solo2 beats

The future of digital music is anything but certain, even less so given that fewer and fewer people nowadays choose to buy MP3s and physical CDs amid the proliferation of streaming services spearheaded by Spotify, the popular music-streaming service hailing from Sweden.

Of course, Spotify is but one in the sea of local and global music sources vying for your attention.

On top of Spotify and the likes of Pandora and Rdio are incumbents such as Apple, Amazon and Google that offer both à la carte song downloads and all-you-can-eat subscriptions. We’re interested to learn about our readership’s favorite music sources and are kindly inviting you to jump past the fold and cast your vote.

Here’s the poll.

Various reports have indicated that Apple’s been hard at work integrating Beats Music with iTunes and the Music app on the iPhone and iPad.

According to one report, Apple’s Music app in iOS 9 will let you stream songs from both iTunes Radio and Beats Music. You’ll be able to mark specific tracks to store on your device, or keep all songs solely in the cloud.

The Playlists, Activities and Mixes features of Beats Music will carry over into the iOS Music app, bringing Beats’ human-curated playlists to fit various activities.

Beats Music

Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac learned that the Cupertino firm will update Beats’ social networking features, “allowing people to follow other users and artists as they did with the failed Ping social music network.”

I became a big proponent of iTunes immediately following its debut more than a decade ago. Whereas the iTunes Store’s then revolutionary 99-cent-a-song model provided instant gratification, it’s gotten old in the tooth now.

The music purchasing decision comes down to the simple choice: do I burn ten or more bucks on a single album download or put my money toward a streaming service like Spotify to stream millions of songs to my heart’s content, for the monthly price of an album on iTunes?

Speaking of streaming, I fear that a true subscription music-streaming service from Apple, even if based on Beats technology, would be way overdue. The company has made a big mistake sitting on the sidelines, watching how the streaming thing would unfold before finally deciding to join the fray.

iTunes Beta (Music)

It’s too late now.

Spotify has become a platform and therein lies a major hurdle for Tim Cook & Co. Spotify is now supported across dozens of popular third-party apps and services like, for example, Algoriddim’s djay which tremendously boosts its value proposition, appeal and ubiquitousness.

I just don’t see Apple opening up its music catalogue to third-parties and turning iTunes into a platform anytime soon.


  • Anmol Malhotra

    Torrent Sites are included in ‘Other’ Sources right? :p

    • Chocolatewe


    • Fanboy 

      Torrent sites>upload to iTunes Match>download matched song= iTunes, right? ;-D

      • MHCsk

        That can be done?

      • Fanboy 

        Well, iTunes Match will replace your library of music with the HQ iTunes encoded versions (for $25/year). Where you get your music from is your business I do not condone any such activities 🙂

        But the answer is yes. lol

      • I haven’t used it, but I’m pretty sure it can be done without torrenting anything 😉 Just make proper ID3 tags in any music file and Match should replace it with the iTunes Store version by comparing those metadata. Although I’m not sure, just an idea.

      • Timothy

        I think iTunes checks the contents in some way, too—maybe the sonic footprint, maybe just the length. But I think it can’t just be any song.

      • Evan Swick

        More than likely, seeing as Apple works with Shazam to allow Siri to tell you what song is playing. I’ll bet they use the same technology in iTunes Match.

    • Bugs Bunnay

      Damn straight

      • jake kneller

        Torrents are really my favorite place haha

    • SoylentGreen

      61 up-votes tells a story

  • MHCsk

    I used to download music from other sources for loong time, but that was just too time consuming. Now I just add the song I want to my Spotify playlist and I’m good.

    • jake kneller

      If you don’t have premium check out Spotify bday I used that till I purchased premium

  • Lawry

    Mp3skull 😉

  • Jonathan

    I bought Spotify premium when they were offering a Christmas special. 3 months of premium for $0.99
    Couldn’t pass that up, just gotta unsubscribe before times up and they bill me the normal $9.99 a month.

    • Xee


      • Jonathan

        Answered another person. ^

    • Jose Gonzalez

      Same here!

      • Jonathan

        Response above ^

      • Jose Gonzalez


      • Anmol Malhotra

        I think there’s a confusion. :p
        You replied him for Spotify thing but he thought you are asking the ques which i asked above and replied him with Same here! :p
        This happened with person below my comment too. :p

      • Jonathan

        OHHH duh… thanks. xD Yep.

      • Jose Gonzalez

        I see. LOL

    • Anmol Malhotra

      Hi Jonathan! 🙂
      I wanna know how nintype will work on 4S?
      Was thinking to buy it but couldn’t spend 5 bucks without knowing how it will perform on it. I know you are a beta tester too so i wanted to ask you.

      • Jonathan

        Someone just asked that on Nintype’s Reddit page. They complain of slowness, even with zen mode enabled. (disables battery hogging animations but will improve performance) He said it didn’t make much of a different, but hasn’t commented about how disable retina mode is working.
        I have an iPod Touch 5, which has the exact sam specs as a 4s (A5 chip and 500 MB of RAM) and it runs great. I don’t have anything turned off either, and it still runs like a beast. What I’m mostly surprised though, is that it opens the fastest of all the 3rd party keyboards I’ve tried. I only notice lag from spotlight with the keyboard. Animations are choppy. But everywhere else, very smooth.

        Conclusion? Go for it. Choppy? Try disabling retina mode.

      • Anmol Malhotra

        Okay. So i’m gonna buying it. 😀
        I hope i will be able to learn it. Many complain about not able to type fast using it. Lets see how i will perform. Any tips?

