Top 10 Web Apps for Music Streaming

Whether you’re at home, work or on the road, music surrounds us. In the age of the internet though, we’re no longer limited to the radio you hear in the elevator, in your car or maybe while you’re at your desk working. Not only are we no longer limited by traditional radio but the same goes for mp3 players like iPods and Zunes.

Streaming high quality music from your desktop, laptop, iPhone, Blackberry or other internet connected device, is relatively common place now and becoming more commonplace as we increasingly move towards a cloud connected world.

We’ve rounded up the top ten music streaming and discovery sites and web apps to help you find something better or maybe just get started all together.

1. Grooveshark

Grooveshark

Grooveshark

If you missed our Grooveshark review, it’s definitely worth checking out to get an idea of how great Grooveshark really is. Grooveshark is your music library and discovery app in the cloud, enabling you to upload your own music and connect using piles of internet connected devices. Based on our review and responses from Twitter followers and readers, Grooveshark is one of the absolute best apps available.

2. Last.fm

Last.fm

Last.fm

Among the Grooveshark review comments were many recommendations for Last.fm. Although it isn’t quite your library in the cloud type app like Grooveshark, it’s one of the best ways to discover new music based on what you listen to. Really, if you’re in the mood to explore new music or even learn more about the music you already listen to, Last.fm is a must.

Of course Last.fm wouldn’t be complete without cross-platform capabilities covering iPhone, Xbox, desktop and many other really cool ways of integration (like social networks, websites and Skype).

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Flash
  • Developer: Last.fm Ltd.

3. Pandora

Pandora

Pandora

Pandora has been around for quite awhile, so chances are you’ve heard of it. Pandora is like radio on crack. It has a great web app and tons of device compatibility. Unfortunately though, it does have limitations similar to traditional radio. You’re not able to listen to specific songs, create your own playlists, etc. It’s radio, just digital and way more awesome. That being said, it’s still one of the best ways to find some new tunes or get your music fix.

An important note about Pandora, is quality is limited in the free version. Jump into Pandora One (paid) and you’ll get higher quality streaming (192Kbps), no advertisements and you’re able to listen without limits (free version is limited to 40 hours each month). If you love Pandora, it’s definitely worth the $36 per year to upgrade to Pandora One.

  • Price: Free / Pandora One: $36/year
  • Requirements: Flash
  • Developer: Pandora Media, Inc.

4. Lala

lala

lala

Lala has gone through some transformations over the years and is now one of the best music streaming and discovery sites on the web. It’s integrated with social media and enables you to login with your Facebook account to connect the services. Unlike many of the other streaming apps, Lala is actually its own music store enabling you to purchase and download mp3’s.

While Lala is quite great, it’s focused more towards those looking to eventually purchase music rather than just listen for free all day every day. You can listen to every song they have, once. Then you’ll have to either purchase the song for 99 cents or pay 10 cents for unlimited streaming (of that one song).

  • Price: Free / 10 cents per song (web) / 99 cents per song (download)
  • Requirements: JavaScript (for web player)
  • Developer: la la media, inc.

5. Slacker Personal Radio

Slacker

Slacker

Like Pandora, Slacker is another app jacking up traditional radio into today’s internet slurping society. Slacker is quite similar to Pandora, in that you’re not able to listen to specific songs but are instead limited to radio stations. It’s a great way to get your music fix and discover new music, but not so great if you’re looking for a music library in the cloud. Slacker supports several mobile devices from BlackBerry to iPhone, Android and even Palm. They don’t stop there though, they even have dedicated devices to take music with you sans-internet or home devices like traditional radios.

If you want to get rid of song skip and request restrictions, advertisements, etc. then you’ll want to upgrade to Slacker Radio Plus for $4.99 per month or $47.88 per year ($3.99/m).

  • Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $47.88 per year
  • Requirements: Flash
  • Developer: Slacker, Inc.

6. Rhapsody

Rhapsody

Rhapsody

Rhapsody is certainly not a newcomer to the music streaming game and although they get less attention these days, they’re still one of the best apps for streaming music. Unfortunately, you must sign up for an account before you can get started (unlike other apps) and it isn’t free. Rhapsody is a subscription service with plans starting at $12.99 per month for unlimited listening.

Rhapsody is a music library in the cloud, with over 8 million songs available to you. You’ll have to pay $14.99 to be able to take your music with you though. Mobile apps are available and with the higher price plan you can even burn CDs and download songs to your favorite mp3 player. It’s actually a pretty good option to get all the music you want, as long as you’re willing to pay for a subscription.

  • Price: Plans start at $12.99 per month
  • Requirements: Flash
  • Developer: Listen.com

7. Myspace Music

Myspace Music

Myspace Music

What used to be imeem has now become Myspace Music, combining social networking and people’s love for music [streaming]. If you’re still a Myspace user, you might already know about Myspace Music; if not, it’s worth checking out. Their music library is likely going to be more limited than some of these other apps, but I was able to find everything I searched for.

The interface isn’t “media library” type, but more social networking with music tossed in. Having said that, if you really want to connect with your favorite artists and explore music a little differently, Myspace Music is worth checking out.

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Flash
  • Developer: MySpace

8. Maestro

Maestro

Maestro

While Maestro is a music streaming app, it isn’t a music streaming app in the sense you may think. Maestro runs a small application on your desktop that enables you to stream your personal music collection from other internet connected devices. With iTunes and social networking integration, this is one cool app.

Maestro is relatively new, so new features are likely on the way, including mobile access. Keep in mind that this requires a computer to be running any time you want to access your library from another location and uses that computer’s internet connection to stream the music.

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Flash
  • Developer: Maestro Music Inc.

9. Deezer

Deezer

Deezer

Deezer is a radio type app, like Pandora, with additional capabilities for a more personal music library feel. You’ll have to register if you want more than basic features but as far as I can tell, it’s totally free. Their music library is likely to be more limited than other apps listed here due to the totally free price and how the big music labels don’t like “free”.

Deezer has apps for lots of mobile devices and even home devices like TV’s, so if you’re looking for something completely free to discover new music, this would be a great choice.

  • Price: Free
  • Requirements: Flash
  • Developer: Deezer

10. Spotify

Spotify

Spotify

A new app in the music streaming wars; Spotify looks as if it could bring some great new features to the table. Although it’s actually a desktop application, it streams music from the web for instant listening. They’ve also integrated plenty of social networking and sharing features to enjoy playlists with your friends or even collaborate on playlists.

Unfortunately Spotify isn’t available in the US yet but it’s growing and becoming available in more countries fast. One great feature of the app is it provides higher quality bitrates, up to 320Kbps, which isn’t typically provided by other streaming apps (like others listed here). There are no ads (premium), offline capability and access anywhere including on mobile devices.

  • Price: Free / Premium (price unknown, not available in US)
  • Requirements: Mac/Win
  • Developer: Spotify Ltd

Missed One?

With these ten music streaming apps, you should be able to find something to fit your needs (or wants) and do a whole lot more. If we missed a really fantastic music streaming app, share it with us in the comments below.

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