The best music apps all music fanatics must have on their phone

Aug 7, 2018
Music

Between Apple Music and Spotify we all have our basic music needs covered but for true music lovers these apps aren’t enough, they’re not always the easiest to use and they definitely don’t have every song ever sung. But don’t worry because there are a whole host of different apps to satisfy your music needs.

Although religion is a touchy subject that has loads of potential to unleash an ugly war of words, it is perhaps not sacrilegious to say that for most people, as the one and only Jimi Hendrix once wittily declared, music is a religion. Looking at music from a spiritual standpoint, it often feels like that music is something divine that was bestowed upon us by some higher power and that once-in-a-lifetime performers – geniuses bursting with so much talent that you’d probably shed a tear even if they sang the instruction manual of a tractor – have access to have access to intangible dimensions where beautiful melodies and song lyrics abound.

The power of music is conspicuous: it can help you through the toughest times in your life from heartbreaks to the loss of loved ones, it brings people together, it helps you forget about your everyday problems, it gives you motivation and perseverance, and it serves as a common language for people all around the world. Since existing without music is impossible, we’d be willing to bet the price of the piano on which John Lennon wrote “Imagine” that you’re listening to your favorite artists on your iPhone almost all the time. To ensure that you can make the most out of your music-listening experience, we’ve collected the best iPhone music apps of all time. Press play!

1
Spotify Music

Spotify Music is a music app that has been providing on-demand listening for so many years that it makes us feel older than the age of all Rolling Stones members combined, so first and foremost, shame on you Spotify! To get this introduction back on track, let’s take a closer look at what Spotify brings to the table – or perhaps we should rather address the elephant in the room: on-demand listening on Spotify is not free, as it requires a Spotify Premium subscription. With Spotify’s free version, you can browse and listen to playlists, share your own playlists, and enjoy songs from any artist, album or playlist – here comes the trick! – in shuffle mode. Regarding Spotify Premium, it gets you better sound quality, offline and on-demand listening, and kills ads like video killed the radio star in 1979.

spotify

Spotify Music
Spotify Music
Developer: Spotify Ltd.
Price: Free+
Spotify Music
Spotify Music
Developer: Spotify Ltd.
Price: Free

2
SoundCloud

For anyone who prides themselves on their music knowledge and staying one step ahead of the charts Sound Cloud is a must have app. Sound Cloud is the world’s fastest growing streaming service and while Apple Music and Spotify make it extremely hard for up and coming stars Sound Cloud actually promotes their services for newbies and helps to promote their work. As a result of Sound Cloud’s approach to music streaming it has become the number one place to discover the next big star. With Sound Cloud you can build your own playlists, discover new stars and even save your favorite tunes for offline listening.

Don’t let your judgement be clouded by the ever-growing number of negative reviews, SoundCloud is very much worth a try if you’re a true music fanatic. Proving that things – both good and bad – come in threes, in SoundCloud, you can choose from three packages. The first, wholly free-of-charge package gives you access to more than 120 million tracks courtesy of all sorts of performers from up-and-coming singer-songwriters perfecting their craft at small venues to world-famous superstars selling out large arenas. You can expand your musical horizons thanks to SoundCloud’s suggested tracks which are based on the songs you’ve previously liked or listened to and also thanks to SoundCloud’s charts covering a wide range of genres from 60s soul to contemporary hip-hop.

To top it off, SoundCloud allows you to connect with your favorite artists, as well as your friends, and you can create playlists for different moods and occasions. The second option, SoundCloud Go – clocking in at a monthly fee of $5.99 – nets you ad-free and offline listening, but the best thing about is that a percentage of your monthly fee goes directly to the artists featured on SoundCloud. The third option is SoundCloud Go+, which, after a free 30-day trial period, costs $12.99 per month. SoundCloud Go+ comes equipped with an expanded music catalog made up of more than 150 million songs you can stream or save for offline listening. There are, of course, no ads, and just like in the case of SoundCloud Go, a part of your monthly subscription fee goes directly to artists.

SoundCloud - Music & Audio
SoundCloud - Music & Audio

3
Bandsintown Concerts

For someone whose religion is music, attending the concerts of their favorite bands and performers is nothing short of a spiritual experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives. With Bandsintown Concerts, the best concert discovery app known to mankind, you can track your favorite artists and get notifications when they’re about to hit a festival or concert venue near you, you can RSVP to shows and share concert details with your friends on a variety of social media platforms, and you can, of course, purchase tickets from hundreds of ticket sits or directly in the app. Bandintown packs concerts listings for every single city in the world, and contains tour info for all your favorite artists from Bruce Springsteen to Kendrick Lamar.

