How do you listen to music now?

Music sure has changed quite a bit, hasn’t it?

I think it’s middle school when kids start really paying attention to music. Usually top 40 at that point; then their taste slowly grows. When I was that age I mostly bought cassettes. That was until I got a CD player in high school and that was pretty much my main source of music until I went to the iPod dark side.

Now it’s all streaming. From what I gather the people that really take their music seriously are most happy with Spotify but I don’t want to pay $10 a month.

For my wife and I we’ve been happy with mostly CDs, a streaming service called Songza and playlists we’ve made for our phones. Pandora was okay for a while but ther were just too many ads after awhile.

Songza was great because it would usually just play one short ad before the playlist started. Sometime it would play another when you switched playlists, but that was about it. I liked their curated playlists.

Then Google Play Music bought Songza and there was still only one ad on Songza but it’a a long one promoting Google’s version and it gets old. For a few weeks I’ve been using Google Play Music and have been happy with it for the most part. It has the same basic playlists as Songza with a few more features and lets you add your own music as well.

But today it’s just FULL of ads. It’s never been like that before. I’m hoping it’s a temporary thing.

Now like I said, middle school seems to be the time when you start wanting your own music (and you mostly want what everyone else has, which is fine). My daughter has hit that age and asked about Spotify the other day. I told her Spotify was awesome but I wasn’t ready to commit to $10 a month so we looked around.

Being a member of Amazon Prime lets yu use their music streaming service. When it first came out it was okay, but not as good a Songza. The main benefit was that it would synch with your iTunes library and there were some songs and albums that were “free” for Prime members.

We tried that out and that was the ticket. It has a lot more music now. Also, now that my kid knows more of what she likes I could shave her iTunes music to just the songs she was interested in. Then we went to look at the top downloaded Amazon Prime songs and there was a good bit she was delighted with.

Prime also lets you download this stuff, including some of the whole playlists, for out-of-wifi-listening. So that’s awesome. It’s not as all-inclusive as Spotify but it comes with our already paid for membership and if she gets either iTunes OR Amazon gift cards she can easily add music that’s not “Prime.” It’ll also be easy for her to curate and delete and add songs as the moods strikes her without becoming a technical pain in the butt or too expensive.

If you LOVE music and want full access to pretty much everything and can afford it, I think Spotify is your ticket.

For me, I’ll keep checking on Google Play and using more of the Amazon Music services. For my daughter, Amazon Music is the current sweet spot. At least for right now. I’m sure it’ll all be different in a year…