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10 Best Free Music Apps for Apple and Android (Updated 2020)

10 Best Free Music Apps for Apple and Android (Updated 2020)
Lee FitzSimmons Feb 22, 2020
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If you like listening to music on your mobile device, then it would probably be in your best interest to have a list of the best free music apps for your smartphone.

Being able to listen to music on your mobile device is one of the most wonderful aspects of twenty-first century life.

You may also like to know that there has been a large amount of scientific research that suggests that listening to music improves our mental functions and aids our physical well-being in a wide variety of ways.

In addition, many other studies have found that music can help you learn and recall information better.

Because music is so important in our lives, we desire to experience its magic whenever we can.

That’s why a mobile phone without some kind of music app just doesn’t feel right.

Streaming vs. Downloading

Many years ago, the iPod and its massive capacity to hold thousands of songs was considered to be the state-of-the-art technology, but as we all know, storing music files on your phone consumes both time and memory.

However, a lot of people are now streaming free music on their smartphone without having to download any files because in this day and age, anyone with an internet connection has access to massive libraries of songs.

What’s even better is that many of the major music streaming apps are available for free.

This is because most of these services have a free tier, and although they include ads and have more limited functionality than the options that charge a fee, they’re still pretty great.

What Should I Expect From the Best Free Music Apps?

A good music streaming app will have a clear audio signal as well as many options for both finding and creating playlists so that multiple songs can be played without having to enter a new command every time you want to play another track.

Another thing that you should look for in a music streaming app is the ability to listen to music whenever there is no internet connection.

In addition, a good streaming app will also give you access to a wide array of musical choices and will let you try out the service before deciding whether to purchase any type of monthly subscription with upgrades.

These free music streaming apps make a lot more sense than paying for a product you rarely use if you happen to be an individual who doesn’t listen to a lot of music.

Choose Your App

The good news is that there’s no shortage of high quality music apps available on Android and iOS devices.

With all of these choices, it may be hard for you to decide which music app is best for you. 

Making this decision even more difficult is the fact that there are many different kinds of music apps that work differently.

Do you want to download, stream, or listen to internet radio? 

Because there’s so much going on, it can be overwhelming, so we’ve done a lot of the leg work for you.

By taking a careful look at all of the many options available for audio in today’s hectic marketplace, we have been able to find the very best services that will provide music without charging you anything at all.

We have created a list of some of the best music apps available for iOS and Android, so you can be more informed about all of the free music apps you wish to try out.

So without any further adieu, here is the list…

1. Spotify

At the top of our list of the best free music apps is the largest music streaming service in the world.

Residing in Luxembourg and headquartered in Sweden, Spotify dwarfs the competition with about twice as many users as its nearest competitor, Apple Music.

It’s primary business is providing a streaming platform that provides music, videos, and podcasts.

Its basic features are free with advertisements, while extra features, such as commercial-free listening, are offered with paid subscriptions.

The Spotify platform provides access to over 48 million tracks, which you can browse by artist, album, or genre.

In addition, you can make and share playlists.

The service is available in most of the United States, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Asia and Africa.

There are versions of Spotify on most modern devices, including Linux, Windows, iOS, Android smartphones, and tablets.

Spotify pays royalties to the music rights holders based on the number of streams.

It distributes almost three-fourths of its gross revenue in this manner.

Free Features

Here are a few of the things you can do with the Spotify app.

  • Discover new music
  • Search for your favorite titles and artists
  • Enjoy customized playlists made for you
  • Make your own playlists
  • Find music for all occasions 
  • Listen to music on many different devices including tablets and phones

You have access to a large amount of free music, playlists, podcasts, and the artists you love.

Discover new music, podcasts and listen to your favorite artists, albums, or create a playlist with the latest songs to suit your mood.

With this service, music can be searched for by using multiple parameters, like artist, genre, album, playlist, or record label.

This amazing app also allows you to share tracks on social media.

Upgrade Options

Individual – $9.99 / Month

Spotify offers a Premium package that offers the following features:

  • Listen without ad breaks
  • Download music for offline listening
  • Cancel any time you like
  • On-demand playback
Family – $14.99 / Month 

This subscription plan allows you to have up to six accounts for family members living at the same residence.

It also gives you the ability to create playlists for your family.

In addition, this family option lets you block explicit music so that the children in the family are not exposed to inappropriate material.

