Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
We live in an on-demand generation when it comes to music entertainment. With so many streaming or downloadable options, those CD collections, stereo systems and portable radios are collecting dust and becoming outdated.
Here are some ways to get your groove on, rock out or sing along with your favorite hits that make boom boxes, CD players and stereo systems look old-school.
Pandora is one of the more popular Internet radio sites in which you can create your own music channels or choose ones based on genre or artist. Plus, the tracks evolve to your taste: Choose the icons to like or dislike songs, and you’ll be more likely to hear songs you’ll enjoy. You can expect some commercials, and tracks may repeat if you listen long enough. If you upgrade to Pandora Plus for $4.99 per month, there are no commercials and you get other perks.
This online streaming service boasts a playlist for every mood. Besides its huge library of songs, Spotify offers a social media aspect as you share playlists with friends and even find out what your favorite artists are playing. The upgraded service is $9.99 per month; it lets you download and listen to music offline and enjoy ad-free music. They frequently run deals where you can enjoy three months of Premium listening for free or for only $0.99.
If you enjoy listening to live radio on music and talk stations, iHeartRadio lets you choose from hundreds from across the country or enjoy artist radio stations that play music similar to that of your favorite artist. You can also curate your own music library featuring created playlists, followed music stations and more. The best part is it’s all free, and you can use the app on your mobile devices.
AccuRadio is another internet radio station, but what sets it apart is that it plays music that you likely won’t hear elsewhere. As the site explains, “We give exposure and airplay to numerous genres of music and hundreds of artists that virtually never receive broadcast radio airplay.” Their channels are sorted primarily by genre, but there are also decades-themed channels and top hits channels in the mix. Each day, they also offer select commercial-free options for certain genres or decades.
TuneIn is similar to iHeartRadio, as it lets you listen to over 100,000 live radio stations across the nation. However, TuneIn also offers exclusive music channels curated for every mood and taste, as well as access to live sports, news and more. They also offer a premium service, with commercial-free news and music and fewer ads on live radio, for $9.99 per month. It offers a free trial, too, but the length of the trial depends on the plan you sign up for.
YouTube has long been the place to listen to songs for free. But did you know they have a site specifically dedicated to streaming music? YouTube Music lets you listen to any song you want to, and you can upload up to 100,000 songs of your audio files to stream from the cloud. It also integrates plenty of videos of your favorite bands and artists for you to enjoy.
Like other free music streaming sites, expect to hear a few ads. It’s also worth noting that you can only listen to music while your phone is unlocked and as long you’re not on another app. This doesn’t apply to files you’ve uploaded yourself, or when you’re listening on the computer. You can upgrade to Music Premium to listen ad-free, offline, and with your screen off for $9.99 per month, after a one-month free trial.
Idagio is a little different from other streaming services because it’s exclusively for classical music. You can access curated recommendations and created playlists perfect for every mood, all for free. Their free platform includes unlimited listening to their playlists and radio stations, with the ability to listen to specific tracks when you use a web browser.
Amazon Prime Music
To be clear, Amazon Prime Music isn’t completely free. You must be an Amazon Prime member to access it. But if you’re already paying for Amazon Prime, then you may as well take advantage of its included music streaming library and service. It features no ads, and you can skip as many songs as you like. It also features curated recommendations and created playlists, much like other music streaming services do.
The included streaming service that comes with Amazon Prime includes 2 million songs, which is limited compared to other services. You can upgrade to Amazon Music Unlimited, which has 75 million songs, for $7.99 per month for Prime members after a one-month trial ($9.99 for nonmembers). They frequently run three-month-long free trials as well.