Best Online Music Services For Streaming Songs

Listen to millions of songs on your computer, smartphone or tablet

What Are The Best Music Streaming Services?

Streaming music services typically offer a huge library of songs that you can listen to on a variety of different devices. This flexibility means that you don't need to download your favorite songs to all your devices. And with some services offering a free account, it's also a great way of discovering new music at zero cost.

Most streaming services enable you to search for your favorite artist or song so you can start listening straight away. Services of this type usually have built-in music discovery engines too that recommend similar artists that 'fit' the type of music you are in to.

As well as basic audio streaming, they can also offer additional music options. Examples include: creating custom playlists; music video streaming; sharing your discoveries via social networking; making your own radio stations, and more.

01
of 05
Spotify
Spotify. Image © Spotify Ltd.

Spotify is one of the top online services for streaming music. What makes this service great for listening to songs on portable devices is its Offline Mode. This enables you to download your favorite songs from Spotify and listen to them without having to be connected to the Internet.

As well as offering subscription plans, this service also gives you the chance to try before you buy. You can sign up to Spotify Free which is an ad-supported account. This doesn't expire so is a great way to test drive the service before subscribing.

With facilities to stream music to mobile devices and home stereo systems this service is a serious contender in the streaming music market. More »

02
of 05
Apple Music Service
Apple Music on iPhone. Image Courtesy of Apple

Apple Music is a full-fledged subscription streaming music service that compares favorably with other top cloud music services such as Spotify, Pandora Radio, etc. It has excellent mobile support and also has good music discovery options.

Rather than relying solely on algorithms to suggest new music, the service also extensively uses expert-curated playlists to serve up suggestions. More »

Slacker.com Landing Page

Slacker Radio is a stellar online music service that you can use to listen to hundreds of compiled radio stations. This service provides an interactive experience that also allows you to quickly build up custom-made stations of your own too. Although this service is subscription driven, Slacker offers a free account in order for you to try out their service at no cost. This freebie, called Slacker Basic Radio, is surprisingly feature-rich and even includes mobile music support which is often a paid-for option. There's a good range of mobile apps on offer to hook up your portable device, and you can also share your music discoveries on popular social networking platforms like: Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace.

If mobile music is your thing, there's also an offline mode that enables you to listen to your favorite stations, songs, and albums without the need to be connected to the Internet. More »

New Pandora Radio
New Pandora Radio. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

If you're looking for a simple music discovery website that streams music, then Pandora is a good choice. Pandora is an intelligent Internet radio service that plays music based on your feedback. Once you have entered an artist's name or a song title, the service automatically suggests similar tracks which you can agree with, or reject; Pandora will remember your answers and fine-tune future recommendations.

You can also buy albums and individual tracks from digital music services such as Amazon MP3, and the iTunes Store via links that are displayed on-screen. More »

There may be a yearly fee ($99/year) for Amazon Prime, but it's worth taking the 30-day free trial for a spin before committing to a membership. You'll get unlimited access to countless ad-free songs as well as curated playlists.