Student – $4.99 / Month

This upgrade option is a Hulu plan that is supported by advertising and gives you access to Showtime.

2. Pandora

Pandora is next on our list of the best free music apps.

It is an internet music provider that features automated music recommendation.

Located in Oakland, California, it is powered by the Music Genome Project, which is the core database that Pandora’s promoted radio stations access in order to supply its listeners with music.

This massive project assigns more than 400 attributes to each song.

In addition, the app plays musical tracks that are similar in sound and style.

It can be accessed through a browser or with the Pandora app.

Free Features

Pandora utilizes a business model that employs a freemium service.

Basically, this means that its services are free with ads, while extra upgrades are offered with a paid monthly subscription.

You can listen to already established musical genre stations, the stations of other listeners, or your own stations that you have created.

As a user, you provide either positive or negative input for the music chosen by this app, and this feedback is taken into consideration in the future.

A second negative response to the same artist will prevent that artist from being played again on that station.

You should also know that a thumbs down immediately causes you to skip a track.

The free version of Pandora plays ads between every few songs.

There is also a setting in your account that allows the user to block songs that contain explicit lyrics or adult content.

If you purchase a subscription to Pandora’s One service, you can download a desktop app that uses the Adobe Air to access Pandora without a browser; it contains all of the regular features.

Upgrade Options

Pandora Plus – $4.99 / Month

With the Pandora Plus monthly subscription plan, you can create ad-free personalized radio stations.

You also have improved audio quality.

In addition, you have unlimited skips and can listen to as many as four radio stations offline.

You can also make and share playlists with your friends and family.

Pandora Premium – $9.99 / Month

Pandora Premium includes all the benefits of Pandora Plus, but also offers the ability to search and play songs on-demand.

This plan also offers you a higher audio quality than Pandora Plus.

Pandora Premium Family – $14.99 / Month

This plan offers all of the same features as Pandora Premium and allows you to have access for up to six accounts.

3. iHeartRadio

Founded in 2008, iHeartRadio is one of the more popular services on our list of the best free music apps.

It is owned by iHeartMedia, which has over 800 iHeartMedia stations all over the United States.

This provider also has many other stations from other media companies such as Cumulus Media, Cox Radio, and Beasley Broadcast Group.

This service features more than a quarter of a million podcasts and allows you to save and replay songs from live broadcasts.

It is available on over 200 platforms as well as thousands of devices, including wearables, smart speakers, tablets, smartphones, wide-screen televisions, virtual assistants, and gaming consoles.

Free Features

This service lets you listen to music on live radio stations.

Like Pandora, the iHeartRadio player has a thumbs up/thumbs down ranking tool that provides feedback for the station that is being played.

A “thumbs up” rating on a song will cause the track to play more often, and a “thumbs down” rating on a song means that song will never be played again.

This data is then used to personalize your own “My Favorites Radio” station.

As the “My Favorites Radio” feature learns your tastes over time, it adds extra tracks into the listening loop.

Upgrade Options

Plus – $4.99 / Month

This upgrade option allows you to play any song, skip an unlimited number of tracks, save songs to your playlist, and replay songs from the radio.

All Access – $9.99/ Month

With this upgrade option, you get all of the features of the “plus” upgrade, and you also get the ability to listen offline and create unlimited playlists for yourself and your friends.

4. Google Play

Google Play Music is a service that provides free, ad-supported radio.

This entry in the list of the best free music apps gives you the ability to create radio stations based on content.

You can also browse by mood, genre, activity, and more.

Free Features

You have access to stations curated by experts.

It is possible to store up to 50,000 songs from your very own music collection.

You also have the ability to subscribe to podcasts and receive recommendations of music that you like to hear.

Upgrade Options

For $9.99 per month, you can purchase a subscription that offers some really nice features, like on-demand access to millions of songs and YouTube Music Premium membership.

Paid subscription plans are ad-free.

5. Amazon Music Prime

Launched in 2007, Amazon Music Prime is the next entry on our list of the best free music apps.

It is a music streaming service that is available for free to individuals who have an Amazon Prime membership. 

Free Features

The app offers ad-free listening with the ability to access your favorite tunes offline.

You also have an unlimited number of skips.

Upgrade Options

If you are an Amazon Prime member, you can purchase an Amazon Music Unlimited subscription.

