The iPhone is a great music player. Or at least, with the right combination of apps and services, it can be. You'll find the spiritual successor to the iPod as an icon on the Home screen but that's just the tip of the iceberg. If you're a fan of music, there's an entire world hiding behind the search field on the App Store and it goes way beyond Spotify and Pandora.
From identifying songs to understanding lyrics. From listening to the radio to exploring a curated mixtape created by a music lover just like you. Read on to find out more.
Shazam is the first app any music fan should install. Yes, you can ask Siri to identify a song for you but the Shazam app does so much more. With the Shazam app, scanning a new song is just the first step.
You can set up Shazam so that every identified song is automatically added to an Apple Music playlist. Once the song is scanned, you can look up the lyrics, buy it, or play the song right there if you've connected to your Spotify account. The Auto Shazam mode keeps listening to the song even when the app is closed. This can be a great way to discover every song that's played in a cafe.
Musixmatch is the best lyrics app on the iPhone. The app's UI is polished and it has a vast collection of lyrics. Plus, lyrics sync with the song. This is something Apple Music app doesn't have.
Another really cool thing about Musixmatch is the widget. When you're playing a song, or after you've identified a song, the widget will show live lyrics. So you can sing along without ever leaving the iPhone's Lock screen.
Download: Musixmatch Lyrics Finder
Musixmatch is where I go to learn the lyrics. Genius is where I go to understand them. Genius is lacking when it comes to viewing lyrics live, as you're playing the music. The app's UI is centered around reading the meaning behind the lyrics.
Genius is the best place for this. These days, you'll even find official annotation for lyrics, straight from the artists. So instead of reading someone else's interpretation of the lyrics, you're actually reading the artist's thought process.
If you're into radio stations, TuneIn Radio is the best way to listen to them. The app has a large library of online radio stations, both for music and sports. In fact, you can get live play-by-play for NFL, NBA and MLB games for the entire season. The app also features a library of 60,000 audiobooks and it gives you access to more than 600 commercial free music stations.
TuneIn makes it really easy to listen to radio stations. You can control it from your Apple Watch, stream to your TV using Chromecast or play the stations in your car using CarPlay.
Download: TuneIn Radio
SoundCloud is still the biggest free and independent music streaming network. And if you're into song covers, hour long trance and EDM sets and mix tapes, SoundCloud is the place to be. The free tier gives you access to more than 120 million tracks. You'll get suggestions and access to standard features like playlists and more.
SoundCloud now has 3 subscription plans – Go, Go+ and Pulse, with varying degrees of features. They let you download songs for offline use and remove ads. They'll also send a portion of your money directly to the artists.
If you're into human curated music, 8Tracks is the app you'll keep coming back to. The app features more than 2 million free playlists, all handcrafted carefully by music lovers just like you. You'll find playlists for all occasions – studying, work out, romance, and more.
8Tracks is cool because it introduces you to new music that's actually good. You'll find independent rock, hip-hop, electronic, jazz and mixtapes here. There is a sleep timer and YouTube integration as well. The Plus tier costs $4.99/month and removes all ads and interruptions between playlists.
Download: 8Tracks Playlist Radio
Vox is many things. And depending on what kind of music fan you are, it can mold into a different app. VOX is a music player for iOS devices that supports FLAC files, 30,000+ radio stations, has an equalizer, can stream from SoundCloud and Spotify, and it has its own cloud based music streaming system as well.
If you choose, you can pay $9.99/month for Loop for Vox. You can upload an unlimited amount of music to the service and use the Vox app as a streaming service with your own personal collection of lossless media.
What stands out the most with Vox is its design. It's not like any other music player you've seen. You navigate mostly using vertical swipes. moving between sections that don't always have a visual cue.
If 8Tracks is the community soured curation app, Hype Machine is editor based. The app lets you discover the hottest music from publications around the world. If you're the kind of person who cares what professional music editors and writers and tastemakers think is the best music these days, just install Hype Machine.
Download: Hype Machine
Concerts are a big part of any music fan's life. There's nothing like watching your favorite band perform right in front of you. SongKick Concerts is an app that makes sure you won't miss a concert from your favorite band just because no one told you about it.
The app connects to Apple Music, Spotify, Facebook and your library to figure out your favorite artists. Then, the next time you're in town, you'll be notified about the concert. You can choose to follow it, share the event with your friends or buy tickets right from the app.
Download: SongKick Concerts
Musi turns YouTube into an audio music player. Basically, you're streaming the video from YouTube but you can play it even when the phone is locked. Musi lets you search for a song and play it. As it's a music player, you also get features like a queue and playlist management.
Do you pay for a Music streaming service like Apple Music or Spotify? Or are you perfectly happy just managing your own music collection?
What are the apps you use for discovering and collecting new music? Share with us in the comments below.