If you want to use your new Chromebook to listen to music, you’re in luck. While there is currently no Winamp for Chrome OS, nor is there any iTunes, here are some Chrome music players that will let you do the same thing – listen to your favorite music.
Chrome OS Media Player
Every Chromebook will ship with Chrome OS Media Player, a built-in feature (not an app) similar in function to Windows Media Player. The media player provides a straightforward way to listen to your own music and watch your own videos, in the way you’re used to. You can connect a USB thumb drive, flash key, SD card, or whatever your weapon-of-choice happens to be, and play these files with the Chrome OS Media Player.
In addition, web music services like Pandora will continue to work on a Chromebook, and Chrome even has a few specific apps that provide added functionality when listening to your personal stations.
The incredibly popular free “personalized internet radio” service. If you haven’t tried it yet, you need to. By listening to Pandora and telling it what you like and don’t like as you use it, Pandora will automatically learn your tastes based on complex musical algorithms. It’s startlingly accurate most of the time (and when it’s not, you can just skip the song and Pandora will learn accordingly). You can create multiple stations for different styles of music. In the free version, I typically hear a short (15 second) ad once every 3-4 songs. If you want the “no ads” version, you can upgrade to Pandora One for $36 a year. However, I’ve been using the free version for about 2 years and I’ve never found the occasional short ads bothersome.
Again, if you haven’t realized the awesome nature of Pandora yet, you really, really need to get on that. I’m listening it to right now.
The Chrome app mflow lets you search for albums in its , listen to tracks, and make playlists. One thing that’s particularly nice about mflow is that there are no ads, since the service is funded by digital music sales. It’s a cliche phrase by now, but it really does help you “discover new artists” you may not have found otherwise.
An extremely popular music scrobbling service (formerly AudioScrobbler… way back) that has streaming radio and playlist functions based on your personal music tastes, much like Pandora, but with a little more control. Some people prefer Last.fm to Pandora. I personally use both. They’re both free, so what-the-hey.
YouTube Music Apps
If the other options weren’t enough, there are also a few really great Chrome apps like Musictonic, Listube and Music.ShownToMe that essentially make it easier to search for music on YouTube. You can then queue up songs, make playlists, and more. These Chrome apps are pretty good at picking the “best” version to play when there are multiple copies of the same song. It sounded cumbersome before I tried any of them, but it actually works pretty well, and the videos seem to load a lot faster in the apps than by visiting the page. As an even further bonus, you don’t have to read what anyone thinks about your favorite artists!
These are just some of the music playing options that will be available on Chromebooks “at launch” (the infinite options for listening to internet radio stations, DJs, and podcasts are beyond the scope of this article). As of today, there are 19 Google-approved (included in the Chrome App Store “Music” collection) music player apps, and many more free apps are being added all the time. For detailed reviews of some of the apps available for Chrome, see our app review section.
For more information about Chromebooks, see the Chromebook Review section. Thanks for reading.
AudioTool: Music Production Studio for Chromebook: Review
Myna: Audio Editor for Chromebook: Review
Google’s Official Chromebook Site: Link