Students find their own beat with multiple music apps


For all of human history, music has been a significant part of human culture, but the way we listen to it is always changing. From the phonograph to the radio to our entire music libraries being accessible on one tiny device, it is difficult to keep up with the best way to stream your tunes. These apps are how Staples students keep up with the latest hits.


Spotify is in direct competition with iTunes for its quick and reliable access to practically any song instantly. The major difference between the apps is that iTunes requires users to pay $1.29 for each song, while Spotify has a $9.99 monthly subscription where users can stream endless songs without ads and without having internet connection.

“I’d say that I like [Spotify] even more than iTunes because, if you get the premium version, it’s literally the same thing [as iTunes],.” Hayley Foote ’17 said. “Plus, it has tons of public playlists where you can listen to and find good music that iTunes doesn’t have.”

However, Spotify isn’t perfect. Foote added, “If you don’t have premium, it doesn’t let you listen to songs offline,which is annoying. Unlike Spotify, iTunes has everything.”


On Pandora, users can choose a song, artist, genre or album that they like, and Pandora will create a playlist based on the users’ predilections. However, it does have its downsides. “You can only skip so many songs, so if one doesn’t sit right with you, sometimes you’re going to have to sit through it anyway,” Tova Byrne ’15, a Pandora user, said. But it does have its upsides. “I’ve accidentally discovered a lot of good music as a result,” she said.


What makes SoundCloud different from the aforementioned apps is that it gives users the ability to post their own sounds and repost songs created by other people. SoundCloud rose to popularity after its 2007 establishment in Berlin, Germany, and has been the place for up-and-coming musicians, such as Chance the Rapper and Skizzy Mars, to post their mixtapes in order to generate more buzz. “SoundCloud is a great community for a lot of underground music,” Nick Ribolla ’16 said. “Pretty much anyone who’s into electronic music uses it, seeing as most of the artists on the site you can’t find on any other streaming service,” Ribolla continued.

But like any great streaming service, it does have its drawbacks.

“The problem with SoundCloud is that they don’t really give you the feeling of having a library, or rather a collection, of music, like iTunes does,” Ribolla said.

Beats Music

Arguably the least known music app, Beats Music was developed in 2012 and was purchased by Apple for $3 billion in May 2014.

After paying $9.99 per month, users can stream over 20 million songs instantly, and receive song suggestions based on the tunes you have previously listened to. One downside, however, is the songs will disappear after your subscription expires.

Although Beats Music is relatively new, its users remain loyal to it. “It’s like a fresh, new little Spotify,” Byrne said. “You can get it in a family plan, so you don’t have to buy individual premium accounts for each member of your family. Also, Beats is really, really good at constantly improving upon suggesting music.