Bandsintown Concerts Google Play

Music by: Silent Killer Track: http://bnds.in/Track_SilentKiller_on_Bandsintown Listen: http://bnds.in/Listen_SilentKiller_on_Soundcloud Stream: http://bit.ly/Listen_SilentKiller_on_Spotify Follow: http://bnds.in/Follow_SilentKiller_on_Facebook Support: http://bit.ly/SilentKiller_on_Beatport

Bandsintown Concerts
Bandsintown Concerts
Bandsintown Concerts
Bandsintown Concerts
Developer: Bandsintown
Price: Free

4
Shazam – Discover music, artists, videos & lyrics

Even if you’re a living music encyclopedia with a vinyl collection that would leave High Fidelity’s Rob Gordon impressed, there will come a time when you’ll hear a song you won’t be able to identify- for instance a track played during the ending credits of an Albanian arthouse film. But worry none, my wayward son, as Shazam provides a perfect solution for such unfortunate occurrences. Just launch the app, wait 30 seconds for Shazam to work its magic, and your thirst for information on the song you’ve never heard before will be thoroughly quenched.

Shazam delivers a YouTube video of the song in question, offers you the chance to preview the track on Apple Music and to purchase it in the iTunes Store, and you can also read lyrics, discover similar songs, follow artists to check out what they’ve been Shazamming and thus add new flavors to your tastes in music, start an Apple Music station using the songs you’ve Shazamed – as you can see, Shazam is immensely versatile and a must-have app for music fanatics worldwide.

Shazam
Shazam
Price: Free+
Shazam
Shazam

5
Amazon Music

With Amazon Music, you can let your music mania run wild and free like an amazon in the jungle, as it gets you access to a ginormous music database containing tens of millions of songs and thousands of curated playlists and radio-stations. You can also enjoy weekly releases bringing you the latest top-of-the-charts hits and offline listening – but, as always, there’s an if: if you purchase an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription for $9.99 per month.

In case you have an Amazon Prime membership, subscription fees are more wallet-friendly, $7.99 per month or $79 per annum. Speaking of the Amazon Prime membership, Amazon Music provides free-of-charge streaming services for Prime members, allowing them to discover a curated music catalog comprised of two million ad-free songs, playlists, and radio stations. To absolutely nobody’s surprise, you can purchase any song available on Amazon via the app, listen to the music you’ve bought right away, and also import your iTunes collection to the Amazon Cloud using the app’s desktop edition.

Amazon Music
Amazon Music
Developer: AMZN Mobile LLC
Price: Free+
Amazon Music
Amazon Music
Price: Free

6
Vevo – Watch Music Videos

If you’ve ever used YouTube – and we dare to guess that you have – you must be familiar with Vevo. Vevo is to today’s teens what MTV used to be in the 90s for the elder statesmen and stateswomen of millennials, as Vevo is home to the music videos of today’s biggest hits performed by the brightest shining stars of contemporary pop music. The Vevo app specializes is delivering a personalized music video experience, allowing you to cherry-pick your favorite featured artists and get notified every time they launch a new music video, a can’t-miss collab, or a goosebumps-inducing live performance. You can follow fellow Vevo users and artists, and also put together genre-based playlists from your most beloved songs.

UPDATE: Vevo shuts down mobile apps.

7
YouTube Music

Ah, the curse of the related and recommended videos! Getting lost and completely derailed from your original goal on YouTube is easier than falling in love with the silky smooth voice of Otis Redding, so even if you’re opening the app with serious music listening plans in mind, you can easily end up watching basketball sneaker reviews in about fifteen minutes. YouTube Music eliminates all non-musical distractions, and features an engine that learns your tastes over time, resulting in more relevant and more personalized recommendations.

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If you have a YouTube Red subscription (which, by the way, is free for a month), you can watch all music videos completely ad-free, keep listening to music even when your screen is turned off, and last not least put together offline mixtapes you can listen to without having to sacrifice a single byte of your mobile data plan.

