Grooveshark is a free online music streaming service that boasts a 7-million-song catalog. Like many other music sites, users can pay a premium to eliminate ads and sync with mobile devices. The site operates much like YouTube - users upload songs that are searchable for everyone. It also has stations like Pandora, where music is recommended by how you rate songs.
Pandora is the radio of the next (now?) generation. Its Music Genome Project is software that uses an algorithm to analyze user's tastes in music and build a playlist suited for that user. Listeners vote on songs they like and eliminate one they don't. Eventually, Pandora should be playing music that matches your taste. The service is free, but you don't get to choose your own playlist.
Slacker Radio is a web-based music streaming service that blends music discovery with user playlists. A really geeky, cool feature for karaoke fans is the integration of song lyrics. The service's big claim to fame is that their logo was designed by Shepard Fairey.
Rdio is a super hip music streaming service that features playlists from blogs like Pitchfork, Indie rock label 4AD records and Vice magazine.
RhapsodyIt may no longer be the hip option if we were judging by age, but Rhapsody has managed to stay kind of cool and stick around since 2001. The service allows users to download any song they want as long as they have a subscription. The company has recently been revamped and has over 800,000 subscribers.
Turntable.fm is a music discovery website that puts the user in party rooms with DJs. Each room accommodates up to five DJs that rotate songs and a chat box keeps the music listening social.
SoundCloud is like the cool kid with all the mix tapes. Known mostly for DJs posting mashups and mixes, the free music streaming site also offers playlists. The slick interface incorporates social elements by allowing users to comment on sections of a track.
Not as well-known as some other music sites, Playlist has a simple concept: search for songs in their system and build playlists. It's sort of like a peer-to-peer streaming music haven. The service searches the Internet for songs that are already posted and streaming online. Users can discover new music and submit links to the file's location. Pretty neat, if you don't mind relying on the fickleness of a web host.
YouTube is like a quiet storm. What began as a hub for random videos became an easy way to upload music with videos, lyrics or images to match. It also became an easy way to catch live shows filmed by cell phones or handheld cameras. The numbers are nothing to scoff at. Justin Beiber launched his career on YouTube and his video "Baby" is one of the most popular videos with over 640 million views.
Sony Entertainment Network
Sony Entertainment Network is a music service that is best for PlayStation 3 owners. The service has a contract with all of the major record labels, so the selection is great. Formerly known as Qriocity, the service has gone through a recent re-design and offers syncing with mobile devices, PlayStation Network and web browser.