If you’re a music addict (and who isn’t these days), you might find yourself struggling at first in China. Neither Spotify nor Pandora work outside of certain regions. So, one solution could be to get a VPN. Of course, that opens up all kinds of other possibilities, including access to videos and websites that normally can’t be accessed here. To explore that option, check out our post on VPNs here.
If you don’t want to pay for a VPN, but still want some music, there are other options open to you. If it’s just one song you’re looking for, Baidu Music (http://music.baidu.com/) might have it. This applies particularly to Top 40 or Top 100 songs. If you can’t find a song easily, it’s worth a search on Baidu, though in this reviewer’s experience, the selection is somewhat limited compared to other sites. The one advantage that Baidu has is that it allows downloading of what songs it does have. However, this advantage is slightly less…advantageous…when you consider that Baidu requires you to have an account with them before allowing any downloading.
So, what are the other sites we can use? One of them is the QQ music player, which you can find at http://y.qq.com/#type=index. It boasts a much better selection of music than Baidu, though it doesn’t seem to offer the option of downloading. Of the three sites discussed here, it probably involves the least amount of hassle, so if you’re not concerned with downloading and you just want to get to the music, this is a good choice.
The third option has the best selection of music of the three sites, but also has some drawbacks. It’s xiami.com. Here you can find the albums of even obscure artists that you can’t find on the other two sites. The major annoyance here is that if you are sifting through a large number of albums on the site, it occasionally prompts you to sign in. You can always go back or just search directly for the album you’re looking for, but still, it’s irritating if you just want to browse a musician’s catalog for something interesting. The site also seems to offer the ability to download, but this reviewer couldn’t manage to get that feature to work even after creating an account, amassing credits, etc.
Now, being Chinese sites, all three of these sites are in Chinese. Don’t panic. You can generally navigate without having to know any Chinese as you can search in English on any of the sites. However, if you’re really not sure about what to click, below is a crash course in the Chinese you’ll find on the sites. Happy song hunting!
歌曲 = song
专辑 = album
艺人 = artist
歌词 = lyrics
电台 = radio station
播放 = stream