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5 streaming music services you might have overlooked

Anthony Domanico | May 22, 2014
The streaming music scene seems like it's ruled by a few heavyweights, with Pandora, Spotify, and Rdio slugging it out for your hearts, minds, and eardrums. But that's only part of the picture. Just as several lower-profile video streaming services vie with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, music streaming services you've probably never heard of are looking for ways to make their mark with features the established players don't offer.

What could be better: Songza's creative music selection is solid, but its apps are known for straining your device's battery.

8tracks

Most of today's streaming services aim to provide expert or algorithm-developed playlists. 8tracks is different. Users either create a mix of at least eight songs or listen to mixes created by other users. Tons of user-created mixes span multiple genres, so it's easy to find hours and hours of music to keep the party going.

A free service, 8tracks has apps for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry, as well as a smattering of third-party apps for other platforms. The premium 8tracks plus offering removes ads for $50 per year.

What's good about 8tracks: The ability to enjoy user-created mixes gives 8tracks a unique social component: You can follow users who make mixes you enjoy.

What could be better: Each of 8tracks apps are well designed, but I found it difficult to find content among the sea of playlists out there. Better search tools would greatly improve the experience.

 

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