While iPhone and iPad users can always download their music via iTunes, or even through Apple Music which comes pre-installed, it’s great to have more options than that available to you.
We’ve rounded up 10 essential apps for improving your music playing options, whether that be through purchases or streaming services. Some of them will help you identify and discover great tracks too. You might not want to have subscriptions to every single music streaming service out there, but this is pretty good place to start for knowing what’s out there.
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1. Spotify (Free) - There's a reason why Spotify is the go-to source for music, much like Netflix is for TV shows - it's that good. The free service allows you to stream any artist, album, or playlist in shuffle mode, with a monthly subscription adding to those choices. The premium service adds offline music playback, an ad-free service, and all round better sound quality.
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2. Pandora (Free) - Pandora is ideal for discovering new music choices. You simply start with a name of one of your favorites, and Pandora does the rest for you, creating a personalized station that should provide only music you love. With a free account, you can create up to 100 personalized radio stations so you can easily switch between different moods. A paid subscription service dispenses with adverts.
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3. Shazam (Free) - How often do you hear a song while out and wish you knew what it was? Load up Shazam and it'll figure it out for you. Besides that, it'll retrieve song lyrics and give you plenty of ways to discover new artists and stay up to date with the latest developments.
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4. Deezer (Free) - Offering a similar service to other apps, Deezer has the advantage of being there for Cricket Wireless subscribers, Sonos, and Bose. You can use it to explore an extensive catalog of music, sync it for offline listening, as well as enjoy an ad-free experience. It's high definition quality too.
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5. Discovr ($4.99) - Deviating from a subscription model and simply requiring a one-off payment, Discovr allows you to view interactive maps of the world of music to discover new artists you might enjoy. You can play 30 second preview sample clips from iTunes, as well as watch full length songs via YouTube, before launching extra content via Spotify.
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6. TuneIn Radio (Free) - Offering over 100,000 radio stations to choose from, you can discover various different outlets for listening to music, talk shows, sporting events, and more, through TuneIn Radio. It uses real radio stations from across the world, allowing you to enjoy such content through your phone, Apple Watch, CarPlay, or Google Chromecast.
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7. iHeartRadio (Free) - iHeartRadio makes it possible for you to create your own commercial free custom stations based on whatever artist you want to hear. Adding to that you can enjoy the app's 'Perfect For' stations which match your mood, as well as check out various local radio stations and your favourite podcasts too.
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8. SoundCloud (Free) - SoundCloud gives you a way in which to 'collect' tracks and playlists, as well as follow friends and artists for more inspiration. You can check out what's currently trending, shuffle playlists, and even discover comedy and news through the app. Its real strength is how easily you can share content with others.
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9. Google Play Music (Free) - Offering a mixture of free and subscription services, Google Play Music is convenient for all. You can use it to store up to 50,000 songs from your own collection, as well as enjoy smart recommendations. Subscribers can enjoy ad-free listening, access to over 30 million songs, and a way in which to download music to your device for offline listening.
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10. Amazon Music (Free) - Now with Prime Music, this app is a no brainer for anyone with a Prime account. You can easily play music you've bought from Amazon, thanks to AutoRip, but more importantly Prime Music gives you access to over a million songs, as well as ad-free stations, and intelligent recommendations. You can import your iTunes library too.