YouTube Music
YouTube Music
Developer: Google, Inc.
Price: Free+
YouTube Music
YouTube Music
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

8
Pandora – Music & Radio

Pandora – Music & Radio specializes in delivering a wholly personalized music experience, which means that you can create personalized radio stations from songs, artists, and genres. Just like in the case of YouTube Music, the more you use Pandora, the more the app will learn about your musical tastes, and the more fitting recommendations it will provide.

If you’re shooting for free-of-charge use, be prepared for ads and limited skips and replays. To get rid of this hardly likable trio of, you only have to spend $4.99 per month on Pandora Plus, which will also net you offline listening and higher quality audio. If you’re shooting for the stars, and by stars we mean even more advanced features, go for the $12.99 per month Pandora Premium, a blend of on-demand listening and personalized radio.

Pandora Music
Pandora Music
Price: Free+
Pandora Music
Pandora Music
Developer: Pandora
Price: Free+

9
Google Play Music

A Google-made music app on an iPhone? What has the world come to? Don’t worry, we’re only kidding. Sort of. Putting clowning aside, Google Play Music offers outstanding music streaming services for free, delivering recommendations based on a variety of factors (e.g. current mood, location, or activity) and giving you access to song-, artist-, and album-specific radio stations and thousands of playlists put together by experts.

Bad news for everyone living outside the U.S. and Canada: these features are only free in the aforementioned two countries, and require a subscription everywhere else. But worry none, rest of the world, as subscribing for Google Play Music only cuts into your budget for $9.99 per month, and it catapults the app’s capabilities to a whole ‘nother level: on-demand access to more than 40 million songs, ad-free and offline listening, and, to put the cherry on top, a YouTube Red membership without any additional charges.

Google Play Music
Google Play Music
Developer: Google, Inc.
Price: Free

10
iHeart Radio – Free Music & Radio Stations

IHeart Radio is as versatile of a music app as Ben Harper’s discography. With iHeart Radio, you can listen to AM and FM radio stations from all around the world, follow the sports world’s latest events on major sports radio stations, and stream your favorite podcasts. Regarding you music, you can put together your own radio station, selecting your favorite artists and tracks from a music catalog made up of millions of songs covering a wide array of genres. Oh, and have mentioned that all of these features are free? If you’re looking for a little extra – such as unlimited skips, offline listening, saving and replaying songs, and the ability to create as many playlists as your iHeart dictates – for a few bucks per month, you can choose from a pair of premium plans: iHeartRadio Plus for $5.99 and iHeartRadio All Access for $12.99.

iHeartRadio – Free Radio and Music in One App

Download the app for free today ► http://onelink.to/r8vykg The free iHeartRadio app gives you unlimited music and the best live radio stations, and now includes premium features like; ♥ Downloading unlimited music for offline listening ♥ Saving and replaying songs from the radio ♥ Unlimited skips for artist stations ♥ Creating personalized playlists Download today in the Google Play and App Store to get these features and more.

11
TIDAL

TIDAL is far from being a revolutionary app that will send tidal waves through the music app genre, but if you’re willing to spend a bit more on outstandingly sophisticated features, you’ll definitely love it. TIDAL prides itself on being the very first music service bringing you songs – no less than 40 million of them – in lossless Hi-Fi quality, while also giving you access to over 130,000 ad-free, HD music videos.

Moreover, TIDAL packs heaps of curated content (playlists, recommendations, album reviews, and articles) courtesy of some of the best music journalists in the business to help you expand your musical horizons. Miscellaneous features include offline listening, artist- and song-specific radios, playlists, and many more – at least as many as there are marijuana references in a Sublime or a Slightly Stoopid song. A Tidal Premium subscription costs $12.99 per month, while the Hi-Fi package adds $25.99 to your monthly expenses.

TIDAL
TIDAL
Developer: TIDAL Music AS
Price: Free+

12
NOW Music Player

Anyone who grew up in the 80’s and 90’s will remember the excitement every time a new Now album came out and you were introduced to the 50 new songs you would be listening to non-stop for the next six months. With the Now music app you can relive a little of that childhood excitement and access every Now album ever made, flash back to 1997 and treat yourself to the likes of the Spice Girls and S Club 7. You can even build your own playlists, combing your favorite songs from across the years of Now Music and save them for offline listening.

The app was not found in the store. 🙁

13
Pi Music Player

If you’re looking for an upgrade to the terrible music players that come with most Android phones look no further, Pi Music Player creates an experience that isn’t just pleasing to your ears but also your eyes. With four different themes to choose from you can tailor your music player to suit your personality and even mood for the day.

