Easy Listening: Many musical options available for fans

By: Sam Magee

Music is a vast area of media around the world. With many millions of songs, people often get lost in their music and with new music applications as it becomes easier to organize music and explore new songs.


Previously a pay per song service, iTunes was a giant within the music industry, containing millions of songs and sounds for users to buy and download to their device. With Apple’s recent release of Apple Music, their goal is to combat the likes of Spotify and Pandora with their own streaming service, costing $9.99. Users have the ability to make playlists of music from the iTunes store, and they can stream the music to their devices without having to download it. A radio service is also available with the application, allowing users to explore new music. Apple intended to gain a large mass of users by boasting a free three-month trial.

Apple’s mobile application is fairly simple to use but falls behind other music apps with several features. First of all, Apple Music is not available on Android devices, disallowing a very large portion of mobile users to use the service. They also don’t allow unsubscribed access to the library like other applications do.


Spotify is another service with many millions of songs. It allows subscribers to create streamable playlists and download the playlists for offline use. It also has a radio service, as well as many community made playlists to explore and find new music. Spotify is available on all devices. If the $9.99 price tag is too much, Spotify allows the user to use their radio service for free, as well as use playlists on shuffle, unlike Apple Music.


Pandora is a streamlined radio service focused on finding new music by entering a station based off of an artist, genre or track name. Pandora’s $4.99 One subscription service allows ad-free stations with less interruptions. With the ability to either like or dislike a song, the user is able to change the flow of the station’s music. The mobile interface is very intuitive and easy to use, with all of the features of the web version. Pandora is also available on all devices.


Soundcloud is a streaming application with its music focused on various EDM and hip hop genres. Soundcloud is also a great interface for audiobooks and spoken word. It only has a subscription service for content creators; their regular music streaming supports ads, but there are usually very few and no visual distractions. Users have the ability to create their own playlists or explore the various genres with playlists supported by the community. For creators, Soundcloud offers a great online presence with a simple interface and a great way for other users to find their uploads and comment on them.


YouTube has been a big player within the music industry with songs released at the same time or even before they are released on other music platforms. Users have the ability to create and upload original content, remixes and covers, and they also have a very simple way to search and listen to other users’ content. With the release of YouTube red, a $9.99 subscription service, YouTube’s mobile music experience has only expanded. With the subscription, things like background audio, offline viewing and ad-free videos are available.

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