These days, downloading MP3s illegally actually makes no sense. You have to hunt for the site, tackle ads, run the risk of getting malware on your device and even after all that, it may be a whole different song altogether! Thankfully, now it has become much more convenient to stream music legally.
I have always urged everyone I know to support artists by getting their work legally. When we do that, we help someone earn money for their hard work and encourage them to keep doing the good work.
Since most people have an active data subscription, it is (for the most part) unnecessary to subscribe to services just to achieve offline music downloads.
The small price you pay for getting music legally is the occasional advertise that you have to watch. It’s not that bad, really and most ads don’t interrupt the music experience as they play between two songs and don’t interrupt the song itself (I hope this practice continues and ads remain unobtrusive)
There are literally dozens of services that can help you stream music for free, legally. I’ll tell you my favorites.
The Good: The music collection on YouTube is astounding as it spans across all languages, genres and years. Most of us use android devices and hence we have this app with us all the time. If you want to listen to any specific song, the chances are that YouTube will most definitely have it.
The Bad: A lot of songs are uploaded illegally. It takes some effort to check the name of the uploader and whether the channel is legit. The auto-generated playlists are not good. The video playing distracts us from a pure audio experience that I need. Best solution, search for good user-created playlists and keep your phone face down with brightness low.
The Good: Gaana is most definitely the best free music streaming app right now. The only reason it scores above YouTube is the elimination of unnecessary distraction of other YouTube videos. They have quite a decent collection of music that spans across multiple genres. The social function that lets you see songs that your Facebook friends are listening to and this is a good touch. The ads are less frequent and some good playlists are being put out by Gaana. Referring Gaana to someone gets you free premium access.
The Bad: The library is decent, but not great. They are working on expanding their library but there’s still much to desire. Other than offline play, there’s nothing much that tempts me to buy the paid subscription.
Apple Music (free for 3 months, 120 per month)
The Good: Apple Music is definitely the best music streaming app and in the five months that I used it, I had almost zero complaints. Their playlist curation is excellent, there are new playlists created and sent to us every day and the interface is very good. Their song library is vast. You can follow an artist and when new songs release, you get a notification.
The Bad: There is no free version available. The price is a bit more, the app was very buggy on my phone with an old android version. The song based radio is just not good. It doesn’t allow download of radio stations (I did not know how much I needed this feature until I used Google Play Music!)
Google Play Music (free for 3 months, 99 per month)
The Good: This is the only competitor to Apple as in they both have massive libraries. Almost every song you can think of is available here. Their playlists are improving these days but are nowhere near Apple music. Related artists and suggested radio are both good features. You can download a radio station and take it on the go! This is certainly a big point that GPM has over Apple. Official YouTube video links are provided when you look up an artist. The song based radio is very accurate- I love almost all songs they recommend (I think this could be because Google already knows so much about us… ahem!)
The Bad: No free version at all. The interface is too simple and bland. The playlists leave much to be desired and the album art is not displayed properly. You cannot follow artists to get the latest news on them.
The best way to discover new music is to listen to radios. Internet radio stations are very underrated and you can stumble upon real gems while listening to the radio. Obviously they will contain ads (sometimes many) but listening to a radio is a fun experience that an on-demand service like YouTube cannot match. You just turn it on and let it play in the background. The three best sites I know are:
Cool stuff to check out:
What do you need to enjoy good music? A good pair of headphones, of course! This specific model is the one I used for more than 3 years until it finally broke down! A headphone lasting three years is insane! It’s also worth the price it’s going at.
Click on the image to buy!
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