Five free iPhone music apps that will expand your musical horizons.
With built-in players, iPhone and iPad music apps might seem unnecessary. There comes a time in every music library’s life, however, when songs start to wear thin, and we find ourselves spending more time flicking around for a good tune than we do listening. That Smiths song that once sounded profound is now just boring, the opening chords of Poker Face make you want to scream, and since when was Bryan Adams on your playlist? We’ve compiled a list of free iPhone music apps that can help avert a music-induced meltdown, and get your audio life back on track.
iHeartRadio gives you access to over 800 radio stations from U.S. cities. Covering both analogue and digital stations from 150 different locations, you can be sure that you’ll always find something to listen to. Users can curate their own custom stations based on their favorite bands, artists or songs, with a variety meter that lets you decide whether you want to stick to familiar artists or explore new music. You can also connect your iHeartRadio account to Facebook to share your selections with friends.
According to the iTunes Store, Shazam is the fourth most downloaded app of all time, and for good reason. We’ve all experienced hearing a song, humming along to a song, wanting to download a song, yet not knowing what it’s called or who it’s by. Next time you hear an unidentified tune, save yourself the embarrassment of trying to sing it to someone else, and open up Shazam to find out the name of the song and the artist. Once the app has successfully identified a song, it will also connect you to relevant YouTube videos, take you to the iTunes Store where you can download the track, and display the song’s lyrics. You can even use it when you’re outside a wifi zone or low on signal.
The free desktop version might not provide unlimited play any longer, but you can still cut your losses and download the Spotify app. Giving you access to the Spotify library form your iPhone, the app enables you to stream the music you want, when you want to listen to it. Although the app itself is free, you will need a Spotify Premium account to use the mobile app, which costs $9.99 per month. This, however, does guarantee unlimited, ad-free music streaming, so you don’t have to worry about your iPhone music library again.
Slacker Radio lets you create custom radio stations from your favorite tracks and artists. What sets it apart from other similar apps is that you can also access other features, such as ESPN Radio, ABC News and live sports streaming. The app comes with over 150 pre-set stations and allows unlimited listening. The free version of Slacker Radio works with a wifi connection; to use the app without, you need to upgrade to Slacker Premium Radio, which costs $3.99. With a Premium subscription, you can also cache stations to listen offline, and view artist information and lyrics.
Last.fm soared in popularity as a social music website that creates playlists based on what you listen to, suggests similar artists, and enables you to share your music choices with friends. The Last.fm app takes these features mobile, providing you with music suggestions, access to concert tickets, and recommendations on your iPhone. The mobile service is only available with a Last.fm subscription, which, at $3 per month, will set you back the equivalent of one Starbucks.