If you have a smartphone and you like music you probably have either Pandora or Spotify music apps.
You can use the Pandora app or website to listen free, get suggestions, create a station based on a song or artist/composer.
Listeners can also give the tracks they like a “thumbs-up” to get more suggestions based on that track or a “thumbs-down” to skip tracks (up to six times a day) similar to the one you are playing and shuffle stations together to listen to a mix of music.
You can share your stations with friends.
It also boasts a service called Pandora Premiers where listeners can access full-length albums before official release.
Pandora Premiers allows you to listen to an album with no limits on time a track plays or the track order.
Pandora also offers a pay service called Pandora One for listening without the interruption of ads, getting more skips per day (though not per station) and listening longer without the station pausing, it costs $4.99 a month.
Spotify is also a free service and has similar features to Pandora: likes and dislikes of tracks on the radio setting (which includes ads), six skips every hour, searching for a song or artist and sharing tracks and stations with friends – but that’s where the similarities end.
Spotify can sync with your device to listen to tracks and add them to playlists.
It also offers the ability to add specific tracks to specific playlists, not just stations, so listeners don’t have the annoyance of being surprised with an unwanted track while listening.
You also get to see a list of what songs will be playing so you don’t get surprised by a track.
You can listen to just one artist, one album, one song in some cases.
This isn’t an app for music discovery as much as it is for targeted listening.
Spotify also offers paid subscriptions but implements a tier system.
Premium allows users to forego ads, the streaming quality increases, you are given the ability to listen offline, you can use Connect to play Spotify on speakers, your television, or in the car, plus all of the free features, for $9.99.
With unlimited you get all of these features for web-use only, but ads are still present in the mobile version and tablet, along with all of the free features.
If you are a student, you can get the premium subscription service for $4.99 a month, the same price as Pandora.
So what do students prefer?
“Spotty because I can search songs and listen to them,” said Aaron Mathis, former Delta Student.