With this upgrade, you get full access to over 50 million songs, compared to the two million or so songs available without the Unlimited upgrade.

Also, you can purchase a family plan that has the same access to all of the same tracks that you get with the Unlimited plan.

This plan allows for you to have a maximum of six accounts. 

You should also know that you can enjoy unlimited access to fifty million songs in high definition by purchasing a Amazon Music HD upgrade.

In addition, the HD upgrade also lets you listen to millions of songs in Ultra HD (DVD quality or better).

Family plans for Amazon Music HD are also available.

6. AccuRadio

AccuRadio is internet radio that you can customize yourself.

With just a single click, you can enjoy hours of uninterrupted music. 

Free Features

This service appears on our list of the best free music apps because it serves hundreds of music channels that represent over 50 musical genres.

One of the nice things about AccuRadio is that you are given the ability to conveniently save your favorite music channels as well as your listening history.

You also have the ability to rate songs and unlock your own personal “Five-Star” channel.

In addition, you have an unlimited number of song skips and can share your favorites with your friends.

It is also possible for you to ban an artist or a song from a specific channel.

Some of the genres available include the following:

  • Reggae
  • Celtic
  • Soul
  • Jazz
  • Classical
  • Hip-Hop
  • Rock
  • Blues
  • R&B
  • Electronic
  • Punk
  • Latin
  • Korean Pop

…and many more.

7. Jazz Music Radio

If you are a fan of jazz music, then never fear because we’ve got you covered.

That’s because the next service on our list of the best free music apps, Jazz Music Radio, is not only the most listened to digital radio network for jazz music fans around the globe, but it is also available anywhere you want to listen.

Free Features

This service offers dozens of channels of the best jazz music in the world.

Each channel is hand-programmed by a manager who is an expert in that particular style of jazz.

Find your favorite styles, including Bebop, Smooth Jazz, Swing, Big Band, and many more!

With this service, you can listen to over 30 handcrafted jazz music channels.

You also have the ability to stream music from the app, control audio, and view song titles from the lock screen.

In addition, you have the ability to save your favorite channels for easy access at a later time.

This app also comes with a Sleep Timer feature that allows you to fall asleep to music without using up all of your data.

You can also set data streaming preferences and share your favorite tracks and channels by email, Facebook, or Twitter.

If all of these wonderful features aren’t enough for you, then you should also know that there is a handy little buffer bar that displays data, so you can keep track of your data usage.

Categories

Here is a list of some of the many channels that are available from this service:

  • Bebop
  • Blues
  • Bossa Nova
  • Gypsy Jazz
  • Hard Bop
  • Jazz Ballads
  • Latin Jazz
  • Piano Jazz
  • Smooth Bossa Nova
  • Smooth Lounge
  • Straight Ahead
  • Swing & Big Band
  • Trumpet Jazz
  • Vibraphone Jazz

Upgrade Options

This app has a sensible premium plan that costs $7.00 a month.

You can save two dollars a month if you pay for a year in advance, and you can subtract three dollars off of your monthly charge if you pay for two years in advance.

The upgraded service gives you an ad-free experience with higher quality audio and lets you skip an unlimited number of tracks.

Premium allows you to stream channels by using hardware players including Denon, Sonos, Squeezebox, Roku, Phillips, and Pioneer.

Premium also lets you to access DI.FM, RadioTunes, RockRadio.com, ClassicalRadio.com, and ZenRadio.

8. Spinrilla

Spinrilla was the first music provider that allowed users to create hip-hop mixtapes, so it appears next on our list of the best free music apps.

Spinrilla puts one of the largest catalogs of hip-hop music right in the palm of your hand and gives you the ability to discover their next big tracks. 

The service also features an online mode that lets you listen to music whenever an internet connection isn’t available.

You can also look at the charts in order to see what’s trending right now.

You can also follow your favorite artists and get a notification whenever they drop new music.

9. Shazam

Acquired by Apple in 2018 for $400 million dollars, Shazam is an app that can identify movies, music, and television shows.

It is available for Windows, iOS, Android, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

The service is free, and there are no upgrade options.

Features

This app identifies songs by using a spectrogram.

It utilizes a device’s built-in microphone to get a sample of the audio that is being played and stores its audio fingerprint in a database.

To use this app, you tag a song for ten seconds so that the application can create an audio fingerprint.

It then analyzes this captured sound and seeks to find a match in its database.

