Hey music lovers, there is life outside of Pandora. When Pandora first made its debut, it was pretty amazing. But, new competition started popping up and Pandora started flooding their service with advertisements.
There are some amazing alternatives available with much larger music selections then Pandora’s 900,000 tracks. Some of these are totally free and others may require a subscription. Use what works best for you.
My go-to service is Grooveshark. This is truly music on demand. You can play the same song 100 times in a row without any limitations.
They also offer traditional “radio” type stations similar to Pandora. Grooveshark has a library of around 15 million tracks. The music selection may vary and may not contain all your favorite artists as most music is primarily uploaded from users. The only advertisements I have seen are the ones that are on the website that you can either pay to remove or just use ad-blocker.
Lastly, Grooveshark is browser based and there is not program to install. Their website also works on mobile phones.
Another great “on-demand” music service is Xbox Music. Xbox Music has 30 million tracks. Xbox Music is built into Windows 8, but I have found the best way to use it is through their website based app. You can access it at music.xbox.com and the free service is ad supported but can also be blocked with ad-blocker.
The paid service is $99 a year but also allows ad-free streaming on your Xbox, mobile phone, windows 8 app as well as website app. If you’re already tied into the Windows/Xbox/former-Zune eco-system, this is an absolutely great service.
iTunes Radio is one of the newest true Pandora competitors. They offer a library of 27 million tracks available. Similar to Pandora, they offer a more traditional “radio” experience.
For $25 a year you can completely remove ads and take advantage of their iTunes Match service that will match any music you have on your PC/Mac and make it available to stream in iTunes “cloud” service.
There are many others that I haven’t tried, but feel free to give them a try. Other services available are: Rdio, Slacker, Spotify, I Heart Radio, Nokia Music, and Guvera.