If you lump them all together, there are probably no fewer than a zillion different music apps on Google Play, the App Store, and Windows Phone Store combined. Those aren’t exact figures, but based on Digital Trends’ own independent research, we estimate that the number is somewhere between a zillion and a jillion. So as a smartphone user, you have access to just about any type of music program imaginable, from internet radio apps to guitar tuners and everything in-between. But unfortunately your smartphone has a limited amount of space, so you’ve got to be choosy. You can’t download the entire zillion apps (yet), so we’ve dug up the best music apps available for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone.
It should be noted, however, that the number of music apps available varies greatly from store to store. Apple’s App Store easily has the most, followed closely by Google Play – but the Windows Store is currently anemic when it comes to music apps. As such, you’ll find that the following list features proportionately more iOS and Android apps than those for Windows Phone. We’ll update the list as the Windows store grows, but for now it’s rather short on options.
Music Consumption Apps
Ever heard a song and wished you knew what it was called or who recorded it? Download Soundhound and you’ll never have to wonder ever again. Whenever a song comes on that you don’t know, flip on the app and hit the big orange button. Soundhound will record and analyze the incoming audio, and compare it against a database of millions of songs to find a match. It doesn’t work for the most obscure music out there, but you’ll be surprised by how quick and accurate it is.
As one of the titans of the online music streaming game, Spotify stands out from the rest of the pack with an absolutely stellar mobile app. No need to fill up your phone’s memory with MP3′s – Spotify will stream millions of songs from the Internet for a small monthly fee. It offers a free streaming service for your desktop, but you’ll have to pay for the monthly service to use the mobile app. It’s worth it though. Just ask our resident Spotify addict, Jeff Van Camp.
Somewhere between the randomness of discovering new music on the radio and the tediousness of searching for new bands manually lies Last.fm. It’s done a fantastic job of porting all the features from the full site into various mobile apps, which makes it one of the best music internet radio/music discovery apps you can get on your phone.
Soundcloud is one of the best music services on the Web, so it stands to reason that they have a fantastic mobile app. Even though it’s been slimmed down to fit your phone, the app retains all the same functionality you’ll find on the full site, which means you can easily listen to songs in your feed, search for new artists to follow, and even record/post sounds.
If live music is your thing, you need this app. Once installed, Songkick will scan the music on your phone, pick out the artists you like, save them, and alert you via email whenever they come to play a show near your town. It indexes show info from thousands of ticket vendors and venues, so whenever a show is booked, you’ll be the first to know.
Uberhype is the mobile version of the The Hype Machine, a fantastic music discovery service that indexes songs based on their popularity on blogs. The more times a particular song is posted on various music blogs across the web, the higher it rises on THM’s charts. This unique approach makes it great for music discovery and makes it easy to find great music you wouldn’t come across on sites like Pandora or Spotify.
For all the time and effort that Apple puts into the design of its products and services, the native iOS music app is pretty primitive and ugly. If you want your music browsing/listening to be more intuitive, interactive, and beautiful, then check this app out. It’s an alternative music player that lets you peruse and play your tunes in a metro style browser.
Next Page: Music Creation Apps