If it finds a match, it sends you the relevant information like the title, artist, and album.

Certain versions of Shazam employ links to websites like Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, or Groove Music.

Shazam can positively identify the music being played from most sources as long as the background noise is not too loud, and the song is present within its database.

The app runs on Android, iOS, BlackBerry OS, and Windows Phone systems.

Shazam is also available for your Mac, as a desktop app that runs in the background and instantly recognizes any song played.

With the launch of iOS 8 came the integration of the app into the Siri function.

10. YouTube Music

YouTube Music, the next contender on our list of the best free music apps, is a music streaming service that is available for free.

Free Features

This app uses Google artificial intelligence technology to search music tracks based on descriptions and lyrical content.

It is now available on Google Assistant smart speakers and has feature-limited playback supported by advertising if you want to get the service for free.

Upgrade Options

YouTube Music is offered as a separate subscription service, offering ad-free access, downloading capability, and offline listening capabilities.

You can also listen to the audio only and don’t have to worry about your music stopping if you use another app, or if your screen locks.

11. TuneIn Radio

TuneIn In is an audio streaming service that delivers radio, news, music, sports, and podcasts to over 75 million users.

On the TuneIn website, you can use a smart speaker, a mobile app, or another supported device; it is also available or many vehicle models.

The website’s directory lists a wide assortment of talk, sports, news, and music broadcasts from many different countries.

TuneIn is available in 22 languages and also offers over five million on-demand programs.

Content

Because TuneIn has more than 100,000 radio stations and millions of on-demand podcasts and programs, it would seem necessary to include it in our list of the best free music apps.  

It also announced it would stream concerts from summer music festivals including the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Folk Festival.

TuneIn also broadcasts live coverage of NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB games.

Free Features 

Tunein is yet another one of the best free music apps available online because it will allow you to listen to FM, AM, LP, HD, digital and internet stations.

Upgrade Options

For only $9.99 a month (or $99.99 a year), you can purchase a premium upgrade that gives you some really nice features:

  • Live play-by-play coverage of every single MLB, NFL, NHL, and NBA game
  • Commercial-free news from Fox, MSNBC, and CNBC
  • News podcasts from Progressive Voices, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal
  • Dozens of commercial-free music stations in a broad range of genres

12. SoundCloud

SoundCloud is an online audio distribution service and music sharing website that lets you upload, promote, and share audio with people from all over the world.

Unlike many of the other music apps out there, SoundCloud is a community for you to upload any kind of audio track for instant discovery.

You can listen to new tunes, connect directly with your favorite artists, and support the future of music.

SoundCloud is one of the few places where artists and fans come together in order to push music culture forward, so it respectfully earns a well-deserved place on our list of the best free music apps.

Basically, this revolutionary platform allows you to directly support the artists you love.

This is because you help out emerging and established artists with every play.

Everything purchased on SoundCloud helps to put more money in the artist’s pockets, and enables them to continue to create music.

Free Features

  • Access an enormous catalog of musical content
  • Discover thousands of artists and podcasters
  • Listen to music that you can’t find anywhere else
  • Get suggestions based on your individual listening preferences
  • Peruse the SoundCloud Charts for the best musical selections within each genre
  • Create new playlists for almost any occasion
  • Find new tracks much faster by using curated playlists
  • Listen to your favorite hits
  • Discover what the next musical trends might be

Upgrade Options

Soundcloud Pro

For $16 a month (or $12 a month if billed annually), Soundcloud offers a “Pro” version that offers the following features:

Unlimited upload time for almost any kind of audio file

  • HD storage and download capabilities
  • Schedule a specific release date for your uploads
  • Complete statistics for all important parameters
  • Access to all of the embed controls 
  • Spotlight feature is enabled
  • Replace your old tracks 
  • Ability to access quiet mode 
  • Complete access to SoundCloud Premier
  • Monetize your tracks
  • Promote your tracks in order to reach new fans
  • Distribute releases to the major music providers
  • Enjoy Soundcloud with no ads
  • High quality audio
  • Offline listening

13. Jango 

Jango is a free service that provides an enormous selection of music. 

With only the name of your favorite artist, Jango will create your own personal customized radio station that plays similar musical selections. 

You should also know that you can tune in to a wide variety of superbly programmed genre stations like Indie Dance Hits, Top 100, or Hot in Hip-Hop.

