For a task as simple as creating a playlist comprised of our favorite songs, the Internet sure does make it tough. Many online playlist services require many hidden, unnecessary fees, have complicated and messy user interfaces, or have limited music selections and availability. Fortunately, a couple of online radio and playlist creation services have arisen from the flood of music services trying to make their way onto the scene. Try out a couple of the following; there’s bound to be one that fits your needs.
Pandora is one of the more highly touted online radio services available to the public. Launched at the turn of the 21st Century, Pandora now reaches over 150 million users across the world. Pandora works by providing users with automated, pre-created playlists that are tailored to the listener’s musical interests. By selecting a particular song or artist, Pandora’s database of over 800,000 songs and 80,000 musicians is narrowed down automatically to play songs related to the selected music.
Pandora is free to the public, but purchasing the premium Pandora for a small monthly fee eliminates all advertisements strewn between songs. The other downfall of Pandora is its lack of customization. Users can somewhat modify their stations by giving songs “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” ratings; this will ensure songs you like are played more, and songs you dislike are avoided. Unfortunately, there is not an option to go back to a song, replay a song, or search for a particular song.
Spotify is a little like Pandora, but with much more customization potential. Launched in 2008, Spotify has grown tremendously over the last 5 years, reaching over 20 million users across the world, over a third of which pay for premium services. The premium services offered by Spotify make the service much more desirable to those interested in creating custom playlists, though the free online radio service is still an option.
The premium services are where the playlist customization potential begins. Though there are monthly subscription fees, the playlist functions are worth the money. Users have access to over 20 million songs, far surpassing the outreach of Pandora. Users can create multiple playlists and share them with friends while editing and collaborating playlists from other users. The one inconvenience involves having to download software. Thus, users taking advantage of public or work computers may have limited access.
8tracks is a rather unique music streaming service that has become quite popular over the years. 8tracks allows users to create their own mixes and follow other users’ mixes. The interface is slick and easy to use and promotes sharing of music between users. Though you can create your own mix of – that’s right, 8 tracks – many users use the service to stumble upon others’ mixes.
A 6 month paid subscription opens up all the functions and perks of a premium service on 8tracks. The small fee allows unlimited access and customization of mixes and sharing. 8track is one of the highest publicly rated internet music services of them all. It has even made Time’s list of 50 Best Websites. Some users complain about the length of the short mixes, but that’s the purpose of an 8track, right?
Though these are the big three in terms of online radio and playlist creation, there are tons of other radio services. If none of these do the job for you, consider checking out Rhapsody, Slacker Radio, iHeartRadio, Last.fm, Sirius Satellite Radio, and others. Internet radio has exploded onto the scene of music listeners, and more services are dipping their feet in the pool. Mobile applications are surging and even video game systems have produced services for radio and playlist customization. As the thirst for easy music access and easy playlist customization services only gets greater, keep your eyes open for new and revolutionary music services on the horizon.
Katelyn is a social media and entertainment blogger and contributes to a variety of music and entertainment blogs to encourage users to dowload music with BearShare.