Pi Music Player | The Perfect Music Player for Android | 20 Million downloads with 4.8 rating

Pi Music Player is one of the most popular music players in Android having more than 20 Million downloads with an amazing 4.8 rating in Google Play Store. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Project100Pi.themusicplayer&hl=en

Pi also gives you complete control over your music listening experience, with built-in equalizers and 10 different presets to try out. If all that wasn’t enough Pi provides you with all the tools you need to easily cut your songs and turn them into ring tones.

14
The Gesture Music Player

The Gesture Music Player creates a completely immersive music experience, with no buttons and no reason to even look at your phones screen you can truly lose yourself in your music. The app is controlled by gestures rather than button presses, swipe left to change tracks, tap to play and swipe up to favorite a song, it’s as simple as that. With Gesture Music you can sit back, close your eyes and wander into a whole new world or music, while still having full control. The Gesture Music Player is also perfect for drivers and runners, as the app can be completely controlled without having to look at your screen.

15
Cloud Beats

Do you find yourself often running out of storage space on your phone and deleting music to make room for the latest hits? Or even worse is your music collection a mess, scattered across different cloud storage services? Cloud Beats solves these problems and allows you to bring all of your music together from all of your different cloud storages. Meaning that you no longer have to have all of your music saved to your phone, taking up space. Cloud Beats does the hard work and combines all of your cloud services together and allows you to stream your music straight to your phone. You can build playlists with songs streaming from different storage services and even save them for offline use. The music player itself features a clean and simple design that allows you to focus on what’s important, the music rather than wasting time with complex interfaces.

CloudBeats: music player
CloudBeats: music player
Developer: Cronosell
Price: $4.99

16
HABU Music

In a post-iTunes world, where practically any song can be played whenever you want for a nominal monthly fee, music-previewing apps are fighting an uphill battle. HABU Music attempts to fight the good fight by carving out their own specialized niche in the music app empire via song labeling. It’s a decent idea, but HABU will need a little more refinement to become a must-own for serious audiophiles.

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The app has two main features – the first sorts the music that users have on their iPhone into categories based on the mood of the song. There are 25 main categories like “Aggressive,” “Rowdy,” “Somber,” and “Sophisticated” that tunes are placed in. Users can also drill those 25 categories into 100 more specific sub-categories like “Dark/Groovy” and “Powerful/Heroic.”

It’s a neat idea, and for anyone with a nice amount of music on their iPhone, it works great. But for those carrying iPhones with limited storage capability while possessing huge music libraries, HABU just doesn’t work. I still have most of my music on a 120 gig iPod Classic, choosing instead to leave my iPhone storage space for games, photos and other miscellaneous things.

The music not on my iPod is usually found quickly via the Spotify app on my iPhone, but HABU doesn’t sync up with Spotify, so any listening I do there is irrelevant to the HABU experience. This issue of compatibility isn’t surprising, and for most people it probably won’t be a deal breaker, but it severely lessens how useful HABU is for a listener like myself.

HABU’s other main feature lets users check out preview clips of a number of songs in the previously-mentioned mood categories. Users can then purchase the song they’ve previewed for their personal use via an iTunes link right in the app. There’s nice value in being able to preview any number of songs, but for some, streaming apps like Rdio and Spotify have made previewing songs (and purchasing them for a dollar a piece!) as novel as buying a CD.

How useful you find HABU Music really depends on what sort of music listener you are. If you have a modest music library that you carry on your iPhone and you often purchase songs out of iTunes, HABU Music is a cool way to organize your music by mood rather than artist or album. If your life is overloaded with tunes and you’re already using music streaming apps, HABU won’t bring much to the table, not until it finds away to meaningfully interact with those music-streaming apps.

HABU music
HABU music
Developer: Gravity Mobile
Price: Free
HABU music
HABU music
Price: Free

17
Stingray Qello

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend pulled up a video on his iPad, Classic Album: Nevermind, a behind-the-scenes mini-doc about Nirvana’s seminal album and the legacy lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain has left behind. It was fascinating to learn the concept behind the video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and to hear interviews with band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl speaking candidly about Cobain’s apprehensions about fame. We were watching the video on Qello – Watch HD Music Concerts; it was my first foray into the wonderful world of this streaming concerts and music documentaries app.

