Online music streaming: A guide header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

In today’s world of modern technological advances, music lovers are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding how to buy, listen or store their favourite tracks.

These days, people can buy CDs or digital albums, keep songs on iPods and smartphones or just listen to music through streaming websites that do away with the need for hardware to store songs, which can take up massive amounts of space on a computer or MP3 player.

There’s plenty of choice when deciding which website to use, as the market is full of available options, regardless of whether you’re looking for a free or paid service.

Here is a guide to some of the most popular music streaming websites.

Spotify

Launched in 2008, Spotify has rapidly become one of the biggest names in music streaming. It allows the user to access music from a range of devices, including through the website on a laptop and via the app for smartphones and tablets.

Once completing the registration form, you will be able to access over 40 million songs, which is more than you could ever hope to keep on your iPod. If you enjoy letting your friends know what you’re listening to, you can share tracks on Twitter and Facebook.

As a new user, you are entitled to a one-month free trial of its premium service, which enables you to listen to unlimited music without being subjected to irritating adverts.

If you want to continue to listen to tracks advert-free after the trial, you’ll need to pay £9.99 a month for the privilege. The premium service lets you download music, rather than just stream, so you can listen to the songs offline.

Blinkbox Music

Blinkbox Music, formerly known as We7, has been around since 2007 and offers user unlimited songs via radio stations, much like Last FM.

It has a search option that allows you to specify the artist, genre or theme to find the tracks you want. For example, if you were to type ‘wedding’ into the search box you would be inundated with classic tracks played by DJs for the special occasion.

Blinkbox Music offers users a library of 12 million songs that can be accessed through an iPhone, iPad or desktop computer, as well as via Android and Kindle apps.

Once you register, you’ll be able to listen to as many of these tracks as you want and choose to get rid of the adverts by signing up to the premium service. Thirty days will cost you £4.33, which then allows you to listen to music without interruption and when you’re offline.

Last FM

Last FM is one of the oldest streaming services on the market, as it was launched back in 2002 and now has a following over 47 million people around the globe.

It works much like a personalised radio station that creates a unique playlist for you when you search for an artist or genre. It also keeps track of what you’re listening to on iTunes so it can recommend similar music.

Users can opt for the free, ad-supported service and a subscription option that costs £3 a month - a third of the cost of Spotify!

It has apps that can be used on smartphones, tablets and games consoles, so users can listen to their music whenever they want, wherever they are