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7 Ways To Stream Music to Your Smartphone or Tablet

If there is one area that has been completely revolutionized by the switch to mobile devices, it is the way we listen to music. Although the revolution started with our ability to digitize our own music collections through services such as iTunes, the focus is now on an array of apps that offer almost unlimited on demand streaming, whether it’s from vast music libraries or over-the-Internet radio stations.

On demand music streaming is a great way to hear your favorite tracks, as well as discover new songs and artists. Many of the apps will recommend tracks based on the songs you have previously chosen, and others will offer additional services, such as personalized playlists, video streaming, and social networking tools. Here are 7 of our favorites:


One of the first and still one of the best. Just name a song, artist or genre and Pandora will create a “radio station” that will sound like it was designed just for you. The more you play songs, the more Pandora gets to know you, tailoring future selections to meet your specific musical tastes.

Pandora is free but a $36 annual subscription (or $3.99 per month) will eliminate the ads and provide a higher quality audio experience. Available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

Xbox Music

Xbox Music is basically a two-tier system: the basic music streaming service is free over the Web (although it’s restricted to 10 hours of music a month after the first six months) or you can upgrade to Xbox Music Pass and get unlimited ad-free music streaming across all your devices for $9.99 per month. You can download songs and listen to them offline and Xbox Music will automatically sync your songs across all compatible devices. Available for iOS and Android.

iTunes Radio

Similar to Pandora, iTunes Radio was introduced by Apple during the recent upgrade to iOS 7. You can listen to DJ-curated stations or you can create stations of your own. The more songs you listen to, the more iTunes Radio will personalize your stations. iTunes Radio also comes with featured stations – an eclectic mix of music collections, including everything from Top 100 chart hits to emerging artists. Available for iOS.

Nokia Music

Exclusively available on Nokia’s range of Windows phones, Nokia Music is one of the best music apps available, offering free (and ad-free) unlimited streaming in a variety of different formats, including mix radio, create a mix, offline, and a full music store. You can even get details of upcoming gigs in your home town area. Available on Nokia’s Windows phones.


One of the original music streaming services, Rhapsody now boasts a catalog of over 18 million songs, all of which are accessible ad-free for only $9.99 a month. As long as you are a member, you can also download as many songs as you want to your smartphone or tablet for offline listening.

You can search music by artist, song title or genre; set up playlists; or listen to one of Rhapsody’s 150+ radio stations. Sign-up includes a 30-day free trial period, and membership can be cancelled at any time. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.


Adopting a slightly different approach, Rdio combines the usual music streaming options with a heavy dose of social networking. You can search your Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail contacts to share music with friends and follow their selections, or Rdio will recommend people for you to follow so you “know what’s cool first.”
Rdio offers unlimited web and mobile streaming for $9.99 per month and you can cancel at any time. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

iHeart Radio

Putting the emphasis firmly on radio, iHeart Radio offers unlimited free access to over 1,500 live radio stations from coast-to-coast, including pop, rock, talk, sports and more. You can also pick a song or artist and create your own commercial-free custom radio station. Available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

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