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As I’ve said in the past, one of the things I use my phone for the most is listening to music. I used to have a dedicated music player, but since the Zune HD went away, so did my hopes of always carrying a device specifically suited to my music needs. Since the demise of that particular piece of hardware (and, more recently, even the software), I had to consolidate devices, and start using the music offered on my phone. Thankfully, getting music onto a phone has never really been hard. But now, in today’s app-filled market, finding a way to listen to music on your phone has never been easier.

I asked in the past for all of you to help me pick the perfect streaming music service, and you all did a great job in giving me a nice pros and cons list between Spotify and Rdio. But, as we are all aware of, those two services aren’t the only ones out there. There are several options to choose from, especially when we break it down based on whether or not you want to listen to advertisements while you stream music, or skip them with some monetary supplements.

It could also come down to whether or not you want to stream music only, or if you want to download the tracks onto your device to listen locally, and without having to always be connected to your network. (Or, you know, if you just don’t want to eat up your precious data allowance.)

I was using Spotify for quite some time, until I switched back to Windows Phone 7.5, and finally got my hands back on Zune. I’ve just grown accustomed to Microsoft’s music offering, and I’m kind of in love with the software’s aesthetics, too. I just like it. So when Xbox Music launched, and I went to the Lumia 920, it all just made sense. I kept my monthly subscription, kept my music, and just kept on listening. All is well and good.

But now, for the time being, I’m back on with Spotify. Actually, to be exact, I just switched over to Rdio, and I’m giving that a go. Thankfully, since all of these services are focused on the cloud, I’m able to switch back and forth and not have to worry about my music library going away, even if I do stop paying the monthly subscription to be able to download them onto my device.

But there are other services out there, like Sony’s Music Unlimited. Or, if you’re into a more radio-like presentation, there’s always Pandora, or even Slacker. (There are others, a lot more, in fact.) With Pandora, of which I’m told to use quite often (and I do, from time to time), you can drop a few dollars every month to get rid of the ads, and just listen to the radio without interruption. It’s cheaper than the subscription-based music services out there, but it also doesn’t give you the option to download tracks to your device, which means you have to be connected in one way or another.

For me, I love having the music on my device. Call me old fashioned I guess, but I much prefer being able to just start playing music whenever I want, no matter where I am. No network connection? No Wi-Fi? No problem. Just start playing music. So, for me, while listening to the radio is pretty cool for finding new music, I will always prefer a subscription-based service that lets me listen to as much music as I want, and let me download the songs to my phone.

But maybe you can convince me to use something else. Am I missing a ridiculously awesome app out there? How do you listen to music on your phone, Dear Reader?


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