A roundup of the five best music streaming apps available for Apple’s iPad.
Apple’s iPad has a provided an exciting new glimpse into the future of portable entertainment, and it’s no surprise that many are looking for music streaming apps to enjoy and discover new music wherever and whenever they choose.
All of the apps that follow are free, and each have their own compelling reasons for using them. I’ll go over them one and by one so that you can decide which best suits your needs.
Who knows, maybe you’ll end up downloading and installing more than one (cough, turntable.fm).
For the free user it’s a radio station like Pandora and Last.fm where you can listen to music based on artist, song, or genre. With Slacker you can choose the “Create Custom Station” feature to add music, rate songs and otherwise fine tune your station(s) as you go along.
Pro? A recently introduced ESPN Radio feature that offers an interactive, programmed ESPN station (essential for football season).
Con? On-demand music access requires a Slacker Premium Radio subscription.
Pandora is a standard radio station-type music streaming service where you choose a station based on artist, song, composer, or genre and Pandora compiles playlist for you to hear based upon your selection(s).
Pandora’s “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” feature allows you to tell it which types of artists, songs, or composers it should play more or less of. Create playlists to share with others, or share links to favorites songs via Facebook, Twitter, and via eMail.
Pro? Streaming comedy channels and a recently lifted cap on monthly listening usage.
Cons? Lack of on-demand music selection, but you can upgrade for $36 a year.
Deezer is another jukebox-type music streaming service whereby you can choose between artist-based, themed radio channels, and a “SmartRadio” that fits your taste.
The only problem is that it’s only available to users in France and the UK, so unless you plan on using a proxy server from one of these countries you’ll have to choose a different app.
Pros? Simple to use and wide selection of music.
Cons? Lack of on-demand streaming (unless you upgrade to Deezer Premium+) and the fact that it’s limited to users in France and the UK.
The Last.fm app, though not designed specifically for the iPad, is probably the most popular music streaming service around, and thus worthy of inclusion.
What sets it apart is the ability to fine tune your listening experience by adding a combination of multiple artists (up to 3) and tags (classical piano or 60s jazz).
If you don’t know what you want to listen to you can use Last.fm to track the music your added friends have been playing for ideas.
Pros? Multiple tags option and friend recommendations.
Cons? Lack of music on-demand streaming.
Alright, so not only is this not an iPad exclusive app nor is it a traditional music streaming service app, but it makes up for it in spades by essentially putting a portable music club at your fingertips.
If you haven’t heard about it already, Turntable.fm is a revolutionary new social music platform. It’s a place where music fans can take turns playing DJ with other users in a given room (sorted by genre) or simply sit and back and listen while others play. There’s a chatroom feature available so that you can talk to others in the room about what’s being played or what you’d like to hear, for example.
Pros? Interactive music streaming experience.
Cons? Can’t think of any!
What’s your favorite music streaming app for the iPad?