Free Features

The service allows you to listen to free music on your desktop or mobile device.

There are no ads at all, and you can create customized radio stations with all of the great artists that you love.

You can also tune in to hundreds of carefully designed  stations in dozens of genres, including rock, country, and top forty hits by decade.

You should also be aware that you can fine-tune your custom stations by either adding or banning artists from them.

It is also possible for you to share your stations with your friends on Facebook.

In addition, you have the option to either store your tunes on your device or store them online.

14. Deezer

This French online music streaming service allows users to listen to music from record labels, including Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Warner Music Group. 

It has 56 million tracks in its library as well as tens of thousands of radio channels. 

Free Features

With this app, you can stream thousands of hits and browse a catalog that has millions of great songs.

The application also has a feature called Shuffle Mode that allows you to find new tunes.

Deezer Flow is another free feature that lets you get recommendations that are made specifically for you.

In addition, you can add songs to your Favorite Tracks collection and share your selections with your friends.

Upgrade Options

Deezer Premium is $9.99 per month.

With this upgrade, you get high-quality service with no advertisements, unlimited skips, and the ability to use the service’s offline mode.

You will also need this upgrade if you want to use Deezer on all devices because the free service is mobile only.

There is another upgrade option called Deezer Family, and it costs $14.99 per month.

This option allows you to have all of the special features of the premium plan with up to six accounts.

15. Idagio

Based in Berlin, this music streaming service specializes in classical music and has over two million tracks as well as exclusive releases and personalized recommendations.

Free Features

The service offers a search that is made especially for classical music and features a catalog of over two million tracks.

You can choose and play any track with the on-demand playback feature.

You can also create your own collection and listen anywhere with the offline mode. 

It is also helpful to know that you can skip as many tracks as you like.

Upgrade Options

On-demand listening is one of the more convenient features of this ad-free upgrade that lets you create your own personal collection and browse the service’s library by filtering by composer, work, soloist, and orchestra.

In addition, you can compare concert and orchestra recordings of the same work.

You also have access to exclusive playlists curated by artists from the international classical music community.

In addition, you can discover new classical music with your own personalized Weekly Mix.

For $14.99 a month, you can subscribe to Idagio Premium Plus, which has all of the features of the Idagio Premium option and also allows you to have maximum audio quality (FLAC 16 bit, 44.1 kHz).

16. Audiomack

Audiomack is an audio distribution platform that lets artists upload content so that it can be accessed by listeners all over the world.

This service is one of the best free music apps for independent artists who wish to distribute their music globally.

Free Features

This amazing service allows you to create mixtapes while you select from categories like Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, Reggae and more.

It is also important to know that Audiomack has a free music download feature that lets you play your music offline.

You have access to curated playlists and can create your own.

Upgrade Options

For $4.99 a month, you can upgrade to  an account that has no advertisements.

17. LiveXLive

LiveXLive, formerly Slacker Radio, is yet another one of the best free music apps available for your mobile device.

It lets you listen to your favorite musical selections and watch live streaming performances for absolutely no charge at all.

Free Features

The app allows you to customize a programmed station from its vast collection of over 400 expert-curated music stations.

It also provides music recommendations that are personalized just for you, so you can discover new musical pleasures.

The service features live video streams of popular events from around the globe as well as exclusive weekly shows.

Most importantly, however, you have the ability to share your favorite tracks and create your own unique stations and playlists.

LiveXLive also features interactive news and sports programming.

Upgrade Options

With LiveXLive Plus, you have ad-free listening, maximum audio quality, and unlimited skips for $3.99 a month.

For $9.99, you can upgrade to LiveXLive Premium, which has all the benefits of LiveXLive Plus as well as on-demand access to thousands of musical selections and offline data-free listening on your mobile device.

Final Thoughts About Our List of the 10 Best Free Music Apps

Well now, that was a fairly extensive list, now wasn’t it?

With all of this valuable information, you should be able to reap the benefits of today’s modern technology and have lots of great music pouring into your ears.

There is a wide variety of features that these apps provide, so if you know what you are looking for in a music streaming service, then you should have no problem finding something that will satisfy your needs.

This list of the best free music apps will help you to find out what you want and then locate the most appropriate service.

So go ahead and fill your ears with all of the sweet ear candy that you can find.

Your soul will thank you.

Lee FitzSimmons

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