Listen to Music Online

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Listening to Music Online

Listening to music seems like such a simple thing to do, especially on the internet where so many things are free and easy to do, but that doesn't mean there aren't a variety services with different options. If you are looking for some great places to listen to music online then check out this list of mostly free music focused services with explanations on how to set them up and personalize them.

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Spotify

What is Spotify? It is an online music player with a massive library of songs and a user friendly interface. You find bands you like, create playlists, share those with friends, or you can check out what other people are creating or listening to. It is available to download on desktop, tablets, iOS, Android and Windows Phone. However, the mobile versions only let you use pre-made playlists or the shuffle mode, while the desktop and tablet versions let you play any song. Alternatively, it has a web player that can be played via browser too, it just isn't as complete.

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  • Price? Free
  • Paid Option? Yes, $9.99 per month
  • Ads? Yes
  • Limits? Yes

Spotify does have a paid option, like Pandora, and it removes advertisements, let's you listen to everything offline, and gives you access to songs that are higher definition (better audio quality).

Setting up Spotify

  1. 1
    Open your web browser and head on over www.Spotify.com[1]
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  2. 2
    Right in the dead center of the page is a big green button that says Download Spotify, click that.
    Spotifymain.png
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  3. 3
    This will take you straight to a page that asks you to make an account.
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  4. 4
    Make an account from scratch or you can use your Facebook account, if you have one, as your Spotify Account.
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  5. 5
    After you sign in to your account, or make one, it will immediately download SpotifySetup.exe
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  6. 6
    Find SpotifySetup.exe in your download folder and for Windows that is by default Users/(your username)/Downloads.
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  7. 7
    Double click and run SpotifySetup.exe.
    It will automatically install without any input from you, annoyingly, and now it is set up.
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  8. 8
    Run Spotify, which should now have a shortcut on your desktop, and now nothing is stopping you from diving into their massive library of free music.
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Last Notes: Spotify isn't particularly unique compared to the rest, but it does allow for a lot of customization, it is very easy to use and it makes it fun to share music with friends. I've particularly enjoyed Spotify because of how you can jump on at any given time to see what your friends are listening to and you can immediately join in on that by making a collaborative playlist.

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YouTube

What is YouTube? It is a video based service, the largest in the world, and while it is focused on videos in general, it does have a very extensive amount of music. It is free and it allows you to create playlists, share those with people, or listen to playlists that others have made. Unlike the others on here, it does have some community based content. For instance, you can custom your own YouTube channel/page and you can interact with other users via comments or messages. It also through various mobile apps for most Android and iOS devices.

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  • Price? Free
  • Paid Option? No
  • Ads? Yes
  • Limits? No

To listen to music on YouTube you are basically having videos play in the background, but there are some options to turn it completely into a music player. Specifically, the Streamus [2] Google Chrome extension.

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Setting up YouTube

  1. 1
    Open up your web browser and head on over to YouTube.com[3]
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  2. 2
    On the top right corner and left side of this main page there are two buttons to Sign In, click on either of those (as seen below in orange).
    Youtube.png
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  3. 3
    This will take you to a sign in page where you can use your Google Account to sign in, if you have one, or it will allow you to quickly create an account.
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  4. 4
    Once signed in you can immediately use the top search bar to find anything you are looking for and from there you will start getting recommendations based on what you've watched/listened to before.
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Playlists

  • Additionally, once you've started finding music you like you can create a Playlist to save this music for yourself, so that you may listen to it again later or share it with others. To create a Playlist:
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  1. 1
    First, from the main page of YouTube when signed in, look to the left side where it shows a variety of options, like What To Watch, Playlists, Subscriptions, and click on Playlists.
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  2. 2
    Now you are staring at a big blank page because you have no playlists, but do not fret, simply click on the New Playlist right in the middle of the screen.
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  3. 3
    Name your Playlist, with something in mind for what types of songs or videos you are going to add to it, and leave it alone for now.
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  4. 4
    Whenever you run into any song or video that you wanted to listen to again, you can now press the Add To button (as seen below) to add it to your new playlist or the default Watch Later playlist.
    Playlistadd1.png
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  5. 5
    Lastly, once videos/songs are added to your playlist you can customize the playlist a little by adding comments to each selection and by organizing them into a specific order.
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Last Notes: YouTube is a bit of a weird one to use as an online music player, but it pretty much has everything you could want, from small artists to big ones. Thankfully it allows for everything to be easily found, saved and personalized.

