Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library
Ransom District Library

Free Music

While Ransom District Library no longer holds a subscription to Freegal, there are many other options for listening to free music available on the internet.  Music streaming plays music through a continuous stream (imagine that!) of data rather than downloading a file to your device to play later without data.  Music is now very widely available across the internet.  Some of the services below are truly free and some are considered “freemium” services.  “Freemium” means that you have the option of a free subscription or a paid subscription if you sign up.  Generally, a paid subscription will remove advertisements, improve the quality of audio, and sometimes even allow for offline listening.  Feel free to explore some of the options below:

Spotify is a streaming service for music, podcasts, and videos.  This is a ‘fremium’ service.  This service is available as an application for smartphones and tablets as well as on a Windows or Apples computer.  Spotify offers approximately 20 million songs, allows for playlist creation, and has a radio feature that will generate a random selection of songs based on specific selections such as genre.

Pandora is music streaming and music recommendations.  It will play certain music based on artist selection.  As a user, you give positive or negative feedback per song and Pandora uses these preferences to select songs in the future.  Pandora is also ‘freemium’.  With either a free or paid account, the user is given a limited number of ‘skips’ – more if you pay.  Pandora is available on smartphones, computers, and on other media systems such as Roku.

iHeartRadio is a free internet radio service.  While it offers customized stations with limitations just like Pandora, it also will stream multiple local radio stations from across the United States and even from some other countries.  iHeartRadio is also available on smartphones, computers, and some other media systems such as Roku.

TuneIn Radio offers over 100,000 real radio stations as well as millions of on demand programs and podcasts.  While users do not create their own custom stations, there are plenty to choose from of all genres and locations.  TuneIn is technically ‘freemium’, but the free version offers quite a bit.  It is available on computers, smartphones, and other devices such as Roku and tablets.

8tracks is both an internet radio website and a social network.  The concept of the website is to explore user-created playlists.  With an account, you can also create your own playlists and keep them private or share them with the rest of the site.  Many playlists follow themes or genres.  This is a free service.  They have just introduced a paid-subscription option, but its features are limited.  Currently, it only removes advertisements.  This service can be used on a computer, smartphones, or tablets.

Jango is a free online music streaming service similar to Pandora.  Users create and share custom radio stations by choosing an artist.  The site then will play other artists that are similar.  You can customize your station even more by rating songs and artists to adjust the frequency with which they are played.  There is also a social networking aspect in that the site will “match” you with other users who appear to have a similar taste in music as you.  This service is available on the computer as well as in an app for smartphones and tablets.

Slacker Radio is another online music streaming service.  It can be accessed through a computer or through an app for smartphones and tablets.  It allows you to create and customize your own stations.  You can start with music from a similar artist as many other sites offer, or you can begin with one of their pre-programmed stations and tweak it to your liking from there.  The free account is advertisement-supported, with an average of one thirty-to-sixty second ad for every for or five songs.  There are paid subscriptions available with extended features as well.

YouTube can be a great resource for listening to music.  Many artists upload their songs and music videos to YouTube for their listeners to access.  YouTube operates as a website as well as through mobile devices either in browser or in an app.  You will be amazed at what you can find.  With an account, you have the ability to comment and rate videos as well as create your own playlists.


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Ransom District Library - 180 S. Sherwood Ave. - Plainwell, Michigan 49080
Phone: 269-685-8024 - Hours: Mon-Thurs: 10-7 - Fri & Sat: 10-5 - Sun: 1-5

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