Battle of the Music Players

By Sammy Herdman

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Fifty years ago, records and live performances were the only way to listen to popular music. Today, with so many applications available to download and stream music, it can be hard to know which to use.
The most obvious option is iTunes. I was an avid iTunes user until I realized that my stash of iTunes gift cards I had been hoarding had run out. $1.29 just didn’t seem like a reasonable price for one song. In an effort to conserve money and avoid piracy charges (I know, I’m paranoid), I abandoned iTunes and looked for another legal source.
When my older brother recommended Spotify, I eagerly made myself an account online and downloaded the app onto my iPhone. After a week, I realized I was displeased with my music library, not because there wasn’t a wide variety of artists on Spotify, but because I only had access to them if I specifically looked them up, or if I scrolled through lists of names sorted in categories by genre. Not only that, but once I had “starred” a song, I couldn’t search for it by artist name or song title.
Shortly into my free trial on Spotify, I received a suggestion to use SoundCloud, and found myself supplementing my familiar music on Spotify with new songs that I found on SoundCloud. SoundCloud plays host to plenty of different music genres, but arguably the most prevalent are electronic and indie. SoundCloud definitely is worth checking out if you like to have a consistent stream of new music from different up-and-coming artists. Since it’s designed for users to post original songs and repost others, it does not to have an organized library. So although I use my free SoundCloud account daily, an accompanying music source is still necessary.
I had heard about Rhapsody from multiple friends. Some claimed that it was superior to Spotify and others disagreed. I’ve found that Rhapsody is a much better fit for me. Although I can’t “follow” artists like I can on SoundCloud, it’s much more organized. Like on Spotify, I can create playlists, but Rhapsody has the added benefit of being able to scroll through my music library by looking at artists or song names. My free trial ended, and I decided to continue paying $10 each month, the same cost as Spotify.
Just as everyone’s music taste is different, so is their preferred method of acquiring and listening to music. I’m still listening to and testing out new styles of music, as well as new websites and apps to access them. Despite my satisfaction with SoundCloud and Rhapsody, I think I’ll continue experimenting indefinitely and move onto 8tracks next. ♦