When my boss asked me, “Which service is the best for online music?” I had to admit I didn’t know. To be fair, it wasn’t asked so much as a question, but more like a “Jeff, find this out … and put it into a handy chart form.” But, music service-wise, there are what seems like dozens of options out there, what with Grooveshark, Anoomi, iLike, Jamendo, Jango, Megarock, Pandora, Mwsiq, the Nigerian Music Factory, Radio Croquer, Rainwave, 8tracks, Aupeo!, Deezer, Spotify, Dhingana, Earbits, Fizy, FMGEM, Fuzz, Last.fm, Mflow, MOG, Musicovery, Music Unlimited, Napster, Qobuz, Rara, Rokkify, Saavn, Simfy, Slacker, Soundtracker, Thumbplay, We7, Ubuntu One, Rdio, WiMP, Xbox Music, Yala, Zune Marketplace and Zonga available — and those are just some of the options. I’m just not the man to cover them all. So I decided to narrow the list down a bit.
Picking Spotify, Rdio and Pandora, (why? why not?) I began to analyze between the three as to which one offered the “best bang” for my metaphorical “buck.” Each one has its own critics and fans, so rather than spark a flame war by telling you which one I choose, I will just include this handy chart that took waaaay longer than it ought to have. In short, choose for yourself which one you feel best meets your needs. Though Pandora differs slightly from the other two in format and style, it is the best known of the three stateside, and that alone warrants its inclusion. Spotify, on the other hand, started in Sweden (boo!), but has the largest music library (I’ll be honest though — there is an awful lot of it that is Norwegian Death Metal …). And Rdio? It’s just a straight shooting up-and-comer.
If you absolutely must know which one I use when sitting at work, I’ll give you a hint: I hate filling out forms and I love AC/DC. Sure, as a site, it’s bare bones, but so was rock before that murderer Phil Spector got involved.