Not many people know that it's quite easy to listen to music with friends and family online - it's not just about pressing 'play' at the same time, as there's a way for two or more people to join the party.
This can be a great way to share a romantic waltz with your partner if you're separated, or pump out those motivational jams to co-workers while working from home (MmmBop, on repeat of course). In fact, TechRadar's virtual office uses this as a way to entertain each other.BERLIN WEATHER
So how can you do this? Well, first we should warn you that the person setting up the social listening party needs a Spotify Premium or Apple Music account for it to work, so technically it's not free, but the rest of the cohort just needs to join the party.
Here at TechRadar's virtual office, we use JQBX to listen to music that is available at https://www.jqbx.fm/. It allows you to set up rooms to listen to music, add music to your queue, assign DJs, chat, and even rate each other's music.
Go to this website and click the "Sign in to the web app" button, and once you've registered your Spotify Premium or Apple Music account, you'll see a home page with lots of rooms.
Either you can join one of these pre-existing public rooms, which are more like radio stations, or you can create your own. If you want to listen with friends, you should do the latter option by selecting it in the top left corner.
You'll be asked a few questions - you'll want a private room and you'll give it any password (as long as you remember), a title (which everyone will be able to see), and if you want, you can also use the advanced options.
We recommend setting a DJ limit if you don't want too many cooks spoiling your wonderful music stew, and the room handle is also useful so that other people can easily get into your music room (more on that later).
Now click 'Create Room' and you'll see the interface you'll use to play music.
We're not going to give you advice on the best music to listen to, because that's subjective. Instead, we'll show you how to get your music into JQBX.
Head over to Spotify Premium or Apple Music - whichever you use - and you'll notice some new entries in the Playlists list, including JQBX :: Queue, and JQBX :: Star. Put any music you want to transfer to JQBX in 'Queue', the latter is for music your friends are playing.
Now go to the JQBX app and press 'sync' in the bottom left corner. This will automatically transfer all your music from Spotify or Apple Music to the app. Now you need people to listen to your tracks!
The person in the JQBX room now just needs to share the room URL with others - if you've chosen a catchy room handle, it's easy enough to remember, but copy and paste always works. If a password has been set, this is also necessary before entering it.
Now, your friends and family should show up. If you haven't set a DJ limit, they can now rewrite themselves to DJ, but if you have a limit, only the first few will be lucky enough.
If you're a DJ, you can create your own music queue list that works between all the DJs playing one song each. You can also rate each track as "dope" or "nope" to politely advise your fellow DJs to put down the bad tracks.
If you want, by clicking on the phone icon in the top right corner of the interface, you can stream to other devices, just like on Spotify, so you don't have to listen to your browser.
With this tool, you can easily share music with friends and family, and lots of people can listen to the same songs at the same time.