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Listening to Music Online: What Are Your Options?

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Get your groove on at these popular sites

One of the best things about surfing the Internet is finding a free music site. Fortunately for music lovers, there are numerous free online music sources. From Taylor Swift to The Beatles and everything in between, you'll find a wide variety of music listening possibilities at these five sites.

Grooveshark

Working as both a search engine and a radio stream, Grooveshark is a versatile site where you can easily switch back and forth between the two features. Started in 2007 by a University of Florida musician and student, Grooveshark has evolved into one of the largest on-demand music services with an extensive online music library that was created by artists and listeners. Grooveshark features music favorites, but also focuses on artist development and helping listeners discover new music. To start grooving, go to grooveshark.com.

Jango

This social music service allows you to create and share custom radio stations. You can add the artists and music you like and share them with other Jango users. Better still, you can also tune into other people's stations, and they can return the favor by tuning into yours. Click www.jango.com to start listening.

Last.fm

A great way to get in tune with your listening habits is this unique site. Utilizing a download named The Scrobbler, it helps you identify the music you play most often and like, which then assists you in discovering more music based on your tastes and listening habits. You can also get more intensely involved by tagging your tracks, joining discussions, finding out what's hot and trending, and closely examining your listening history to discover the style of music you like best. Go to www.last.fm to start listening.

Pandora

If you want to create your own online streaming radio station based on your favorite music, this is the site to do it. You can create up to 100 stations that contain the music you like, whether it's from a world-renowned artist or new music by up-and-coming artists and bands that you've discovered. Enhancing the appeal is that you can also download free apps for your smartphone. To get started, click www.pandora.com.

Spotify

You name the artist, and most likely you'll be able to find their music on Spotify, which has more than a million songs available to listen. To get started, you download a desktop manager and you're off and listening. You can develop your own playlists and share the music with your friends and family. Spotify is available for your computer, tablet, mobile device and home entertainment system. Go to www.spotify.com/us to give it a shot.

So, the next time you're on the Internet, take the advice of the classic rock group The Doobie Brothers and their 1975 hit tune, "Listen to the Music."

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