I’ve Been iTunes Free Since 2010 – What I’ve Been Using Instead
Near the end of December 2010, I dropped my iPhone out of Focker's Jeep. A good 3 ft fall to the ground...needless to say, it was catastrophic. All though the screen didnt crack and still worked, the ONE button and the charge plug were not functional. So now my iPhone was basically worthless. Lame. I made the decision I wanted to get away from iTunes. This was my chance.
I'll give you a background of how and why I ventured away from ol' Stevie Jobs fruity corporation...
Being someone who has used a PC and Windows ever since computers with a mouse came out (remember ACTUAL floppy disks?), I considered Apple to be the dark side...Used by people who needed the latest, coolest, techy gadget or by artists and graphic designers. None of which I fell into. I did however come across a killer deal of free.99 for an iPhone 3G after a friend upgraded to the iPhone 4. Couldn't pass that up.
Now that my ONE Apple product was basically useless, and getting it repaired would cost about as much as a brand new one, this was my chance to ditch iTunes...FINALLY.
The new Windows 7 Phones were fairly new at the time. I had read about them online and really liked the interface and the ability to use a Windows product with my Windows PC. Perfect. Android's cool, and is still really great, don't get me wrong there, but I had previously owned cell phones with the Windows operating system and I was a fan already.
The new Windows Phone 7 and Zune has been awesome. Zune Pass costs $15/month and allows you free streaming of any music from the Zune Marketplace on your PC or device and you are able to keep 10 songs a month in high quality .mp3 format and DRM free. So basically I buy 10 songs a month at and pay $5 for the streaming access.
You can get almost anything from Zune that you can on iTunes. I did find that The Beatles, 2Pac, and Ready, Set, Fall! weren't available on iTunes, but there's other fully free resources for a those couple instances.
I recently received an iPad and instantly realized that I was going to have to go back to iTunes...cue the Price is Right Horn. I just installed iTunes and am about to venture into this iPad. It's shiny and looks awesome. I'll be playing with my new toy for a few days and getting my iTunes library in order. My small bit of ADD comes from a messy music library. CANT. HAPPEN. While I'm messing with the iPad, I'll be listening to music using these tools:
The service has actually been around for quite awhile, but wasn't available in the USA until recently. Spotify allows you to stream music for free on your PC or device that has the Spotify App. You do not have access to the actual files themselves, so you can't burn them to CD or add them to a device like you could an .mp3...I'm not sure if the Premium Service allows otherwise...but you can listen to almost any song you want with the click of the mouse. Very cool. Also if you tie your Facebook account to your Spotify account, you can share with your FB friends playlists and fill their news feed with songs that you are currently listening to. Plus it posts to your all new Facebook Timeline which everyone absolutely loves...did the sarcasm come through on that? Hope so. Also know that since this is a free streaming service, there are occasional ads served between songs. You can get rid of that by paying for the Premium service.
You have probably heard of Microsoft's answer to the iPod. It was the Zune Player. An .mp3 player which, at the time it was released, had a much larger screen and used Windows Media Player as your main source for editing the contents of the device. With the evolution of the Apple i devices, the Zune player itself became more rare than a Keystolope. Zune has now become the software used by Windows devices, such as the Windows 7 Phones and the Zune Player. The Zune Pass has been awesome for downloading files on the fly from anywhere with a WiFi connection or good 3G service. Free streaming on your device and then you can buy the song if you want to, similar to iTunes, or you can use one of your 10 monthly credits to own that song without any DRM rights tied to it.
Although it's become pretty heavily filled with ads being served before nearly every video you play, YouTube is still a good place to go to listen to music. I used to use Myspace to find new bands...but what the hell is a Myspace these days? With YouTube, you are going to more often than not get pretty low quality music, but again, it's free. You know the 97 Rock slogan..."If it's free it's me". Plus I still like checking out music videos and since MTV would rather show reruns of 'My teenager got knocked up' and 'fist pumping sluts, douchebags, and no-talent-ass-clowns', I needed another outlet. Plus you can YouTube surf and find some pretty interesting and wild stuff.
Obviously there are still outlets to download (or steal) music for free all over the internet, but many are filled with spyware, malware, and numerous viruses. That's you're call. I still buy CD's and I use other outlets to get my music without ripping off artists that I actually want to see succeed.
Alright...here we go...iTunes is now fully installed, computer has been restarted and I'm plugging in the iPad. Angry Birds is gonna be dope on this screen!