Top Ways to Stream Music

Spring is here, which means it’s time for road trips, hiking, and perhaps a little spring cleaning. Of course, all of these activities are far more enjoyable with the right music. That’s why I want to share my favorite streaming services for finding the perfect spring jams!

Apple Music

$10.99 for individual;
$14.99 for family (up to 6)

If you’re an Apple lover who wants an easy way to share songs between your iPhone and iPad, Apple Music is well worth a look. A subscription allows you to stream or download nearly 40 million songs to up to 10 devices. Apple Music will seamlessly import your existing iTunes playlists, and subscribers can also upload up to 100,000 songs to their personal iCloud Music Library. I personally love this feature since I can copy my prodigious CD collection without paying for extra storage. While I think Spotify is better at introducing new songs, Apple’s “For You” feature does a commendable job of suggesting music based on my interests. Apple also offers a lot of exclusives for music fans, including videos, concert recordings, and artist interviews on Beats 1 radio. While Apple Music doesn’t offer a free version, there’s a generous three-month trial.

Spotify

Free ad-supported;
$9.99/month; $14.99
for family (up to 6)

There are two reasons I highly recommend Spotify for someone looking to try out music streaming. First, Spotify does an amazing job of introducing users to new music. Simply enter your favorite song or artist, and Spotify will create a personalized playlist of music you’re sure to love. Additionally, you can sign up for a “daily mix” of between 15 and 30 recommended songs that feels like a mixtape created by a close friend. Secondly, Spotify offers a generous free version that’s supported by the occasional ad. It’s a way to see whether you enjoy music streaming without a commitment. However, subscribers get unlimited access to more than 30 million songs, as well as the ability to skip or rewind tracks in a playlist. The paid version also allows you to download songs to play offline.

Prime Music and Amazon Music Unlimited

Included with Prime
Membership; $7.99/month; $14.99 for family (up to 6)

While Amazon offers an excellent streaming service, its subscription plans are a bit confusing. In addition to free shipping and TV streaming, Amazon Prime members can take advantage of the Prime Music plan. This plan allows you to stream or download nearly 2 million songs to up to six devices. If you want full access to more than 30 million songs, you will need to upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited for an additional $7.99 per month. Amazon Echo owners may want to consider the discounted $3.99-a-month plan, which provides unlimited streaming to that one device. Amazon’s Alexa makes it easy to play your favorite songs or discover new music through voice commands. Both subscription plans are ad-free and there’s a 30-day free trial.

Google Play Music

Free ad-supported version; $9.99/month

If you love watching YouTube videos as much as listening to songs, then I would recommend checking out Google Play Music. That’s because Google gives subscribers access to a massive library of 40 million songs and YouTube Red for one monthly price. While not quite as big as Netflix or Amazon Prime, YouTube Red still has an impressive number of exclusive music videos from artists like Katy Perry and Demi Lovato, popular web series such as Foursome or Bad Internet, and interviews with top YouTube personalities. Best of all, subscribers can skip YouTube ads and download videos to play offline. You can also upload up to 50,000 of your personal tracks to Google’s Cloud music locker and play them on up to 10 devices. Finally, “New Release Radio” lets you discover the latest songs from your favorite artist or genre.

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