Music Software For Windows: Listen, Sing, Write, Star
It’s been 25 years since MP3 was introduced, and playing music on PC became possible for everyone, not only for pros using uncompressed files on enormous 8 GB drives! Now listening to music on your PC is an everyday thing, and lots of music software has been developed for this. From local storage we moved our libraries to clouds, passing any limitations at all. Those not satisfied with passive listening can create their own music or record videos with an ordinary laptop. Here is the selection of the best Windows software for music fans.
While you might first of all think of iDevices and their connectivity and syncing, there’s more to iTunes than that. Those with iPhones and iPads probably are already tightly familiar with it, but even if you’re no iOne, you’ll still benefit from iTunes on your PC.
First of all, it’s a great legal music store, maybe the greatest for today, with megatons of various tracks available, and just one click away. The pricing is moderate (we’d only dream of that in Audio CD era), the quality varies from decent to great (if you prefer lossless AIFF and M4A files, though they’re significantly larger). And yes, you can preview tracks you’re about to purchase. Importing tracks you have bought elsewhere is also supported (alas, MP3 only, no FLAC or APE).
Then, it’s an organizer that lets you sort your music library by all the parameters written in its tags (title, author/performer, album, year, and so on). Smartlist feature is rich: you can create both regular and smart playlists. The latter requires rules you set yourself, and when iTunes encounters a fitting song, it pulls it in.
And if suddenly you decide to convert to iReligion, you’ll already have your library prepared for that.
Amazon Music is the store of choice if you’re already in Amazon ecosystem. That is, if you have Kindle in your hands and Alexa in your room, you’ll benefit the most from preferring Amazon to other music services. It offers both musical store to buy tracks and albums and smart streaming services. Its curated selections will provide you with the best radio you form yourself, according to your own preferences.
If you track new releases, you can listen to them streamed to your speakers or earphones to decide whether they’re worth buying or listening to at all.
Amazon offers flexible subscription plans, with the whole catalog in Music Unlimited and ad-free curated playlists in Prime Music. Well known for its cloud services, Amazon provides its subscribers with a cloud to store music in.
And what if you’re no Amazon devoted fan? Still, trying it makes sense. Maybe its musical offers are the reason to purchase Alexa and enter its smart home world.
Personalization is the word. Pandora lets you create your own musical environment, according to what you love. Music is available on demand as well as in radio mode, so you can control your playlist manually or let the service decide what you will enjoy today. Chances are you will really enjoy what it brings: your own personal DJ, someone to hear your tastes, someone who cares.
Subscription is priced moderately, so it won’t hit your wallet hard, and at the same time, it offers you access to more music than you have time to listen to. Luckily, it has all the tools to offer you the crème de la crème of it.
Last but not least: if you own Xbox One, you can build your musical infrastructure around it with Pandora (but don’t forget to connect your best speakers to it).
It’s a matter of taste what you prefer – Pandora or Spotify, since they offer about the same set of features and tons of music beyond any imagination. Xbox owners, as we said, have a reason to skip Spotify, but if it doesn’t matter to you, take a closer look at this.
In free mode Spotify is ad-supported, but if you have got used to traditional FM, that shouldn’t bother you much. What you get for that includes free access to millions of tracks, multiple manually created playlists, search system with tracks on demand (though with limited skips), charts, personalized radio and decent quality (but not the perfect one).
If you’re too much of an audiophile to settle down for that, you can try Premium, with better quality, caching songs, and ad-free playback. The possibilities behind Spotify Premium are overwhelmingб іщ many music fans are good with it not to want anything else.
Online radio has all the features of good old FM, but it’s better, and Slacker Radio is a perfect example. All you need to do after installing it is to select some tracks you like, and let the DJs do the rest. It’s really so: the service offers a good variety of station playing different musical genres, and there are tasteful pros behind any of these. Some stations are even controlled by well-known artists, sharing their own musical preferences to the audience.
If you feel tired of music (though it’s really best of its sort), you can switch to comedy, sports, or news, selecting the non-musical station. No switching frequencies manually, trying to get rid of that annoying noise. Digital quality is always decent.
The killing feature for car owners is Slacker integration into car onboard systems. It goes with Tesla, Acura, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, Lexus, Honda and many other car brands, already preinstalled, so all you need is your account with your preferences claimed. Thus you create your unified musical universe at home, in your car, and wherever you are.
Music Maker Jam
When you listen to the music, you may think of making it yourself, inspired by deceptive ease of its structure. In fact, it’s still an art even in our electronic era, but any composer begins with something. Music Maker Jam is the perfect app to start. It offers you a large set of loops already synchronized and tone-matched, so you can combine them and hear them joined into a track. Its interface is well-suited both for traditional PCs and for tablets or touchscreen laptops.
It lets you combine prepared loops to create your tracks (or rather mixes) in four different styles. Dubstep is constantly available, and the three others change monthly, letting you try your skills in different genres. And you can have your selected styles constantly, with an in-app purchase.
Pros may consider it a construction toy, some type of musical LEGO, and they’re right. But it’s rather an edutainment tool, showing how music is made. If you taste this free one, maybe you’ll feel the power to master professional tools. And if not, then you at least know how music is built.
This one is a serious music software for composers, with quite a set of free pro features (and some paid extras). Stagelight offers quite a selection of drum samples and synthesizers, quite sufficient for creating demos. You can create drum loops and instrument tracks of your own, combine them, edit the tempo, transpose your MIDI tracks, record live audio tracks to mix them into your song, and so on. In short, you can create your own song from nothing with these tools.
Of course, it’s no rival to Cubase or FL Studio, but as a free tool for creating demo tracks, it’s quite okay. If you use an external microphone, you can even record songs to the beat you’ve made in Stagelight. And if your PC is equipped with a touchscreen, it works as a drum machine!
For those new to creating music, this app has a set of lessons, showing the art with live examples. These tutorials are integrated into the software, so it will be easy to make out what this or that button is for. And (unless your intentions are high) paid extras are not that necessary to make a song.
So, you‘re not into composing music, but don’t mind singing a bit. There’s something to make your home party a karaoke one. Make sure you have connected a good mic and powerful speakers. The software does the rest.
It’s more than just an app. Karaoke One is backed with a great library of karaoke-ready tracks with lead vocals removed and the rest intact, with lyrics video added. Thus your voice will perfectly fit into the phonogram, so you’ll enjoy it as much as you do with professional equipment of karaoke bars.
On the other hand, it’s a social network as well. Record yourself singing and upload your video to the server, so others will appreciate your performance. Maybe you’ll become a karaoke star, with some producer waiting for you behind the screen. And if not, you’ll just share your fun with others.
So, listen to the songs from your library and discover new ones, make your own music and sing worldwide hits, enjoy your musical life any possible way. There is some music software for any situation, and most of it is free, so come on, express yourself. And if you have something to say about this, speak it below, or maybe sing it.