I first came across Songza over four years ago when it was a Web-based music player that scoured the Internet for any and all songs it could find to stream them to you. These included songs available on free music streaming services, including the standard 30-second samples, and even audio from music videos and live performances posted on YouTube. Songza has matured a lot since then, and has become one of the coolest ways to listen to free tunes and discover a whole load of new ones.
The most important thing to note here is that using Songza is entirely free and doesn’t bombard you with ads. That’s a refreshing start. The basis for how the platform works lies in what’s called “Music Concierge”, which basically automates the creation of playlists for you.
On the surface, this might seem like what other streaming platforms already do. Pick an artist or genre and you just let it do its thing. Songza takes this concept further and presents playlists based on the time of day and what you might be doing. For example, for a Friday afternoon, there’s “Working (with lyrics)”, “Working (no lyrics)”, “An Energy Boost” and “Office Crowd-pleasers”.
Tap the one you want and let the music play. You can skip tracks, pause playback or rate them, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. The idea is to just let the playlist go and listen to music that suits the mood or situation you’re in. The cool thing about this is that it offers great options for the right time. A late night could offer a smooth playlist, something more intimate or all the partying tracks you can handle. The level of choice is just awesome.
This also comes in handy for doing things like driving, going to the gym, cooking or commuting to work. Go to My Playlists and you can see the recent ones you’ve tried. Tap each one you want, look for the star in the top left corner and tap that to save the playlist to your favourites.
The Popular tab also has some interesting options that might cater to you. Songza separates these into Trending and All-Time playlists. These change pretty often, but they fall along the lines of “Feelin’ good in the 90s” and “Today’s club bangers”, among many others. There was even a playlist for songs in Apple commercials.
The Explore tab is ideal for those who just want to go by genre, decade, culture, mood and one called Record-store clerk.
I could go on with the features and amount of music available here, but Songza is the kind of app you should discover on your own. No doubt you’ll find some good music you’ve never heard before.
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