Internet radio enriches music

Music lovers everywhere are always looking for a cheap and easy way to get the music they love fast and on demand, bringing a rise in popularity to all kinds of radio and music apps.

First came Pandora in 2000.

Type in the name of the genre, artist or song you want to listen to and Pandora will generate a general mix of artists similar to what you are looking for.

If you like the song, give it a thumbs up. Pandora will play that song and songs similar more often for you.

Not what you were looking for? Click thumbs down, it will make sure you do not have to listen to it again.

If you find a song you really love, there is an option to bookmark the song so you can buy it on iTunes or even make a new music station based on that song.

Each Pandora listener gets a profile where you can follow people you know and see what they are listening to.

Eight years later in 2008, Spotify began its slow rise to popularity in the music world.

Spotify gives each user a profile, where you can save individual songs from the artists you love and put playlists together of the songs you enjoy. You can choose to make these playlists public or private.

Users can follow their friends and friend’s playlists, giving them notifications when the user updates a playlist or creates a new one. Users can even find their favorite artist’s Spotify profiles and follow them, letting them know anytime that artist releases new music onto the app.

But which application is a better listening experience? My vote is for Spotify.

Although both applications give you the option to create a user profile and follow other users, Spotify as a whole gives listeners a wider variety of listening options, whereas Pandora’s only option is, “let me randomly shuffle some music you might like and if you do like it, hopefully you hear it again on this assortment of music I am giving you.”

Maybe you like the radio option that Pandora offers and if that is the case, Spotify also has a radio option. You can play a station just like Pandora—the only difference is, when you find a song you love, instead of just giving a thumbs up and hoping you hear it again, you can save that song to your playlist to listen to whenever you like.

Spotify is basically Pandora on steroids.

It gives you the classic Pandora listening experience, plus an entire world of music you never would have known about.

Unlike Pandora, which has more mainstream popular artists that a wider variety of people are likely to enjoy, Spotify is home to hundreds of underground artists that are just as good— if not better— than those guys you hear normally. When you use Spotify, you are unlimited in your music experience.

Spotify gives their users control over what they listen to. You choose the artist, even the song you are interested in.

Along with allowing users to pick the songs they know they love and group them together how they want, Spotify also has a browse section, where you can pick genres you are interested and help you discover and pick through artists you may not have known.

Within browse, you can choose Top Lists, New Releases or Discover.

Through the Discover tab, Spotify tracks your music history and suggests artists and albums you may like based on the artists you listen to most, opening up an entire world of music you would not have known otherwise.

I use Spotify on almost a daily basis. I have four of my own playlists, plus I am following my friend’s playlists. It is because of Spotify I have discovered some of my favorite artists of all time.

Spotify has everything a music lover could want with a free version of the application and a premium version for $10 a month—a price I would say is well worth what you get for the application.

The only thing Pandora has that Spotify does not would be Taylor Swift—but you may interpret that as a good or bad thing depending on your taste.