The Best Music Apps For the iPhone
Listening to music has been a favorite pastime for millions of people all over the world for decades. And while you once had to go to a concert or have a record to listen to music, this eventually evolved to many other means of listening to your favorite songs. Technology has evolved so much in the last few decades that most of us carry something in our pockets that can be transformed into the ultimate music player.
And while you used to have to buy songs on iTunes or download them onto your computer and then on your phone to listen, music streaming services are turning that into a thing of the past. These services have millions and millions of songs at your disposal with a simple click of a button. Sounds great, right? Well, there is only one problem. There are dozens of different music apps out there that you can download to your iPhone, some good and some bad. There is a lot of thought that should go into which one you choose as many are quite different and/or offer different features and benefits. Thankfully, this article is here to help you select the best music app for your needs. While there will be a winner and a runner-up here, any of these apps on this list are worth a download.
While many of these apps on the list will be marked “Free”, some of them require a paid subscription to access all of the features and to be able to listen to music without ads or interruptions. However, there are some that are indeed truly free. When you consider the cost of buying CDs or individual songs through iTunes, it is a great idea to subscribe to one (or a few) of these services. While they can be used for free, the subscriptions is when you truly unlock the greatness of the apps on this list.
Without any further ado, here are some of the best of the best when it comes to music apps on your iPhone
The winner for the best music app out there for your mobile device goes to Spotify. When it comes to streaming music on your phone, Spotify has been doing it for years and is one of the most popular and recognizable names in the space. It will not only work in an amazing fashion on your mobile device, but it will also work very well on your computer or tablet too. So wherever you are, you will always have your favorite music within arms reach.
The app is free to download and you can listen to songs on shuffle for as long as you want with the occasional ad included. While the app can be downloaded and used for free, it can get fairly annoying to hear ads after every few songs, especially when you skip a song evert now and then. To combat this, I recommend that you subscribe to a premium membership. A Premium membership to Spotify will cost you $9.99 a month. While that may seem like a lot to spend at first, once you see what you get with that, it is a steal in every sense of the word. For the price of less than 1 CD or only a few songs on iTunes, you get unlimited access to almost any song out there. Also, you get 30 days for free so you might as well give it a try for that first month without being charged. If you don't like it, no harm is done at all.
This app gives you access to a whopping 30 Million songs and if you get the premium feature, it allows you to download and save as many songs as you want to as many playlists as you want. This is a great option if you are traveling or need to have your data off for some reason. Also, it keeps all of your favorite songs in one convenient place for ease of access in the future.
But if you are looking to discover new music through the app, it has you covered there too! There are dozens of different playlists and radio stations that are constantly updated with new tunes so they will never get stale. Some of these playlists focus on a specific genre, others focus on a specific year or time of the year, and some are even tailored to fit with whatever activity you are doing. For example, if you are running and want a fast-paced playlist, you can find it with ease. But if you are studying or want to relax, you can easily find a playlist with calming music too. No matter your musical needs or tastes, you can be sure that you will find something on Spotify.
While the radio stations on this app may not quite be as creative or good as the ones offered by Apple Music or apps that are specifically designed for streaming radio, they are still there and feature a nice mix of music and are updated quite a bit. If listening to popular music is your thing, Spotify also has your back in terms of charts. They offer top 50 charts in a number of different genres and for a number of different countries around the world. This is a very cool feature as I have found myself at times listening to music that was popular in other countries just to see what it was like.
While the focus of the article is music, the fact that Spotify offers you a ton of extras is very nice too. Things like getting some audiobooks and many different podcasts for no extra charge is a very cool feature. This basically means that whatever you ears desire (whether it be music, audiobooks or podcasts), this app has you covered with a ton of content. And don't worry, these aren't all obscure and small-time podcasts and audiobooks, some of the most popular content in those areas are offered on Spotify.
So now that you know about the cost of the app and the boatload of content and features you get included, let's look at how the app works. Because let's be honest, an app can have as many cool features and content as possible, but if it is clunky and doesn't work well, it's not a good choice. Thankfully, Spotify doesn't have this problem. The app itself is very reliable and hardly ever do issues such as it crashing or malfunctioning happen. Also, the UI is extremely user-friendly and the app is incredibly easy to navigate. You can quickly jump from your own personal music library, to playlists, to the radio all in only a few seconds time. Also, it is incredibly easy to save songs or album for future reference. So while the app may not have any crazy animations or look extra gorgeous or anything like that, it does it's job exceptionally well without any unnecessary additions or distractions.
The app is also very quick at getting new music up in good fashion. Many of the recent big releases like The Weeknd, Kid Cudi and more all had their albums up on Spotify very quickly. One negative in this area though, is that sometimes artists will choose a specific streaming service to release their music on first, and rarely is that ever Spotify. For example, Kanye West's most recent album debuted on Tidal about a week before it came to Spotify. But rest assured, all the popular music will eventually find it's way onto Spotify, but it would be nice to see them get some exclusive releases here and there too.
With all things considering, this app has to be at or near the top when it comes to music apps. It has about all you could ever hope for in a music streaming app and as of September of 2016, the app had an impressive 40 million paying customers. While Apple Music might be the "sexier" and "newer" option, Spotify has been doing it for years and doing it well for millions of people across the world.
Coming in at the number two spot is none other than Apple Music. In the argument about the best music app out there, there seems to be two distinct sides. There are those who prefer Spotify and those who prefer Apple Music. As you can tell by their ranking, I prefer Spotify. However, that doesn't mean Apple Music is bad, in fact, quite the opposite is true.
Before getting into the app, it's features and more, let's make something clear from the beginning. Everyone who has an iPhone gets the Music app, this isn't the same as Apple Music. So while "technically" the Music app is free, the streaming service offered by Apple will cost you $9.99 a month. You can still add songs to your Music app on Apple like you have been doing for years, but now they just added the option for you to subscribe to their streaming service.
And just like I said for Spotify, I think it is a no-brainer to subscribe to Apple Music for only $9.99 a month. With that $9.99, you have a near endless catalog of music to choose from, without you having to download them to your phone anymore like you had to do before Apple offered a streaming service. In addition to the $9.99 level, there are a few other options you can choose when it comes to subscribing to Apple Music. In addition to the standard subscription, there is a student option for $4.99 a month and a family option (up to 6 people) that costs $14.99. Either one of those are just as good an option as the standard subscription, so you really can't go wrong.
Now that you know a bit about the difference between the Music app and Apple Music the streaming service and the different cost options, let's get into why it is one of the best music apps in the business.
With a subscription to Apple Music, you get unlimited access to any and all the songs in the massive iTunes library (over 30 million songs). In addition to this, you also get a ton of customized playlists based on previous listening and are free to customize your own as well. Also, like Spotify, you are able to download music to your device to use when you are not online.
While their catalog of music and list of other features are great, it is their integration with Beats 1 Radio that really shines through. Beats 1 Radio is a 24-hour worldwide radio station that has world famous deejays playing their favorite songs. A lot of different songs and albums get debuted on this app first, so you know that basically any album that comes out, you will be among the first to get it. The fact that you get that included in Apple Music puts it a step above most streaming services.
On top of the content you get with the app, the way it functions and looks is very satisfactory (something you would expect out of an Apple product or service). Also, if you are used to using the Music app on an iPhone, getting used to the UI of this service will be a breeze. All in all, Apple Music is a great choice for your primary music app, even if it has only been around a little under 2 years and is still relatively new in the space.