The soundtrack to your life is about to go mobile. Music fans have always found a way to keep the tunes rolling, but smartphone apps have made it easier than ever to maintain a steady groove. From song-detecting apps to music libraries to streaming radio services, sophisticated programs are boosting users’ music intake. Whether you prefer cell phones from Blackberry, Samsung or Apple, these cross-platform apps hit all the right notes. If you’re a smartphone user and a music fan, consider these apps to turn your device into a mobile jukebox.
Spotify mobile image by abulhussain via Flickr.
Tech-savvy music fans probably remember Napster, the illegal mp3 download service that eventually went up in flames. Spotify is the legal, simpler response to Napster. This music library contains almost anything you can imagine. Spotify pays artists each time their songs are played, and users gain access to a wide catalog of music at little cost. Fans can listen to Spotify with advertisements for free on their computers, but the mobile service costs $10 per month. That’s a small price to pay for devoted music fans. With Spotify, you can kiss record purchases goodbye. If you’re only going to download one music app, make it this one.
The search for new music can be frustrating and futile. After listening to friends’ recommendations, the latest hot albums and the radio, sometimes you end up reverting to old favorites. Pandora Radio is the smart system to help you find new music. Type in a song, artist or genre, and Pandora will play a wide range of similar music. Love the new Kanye West? Pandora will introduce you to artists with similar beats. The mobile app is free, but users who upgrade to Pandora One don’t have to deal with advertisements.
Has this ever happened to you? You’re at a restaurant, grocery store or baseball game when a song catches your ear. The problem is, you’ve never heard it before, and you don’t recognize the artist. If only there was a device that could detect the song and reveal the details. Say hello to Shazam, a smartphone app that can identify songs in less than 30 seconds. To retrieve a song’s details, open the app and hold your smartphone up (it doesn’t need to be near a speaker). Shazam will reveal the title, artist, record and lyrics. Don’t miss out on that catchy tune. Shazam is free.
There’s nothing like your hometown radio station. Move away and you’ll miss voices, personalities and local commercials that sound like home. Now, smartphone users can take this little piece of home with them anywhere. IHeartRadio offers live radio from stations across the country. Listen to New York’s Power 105.1 while you’re in LA or Miami’s Evolution 93.5 while you’re in Phoenix. If you’re a radio junkie, this free app is a no-brainer.