Whether your new year’s resolution was to discover some brilliant new music, reacquaint yourself with the classics or listen to the best radio has to offer, there are now hundreds of music applications out there, each vying for your attention. The real question, though, is which ones are the best, and which ones deserve a place on the home screen of your phone?
Why not join us as we run down the essential music apps for 2014.
1) Google Play Music All Access (iPhone, Android)
The name is a tongue twister, but the service is a corker. Put simply, there are two sides to the equation, the first is a streaming service in the style of Spotify – you pay a certain amount (10 quid) each month to get access to their extensive streaming library. The second is the ability to upload your own personal music library to their servers, giving you instant access to your personal collection anywhere you like. Even better, if you’re just interested in streaming your own music, you can do so for free, with up to 20,000 songs allowed, perfect for any impromptu parties, especially when paired with wireless speakers from Superfi.
2) Soundcloud (iPhone, Android)
Soundcloud has become the first destination for bands and musicians uploading new music to share with their adoring public, and in 2013 it got the applications it needed to take it to the next level. Both the iPhone and Android versions are gorgeously designed works of code, and allow access to all the music uploaded to their service. You can like, comment, cue and share as much music you care for, all for free. How’s that for an idea?
3) Nokia MixRadio (Windows Phone)
It’s not as cross platform as the others, but MixRadio is a fantastic music service, and a great reason to own a Windows Phone. All you do is launch it, select three artists that you want the mix to focus around and then let its fantastic algorithm do the rest. Pocketnow called it “the best music service ever”, it’s completely free, easy on battery life, devoid of advertisements and looks mighty gorgeous too. If you own a Windows Phone and haven’t tried out MixRadio yet, you’re doing something wrong.
4) Radioplayer (iPhone, Android, Windows Phone)
For radio fans, there’s no shortage of excellent applications, but few can lay claim to having the BBC’s full support and access to all their radio stations live. Radioplayer is one such application and has just launched a beautiful Windows Phone version, making it a truly cross platform experience. Of course, it’s not a patch on Superfi’s DAB Radio’s, but for quick and easy listening on the go, few can match its ease of use and utility.
5) Songkick (iOS, Android)
For live music lovers, Songkick is an indispensable tool. It looks at your music library and tells you when the bands you enjoy are playing nearby, offering a concert calendar so that you can plan your life around what really matters – hearing loud music in a sweaty room. We’re huge fans of Songkick, and think you might be too.