Last week, for the first time, I set up an account on Spotify. Mind you, I still don't have the actual app installed on my computer, because I'm running an antiquated operating system that isn't compatible with it (and I'm scared to upgrade for fear all my other software will stop working). But Brian allowed me to use the app on his computer, and this enabled me to create and share a playlist dedicated to my new favorite nerd crush, Critical Role. (This is a Geek and Sundry show in which a bunch of self-described "nerdy voice actors" play Dungeons and Dragons. If you think D&D as a spectator sport sounds dull, that's because you have not personally experienced the storytelling skills of dungeon master Matt Mercer. Forget wizard characters, this guy is the real thing.)
Anyway, since making themed playlists in iTunes is a favorite pastime of mine, I immediately started putting together one based on the show. Once it was done, I wondered whether I could share it with all the show's other fans (known as "Critters") via iTunes, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do it anymore. So I signed up on Spotify, recreated the playlist there, published it, and then shared it on the Geek & Sundry forum for the show. (The post has attracted no responses, but most posts don't, so I don't feel too bad about that. All the real fan discussion goes on in the chat room while the show is streaming, and since that happens on Thursday nights while I'm otherwise occupied, I just watch from the sidelines.)
I bring this up here as an example of just how many different ways there are these days to enjoy and share music online. This is the topic of my latest Money Crashers post, which goes into all the different services you can use to stream or download music for free (and legally). I cover Internet radio, streaming services, free music downloads, and old-fashioned broadcast stations—which, far from being killed off by the digital alternatives, are being revitalized through live Web streams.
Read all about it here: 3 Ways to Listen to Free Music Online – Downloads, Streaming & Radio