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Pandora

What is Pandora? It is a radio based online music player that tailors music to your tastes and preferences while using your feedback, and band choices, to create a unique playlist for you. It is available through any browser, but also through various mobile apps for most Android and iOS devices. Unlike the rest of the services on here, Pandora does not require an account to test it out.

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  • Price? Free
  • Paid Option? Yes, $4.99 per month
  • Ads? Yes
  • Limits? No

Pandora does have a paid option, like Spotify, and it mainly just removes the advertisements.

Setting up Pandora

  1. 1
    Open up your web browser and head on over to Pandora.com[4]
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  2. 2
    Right in the center of this web page is a sign in area with a small option right below to register for a new account, so click on Register.
    Pandora1.png
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  3. 3
    Fill out the basic account creation form that is pretty simple and easy to fill out.
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  4. 4
    Now that you are signed in and on the main page, type in any band or song in the top left box that says Create A Station.
    Pandora2.png
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  5. 5
    This will create a new station based on that band or genre, and from there you can just let it play, but don't forget to pay like or dislike any song so that it can continue to create a personalized radio station for you.
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  • Alternatively, you can check out Pandora without creating an account, but then your music selections are only saved locally and you can't customize as much.

Last Notes: If you are looking for something that will just play music with very little input from you then Pandora is your best option, especially once you've spent some time liking or disliking music on your stations so that the musical selection is very defined.

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Google Music

What is Google Music? It is a music streaming service that differentiates itself from the rest in several ways: you can upload your own music, you can purchase music through it (like iTunes), if you buys song you can download them, it can be used offline, you can store up to 20,000 songs, and it ties into your Google Account. All of those features are available for the free version. It is available through your browser on desktop, and it is also available through apps on tablets and mobile devices.

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  • Price? Free
  • Paid Option? Yes, $9.99 per month
  • Ads? Yes
  • Limits? Yes

If you do the paid version of Google Music then you get their All Access Pass that removes the limit for how many songs you can store and let's you access their unlimited radio option. With the free version the main thing you can do is either buy songs or upload up to 20,000 songs from your computer.

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Setting up Google Music

  1. 1
    Open up your web browser and head on over to www.Music.Google.com[5]
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  2. 2
    This will immediately prompt you to sign into your Google Account, so either sign into a preexisting one (like if you have YouTube Account, Google Mail or Google Plus Account) or create one.
    Googlemusic.png
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  3. 3
    Once you've signed in you get to stare at the main page for Google Music and basically it's all set up at this point, but you can still do a few things from here:
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  • You can do a free 30 day trial of Google Music's All Access Pass so that you can try out the unlimited radio option.
  • You can can click on the Add Your Music button and upload any songs you have on your computer.
  • You can click on Shop and go find free music, or paid music, to add to your library.
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Last Notes: Google Music is a weird one. It's a bit like iTunes, except it has a radio option that is similar to Pandora and it allows you to upload an impressive amount of your own music for free and without placing any restrictions on it. If you use Google on your computer, on your mobile device and on anything else then using Google Music can be incredibly convenient, but otherwise it might be a bit more of a hassle than the other options.

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Final Notes

Spotify, Pandora, Google Music and YouTube all offer a variety of different options when it comes to streaming and listening to music online, or even offline for a few of them, but it all depends on what type of thing you are looking for. Some, like YouTube, might require a lot of input from you when it comes to skipping ads or navigating your way through playlists, while something like Pandora requires very little effort from you and can just be left playing on its own. They all have their own levels of customization as well and user-friendly designs. Consider them, try them, and enjoy the vast world of online music!

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As always, if you have any questions about any steps or any of the services then feel free to ask. Also, this is only a small selection of online music services, there are more popping up everyday.

Resources

General Information:

  • Wikipedia - Google Music[6]
  • Pandora About - Pandora.com[7]

Other:

Questions and Answers

Can I listen to YouTube videos?

I'm a student and they block YouTube and I need it to complete my work, can you help?

  1. 1
    Navigate to this proxy web site].
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  2. 2
    If a lot of proxy web sites are blocked, use a search engine like DuckDuckGo to search for "YouTube proxy server".
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  3. 3
    Enter "www.youtube.com" in the URL input field on the web page.
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  4. 4
    If you still see nothing, then you need to install or update the flash player.
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  5. 5
    If that still does not help, then your domain blocks shockwave or flash animation.
    You will need to use your own Internet connection to avoid that. You can use your mobile device as a tethered hotspot as shown in our tutorial.
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Article Info

Categories : Music

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Eng, Dougie

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