pretty much all the songs that it found. It doesn’t have any more options, but this service does the job efficiently .
- The Best: no software needed, just type the artist and enjoy.
- The Worst: some lists may contain Justin Bieber.
Last but not least, I would like to encourage people to use another alternative way to get music that is falling into oblivion: Record Shops. Go there and grab some good old CDs or vinyl LPs, depending on how vintage you feel. Of course this is not free, but it is totally worth the price. Do you still buy your music in record shops? What is your favorite alternative to Spotify?