People who listen to a lot of music always want to be on top of the newest trends and the freshest new albums. Whether you’re into rap or pop, indie rock or metal, these music apps will help you discover more and keep up with the latest in your music scene.
Songza is one of the best apps on any platform for discovering music. Songza is available on the web, iPhone, and Android. This excellent app delivers playlists from a variety of genres. These lists are curated by industry experts, including some record label owners. The real bonus of this app lies in the way it tailors the suggested playlists depending on the time of day and your mood. Add in the fact that Songza never plays audio ads while you’re listening to a playlist (we’re looking at you Pandora) and it becomes a can’t miss. You can also sign up for Club Songza which removes ads all together and adds some other neat features.
- Available on all platforms
- Free, and no interrupting audio ads
- Always guaranteed a curated playlist with a set of solid songs
- Great for discovering new songs
- Can’t choose specific songs you want to listen to
- Limited number of skips
- No artist-specific stations (like Pandora)
Spotify is, far and away, the king of music streaming service. Spotify (and their apps) has also grown a lot in the past few years. With the free membership you’ll have to listen to ads on your phone. You will only be able to play your playlists in shuffle mode, but you still have access to the huge catalog of songs – over 20 million. An upgrade to Premium will net you some cool features: no ads, the ability to download songs for offline listening, and more. Spotify also has a great radio feature. They continue to work hard at beefing up their music discovery area with a new curated playlist feature.
- Can listen to playlists in shuffle for free
- Custom radio stations
- Access to 20 million songs
- Download songs for offline listening
- Create playlists and share music with friends
- $10 a month can be expensive for some
- Music discovery is still not the best
- Some songs are missing from catalog
Shazam is less of music listening app, and more of a discovery one. This musical app helps users easily find songs that are playing in your surrounding environment. Simply pull up the app and tap a button to find out the title of the song you’re listening to. Shazam has yet to fail at finding a song for us – no matter how underground or old it is. The app is great to find out a cool track that you’re hearing in a store, on TV, or at a party. Definitely a must have for anyone who is really into music.
- Finds songs at the push of a button
- Links directly to those songs in Spotify or Rdio
- Can’t listen to songs from the app
- Ads can be intrusive at times
Like Spotify, Soundcloud has matured a lot in recent years. The app has grown into a place where artists release new tracks, record labels debut songs, and groups release unofficial remixes. A lot of the songs available on Soundcloud aren’t available anywhere else. This makes it great for those who are into listening to the newest, freshest music. Soundcloud falls short in not being able to download songs offline. It also has a weak organization system (compared to Spotify or Rdio). Nevertheless, Soundcloud has a lot of great songs and is only going to get better as time goes on.
- Few ads
- Lots of songs not available elsewhere
- Always has new music
- App is responsive and looks good
- Organization options could be better
- Can’t download songs offline
- Can be hard to find certain songs
Spotify still leads the streaming world in number of users and songs, but Rdio has been making strides. Most agree that Rdio’s apps are better supported and possess superior interfaces to Spotify’s. To give you an idea of this, it took Spotify years before they released an iPad app while Rdio had one from the start. What Rdio lacks is a deep and diverse catalog, and a large number of users. One of the best parts of Spotify is the social aspect – the ability to share music and create playlists with your friends seamlessly. Rdio might have the the better interface, but Spotify has the user base.
- Apps have better interfaces
- Apps are supported better
- Huge catalog of songs
- Can download songs for offline listening
- Custom radio stations
- Cheaper family pricing options
- Music catalog is not as large as Spotify’s
- Social aspect is less robust than Spotify’s
- $10 monthly can be expensive