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Apple just bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion. Beats is primarily known for their cool headphones that most recording artists, athletes and teenagers have hanging on their necks. Apple didn’t buy Beats for their headphones. They bought them for the Beats on-line music service. Apple fell behind because they thought people want to buy and own their music though the Apple Store. The trend now is to just “lease” as you want it.

Most people know about Pandora. Pandora allows you to create your own Internet radio stations to play music you like. You pick artists you like and Pandora creates a station that plays those artists or other artists that sound similar. It’s more custom than saying I like 80’s music. Pandora will play the artists you really like from the 80’s and may mix in some new artists that have a similar sound. Pandora is really popular and is what I listen to when I don’t want to choose songs myself.

Other services like Rhapsody and Spotify lease you a database of more than 20 million songs. Basically, you can play any song you can think of from the latest hits on the radio to an old favorite from your school days. The cost is about $10 a month, but you now have access to unlimited music. You can even download a playlist of songs to your phone or iPad to play when there is no Internet access, like on a plane.

Beats Music is a combination of Pandora and Spotify/Rhapsody. They’ll choose music for you or you can pick out what you like. The reason they are worth $3 billion is that Apple fell behind and this allows them to catch up.

So, rather than pay to download a single song, consider one of the on-line services. Future Home can also help you integrate it with your existing home audio system.

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