5 Music Streaming Services

Streaming music is the new way to indulge in thousands of available songs, without cluttering your device with large audio files. Tech Talker explores 5 of the most popular music streaming services to help you choose which is right for you.

Eric Escobar
5-minute read
Episode #164


Although it has far fewer features and usability, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Pandora.

Pandora is more of a streaming radio station because you can’t select an album or song you want specifically. Rather, Pandora works by creating stations, which it tries to cater to your liking by monitoring which songs you like and which ones you don’t. It’s pretty good if you don’t have anything specific in mind and you like listening to the radio.

It’s also cheaper than most streaming services at just $5 per month. The sound quality is 192kbps, and even though I searched everywhere, I couldn’t find how many songs Pandora had in its library. That doesn’t really matter because you can’t find and play specific songs on demand, anyway.

Really, Pandora’s main feature is that it is available on just about every device.


Rdio is another popular streaming service, with a similar feature set to Spotify and Google Play Music. Their sound comes in at 192kbps, they have a library of over 25 million songs, and you can listen to it offline and for free.

The free version has ads and only allows you to listen to specific stations—kind of like an offline Pandora. However, if you’re willing to upgrade to $10 per month, you’ll have full access to ad free songs, albums, and playlists.

I specifically mention Rdio because they have a student discount that reduces the cost to $5 per month. You’ll have to verify you’re in school, but it seems way worth it for the price.

Beats Music

Last, but not least—Beats Music. What makes this service notable is that Apple recently purchased it for $3 billion. That’s billion with a B! The price and features are comparable to other services—$10 per month or $100/year, you can listen to it offline, and you have 20 million songs to choose from.

I foresee this service gaining more traction in the years to come as Apple integrates it into many of its devices.

What's your favorite streaming music service? Why? Share your insights with us on Facebook.com/QDTtechtalker.

That’s it for today! Be sure to check out all my earlier episodes at quickanddirtytips.com/tech-talker. And if you have further questions about this podcast or want to make a suggestion for a future episode, email me at techtalker@quickanddirtytips.com.

Until next time, I’m the Tech Talker, keeping technology simple!.

Headphones and Music Streaming images courtesy of Shutterstock.


About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.