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9 best free sites and apps to stream music

During these stressful times, music has become a bastion of relaxation for many people. One of the best ways to listen to whatever you want is through free music streaming services.

Over the last decade, the prominence of these services has skyrocketed. Going from simple music players to complex algorithmic playlist creators. Want to find the best video streaming service for you? Tap or click here to see our comparison of services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+.

The market has become saturated with so many services that you may find yourself unsure of which one to try out. Well, each one has its own perks and downfalls and if you are looking for something specific there is a service out there for you.

1. YouTube Music

YouTube Music is relatively new to the scene, but it has quickly risen in popularity. The free version does have its drawbacks, such as the inability to keep listening after you close the app and slightly subpar audio quality. It does have some perks, though, like exclusive content you can’t hear anywhere else, including live concerts and emerging artists.

Pros:

  • Live music and content you can’t get anywhere else
  • Unlimited playlist creation
  • Upgradable

Cons:

  • Music stops playing if you close the app
  • Possibilities for a lot of ads
  • Sometimes poor audio quality

2. Spotify

Spotify is one of the biggest players in the game and has long been a leader in the streaming department. Its best feature? You can create and share as many playlists as you want — the equivalent of making a mixtape for someone — from nearly 50 million songs. Spotify says 40,000 new songs are added every day.

Pros:

  • Includes podcasts as well as music
  • Tons of playlist recommendations
  • Can share playlists with friends

Cons:

  • Cannot pick individual songs to play
  • The free version has limited sound quality
  • Only six skips per hour

3. iHeartRadio

Sometimes you just want to listen to some old-fashioned radio. That’s where the iHeartRadio app comes in. You can stream any station, live, you want from across the U.S. You can create playlists, too, though the selection is a lot more limited than with a service like Spotify.

Pros:

  • Live radio any time, any place
  • Personalized artist radio stations
  • Full access to the podcast library

Cons:

  • Limited music selection
  • Limited skips
  • Can’t play songs or albums on demand
  • Cannot download songs to listen offline

4. Idagio

Sometimes you just want to go old school. Really, really old school. Classical music can be a nice change from modern-day music, and Idagio has everything you are looking for in that department.

Pros:

  • Perfect for classical music lovers
  • Complete catalog is free
  • Playlist based on moods

Cons:

  • It’s just classical music
  • Relatively poor audio quality

5. Pandora

The old man in the group, Pandora, was one of the first to the streaming game. Its algorithm can really personalize your music experience. The drawbacks are the same as most: You can only skip a certain number of songs and you can’t rewind a song to listen to it again.

Pros:

  • Algorithmically tailored recommendation
  • Radio style playlists

Cons:

  • A limited number of skips per hour
  • Can not rewind a song
  • Can’t share playlists

6. Jango

Similar to Pandora, Jango uses a proprietary algorithm to personalize your music experience. The big difference is the fact that Jango limits your ads to just one per day if you connect with your Facebook account. You also have unlimited skips. The biggest drawback is the user interface. It can be cumbersome and frustrating at times but if you can get over that the sound quality is quite good.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Unlimited skips

Cons:

  • Poor user rating
  • Annoying user experience

7. LiveXLive

If you were an early listener to slacker music and were frustrated when it went away you are in luck. LiveXLive has come in and taken its place. Free live concerts and even a video library make this streaming service stand out. While it might not work on all your devices and trying to go premium is harder then it should be the ability to change specific playlist creating settings might make this worth it.

Pros:

  • Free live concerts
  • Extensive video library
  • Complex station settings

Cons:

  • Upgrading can be cumbersome
  • Doesn’t work on all devices

8. Amazon Prime Music

Amazon has gotten into the game with its own music streaming service. While the rest on this list have a free version Amazon Prime Music isn’t really free. You do still need to have an Amazon Prime subscription to get started. But with unlimited skips, it might be worth thinking about. Although, if you don’t upgrade to the premium version you will be lacking many songs that you might want to listen to.

Pros:

  • Unlimited skips
  • No ads
  • Personalized music recommendations

Cons:

  • Not necessarily free (Must have Amazon Prime subscription)
  • Limited music library
  • Must upgrade to the paid version get the full list of songs

9. LAST.FM

Finally, Last.Fm has been around for almost two decades. More recently, it has changed things up by not only creating playlists based on what you listen to within the app but creating them based on what you listen to on any app across however many devices you choose. Listening to a song on YouTube or even in your own music library will help this app better understand your music tastes.

Pros:

  • Tracks all the music you listen to on any service to give you the most accurate music recommendations
  • Can give you spectacular personalized playlists that are sharable

Cons:

  • The music recommendation process doesn’t always work
  • Has quite a bit of ads

That’s our list of music streaming services. Give each of them a listen and see which ones have the music and features you’ve been looking for. There’s bound to be at least one that you fall in love with.

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