The way in which music has been recorded and listened to has changed over the period of a century and a half. First there were cylinder recordings, then the phonograph, then the audio cassette, ten the CD—and now the countless recordings, both old and new, that can be listened to on YouTube, Grooveshark, MySpace and other websites. Countless apps have also been designed for people to download the music that they like and listen to it over and over again, all the while “on the go.” I will describe some of the top ones here, and leave it to you to judge which is the kind for you. Just remember that you will need your headphones to listen to it!
I mentioned Grooveshark among the music downloading websites above. On such sites the user can organize his songs into playlists to make them easier to find—I myself have playlists for country, bluegrass, oldies, rock music, rap music, ragtime and jazz, Spanish-language music, folk music and many others. With the mobile app, available at mobile.grooveshark.com and compatible with the Palm, Nokia, Blackberry, iPhone and other Android devices, you can take that music with you and “experience music without borders.” (The Nokia platform, though, is no longer in active development.)
Unlike YouTube and Grooveshark, Rhapsody is a service that you have to subscribe to, at a cost of $5 per month, and is available in the United States only. Their mobile app have also been created and is available at http://www.rhapsody.com/what-is-rhapsody/where/mobileapps.html for a free trial. If you are a member, then you can download the music directly to your phone.
Music from this site can be heard in high quality. No purchase or registration in necessary and no restrictions apply. All the recordings are in the forms of mp3s. The app can be downloaded from http://www.music-oasis.com/download/Audio/Music-Oasis/?f=WTy8ubMkS&a=6591&adid=14741169320.
The Android Market has recently been acquired by Google and taken on the new name of Google Play. You can get millions of songs and channels free of advertisements, but you need a premium subscription. You can view new releases and search for songs in the collection or in your library. May be downloaded at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sony.snei.mu.phone&hl=en.
Other apps are also marketed at Google Play, including Royal Hip Hop, from the world’s number one site for rap and hip hop music (99¢), and Mobion Music Premium, where you can create your own functions and add them to your playlist, create karaoke lyrics and use a music auto-correct feature to make any corrections to your music data.
Freeware Pocket PC
A number of apps may be acquired from freewarepocketpc.net. One is Open Web Radio, on which you can listen to Internet radio in almost any country in the world. More than 7,000 stations are included. The modern version includes corrections to errors from the previous one. Open Web Radio has received a rating of three and a half stars.
Elephy Engine, whose logo is an elephant, lets you search for mp3 files online with its search engine, to which the app’s makers are currently trying to add more sites. All sites are sought for the desired file so that you can have it within a second! This will save you a great deal of time going from one site to another in search of something that you want to hear. Rating: two and a half stars.
SciLorsGrooveMobile, currently in its alpha version, is also a Grooveshark application for Windows Mobile. Both local and online playlists are included.
Many music storeowners are concerned about the proliferation of music downloads. They fear that it is bad for their business. Why buy CDs from a store when you can get their contents for free online? The local music storeowner in my hometown has a sign behind him on the wall that says, “SAY NO TO DOWNLOADS.” I really think that downloads are a great thing to have—after all, you only get want you want and if you dislike something, no money has been wasted.