How do you listen to music? Do you buy it? Subscribe to a music streaming service like Spotify, or Apple Music? How much money do you spend on music each month? This is how I do it.
I still collect music so I buy some though very little each year. I have all my music in my own personal cloud at home. I can stream it along with homemade playlists to any device in my home and on the go through my phone. The challenge here is that there is no new music added unless I download it from somewhere else.
I also steam music via Spotify. I pay for the commercial free plan monthly and find it to be worth it. It doesn’t have everything, but it has new music all the time. I can create and share playlists and while I could do this on the free plan, it’s worth it to get the higher streaming quality and freedom from commercials. It also lets me try out music to see if it is worth spending money to add it to my personal collection.
Finding new music is hit or miss. I tend follow certain DJs or groups on Soundcloud or Mixcloud. The services are free and they add new groups and new music to my consciousness. I also find music on Bandcamp but usually only from artists I have been introduced to and have begun to follow. There are also a few people who I know personally or others I follow online that introduce me to new music. I gave up on the radio years ago and Last.FM is just more radio.
Google Play Music could have been a contender and was until I got my own cloud. This service does a lot of what my personal cloud and Spotify do but not as well as either. I still keep it handy but seldom use it. Amazon Music also deserves a mention. As I already pay for Amazon prime, I get to listen to a lot of music for free. It doesn’t beat Spotify though, even at the paid level.
The only money I’m consistently spending monthly on music is my Spotify plan. I feel like I’m at the age where most of the music I will ever own, was made years ago but I’m open to be disabused of that notion. According to this Lifehacker article, I should give up Spotify and go back to buying music.
An honorable mention should also go out to YouTube and Pandora. Apple Music and Tidal aren’t worth the money.