Qello Concerts Promo

Promo video

Qello makes selecting the perfect content for you a cinch with its easy navigation system: you can search by artist, genre and decade (starting in 1960 through to today), or by manually typing in the name of whatever you’re looking for. A quick search in the punk genre brings up videos from The Stranglers live at the Hammersmith Apollo to the New York Dolls’ feature-length documentary All Dolled Up. Browse through the decades and stop to watch Dusty Springfield live at the Royal Albert Hall in 1979 and then Beirut at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in 2009.

My favorite Qello feature by far is “My Setlists.” Here you can curate your own concert by pulling songs from different bands, genres and decades. Where else can you listen to Phil Collins perform “If Leaving Me Is Easy” (from Classic Album: Face Value) followed by Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough” (from Live at Wembley in London) and then Fleetwood Mac’s “Gold Dust Woman” (from Classic Album: Rumors), all in one “concert” sitting?

If your idea of fun is staying home on a Friday night and watching old band videos and music documentaries—like mine is—then Qello is definitely the app for you.

Stingray Qello
Stingray Qello
Stingray Qello
Stingray Qello
Developer: Stingray Digital
Price: Free+

18
Songkick Concerts

It’s a major bummer to find out that your favorite band or artist is coming to town after the show is already sold out. If only you had known sooner — or had Songkick Concerts on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

Songkick scans the content of your iPod, and then matches artists you like with upcoming concerts in your location. On my first launch, Songkick didn’t prompt me to turn on location services, so it didn’t automatically detect my city. I’m not sure if this was a fluke or a glitch in the app, but I had to turn the feature on manually via the settings panel. Even with it on, the app needed a force quit and relaunch to grab the new information. After jumping that roadblock, I had to create a Songkick account to access the app’s full features. Make sure you don’t mistype your password when registering — I did and was then forced to use a new email address because it said the first one I entered was already in use.

Once your account is set up, the app will create a list of concerts based on your location. Via the “Artists” tab, users can skim musicians in their iTunes, and currently touring groups will be marked with a banner. If you enable notifications, Songkick will tell you via push of newly added concerts of the artists’ you’re tracking. By default, the app automatically tracks every artist in your library. There doesn’t seem to be an option to turn this off. To only track select artists, you’ll need to disable tracking individually — that could add up to a lot of work if you have a large collection of tunes.

Under “locations,” you can find all concerts in your current location, as well as add other cities. There is also a calendar feature if you want to find gigs on a certain date. The formatting of the calendar is laid out British-style (rows are Monday to Sunday), but when you tap a date, your results will show one off, as if the calendar was laid out Sunday to Saturday. That means if you’re looking for concerts on June 18, better tap June 19 or you’ll miss the shows. The calendar also defaults to May (and obviously, it’s June), and hitting the forward arrow takes you to July. That all adds up to quite a few glitches on what’s really a primary feature of the app. “Concerts” will show you your personalized show list, recently added shows and your plans — events you’ve marked that you’re attending.

I like the idea of Songkick Concerts and think users will find it helpful — if it can get its tech together.

Songkick Concerts
Songkick Concerts
Developer: Songkick
Price: Free
Songkick Concerts
Songkick Concerts

19
8Tracks Radio

8Tracks Radio is one of the best music-discovery apps I’ve seen on the iPhone. While I absolutely support the numerous radio station apps available to download, there’s still something just a bit more interesting and personal to a mixtape, and 8Tracks Radio combines the joy of great music discovery with the personalization of the mixtape.

What’s immediately enjoyable about 8Tracks Radio is that you don’t need to log on or register to enjoy the music. You can jump right in as an anonymous user and listen to everyone’s mixtapes via the numerous ways they’re sorted.

And you’ll have quite a few options for listening, from the featured mixtapes to hot mixtapes and the newly posted mixes, there is plenty of music to keep you busy. If that’s not enough, you can search by music genre, artist or mix title. In short, there’s basically no way you’ll be lacking for good music.

While you can do all that without registering, signing up for a free account does offer a few benefits. Namely, you’ll be able to “like” a mixtape so you can listen to it whenever you want. You’ll also be able to create a “mixfeed,” which lets you monitor users so you’ll know if they put out a new mix to listen to.

About the only thing you can’t do on 8Tracks Radio is make your own mix. For that, you’ll have to go to the 8Tracks website and work your magic from there.

Aside from that omission, the 8Tracks Radio app has almost everything you could want from a music discovery app.

8tracks playlist radio
8tracks playlist radio
Developer: 8tracks
Price: Free
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