It is often tempting to start (or continue adding to) a tangible music collection. There is definitely nostalgia and enjoyment that comes with browsing a record store or CD department in search of an old classic or a new favorite. All too often, though, “physical” music collections take up valuable shelf space in the home and don’t get their fair share of use. Additionally, the existence of a CD uses many resources (plastic for packaging, ink for printing, and fuel for shipping).
Streaming music, rather than purchasing physical copies, is better for a minimalist and sustainable lifestyle, and luckily there are many quality streaming services available.
A few months ago, I subscribed to Pandora Plus for $4.99 a month. I was drawn to Pandora Plus primarily for the “offline” feature, meaning you can stream a few of your favorite stations without using cell phone data. How exciting! For me, this was perfect, especially for the gym and driving on country roads. I wanted my music variety everywhere but I couldn’t keep using my wireless data plan.
The offline music quality is very good; I’ve experienced minimal skips and interruptions. On my phone, there are only four to five stations available at any given time; four are your most-listened-to stations, and the other is your “Thumbprint” radio, a collection of music you’ve thumbed up (is it thumbed up? Or thumbsed up?). This could be because of the amount of storage space on my phone, though. I’ve also noticed that each station loops about 20-30 songs, so once you’ve listened to (or skipped through) every song, the station goes back to the beginning of the queue. This is not ideal, but with four other stations to choose from, you still have quite a bit of variety. (Important to note: the next time your device is connected to WiFi and Pandora is running, the offline stations will “re-sync” and a new playlist of songs will be added to your offline lineup.)
The online listening perks include less advertisements and more skips, both of which I have been pleased with. Overall, I enjoy my subscription to Pandora Plus and would recommend the service to anyone looking for an affordable way to enjoy new music on-the-go, especially in places without WiFi or cell phone reception.
Which streaming services do you enjoy? Let me know in the comments!