How cord-cutters can listen to free music

While it’s possible to cut the cable TV cord and still get most of your favorite channels, there are about 100 notable exceptions.

I’m referring to Music Choice, the big bundle of radio-style music channels included with many cable and satellite TV packages. Even in a world of boundless streaming music options, there’s something to be said for just setting the TV to a musical genre you enjoy and letting it play, especially with a nice soundbar or surround-sound system hooked up.

If you’re missing that experience as a cord-cutter, don’t despair. There are lots of other ways to easily enjoy music through your TV, some of which come pretty close to what Music Choice offers on cable. Here are some of the best alternatives that won’t cost you a penny extra:

Dash Radio

Jared Newman / IDG

The closest equivalent to Music Choice on streaming devices is Dash Radio, a free internet radio app with 88 stations and no extended commercial breaks.

As Radioworld’s James Careless reported last year, Dash prides itself on having stations curated by human DJs, who have some latitude to pick songs that aren’t just requested by focus groups. Those DJs may occasionally read a 30-second ad spot, and brands can run their own sponsored stations, but there are no lengthy ad blocks like you get with terrestrial radio.

The other nice thing about Dash Radio is how simple it is. Just pick a genre, choose a station within that genre, and start listening. You can also add stations to a Favorites list for easier access later. The TV version of Dash Radio is available on Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV.

Pluto TV

plutotvmusic2 Jared Newman / IDG

If Dash doesn’t have an app on your streaming device of choice, roughly 30 of its stations are also available through Pluto TV, a free streaming service that also provides a much broader range of linear video channels.

Pluto TV is available on pretty much every streaming platform, including ones that Dash doesn’t support natively, such as Android TV, Chromecast, Samsung TVs, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. (You’ll also find it on Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV.)

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