Pandora, hands down. It's super simple. It continuously plays the kind of music I like without me having to do it actively. Also, I don't see the point in owning music anymore.
I do think their web and mobile UI could be a lot better.
I'm still an iTunes user. Was thinking about singing up for iTunes Match a couple of weeks ago but still haven't done it. [see link]
@Brian the thing I like about owning music that the online services don't provide (I think) is to have my own library. I know they like to brag about having all the music, but sometimes I just want to browse albums that I "own."
The browsing experience is so shitty in all these online services.
It does cache stuff, so the more you use it, the more stuff ends up on your device. I think this is cool if you have a single device, but it complicates things if you have, say an iPhone and an iPad.
On Rdio, you select which albums/artists/tracks you want to be downloaded to mobile and they'll end up on all your devices. And you can specify that from the desktop, web, or devices themselves.
I'm actually using both iTunes match and Rdio right now, but the only time I launch iTunes is for several albums that I listen to and aren't available on Rdio.
Rdio is one of my favorites, however that is only due to the design and navigation. Feature-wise it does not differ much from Spotify. What is great about both services is that they are changing the mindset on ownership of music versus access to it on demand.
Streaming services allow you to cache music offline, however that still requires memory and even with cloud based solutions, storage space comes at a cost.
A greater solution is a hybrid system that allows you on demand streaming content that you may not want to own forever (say flavor of the month pop hits) while also allowing purchasing of both music and cloud storage space for the important music you are interested in owning.
I've tried a few apps over recent times, Pandora, iTunes, Rdio etc etc. All have fitted a purpose. I have to say that I'm happiest with Spotify on the iPad, great UI and a seemingly bottomless pit of tunes to explore. Coupled with a decent Bluetooth speaker and I can waste many happy hours digging deeper and deeper into musical history.
I've started another Branch, asking the question 'What's your best online/ offline source of music tips?' Would be great to get some input from you guys.
I was a heavy user of iTunes since most of my music came from not so legal sources. Sorry artists. I was the consumer who prayed Apple never stopped making the iPod Classic. I was a music horder and Rhapsody was not going to help me. My habits changed with the alignment of an iPhone, 3G data and Rdio in my pocket.
Happy to report that thanks to Rdio's apps, design and catalog I am not longer a pirate. Rdio feeds my need for new music discovery. The 'sync to mobile' tracks take up 6-10 GB on my iPhone so I can listen in off-line mode and not use up my data plan. Like movies, the need for me to own music is gone. Just let me be able to access it when and where I want and I will gladly pay the monthly sub.
Thanks for your feedback! Team Branch