The sound of silence can be deafening—or at least Simon & Garfunkel think so. However, listening to their 1964 classic on vinyl through a Hi-Fi system just isn't as practical as it used to be, especially for seniors who might be downsizing to a smaller living space.
Storing hard copies of your music, whether on vinyl, CD or cassette, takes up a lot of room. Fortunately for seniors who want to keep listening to their favorites, most songs can be found on music streaming services. With apps that you can download straight onto your smart device, discovering and enjoying your favorites is more accessible than ever. Here are five of the best music streaming services for seniors.
In 2015, Apple launched its service, Apple Music, and it has since become the most popular music streaming platform with over 44.5 million monthly users. Apple Music offers a large selection of artists to choose from and you can save up to 100,000 songs on a single account. And if you purchase songs, they don't count towards your download limit and won't be removed if you decide to stop using Apple Music.
This is a good option for seniors who own Apple products such as iPhones, iPads or Apple Watches, as the music streaming platform is optimized for Apple devices. Android devices are compatible with the Apple Music app, though. Whichever device you use, you need to log into or create an Apple ID to use the music service. You'll get the first three months free once you subscribe to Apple Music, and after that, there's a family plan available for up to six members.
Apple also offers its older media player service, which is iTunes. This is best for tech-savvy seniors who may have used Apple devices in the past or are familiar with using older music services. iTunes gives users the option to buy individual songs or albums to own and store on their media player. This differs from Apple Music's required monthly membership.
iTunes does come with some disadvantages. It's less convenient than other apps, as it requires downloading onto a computer instead of your smartphone. Also, the selection might be dated, since it's an older music platform. iTunes is ideal for seniors who don't use a smartphone or are already comfortable using this service.
If you'd like to use iTunes but are having trouble setting up the player on your computer, the staff at The Gardens at Barry Road in Kansas City, MO, may be able to assist you.
Of the many online streaming services on the market today, Spotify is among the most popular and is comparable to Apple Music. Spotify offers a free version, but membership on the music platform allows users an ad-free experience with unlimited skips and offline music downloads. Spotify boasts one of the largest music libraries for an online streaming service.
With Spotify Premium, you get the first month of streaming and downloads for free and can choose from multiple plans that best fit your budget. Spotify Premium also includes access to some of the most popular podcasts online. As of this writing, a membership was available that provided Spotify Premium and Hulu services, so seniors could also enjoy some favorite movies and TV shows via a single monthly subscription. Spotify has a family plan available to those who need multiple accounts.
Pandora is another mainstream music service seniors might consider. Pandora's streaming app is best for finding songs from specific genres of music. Also referred to as the "Music Genome Project," Pandora is unique in its approach to recommending music to its users, basing suggestions on a song's musical traits. If you're feeling nostalgic, Pandora is perfect for finding your favorite classic hits.
There is a free version available, but Pandora gives music lovers two paid options so they can personalize their experience with a great selection of music, podcasts and radio stations without ads. Pandora Plus offers unlimited skips and some offline listening whereas Pandora Premium also includes unlimited offline listening and the option to create your own playlists. You can try Pandora Premium for 90 days for free after signing up. Pandora provides the least expensive plan of the services on this list if you purchase a full year subscription.
You're probably familiar with YouTube, but did you know that the popular video-sharing site also has a music streaming service? If you're looking for an all-inclusive subscription, YouTube Premium offers members access to a variety of songs and videos. Unlike the standard version, YouTube's Premium version also includes original TV shows and movies as well as the option to stream music or videos while you use other apps.
Your first month of YouTube Premium is free. YouTube has a family plan available as well.