Your Chromebook device comes with a couple of applications preinstalled, which can be used to listen to music, among which Google Play and Music Manager. Google Play is a service rather than a standalone application, and this means that the music can be served to you via streams, either for free, for more than 20,000 tracks or by purchase, with as many as a few million tracks waiting to be discovered. Of course, the Google Play portal is always at your disposal, as long as you are connected, but if you’re not, with the Music Manger you can import music from any other computer and store it on your Chromebook.
So, in order to use Google Play, you first need to make sure you’ve got it installed. Some Chromebook laptops might have a lighter software package installed, rather business oriented, and the player might be missing. That is not a problem, as you can choose to install it yourself from https://play.google.com/about/music/.
In order to use this service, visit the link, and proceed to select the version most suitable to you from the list, either all access for $9.99 a month or a standard, “locker and store” version that is free. For the free version you don’t need anything other than your Google account information – username and password, and you’ll be able to start streaming in no time.
If you don’t want to use this type of service, you can choose from a large pool of applications, both standalone players as well as stream services. Among these, Grooveshark is one of the best streaming services, which can be accessed online at http://grooveshark.com/ from where you can search by artist, album, trending music or genre.
For a more radio like experience, of course, with loads of options to personalize your music selections, you can go for Pandora, which will offer you loads of music options to chose from. Your preferences can be stated directly, genre wise, but they can also be guessed by an algorithm that the service uses. The main advantage is that the streaming is free, but if you want more options, personalization wise, you can pay to unlock them, extending your ability to listen to music.
These are some of the most interesting, social based, streaming of music services, but definitely you might want to look for others. The Chrome Web Store market should become your number one source for application downloads, and there you can find new and exciting players, many of them free.
UPDATE: Thanks to +Alejandro Pedraza for suggesting Songist, a Chrome app and music player. It even plays music from your USB storage and (external) hard drive. Check it out in the Chrome Web Store:
Of course, if you have other music services that are worth sharing, please let your fellow Chromebook users know by posting them in the comments below!