In the past, if you wanted to listen to music or any other type of audio, you downloaded an audio file in a format such as MP3. You then saved the songs to playlists or albums, until you ran out of storage!
Today, the tech-smart music lover uses a streamlining delivery method to hear their music. Streaming music, or more accurately streaming audio, is a way of delivering sound – including music – without requiring you to download files from the internet.
When you want to listen to a particular song, you just tell your device, or punch in the name, and start listening to the song almost immediately. You may choose just one song, or ask the service providing the music to curate playlists for you. It is just like having your own radio program!
Requirements for Streaming Music
In order to play music on your computer, you might also need the right software media player, such as VLC, Plex, Macgo, etc., in addition to obvious needs like a sound card, speakers, and an Internet connection.
On your smartphone or tablet, you’ll use the apps provided by your streaming music subscription (see below). You may also want to invest in a small, quality speaker, and/or headphones.
Streaming Music Subscriptions
You’ll need a Streaming Music Subscription, such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music or Google Play Music, to mention only a few.
Here are some of the most popular choices:
Spotify offers the largest collection of music (over 30 million, same as Apple Music) and one of the widest range of music. It’s also very user friendly.
Apple Music puts all your music easily on all your Apple devices. You just ask Suri out loud for the song of your choice and within seconds, it is played. Apple Music also has exclusive rights to Taylor Swift’s music.
Pandora is for those who love a radio programing format. It offers the best in curating your music on playlists, depending on your taste!
SoundCloud has one of the most diverse new libraries, so it’s great for those who love Indie music.
Tidal costs you more but it offers the highest audio resolution and therefore the best sound quality.
Prime Music is a benefit of Amazon Prime Members. You receive 2 million songs ad-free and always on demand, as well as curated playlists.
All of these paid programs offer free trials that allow you to evaluate their services. Monthly subscriptions start around $10.