Listening to records on vinyl is still considered by many as the best way to listen to their favourite bands. However, the convenience of online music streaming means that it is rapidly becoming a universally popular way to listen to music.
Spotify is arguably the best known streaming service available. It started as a completely free service where you could listen to unlimited music completely legally, paid for by advertising. Spotify has since become a primarily paid-for service with different monthly prices, depending on what features you require. Its Premium service, for example, costs £9.99 a month and allows you to listen through your mobile phone as well as when you’re offline.
Users can stream an unlimited amount of tracks from the Spotify catalogue, providing a huge selection of music to choose from. There are some gaps in the catalogue though, and the most notable absentees are The Beatles, who have an exclusive distribution deal with iTunes.
The advantage of using a service like Spotify is that you can stream music directly to your computer, tablet or smartphone and then through a cable to your hi-fi, effectively increasing the size of your home music collection by millions of tracks!
Though Spotify dominates the market, alternatives do exist. For instance, We7 creates personalised ‘radio stations’ including your favourite songs and ones which it thinks you will enjoy. New services are cropping up too, and hip hop star Dr Dre is working on his new music streaming service which hopes to rival Spotify. Dre is collaborating with Trent Reznor, the frontman of industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, to develop the new service, dubbed ‘Project Daisy’.
The pair hope that Daisy will be able to offer a more effectively personalised service than current music streaming programs, which depend on computer generated suggestions. They will use a greater degree of human input by curators, who will help to give more appropriate recommendations of new music to listen to.
The service will be managed by Dre’s audio company Beats by Dre, who have become firmly established for studio-quality headphones and speakers. Littlewoods now stocks a great range of Dr Dre Beats gear, so you can be sure of the best listening quality whatever music streaming service you use.