Frugal Options for Music Lovers

by AJ Pettersen · 8 comments

Songs can remind us of the past, bringing us to that time just by a feeling they provoke. I know I tie a lot of positive (and negative) memories to the sounds that surrounded me at the time. Many people enjoy listening to tunes on the way to work, during exercise or to relax before bed. Music used to be sold only in hard copies – records, 8 tracks, tapes, CDs. Now it can be found electronically through the use of new technology. There are a number of different ways to listen to your favorite tunes and various costs associated with each option. Where do you get your music?

Buying Your Music


The introduction of the iPod by Apple revolutionized the music industry. It made large quantities of music available at the touch of a button. Now you can buy music off of their platform, iTunes, for between $0.99 and $1.29. With this purchase you have complete access to the song whenever you want it. Each song can be shared a set number of times with other iTunes users as well.

Online Radio

Don’t like the hassle of making playlists or finding new music? Services like Pandora and Slacker Radio shuffle through songs based on certain criteria. Find a station you enjoy and you will find new releases that are similar to your interests. Pandora is free of cost and is available on a number of platforms, such as smartphones, iPads and PCs. Every few songs are split up by a short commercial, which allows these radio services to stay free. The only stipulation is that an available internet or data connection is needed to run the platform.

Online Streaming

Another new development in music has been online streaming sites. These services allow you to pick all of your own music and make playlists like iTunes. But like online radio, they need an internet connection for streaming to work. I used a site called Grooveshark in college to listen to music in my dorm room. It was convenient because I always had a connection in my room and I could choose the music I wanted. They also allowed me to listen to a song in full before deciding if I wanted to purchase it on iTunes. Spotify is a new site/application providing the same option, so check that out too.

YouTube offers a similar service with their playlists. You can make and save playlists and listen to them with or without watching the video. Most new songs are available on the site, making it another free alternative.

What Do You Use?

I use a combination of these services. Whenever I online and I am looking for some new music, I use Pandora. If I am at the computer, then I go to YouTube. When I know I want to take a song with me, I turn to iTunes and my iPod. What do you use for your music?

Disclaimer: I didn’t mention illegal downloading, which is the wrong way to consume music. This practice is illegal, and not something you want to do.

It’s a great time to be a frugal music lover, because there are so many options these days. What’s your favorite way to listen to music?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Shane says:

    I use them all Itunes, pandora spotify playlist. I can’t live without my music!

  • I mostly use iTunes as well as Amazon. It’s excellent to be able to buy personal music ever since iTunes created it possible. I also pay attention to web stations quite often too since it hardly uses up any information and can keep it operating on the part all the time

  • Jean says:

    I mostly use iTunes as well as Amazon. It’s great to be able to buy individual songs ever since iTunes made it possible. I also listen to web radio quite often too since it barely uses up any bandwidth and can keep it running on the side all the time.

    -Jean

  • Mike says:

    I have a friend who buys online, and willingly shares it with me.

    • Kiwikid says:

      Which is illegal. So, would you have any objections if, say, someone you know came and borrowed your (perhaps hypothetical) lawnmower, permanently? No of course not, you’re so altruistic you’d just go out and buy a new one. Yeah Right!

  • I can’t stream music at work and it takes too much data for my phone. I normally just listen to the radio in my car but if there is a song I really want to hear I will use grooveshark.

  • Jules says:

    I’m considering a Spotify account. It’s sort of like iTunes, except the songs stay online and you can access them whenever you have Internet. The free account has ads, but I’m thinking about getting the $5 or $10/month account, because you don’t have to deal with ads.

  • Patty says:

    You forgot the library. If I hear a tune, I check out itunes, then place a request from the library. If I like the disk I buy it, only certain songs, I just buy them. Or I just listen to the disk and return it.

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