Streaming your favorite songs free. Now that's music to your ears!
The 59th Grammy Awards will be broadcast Feb. 12, which means it’s time to listen to the nominated songs before, and after, the show!
There are lots of great streaming music services where you can listen to everything from Adele’s “25” (and her hit single, “Hello”), to Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” (which features “Formation,” the song she performed at the Super Bowl half-time show last year) and Bob Dylan’s “Fallen Angel” album (released in the same year that Dylan won the Nobel Prize).
Sure, you can search around on YouTube and drum your fingers through the commercials while you’re waiting for the song to start. Or spend a bunch of money on iTunes, buying individual songs. But a more upbeat way to enjoy your favorites tunes are the streaming services that give you everything for a single, low monthly price.
Here are some options:
1. Amazon Prime Music
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If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, this is a great choice — as Prime Music is included in your membership. If you’re not an Amazon Prime member, Amazon Prime Music won’t cost a thing to try. Just sign up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime. Prime Music includes around 2 million songs — and allows you to upload your own digital music to add to your online library.
For real hard-core music fans, who want access to tens of millions of songs of both new and classic songs and albums, Amazon recently introduced an add-on to Prime Music called Amazon Music Unlimited — which costs an extra $7.99 per month (or $79 a year) and is also available to try free for 30 days.
Why not make use of those free trials to enjoy the Amazon Music 2017 Grammy Nominees playlist?
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Pandora offers advertising-supported streaming music for free. It’s not the service that you’re likely to want to use, however, if you like picking individual songs or albums and being able to play exactly those songs on demand.
Instead, it helps you build your own “personal radio” featuring artists and genres of music you like. If you like songs by Adele, for example, it will build you a station that plays some Adele songs, but also songs by other artists that are popular with Adele fans.
If you use the basic Pandora service, you’ll periodically hear radio ads between songs. Pandora does offer an ad-free upgrade service, which also allows you to “skip” more songs than is possible with basic service.
The great news for Grammy night is that Pandora offers a free Grammy music station (featuring nominated songs) sponsored by Aflac.
3. Apple Music
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Apple Music is a relatively recent entrant to the streaming music market, despite being the overall market leader for digital music. It should come as no surprise that Apple Music offers a lot. For $9.99 per month, you can now have streaming access to everything that’s in your iTunes catalog (including any songs you may have moved to iTunes from a CD collection) plus access to Apple Music’s impressive collection of 30 million songs.
If you’re a student, the deal gets even better — and you only pay $4.99 per month. As if all that wasn’t enough, Apple currently offers a three-month trial on Apple Music — much longer than the 30 days you see in most streaming offerings.
You also don’t need to own an existing Apple device to use Apple Music — Apple has actually produced an Android app for Apple Music, as well as offering Windows users access to Apple Music.
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Sirius XM is not necessarily the first place you would think of for streaming music, but it’s actually an interesting choice if you like radio.
If you’ve ever used satellite radio, you already know the huge range of music Sirius XM plays — and that it is real radio, happening live with real DJs and playlists. There’s the SiriusXM Hits1 station (which plays a lot of the songs that have been nominated for Grammys), while there is also a broad selection of channels arranged by music genre and eras. And it also includes news (as if you weren’t listening to music to get away from the news). CNN, for example, has a channel on SiriusXM that provides a simulcast of the audio signal from CNN News programs.
Sirius XM offers apps for iOS, Android and Windows 10.
If you want to see whether Sirius XM makes sense for you, the first thing we suggested is that you sign up to try SiriusXM streaming for free with a 30-day trial.
The great thing about this free trial is that it doesn’t “auto-renew.” SiriusXM doesn’t require you to enter a credit card to sign up for the trial — and you need to proactively make the move to sign up when the trial expires.
If you like it and decide to stick with the streaming subscription, you can do so in one of two ways.
For those who already subscribe to Sirius XM and listen to it using an in-car satellite radio, adding a streaming subscription will only cost $4 a month on top of your existing subscription fee. You can sign up for that here, by clicking on the link under the “Set up your account” heading that says “Add streaming to your subscription by logging in and upgrading to the All Access package”
If you don’t have an existing Sirius XM subscription, but liked what you heard in the 30-day trial and want to hear more, you can go to this page and sign up for a reduced rate streaming six- month subscription for $30. Just fill in your account address and billing information and follow the on-screen prompts.
You can cancel this subscription at any point. If you don’t, however, after the six-month promotional rate you’ll pay the regular monthly streaming rate of $15.99 (plus any fees and taxes that apply). Service will automatically renew every month thereafter unless you phone Sirius XM and cancel the subscription.
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Spotify has only been around since 2008, but it has had a huge impact on the market for streaming music. Boasting more than 100 million active monthly users (of which 40 million pay for the $9.99 monthly Premium service).
Spotify has gained popularity by having a huge catalog (more than 30 million songs) and keeping its apps for iOS and Android competitive and feature-rich. You can sign up with Spotify for free, although the free experience includes ads and gives you less control of what you listen to. Spotify also offers a 30-day free trial of its Premium service.
- Microsoft offers its Groove music pass with a 30-day free trial and $9.99 fee for access to its music catalog thereafter.
- Google offers Google Play Music (with a similarly large catalog) at the same $9.99 monthly price and also with 30-day free trial options.
- Rhapsody has now re-branded itself as Napster (an even older streaming brand from the early days of the internet) and offers a big music catalog at $9.99 per month (along with a 30-day free trial).
Do you have a favorite music streaming service? Let us know how you listen to Grammy-nominated music by commenting below or on our Facebook page.
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