When Napster effectively killed the music industry so many years ago, who’d have thought that it would be digital music that would signal the resurgence of the very same industry a few years later (albeit with a completely different look)? While the music industry would prefer that you buy each track individually (or worse, by the antiquated ‘album’ bundle), there are a host of subscription services that give you buffet-style access to all the music you can listen to.
Mashable put together quite an interesting infographic recently, comparing new-to-the-U.S. Spotify, MOG, Rhapsody, Slacker, Rdio, and Grooveshark. Interestingly, Last.FM, Pandora, and Zune were left out of this comparison, though perhaps because they’re all so limited in one way or another.
Spotify is the darling of the tech world right now, and honestly, it’s pretty cool. While I live in the U.S., I was able to test Spotify out back in 2009, and was quite impressed, mainly with the social playlist feature.
While I’ve used (and still periodically use) Last.FM, Pandora, Spotify, Zune, Google Music, and a few others, I still fall back on my locally-stored music collection. Sure, at 23k tracks, I don’t have nearly the selection that some of these services do, but I have plenty, anyways. I can also listen to them on my iPod Classic, which I bought for very specific reasons. I only have to charge my iPod Classic twice a week or so, and I listen to it literally non-stop at work all day. I can also listen to all of my music on my iPod Classic without having to worry about connectivity, which is a huge bonus.
Unfortunately, the problem is that it’s difficult for me to discover anything new. My iPod isn’t connected, as mentioned above, and I don’t listen to FM radio anymore, ever (if I can help it). The biggest benefit of these subscription services is the ability to easily check out new music, risk-free.
What’s your take? Do you also prefer your own curated, private collection of music, or do you think the freedom of these new batch of subscription music services is too good to ignore?