Thomas Edison unveiled the phonograph in 1877, and the ingenious idea sparked an audio revolution that has grown by leaps and bytes in less than two centuries.
These days, the multitude of music listening options can be downright confusing!
So today, we’re unpacking all the ways to listen to music at home, work, or in your car.
We deliberately left the technical mumbo jumbo on the cutting room floor because our goal is to help you easily enjoy your favorite tunes.
9 of the Best Ways To Listen to Music in 2023
If you still have a record player and a stack of vinyl, by all means, have at it.
LPs are eternal and have such a unique sound. In fact, they’re making a comeback in “trendier” circles — and audiophiles will insist they never went away.
But if you’re ready to explore music listening in the digital age, pull up a seat.
We’ve outlined nine of the best options, and by the end, you’ll be able to name something you can listen to music on besides the trusty traditional options.
Are you an audiophile? Can you tell the difference between high and low fidelity? If so, Deezer may be the best music-listening option for you, as its claim to fame is superior audio quality.
It’s also compatible with most devices, including Alexa and various Apple and Google products.
How To Use Deezer
- Click on deezer.com to get the app and set up an account.
- Deezer has three tiers: free, premium, and family. Free accounts are fed advertisements; the other two are ad-free experiences.
- Once you’re set up, step one is picking songs, artists, and genres you like. As with other platforms, this allows the engine’s recommendation engine to wrap its head around your tastes to make better suggestions and personalized playlists.
- Note that Deezer’s category navigation bar is at the bottom of the page instead of the top.
- Explore the platform by clicking on artists and categories that suit your fancy.
Tidal is another music streaming platform that differs from the others in a couple of ways. Tidal didn’t offer a free tier in the past, making it less popular. But Tidal execs have been listening, and the service recently added one.
Conversely, those with top-tier accounts enjoy some of the highest-quality sound files of any music streaming service.
Tidal has about 95 million songs and is growing daily. They’re also always trying new ways for listeners to support the artists they love, making it one of the preferred platforms of indie artists.
How To Use Tidal
- Navigate to tidal.com.
- Click on the “Get Started” button.
- You’ll notice there’s no connection option for Google, only Apple, Twitter, and Facebook. If you don’t use any of these, you’ll need to input your email address and create an account manually.
- Once you’re in the backend, Tidal will intuitively guide you through the process.
- If you see a song you want to play, simply point and click.
3. Amazon Music
Amazon Music is one of the many “Prime” services offered by the multi-media-commerce platform. With over 100 million songs, there’s something for all tastes. Impressively, Amazon’s archives contain many deep cuts for avid fans of various genres.
How To Use Amazon Music
- Go to music.amazon.com.
- If it’s your first time visiting the website, you’ll be greeted with a screen asking you to pick the music you like. Choose as many as you want. We recommend not skipping this step because taking the time to record your preferences will lead to a better listening and recommendation experience overall.
- Notice the genre categories at the top of the page. Make sure to pick options from each type you enjoy.
- Once you’re done, the system will usher you to the home page, where you’ll see listening options. It also includes a tab for a personal library. So anytime you like a song that comes on, you can click to add it to your archives.
4. Apple Music
Are you an Apple-electronics person? If so, using Apple Music makes the most sense as it’s compatible with your devices.
Like the other music streaming platforms on the list, it features millions of song titles, podcasts, and audiobooks.
Apple Music also has radio-station-esque channels based on genre and interest in addition to 30,000 pre-made playlists.
How To Use Apple Music
- Head to the Apple Music homepage to download the app.
- If you have multiple devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, MacBook, et cetera), put the app on each to remain synched. That way, you can pick up where you left off regardless of which device you’re using.
- Look for songs and genres you want using the search bar.
- When you come across something you like, click and listen.
Are you a visual person? Do you like to see your favorite artists performing? If so, YouTube is the place to head for your music consumption.
Nearly every record label and performing artist has a YouTube channel, and most are loaded with every music video in a given catalog.
You may suffer through a few ill-timed commercials, but it’s 100% free!
How To Use YouTube
- Navigate over to YouTube.com.
- Type the name of the artist or song you’re interested in hearing.
- A list of options will pop up. Simply click to watch and listen.
You can also save videos in a watch-later queue. To add a video to this list, click the save button under the viewer and click the watch later box.
Arguably, Spotify is the most popular music streaming service currently available — for a good reason. It’s intuitive, boasts nearly 100 million tracks, and it’s also home to many podcasts and audiobook opportunities.
Spotify is a one-stop-shop audio streaming service, and it’s the original mold that all the other streaming platforms copied.
How To Use Spotify
- Go to Spotify.com and create an account.
- The first time you enter, you’ll be asked preference questions. Again, this helps the system’s recommendation elf. The more time you take to do it, the more tailored your experience will be.
- When you get to the homepage, you’ll notice your playlists and libraries on the left-hand side of the screen. Anytime you follow a playlist or podcast, it will create a link in this section, making it easier to find upon return.
- As with all music streaming platforms, simply click on its corresponding play button when you want to hear a tune.
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Sirius XM looks and feels like a car radio, but it’s better.
For starters, it has over 150 crystal clear channels — a vast improvement over the 10 to 12 stations ordinarily available on a car radio. And with that many options, there’s something for everyone. Sirius is an excellent option for folks who enjoy talk radio because the network hosts dozens of 24-7 chat channels.
How To Use SiriusXM
- First, choose your plan on the SiriusXM website. You can pick and pay for it all online.
- Once you’re signed up, head here for instructions on how to activate your account.
- Once installed, using Sirius is like using an old-fashion radio — especially if you’re in your car. Otherwise, it works like any other streaming service, with a point-and-click user interface.
Understand that Sirius XM is one of the more complicated options to set up, but that shouldn’t scare you away. Take each step of the instructions slowly, and you should be fine.
If not, the company maintains a helpful customer service fleet who are always ready to lend a hand. Depending on where you live, it may be possible to have a tech come and help in person.
Alexa is a semi-sentient robot living on counters and shelves worldwide. A multi-talented entity, Alexa can tell you the day’s weather and news, read audiobooks, and serve as your in-house DJ.
As an Amazon product, Alexa mostly pulls from that platform’s music service (which we discussed above), but you can also hook other feeds to her data bank, including Spotify.
How To Use Alexa
- First, think of what song or type of music you want to hear.
- Next, to activate Alexa, say her name.
- Then tell her your listening choices.
- For example, a “conversation” may sound like: “Alexa, play The Beatles” or “Alexa, play ‘All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey.’”
Pandora is another cloud-based streaming service similar to Spotify and X. Of all the options, the brains behind Pandora are probably the most passionate about matching people with music they like.
In fact, the company enlisted musicologists from around the world to analyze tracks using 450 musical attributes. Called the Music Genome Project, the study advanced human understanding of why people enjoy the music they do.
As you may imagine, what sets Pandora apart is that it goes above and beyond when pairing you with playlists.
How To Use Pandora
- Head to pandora.com.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page to download the app for either android or Apple.
- Like other services, when you first log in, it’ll ask you to define your music tastes by picking artists and genres you prefer.
With all the available music listening options in today’s market, you never need to go without pleasant tunes. Granted, getting used to digital music platforms may take a bit of time, but you’ll get the hang of it.
Just think how impressed your grandkids will be when they discover you know your way around the digital music sphere!