If you are already downloading songs illegally, don't tell me I don't want to know. But there are alternatives! Would you believe, FREE alternatives?
You're probably already familiar with Spotify and Pandora, two services that offer free streaming music. Songza also gives you free streaming, with a difference. Along with the option to browse and select songs, Songza features playlists "curated by music experts," and their offerings vary with date and time. So right now, on Wednesday evening, my playlist options include "Unwinding", "Entertaining Cool Friends" or "Going to a Festival." Within those categories are subcategories like, "Electronic Chillout," followed by sub-subcategories like "Downtempo Instrumentals."
And if you like a playlist, you can save it! You will also find suggestions for similar playlists -- and of course folks can comment on what they've heard.
Another music service I learned about this week is Noon Pacific. Like Songza, their playlists feature handpicked songs. You subscribe using your email address, and at noon (Pacific time) every Monday, the best songs from around the web are sent to you. Simple as that. You can also listen to old playlists and check out the Noon Pacific blog for trending music news.
There is still a problem here: these are streaming services, and if you don't have Wi-Fi at home then you can't bust a move. Sadness. I think we should all get Wi-Fi for free and pay for, I dunno, water instead -- but until that day comes, you can still enjoy these services here at the library for free.
There is one more service I discovered recently -- and I wish I could give you a definitive report, but they still aren't offering an app for Android devices.
The service is called Bloom.fm. I thought it was free when I first read about it, but they are a little tricky: the APP is free, you can listen to their "radio" for free, but you subscribe to borrow songs. It's not terribly expensive though, between $1.50 and $15.50 depending on how many songs you want to borrow per month.
Why borrow and not keep forever? Well, you are limited by your subscription to so many songs per month, but if you get tired of a track you can trade it in for another one!
That's what I've got on my end. If anyone else has suggestions, I would be so grateful to hear them in the comments!