The Best Free Music Apps
Everyone knows about paid and free music apps like Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and Tidal. They all have their varying degrees of pay x amount to stream uninterrupted music. I don’t know about you but although I understand that artists should be paid for their craft I’m always going to prefer to listen to free apps, regardless of commercials, over a paid service.
Now if you’re unfamiliar with the issues that certain artists like Adele and Taylor Swift have with Spotify and why Jay-Z even created Tidal then feel free to brush up on some music news here and here.
To get to the point, some artists feel as though mostly free apps like Spotify don’t pay them their fair share. It’s why you can’t find pretty much any of Taylor’s discography on Spotify, why Adele’s 25 is nowhere to be seen and why you might have to endure a waiting period before you can listen to the latest from Kaye West, Big Sean, Beyoncé, Rihanna or plenty of other acts.
I have mixed opinions about the whole thing but I’ll save those for later.
With the streaming of music getting stricter and a little less flexible than it was a few years ago the desire for a few decent free music apps is stronger than ever. Today let’s discuss some of my favorite free music apps that I know you’ll love.
They all have different benefits but what matters most is that with these apps you’ll be able to listen on the go and stop relying so heavily on your music library. We all want extra space on our phones and a streaming app is a great way to avoid clogging up your storage with endless songs that could in theory just be streamed.
Plenty of you have told me in the past that you love finding a new music and come to Violet Roots specifically for that reason. Well, if that’s the case then Noon Pacific is for you! Each week on Monday a fresh playlist of underrated artists and musicians from all genres are curated from blogs across the world.
Available: Web, iOS, Android
If you follow me on Instagram then you might already be familiar with Sounds app. The app is mostly free and allows you to listen to your music library, as well as playlists made by their team based in Paris.
You can also check out what your friends are listening, send songs and videos to your friends via text and share/edit tracks on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. Sounds also allows users to watch YouTube videos within the app and has a search feature.
It’s pretty all encompassing and the only drawback is that if you want to share 30-second clips instead of 15-second ones and if you want to remove their watermark you have to sign up for their paid subscription. Personally, for all it does, I don’t think it’s a tough ask and I plan on eventually upgrading.
Available: Web, iOS, Android || Paid Upgrade: $2.99/week, $9.99/month, $49.99/year for Sounds Premium
“Community” is the word that comes to mind when I think about SoundCloud. All of the free music apps listed allow its users to interact with other music lovers in one way or another but SoundCloud is built with that specifically in mind.
Create a playlist to share with your friends, follow a singer or DJ and see what artists they’re listening to, then look to see what gems you find there and so on and so on. You’ll also find a nice mixture of top 40 and underground tracks on SoundCloud that will keep you intrigued as well as simultaneously inducing nostalgia.
Available: Web, iOS & Apple Watch, Android || Paid Upgrade: $9-12.99 a month for SoundCloud Go
8tracks offers free playlist centered radio with an emphasis on independent music. This app boasts having a playlist for every possible mood and is also capable of YouTube and SoundCloud integration. Admittedly, I haven’t used 8tracks in quite some time but when I put together this list it was one of the first apps that
Available: Web, iOS & Apple Watch, Android || Paid Upgrade: 19.99 ad-free year subscription
Muzibit was also made with the music fanatic community in mind. Like Sounds, this app aims to keep you within the app longer by including features like video, discover, share, and stream. The thing that separates this app from the others is that it also highlights the latest news in the music industry and enables users to chat amongst themselves or to other artists, and repost content without having to worry about licensing issues.
Available: iOS & Android
This is an entirely free app that I’m really excited about. When you use weeSpin you can listen to music anywhere with your friends in real time. Each of you can add whatever song you want to your communal playlist. From there you can add the songs your friends suggest to your favorites
Tradiio is a really cool company. The premise of this app is to support new acts, share and make the content viral in and outside of the app’s community and earn perks like tickets, meet and greets and more. It puts its users in the driver’s seat in terms of which artists rise to the top and allows the artists that gain recognition to book festival gigs, secure radio play and sign label deals. With Tradiio the support you give to rising acts is fun, interactive and addictive.
Available: (Web, iOS, Apple Watch & Android)
Check out a slew of other apps for . . .
Supporting Your Fave Artists
Bandcamp (Web, iOS & Android) || Paid: Only when you purchase music directly from the artist
Concert Updates & Live Music Suggestions
Bandsintown (Web, iOS, Apple Watch & Android)
Songkick (Web, iOS & Android)
SoundHound (iOs, Apple Watch & Android) || Paid Upgrade: $6.99 Banner Ad Free SoundHound Infinity
Shazam (Web, iOs, Apple Watch & Android) || Paid Upgrade: $6.99 for ad free
White Label (iOS & Android)
Rormix (iOS & Android)
Listening to Everything (Not Just Music)
Tunein (Web, iOS, Apple Watch & Android) || Paid Upgrade: $9.99 a month (USA)
Everfest (Web, iOS & Android)
An App for DJ Mixes
Mixcloud (Web, iOS & Android)
What are your fave free music apps? Did I miss any?
NOTE: Check out my guest post about the life of a blogger on Gunhild Kristiansen’s blog here!