10 Best Apps for Music Lovers
In 2014, the global digital album and single sales grew by 7% and – for the first time in history! – overtook physical sales with $ 6.85 billion in revenues. Steaming services also gain popularity: last year 68 million paid streaming subscribers made Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal $ 2.89 billion richer. Technology has changed the music industry beyond recognition; considering the fact 56.1% of smartphone owners now use mobile Internet, it may indeed be true to say the future of music lies in apps.
With the help of mobile and desktop applications we can listen to our favorite songs, watch videos, learn to play a musical instrument and even…create music! Here’s a list of best free and paid apps for true music lovers
Best apps to listen to music
- Slacker Radio. In order to compete with iHeart Radio, Spotify and Pandora, Slacker made numerous changes to their service and the corresponding Android/iOS apps. Its coolest feature is obviously the curated music channels. The app offers access to multiple radio stations hosted by contemporary artists and music experts. Second, Slack uses clever & user-friendly navigation, enabling music lovers to easily find what they want (latest hits, alternative, dance). You can also use the handy My Vibe function to create customized playlists complementing your mood, current activities and even time of the day (like Monday morning). The app is free, although you can pay $ 9.99 every months to get rid of advertising;
- NRP Music. This app features everything you could expect from NRP, including latest music news, album reviews, live concerts and the incredible option to tune in to over 75 radio stations nationwide. You can also customize your playlists, save the songs you like and play them offline. The NRP Music app is a must-have for all music lovers (otherwise it wouldn’t be featured in the App Store’s App Essentials collection);
- 8tracks playing radio. If you want to discover the finest EDM, hip hop or indie rock tunes recorded by independent artists, 8tracks is just what the doctor ordered. The online radio app offers over 2 million free playlists created by real users. That being said, what makes it different from Pandora? First, it’s the clever Explore function that enables listeners to select playlists depending on their mood & favorite music genre. Second, it’s YouTube and SoundCloud integration. Finally, it’s the unique mixture of top 40 bangers and rare jams (including unreleased tracks and demos by high-profile musicians).
- Sing! Karaoke. If you ever dreamt of singing a duet with Avril Lavigne (and doing it like a pro, with vocoder and other tools to remove imperfections from your home-made tracks), Sing! Karaoke is the very app you need. Developed by Smule, a San Fran-based developer, the app has several stunning features. You can sing along to your favorite songs (you’ve got over 100 thousand tracks to choose from!) using audio effects, duet with featured artists (Kylie Minogue, Jessie J, Carly Rae Jepsen and more) and share your covers on social networks. Sing! Karaoke went viral mere months after its release; some users (including Tom Bleasby and Fairus Adam) even managed to get some YouTube exposure. The app is currently available on iOS, Android and Apple TV;
- Easy Voice Recorder. The clever app does exactly what its title says – and does it really well! Easy Voice Recorder can be used by amateur singers and musicians, businessmen and students who can’t be bothered to take notes. Using the app, you can record high-quality audio files in different formats (including ARM, PCM and AAC) and upload recordings on a PC. Premium users ($ 3.99) can even record tracks in stereo with the help of a Bluetooth microphone.
Apps for songwriters
- Magic Piano. This section opens with another app perfection from Smule, the driving force behind Sing! Karaoke. If you never learnt to play the piano as a kid, here’s your chance to fulfill your childhood dreams. There are no keys or traditional piano sheets: instead, you can recreate popular songs by tapping light balls. The app features a bundle of free songs to play along with; you can also purchase additional tunes once you master your skills and move to a higher level. Magic Piano heavily relies on gamification, offering an opportunity to record tracks and share them with other app users (there’s no chatting though);
- DM1.The DM1 virtual drum machine was developed by Fingerlabs – the guys who play electronic music and know what it takes to bring the functionality of a real drum to a digital device (iPad or iPhone in this case). Alongside an extremely stylish and easy-to-use interface, the app offers a vast array of handy functions. The drum parts are designed as patterns, and you can adjust their length using a handy sequencer. DM1 also enables users to mix several drum parts, play them in a reversed order and bring the pieces together to create a song. You can get the app from the App Store for only $ 4.99;
- Songwriter’s Pad. Available for both iOS and Android, the app is used by both Grammy Winners and beginners – at least that’s how it is marketed. Being a songwriter myself, I couldn’t help but wonder whether the app is really that good – and it turns out it is. The main idea behind the Songwriter’s Pad is to bring all those wonderful lyrics ideas you write down on napkins (and never find them later on) together. The app also has several features to help you cope with the writer’s block, including a rhymer dictionary, phrase generator and parts of song lyrics arranged by mood (for you to draw inspiration from). All of these features help you find the right direction and think creatively. A must-have application for professional and amateur musicians;
- Djay 2. Actually, you can use the world’s best-selling DJ app on a smartphone, though it’s the iPad version that interests me. The app supports iTunes/Spotify integration, enabling users to mix their favorite songs and record the tracks. If you’re feeling too lazy to create new mixes yourself, you can use the Automix tool and let the app do the dirty work for you. Djay 2 is a 100% intuitive application for amateur DJs – and true music lovers, of course;
- Figure. Developed by Propellerhead, Figure is a nice little app that enables users to create music anytime and anywhere. Unlike Songwriter’s Pad and DM1 (which certainly take some time to master and get used to), Figure is designed for dummies like me who’s pretty good at writing lyrics and sings a bit, but cannot play a single music instrument. The app features three main instruments, including drums, bass and lead. Each of the instruments has a library of pre-recorded patterns, so you only have to mix them, adjust the speed and apply audio effects if needed.
With these amazing apps, you can dive in the magic world of music, dissolve in it, become whole again and…face the reality with optimism!
By the way, building music apps is a tried-and-true way to make some money. If you have an idea for a killer application, you should address a reliable vendor and bring it to life ASAP. Who knows, maybe someone else is working on a similar project right now…
A list of top 10 applications for true music lovers – including best karaoke applications, songwriter programs and apps to listen to music