Got a new smartphone? You’re probably dying to check out all its capabilities, including the options available for streaming or caching music. Who needs to carry around an iPod when you can do all that and more from a single device? Of course, you’re going to need a data plan in order to transfer information and store music through the Internet. Not crazy about the idea of paying outrageous fees for all that data usage? Get information on prepaid phones for options on paying only for the minutes and data usage as you use it.
Whether you choose a monthly data subscription or opt for the prepaid route, there are several rockin’ apps that will enable you to either stream or cache your favorite music right on your smartphone. Check out the top nine apps for streaming music to your mobile device.
Google Play Music
Google Play Music stores all your songs online, so there’s no need to sync and you won’t use all your storage space just for music. That said, you can save your favorite songs for offline playback – so should you get caught in a (gasp!) dead spot, you can still jive to your favorite tunes. You can also upload up to 20,000 songs already stored on your computer to the app, and of course, like all things Google, you can share it all with your Google+ network. Download Cost: FREE
If you’ve used Facebook (even once in your life), you’ve probably seen mentions of Spotify. Now Spotify is available on your mobile device, too, with the ability to play local files, get free radio streaming on your device and even share your favorite tracks – or what you’re currently listening to – with friends. Download Cost: FREE for Basic, $4.99/month subscription for Unlimited, $9.99/month subscription for Premium.
Its name sounds antiquated, but 8Tracks is a cool app that lets you access playlists created by other users based on an artist or title search. Great for those music lovers who like a particular style but are too busy — or just too lazy — to create their own playlists. Download Cost: FREE
Amazon mp3 (Amazon Cloud Player)
With Amazon mp3, you can shop for music from within the app, store it to a cloud for streaming later. You can also upload songs you already own, and stream or download them to your device. Download Cost: FREE
Last.fm is a streaming radio service, yet doesn’t let personalization go by the wayside: It logs what you’ve listened to so you can quickly access the songs and stations you listen to most frequently and to recommend music based on your preferences. This app makes use of what it calls “The Scrobbler,” that holds the sole responsibility for accurately reporting what you’re listening to for future reference. Aptly named, the note it sends to the app for recording is called a “Scrobble.” Nope, we’re not joking. Download Cost: FREE
If the name isn’t enough to intrigue you, Cubed is an easy-to-use music-streaming app that – you guessed it – lets you browse through artists and music by rotating the cube with your finger. Those of you who tend to get frustrated with crazy interfaces can relax knowing you can ditch the cube for a more logical list. Download Cost: FREE
If you have music ADD, TuneIN Radio will help you avoid the fear of the monotonous with 40,000 radio stations from which to choose. If you occasionally do enjoy listening to the same station, artist, or genre more than once, you can set favorites for easy access. TuneIN Radio’s best feature, considering the sheer volume of stations available, is its highly structured, almost OCD-like organization by category and sub-category. To put it simply, you’ll have no problem finding what you’re looking for with this app. Download Cost: FREE for Basic, $0.99 for Pro
Not for the faint of heart, PowerAMP is serious business. Aspiring DJs and hardcore music lovers may not be able to tear themselves away from this app. The interface includes a 10-band equalizer, treble and bass adjustment for the ultimate listening experience. That is, if you know how to use it. Download Cost: $4.99.
Sky.fm doesn’t offer quite as many stations as some other apps, but the interface is attractive and user-friendly. Also contributing to Sky.fm’s klout is its indicator showing how much data the app is using — handy if you’re not in a WiFi hotspot and relying on your data plan. Download Cost: FREE
Whatever your preferences, there’s a mobile music app out there that can meet your needs — and, most are free to download. Think something’s missing? Help us uncover the missing number ten. What’s your favorite mobile music streaming app?
This post was contributed by Emily Green.