With the recent announcement of the new Apple Music, there is a lot of buzz about which is the best music streaming app, and whether Apple can top them. Here are a few of our favorites that you can download and compare to find the best for you. While all of the actual apps are free, you may have to pay a monthly subscription for the service. All of them allow for personalization and music wherever you are.
With Pandora you can plug in an artist or song title and the app will create a radio station with similar music. It is the perfect thing to throw on during a party, while you’re studying or while you’re driving to work. Up vote or down vote certain songs and the app will begin to learn the kind of music you like and give you more of that. Make as many stations as you want for any activity and have access to a huge library of music. The free version does have adds, but you can pay $4.99/month to get rid of them.
- Good library of music
- Creates playlists so you don’t have to
- Can play without Wifi
- Have to pay for a subscription
- Certain playlists can sound repetitive
With iHeartRadio, you can listen to custom playlists based on an artist or song title like with Pandora or opt for live radio. Begin by indicating your interests and the app will find suggestions that are similar to what you like. If you move away from a city, you can still find your favorite radio station by searching by city. Not all radio stations are involved with the app but more are being added every day. Start listening to live radio at anytime of the day.
- No subscription needed
- Listen to radio stations from everywhere
- Can create custom stations
- Doesn’t have every live radio station
- Needs to buffer
3. Beats Music
You’ll need something to listen to when you have those Beats by Dre Headphones on, and that app is Beats Music. Begin by finding the genres and artists you like and the app will create stations just for you. Find curated lists from sources like Rolling Stone or Academy of Country Music. Choose a station based on an artist or use the Sentence feature to find something based on your mood. The subscription will cost you $9.99 a month, but you can get a free trial for a month and see if it is worth the money.
- No commercials
- Choose music based on mood
- Download songs before you are leaving a Wifi area
- Need a subscription to use
- Sometimes Wifi doesn’t download all the way
- Music added to playlists sometimes disappear
SoundCloud combines a music streaming service with social media. Browse for new and original artists or listen to some of your old favorites. Log-in and you can follow your favorite artists, like certain songs or even comment at certain points in songs. Artists can also interact with the app and you can find your favorite bands like playlists to see what they listen to on the road. One of the best features is that anyone can upload to SoundCloud so it is a great way to find smaller, local artists. Search through What’s Trending to find something you haven’t heard before.
- Anyone can upload
- Can listen on the computer or mobile device
- Can comment on songs
- Few commercials
- A bit difficult to navigate
- Need Wifi
A great way to share what you’re listening to with friends is Spotify. Connect with Facebook and the app will post what you’ve been listening to. If you are like me, and listen to far too much Britney Spears, you can keep your selections private. Access entire libraries from your favorite musicians, or find playlists based on your mood. It is free to use Spotify on your computer, but you will have to pay $12.99 a month if you want to use it on your phone and get rid of ads. Favorite certain music and you can find it in “Your Music.”
- Find music based on mood
- Listen to entire library of many artists
- Share what you’re listening to on Facebook
- Have to log in to subscription to use
- Can’t see notifications while you’re in the app