Everyone loves listening to music. Ever since YouTube brought us virtually all the music in the world on demand (albeit in a video format), denizens of the Internet have accepted music as a part of their daily lives. The rise of services like iTunes and Pandora brought music even more into everyone’s lives, and now we have apps and websites that take full advantage of the features modern technology gives us.
Among these features is sharing our music via social media. In this article I’ll be going over what I feel are the best apps/websites for both their music and sharing functions.
Spotify: For Collecting and Sharing
Spotify is a huge music platform. While the free version offers good features on mobile, desktop is where free starts to really shine with the ability to listen to full albums, albeit with advertisements. The Premium model allows this to be done on mobile devices (as well as downloading for offline listening) and desktops without advertisements. Most artists you know of already have their work on Spotify (other than Taylor Swift), so you won’t have much difficulty finding the songs you want.
Spotify also uses Facebook integration. This means creating playlists that can be shared with your friends on Facebook and sharing your music interests with each other. Spotify also has a radio feature, but most people I know aren’t using Spotify for that.
Spotify’s main strength can be found in building collections of music from the same artist and listening to albums in their proper order. While a service like Google Play Music may be a better value for additional YouTube RED benefits, Spotify is far better in terms of its social features.
Soundcloud: For Creating and Finding
Soundcloud isn’t a platform in the way that Spotify (or others like it) are.
Instead, Soundcloud allows artists of all ranges to share their work. Whether it’s through “soundclowning” (wherein people create joke remixes of popular tunes from pop culture or video games laden with memes) or fully original music being created and shared on the platform, Soundcloud is amazing for what it does for artists. While Bandcamp exists for those wishing to sell their work, and many artists use both Soundcloud and Bandcamp for this exact reason, Soundcloud offers an audience for artists who’re just finding their audiences. Browse around Soundcloud sometime; it’s an interesting place.
8Tracks: For Sharing
8Tracks is a social platform for sharing collections of your favorite tunes. While you’re not going to find hidden gems from Soundcloud here or the full album bingeing capabilities of Spotify, you have a platform focused wholly on sharing playlists of various popularity. You can browse these playlists based on artists/genres you listen to as well as whatever abstract search you feel like running at the time.
Monolist: For The Ultimate Playlist
Monolist forgoes just about everything else in favor of being focused solely on making a playlist. It combines YouTube’s endless library with Soundcloud and Bandcamp’s indie lovin’ to make sure that no matter what track you’re looking for, you absolutely can and will be able to put it into a playlist for you and your friends to enjoy. Monolist has the goal of being the ultimate playlist creator by using everything it can from a bunch of different platforms. If you want to put a lot of your favorite music into one playlist but can’t because they aren’t all on the same service, Monolist is probably exactly what you’re looking for.
Sharing your music is a time-honored tradition. From the earlier days of crowding your friends around the radio when your favorite song cand on, to having those songs on digital tape, CD and MP3 players, we’ve finally reached a point where we can share anything we want, instantly, with the power of the Internet.
Social music apps are a primary example of how advancing technology has changed the landscape of something that’s been around for ages. While the base act of putting on a pair of good headphones, leaning back in your chair and letting the music play will probably never change, the devices, sites and services you use to do that have and will continue to.
What do you think? Do you have a preference for any one of these apps? Do you have one in mind I left out? Comment below and give us your thoughts.