Photo by Yasunobu Ikeda
These days, it’s safe to say we’re addicted to our cell phones. And why shouldn’t we be? They’re pretty much the greatest invention since the printing press.
Google Play Music
First thing’s first. You need your music library and there are a few different ways to do that. Spotify is certainly the most popular, but we’re quite fond of Google Play Music. Both apps essentially accomplish the same task. They both can access your personal library on and offline, they both give you access to thousands of songs, and they both are subscription-based.
What we think sets Google Music apart is the Radio feature. Google does an incredible job at creating a radio station that mixes perfectly music you know with music you wish you knew. It’s also editable, in that you can remove and rearrange songs from the radio’s queue, a simple little something that brings personalization to your stations and makes them your very own. The radio always provides songs that are relevant to the station you’ve chosen and has been wonderful at helping us discover new bands and artists.
Everyone likes to be in the know. We all enjoy being the first of our friends to find out about a great new band or upcoming concert. The best way to stay up to date on your favorite musicians is with Bandsintown.
Bandsintown provides a personalized concert calendar based on the artists you actually care about by scanning your music libraries. The best part is the slider. The slider at the bottom of the Concert Cloud allows users to choose what percentage of similar artists they’re interested in seeing. If you prefer to stick to what you know, you can push the slider all the way left. If you’re a bit more adventurous, slide it all the way right and find out what Bandsintown thinks you’ll like. We like to keep it somewhere in the middle.
One of the best ways to discover new music is to go where the up-and-comers go. SoundCloud is easily the largest database of music there is. Albeit, it also includes some of the worst “songs” you’ve ever heard, random clips of “rain sounds”, and podcasts, but it’s also the place where anyone can post their stuff for free, so it offers a well of untapped musical rarities, oddities, remixes, b-sides, and everything in-between.
The greatest thing about SoundCloud is the ability to subscribe to users. You can follow your favorite DJs, bands, and stay up to date with what they’re doing. It also runs on continuous play, so if you click to play a song and then get back to work, SoundCloud will keep playing allowing you to subconsciously hear new things.
Indie Shuffle is a curated music discovery app that provides ad-free playlists based on similar artists and genres using SoundCloud’s API, making it an awesome comrade to the SoundCloud app. It basically funnels out the junk and tries to put only the best jams into your earholes.
Indie Shuffle focuses primarily on shedding light on indie and up-and-coming artists in a variety of genres, but they also feature tons of excellent remixes of songs you’ve probably already heard. The smart radio feature allows you to choose a song and it will build a playlist just for you based on your selection. We think the greatest feature of the app is the Collections. Collections are like playlists, ranging in theme from Sunday Night Chill to Orange is the New Black Season 2 and many are handpicked by popular artists.
Everyone, at some point or another, has been listening to the radio or watching a movie or checking out a friend’s music collection and wondered, “What is this song?”. SoundHound answers that question, and then some.
SoundHound is a music recognition and identification app and a great companion for not only listening to music, but really discovering it. When you hear a song you dig, open the app and let it listen to your music and it will do it’s best to identify the song and give you a whole host of useful information about it, including lyrics, buy links, YouTube videos, artist biographies, links to Spotify, tour dates and ticket info.
If you’re one of those who love the classic way of finding new music or you just prefer something a bit more mindless, then you’re probably a fan of radio. There are tons of great radio-like apps on the market these days, but our favorite has to be Songza. Songza is perhaps the most underrated station-makers out there.
Songza allows users to select moods and environments and plays a curated playlist specifically designed for your selection. There are tons of settings to choose from, whether you’re at the gym or at the beach, Songza does its best to pick the right music for you.
*T-Mobile Free Music Streaming
T-Mobile recently launched its #MusicFreedom campaign in which it boasts that users can stream all the music they want from top music services including Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Rhapsody, Spotify, Slacker, and Samsung’s Milk Music without gobbling up all your 4G LTE data. This is a huge deal and something we are totally on board with. Data caps and overages should never apply to music-listening and we hope other cell service providers follow suit.