Now that Songza is part of Google, the service will likely become part of Play Music at some point. Though Google hasn’t announced plans just yet, getting ready for the day Songza isn’t around as a standalone service might be an option you want to consider. If music discovery is your aim, we’ve got a few suggestions for you.
The leader in all things streaming music, Pandora is a service you might want to look at if you’re in the market for a new service. It’s available just about everywhere, even on streaming TV devices like Roku. A free ad-supported service will let you give it a shot, and if you like it — try the monthly fee, which gets rid of ads altogether. Their library is top-notch, and you can skip past songs you don’t like (limited in the free setup).
Spotify picks up where many feel Pandora leaves off. Though Pandora has a fantastic catalog, Spotify has nearly as good a library, but also allows paying subscribers to download music for offline use. Spotify also has nearly as deep a reach as Pandora, though it concentrates on mobile.
Spotify also lets you curate your own library, though it’s a manual process that takes a bit of time. The service also has some unique twists others don’t, obtaining digital rights to some older rock music that certain other services just don’t. Spotify Connect brings your music into your living space, but the social aspect sets it apart. Linking to Facebook, Spotify will let you share tracks or albums with pals, effectively creating the best hipster coffee shop discussion ever, all online.
Yesterday, we told you about Rdio’s acquisition, which will bring it contextual music suggestions — just like Songza. Unlike Songza, Rdio hasn’t been snapped up by Google, so they’re filling a gap left. Though their new tweak hasn’t taken hold yet, it’s important to keep it in mind for the future; if you like Rdio now, you’ll probably love it soon enough.
Rdio does an excellent job of being present and accounted for when it comes to streaming radio. Their library is great, and the reach is as good as anyone (mobile, Roku, web, etc.). As a free service, they offer much more than anyone else, giving you streaming as well as albums and playlists. The $9.99/month fee takes ads away, which is something we see across the board. If you’re a student or web-only, Rdio has discounts available. Search features could be better, but the library and streaming offerings are more than adequate.
You can’t go wrong with Pandora; it’s big, has a healthy library, and enough reach to make it usable just about anywhere. It’s like the Coca-Cola of streaming music.
Rdio is also nice, but we think their future is brighter than their present. Still a great service, Rdio just doesn’t capture the mindset as well as some others. New music seems to pop up more readily here, which is great for solo discovery.
For our money, Spotify is the champion. Their selection and variety is great, and the social aspect is impressive. It’s nice to be able to pick up on some music from friends you otherwise may not get the chance to talk music with. The pricing is on par with the other services, too. Though any of these options are great, we’d go with Spotify.