      • Jonathan

        Yes. Don’t let the settings scare you. He’s working on a simple mode. There’s TONS of stuff, and it will take a while to learn it all. I’ve used it for 2 years, and I’m very comfortable with it. Autospace with 2finger typing will be a challenge for you. So, expect mistakes. 😛

      • Cesar D

        What iOS version are you using? It lags as hell on my iTouch iOS 8.0.2

        I have some tweaks enabled but I’ve heard that 8.1.3 improves 3rd party keyboard support.

      • Jonathan

        8.1.2 not jailbroken. I was jailbroken on 8.1.1 and it still run well. Took a second or 2 longer to load, but still ran very well.

        8.3 is heard to really improve 3rd party keyboard performance.

    • Buzz { Light:Year; }

      Just use BDSpotify.

      • Jonathan

        I’d rather pay for it.

      • Buzz { Light:Year; }

        Not when it’s free. At least for me

      • Jonathan

        I’d rather be honest..

      • Buzz { Light:Year; }

        I’m being honest

  • Xee

    Deezer and Spotify currently.

  • Riccardo Bello

    I just use Spotify Free.. I also used to download music *cough*from youtube*cough* and then put it on my phone.. but now I just shuffle play my ‘Favourites’ playlist! Ads are OK.. I don’t care about having them between my music. It’s worth it.

  • Merman123

    I have a Spotify Student Premium Account. $4.99 is a bargain, I’d say. Waiting on Apple’s next move with Beats Music.

    • JustReboot

      ^ This… been working for me / ‘specially w/Unlimited data 🙂

  • Joey

    Spotify premium, got it free with my mobile plan.

  • Buzz { Light:Year; }

    THEPIRATEBAY should have its own selection.

  • Daniel Beecham

    the pirate bay ajwajwjawjawj!!!!

  • Jake1047s

    Beatport is a big one

  • Andres

    Link Tunes, Jailbreak tweak

  • InfinitePlusOne

    Good old Google 😉

  • Jailbreak Guru

    Does anybody use Vkonatakte like me?

  • im2slick4u

    If Apple made a streaming service they would lose a significant amount of iTunes sales. Google Play and Amazon MP3 never had what iTunes had so creating an unlimited streaming service made sense for them. iTunes’ current model makes more money than an instant streaming program. If Apple already has people buying music instead of using a subscription plan why would they switch to what makes less money? Google Play would love to have more people buying music than streaming, they just don’t have the customer base so they had to resort to the streaming service. From a consumer standpoint most of us, including myself, would love to see an iTunes unlimited streaming platform, it just doesn’t make sense for Apple’s growth at the moment.

  • Paul Edmund

    Pandora. It plays the stuff I like.

  • Tom

    ‘Other’ and Beats Music <3

  • Spotify and Grooveshark for streaming and iTunes and Beatport when I want to buy music. Torrent sites when I would like to buy music but don’t want to support the ridiculous labels and anti-piracy companies.

  • JulianZH

    chinese music app called Duomi. high quality streaming and “other”. free.

    • Payaso

      Thank you so much! It’s like Spotify with j-music, thank you for letting me know about Duomi.

  • Juan Sanchez Ruiz

    kickass & vibecloud

  • dudeimmexican

    6 months of free Google Play Music and free Spotify (thank you tweak)

  • Skoven

    Deezer iOS + Flex 2
    Deezer Mac + a plist editor
    + Russian torrent site for Lossless files.

  • iPodDroid

    Still get my tunes off iTunes and other “Sources” 😛

  • Jay Phillips

    I make my own music. Mashups baby!

  • Byron C Mayes

    Yeah! Let’s hear it for “Other Sources!”

  • Ken B.

    Preview = Spotify
    Purchase = iTunes

  • jake kneller

    iTunes pandora downloaded Spotify and this sick app/torrent downloaded on my computer

  • The Guy

    Depends on what you listen to…I listen to a lot of jungle, classical piano and jazz, so TuneIn radio with shoutcast has channels geared to those specific tastes, but if you’re more into mainstream then Spotify or iTunes radio is your best bet. I don’t really download music much anymore.

  • pietje puk

    for a long time now the newsgroups. easy and fast!

  • Tommy

    Lookup the Duomi app. You don’t even need torrents. With that Chinese app, you can download any song you wish (plenty of English songs) directly into the iPhone. Go China! lol
    PS: you’d need to understand Chinese to use the app tho.

  • Mallouk Malek

    ” OTHER ” source seems to be dominating, it seems piracy wins lol

  • SoylentGreen

    Ooo no options for full freeloaders like myself? Well i use linktunes or safari downloader to extrapolate the goodies out of you tube videos.
    Ps. I pay the ferryman when my feet hit dry land at the otherside, and these services are the real pirates, music is free, has been since the days of placing a ‘land line phonecall’ to connect to the web & watch napster d/l tracks at 2i s a pop. Afaic these big music companies are crooks, i wont give them any of my money, no chance, unless its a cd for my son, i paid my corn on vinyl.

  • SoylentGreen

    It Just occurred to me, that this thread brought the ‘free’ music lovers right out the closet, but use a pirate tweak & its “stone him to death”
    Ps. 1v1 they won’t look you in the eye, but when the packs’ around there’s a battle-cry

  • eigenlaut

    fascinating to see Xbox Music rarely used as it compares to spotify in price and surpasses it in title amount

  • ispeakout

    I’m surprised that Rdio has got just 1% vote share. It’s great for music discovery, provides 320 kbps AAC SQ for premium members. Moreover, it has an absolutely stunning app. Wonder why it doesn’t get the love that it deserves!

  • M2

    from a torrent site. This should be an option on the survey.