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SELECTION BREADTH
DISCOVERY
USABILITY
PLATFORMS
PRICING
ABOUT STREAMING MUSIC PRODUCTS

Streaming Music products make our favorite tracks available to our sound-loving ears wherever we are. Some services give us more control (e.g. the ability to play any song as much as we want), whereas other services are better at exposing us to new music in our favorite genres or by our favorite artists.
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PRODUCTS OUR USERS LOVE

Hype Machine
Hype Machine is a blog aggregator that cruises all the music blogs for you and conveniently brings all the latest and most popular songs to you in one location. Absolutely great for discovery. One caveat: because of the nature of music blogs, most of the music is hip hop, indie, and electro. This is by far my favorite music site.

Shared by Chris Kelley in November 2011.


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USER REVIEWS

OVERALL: 60/100

Selection Breadth
Discovery
Usability
Platforms
Pricing

Cool product to play with but I found it kind of hard to use and it doesn't suit my casual listening style. I don't want to be hopping from room to virtual room!

Jason Shah in October 2011.
OVERALL: 80/100

Selection Breadth
Discovery
Usability
Platforms
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I was a huge fan of Grooveshark for a long time. But then recently, once Spotify came out, I didn't want to always fire up my browser for music. Plus it was distracting when the Grooveshark tab was nearby. I guess the Spotify app is just as 'nearby' but it feels separate. Grooveshark has a really intuitive interface, has songs I can't find on Spotify and iTunes, and was great for discovering stuff with others' playlists. But at the end of the day, I want a native app for music and Spotify is filling that need for me.

Jason Shah in October 2011.
OVERALL: 80/100

Selection Breadth
Discovery
Usability
Platforms
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Spotify is awesome! I've converted from Grooveshark because Spotify is so effortless, and since it lives on my desktop, it doesn't slow my browser down. But Spotify is definitely lacking some content that Grooveshark has and is not as great for discovery as Pandora was.

Jason Shah in October 2011.
OVERALL: 80/100

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Discovery
Usability
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As long as you don't mind ads, full selection is free. It does have some discovery tools, but is mostly for people who know what they want to listen to. Very similar to Grooveshark, except Spotify has no web interface.When I first started using Spotify I loved it. But I realized I'm more about finding new artists than listening to stuff I already know I like. So I went back to mostly using Hype Machine and Pandora. Like Grooveshark, Spotify is great for parties, where you want to control the playlist.

Chris Kelley in October 2011.
OVERALL: 80/100

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Discovery
Usability
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Bhumi Kinariwala in November 2011.
OVERALL: 80/100

Selection Breadth
Discovery
Usability
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Pricing

Great for getting all the music you want. Since the discovery tools are just okay, you'll want to use it when you know what you want to listen to. Similar concept to Spotify, but is primarily web-based. I prefer this, but others may favor a desktop client. There are (or at least were ) desktop versions, but they have not caught on with most people. As I said with the Spotify review, Grooveshark is great for parties. Both of them are the same in my book.

Chris Kelley in November 2011.
OVERALL: 100/100

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I must admit that I had my eye on Spotify long before it arrived in the US. Unreliable quality and legality led me away from file sharing programs and torrents. Before Spotify, I used the clunky and non-intuitive web-based service, Rhapsody, to fulfill my musical needs. As soon as Spotify became available I jumped aboard and never looked back. I cannot review the free version because I have only used the premium subscription service for $10/month, and I love it. The desktop app is quick and easy to use. Music starts instantly and there is virtually no audible recognition of buffering. Mostly every song that I could ever want is available on Spotify. However, you will come across some songs that are not available. I would say 95% of the music I have looked for is available. (No Beatles, but look how long it took them to get to iTunes.) I believe the selection will keep increasing as adoption increases. The iPhone application is good but not great. It plays music fine, but I do experience some skips when navigating through other applications while simultaneously listening to music. I find myself having to close out some apps to avoid this problem. Specifically, Evernote Spotify do not mix well. I write down my workout in the gym and listen to music at the same time and I constantly receive slowed performances from both apps when working simultaneously.One of the biggest drawbacks I hear about Spotify is its lack of ability to help a user discover music. While it may never beat the magical Pandora or other services like Turntable.fm, we must realize that Spotify was not built for music discovery. However, I have discovered many new artists and tracks using what I think is Spotify's most powerful feature, Facebook integration. The social aspect of Spotify is innovative and easy. You have the option of creating playlists and "publishing" them for the world to see. This gives your Facebook friends the opportunity to subscribe to the playlists that you created. If the owner of a published playlist adds or removes a song, it is reflected on the subscribers end. This is a great way for friends to dynamically share music and keep playlists from becoming dated. You can also use websites like sharemyplaylists.com to discover and rate popular user-created playlists. One last fun feature of Spotify is the ability to send and receive songs or albums. You simply drag and drop a track or album to a friend's name and a box will appear asking for an optional message to attach, type the message or skip then click send. The sent track(s) will appear in your friend's inbox. Spotify brings music to the age of social networking in the best way. I highly recommend Spotify for all music buffs and causal listeners alike. If you are looking for a fun, legal, and powerful way to find, listen and share music, Spotify is the way to go.

Trey Titone in December 2011.

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