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Koss Guide to Online Radio

Over the past couple of years, music-streaming services have been battling it out for top dog. In today’s rapidly changing digital landscape, we’ve been given several options for discovering, sharing, and enjoying music online. That’s why we wanted to take a step back and share a few insights into the key players in the online music sharing space.

Spotify:

Unless you’ve had your noise cancelling on for the past 6 months, you’ve probably heard of Spotify. Spotify is a Swedish company that recently became available in the United States. With a catalog of approximately 15 million songs, it’s hard not to find something you’ll enjoy on Spotify. One of the big draws is its social media integration. You can set up playlists, share those with friends, access each other’s music, and tell everyone via Facebook what songs you’re listening to. Beyond the social sharing, Spotify also includes a radio feature, which creates playlists based on genres selected by the user. Besides the awesome desktop version, Spotify launched a mobile application for Premium subscribers to access their full music catalogue on the go. Pretty sweet, eh?

Rdio: 

Rdio is an ad-free music subscription service that entered the scene earlier this year. Available as a website and mobile application, you can play streaming music at your desk or on the go, via Rdio’s offline music feature. Finally you’ll be able to connect the music on your computer to your mobile phone without a cable. Just sync your songs to your devices and listen even if you’re not online. This feature is perfect for those moments when you need to switch into Airplane mode.

Pandora:

We had the pleasure of meeting Tim Westergren, the founder of Pandora, a few months back at a meet-and-greet at Milwaukee’s Iron Horse Hotel. Being the veteran of this group, Pandora was one of the first online radio services on the scene back in 2000. Built around the Music Genome Project, Pandora gives you the opportunity to pick a song, artist, or album you enjoy, and then does the rest, sending on a music journey suited to your personal tastes. Recently, Pandora has added a mobile application which allows you to take your personal soundtrack on the go. They’ve also started to integrate with a few car manufacturers so you won’t be limited to your radio dial.

Last.fm:

Founded in the U.K., in 2002, Last.fm acts more like a social network for music lovers. The service builds a detailed profile of each user’s musical taste by taking notes on all their musical consumption. This info is compiled to give you more recommendations for music you will most likely dig. In addition to its solid recommendations, Last.fm lets you edit your personal profile, check in on bands, and see if they are touring. It’s a great way to connect with other fans of your favorite artists.

Which music service is right for you? With so many services out there, are there any others you prefer?

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