We get a lot of free things through the Internet. We can watch all sorts of free videos on YouTube. We can read articles for free on various blogs. We can communicate with one another with free email and free instant messenger. And, yes, it’s also true that we can get free music streaming through a number of different websites.
In some ways, you could think of these free music streaming sites as supplemental to the innumerable iPhone music apps that you may already have and, in many cases, there’s some crossover. This list can’t possibly be exhaustive, but it should give you more than a few options for free aural enjoyment. There are other sites that stream music, but they sometimes carry a membership fee or some other cost. With these sites, you can start listening right away without dropping a single digital dime.
Just about any song that you’d want from just about any artist in any genre can be found on Grooveshark. There’s an extensive library of music here and you can cherry pick the songs that you want to add to your queue. Alternatively, if you create a free account, you can save these picks as a playlist for later enjoyment. When you search by artist, you’re also given the opportunity to sift through albums and to look at related artists. There’s a Grooveshark community, too, helping you join with friends and discover new tunes.
While it’s possible to listen to “artist radio” through Jango, part of the appeal with this free music streaming site is that you gain access to a huge variety of “genre” stations that cross over a number of decades, artists, and styles. For many of these songs, you’re also provided with the ability to view the full lyrics, getting you to sing along with some of the biggest hits. Each track is also accompanied by the band’s tweets, if available, plus a short bio.
With Presto, you’re provided the ability to build your own personal music station, collecting songs from your favorite artists and genres. Naturally, you can also discover new music by browsing through the artists and pre-loaded stations and you can even link up Presto with your Last.fm account for greater flexibility. Similar to Jango, many of the “artist radio” pages also come with an artist profile, letting you learn a little more about the people behind your favorite music.
There are other systems out there where a computer curates tunes that it thinks you may like, but Live 365 has Internet radio stations that are run by real broadcasters and real music lovers. There are over 5,000 of these stations, crossing over a wide range of genres, but not all of these stations are immediately available. You’ll need to sign up for a “VIP” account to access the VIP stations, but even if you don’t, there’s enough variety in the non-VIP section to get you started. If you like a particular song, a convenient link to buy the MP3 or album through Amazon is provided.
You can live out your dream to be a “real” DJ by signing up for a free account with Blip.fm. It’s not really fair to say that this is a free music streaming site, however, since it does not appear to contain any tunes of its own. Instead, it appears to curate most, if not all of its content through YouTube. If you see a little TV icon next to the song, it means that you are getting a video. Even so, you can get social with your fellow DJs, share the songs that you love, and get connected through social media channels too.
An entirely different kind of music streaming site, Musicovery develops a playlist for you based on the mood that you define. This is essentially a two axis affair, going from dark to positive on one axis and from calm to energetic on the other axis. You can also filter by decade range and by genre. For example, something dark, calm and from the 90s might be The Smashing Pumpkins. Of course, you can still search by artist if you want to be a little more specific. You will need to get a “Musicovery Premium” account if you want interactivity on playlists though.
Image credit: gallery-art / Flickr