But if you're on a budget, why pay for music at all? Here's where to get yer groove on for free.
ITunes has essentially turned the stereo into a thing of the past (for all but a growing number of vinyl lovers), but why pay for music at all if you can stream great tunes without buying them?Yes, it's great that iTunes - and now Google Onebox - enable renters to reduce the cord-cluster that is the entertainment center. And yes, unless they exclusively borrow friends' CDs, they'll still have to buy the occasional song to drop into iPod and iPhones. But renters can drastically save on entertainment costs by streaming tunes from these great sites. Check yo' head:
- Yahoo Radio's Sweaty Indie Dance Party
LCD Soundsystem, Passion Pit and a million other songs you've heard in cool, indie boutiques and hipster bars.
When: Perfect when you want the party off the hizzy.
How: Go to Yahoo radio and you'll find it under the dance/electronica category. (They have a million other genres, too.)
Bonus: You can pause, or skip a song you don't like.
- AOL Radio's DJ AM Channel
What? Never got to catch the late, legendary L.A. DJ and former Nicole Richie beau do his thing live? Word on the street is that he could work a crowd like no other. There's a reason he made the big bucks.
What: Britney Spears, The Killers, Lynrd Skynrd with soul and '80s thrown in for good measure.
How: Go to AOL Radio and search the "themes" category for the DJ AM channel plus some other fun options like Halloween music, Christmas music, martini lounge, drinking songs and one-hit wonders.
Bonus: Search your city to play local talk and music stations.
- Pandora Radio
If you want something a bit more personalized, Pandora's like someone hit shuffle on all the songs you ever liked.
When: You can create different personalized channels for different occasions and access them again later.
How: Go to Pandora and enter the names of bands you like, then when they chose a song you tell the player whether you like it or not. All this info accumulates to the essence of your perfect radio station.
Bonus: You never have to hear that annoying Pussycat Dolls song again. At least not twice.
- Plain Ol' Radio
Remember ye olde radio? That's right, it's still out there but you can't get it on your iPod/Phone/Touch, damnit. And know what, it's still free, you just find it on your computer now instead of that old, ummm, what was it called. Boombox?
When: All the damn time! It's free. And since you can listen to everything from a North Dakota A.M. "farm" channel to Cambodia's "Love FM" what the hell else do you need. Bulgarian pop? Got that, too.
How: Search U.S. and international radio stations by city, country, call letters or format on Radio-Locator
Bonus: Still get some localized content and cutesy touches like the occasional dj's voice. Awe!