It doesn’t take a long memory to recall the days where listening to music while traveling involved having to put songs manually onto an iPod or other MP3 player. Most of us can even recall having to take CDs and a walkman with us to be able to listen to our favorite tracks. Thankfully music and technology have come a very long way and we’re almost spoilt for choice when it comes to convenient ways to listen to music on the road.
In this article, we’ve looked at some of the best music apps for when you are on your travels.
Considerations for Top Music Apps
Listening Online and Offline. When you are traveling you may not always have internet access or even cell service to be able to listen to apps online. Though streaming has made it easier to find music and given us much more space, as well as saving hard drives everywhere, it also means that you need to be connected all the time, this is something that isn’t always realistic when you are on your travels. Most of the best apps have a way you can listen offline, or download a selection of songs to keep on your device for the times when you don’t have connection, or when you need to be offline such as on an airplane.
Subscription and Cost. Many apps will require you to subscribe so it is worth thinking about the cost involved. The subscription model is similar to Netflix for your film and movie needs, but many of these apps give you access to most of the music ever made, if you spend money buying music anyway then a subscription cost may well be justified. A lot of music applications also have a free version, but this will come at the expense of having to listening to annoying ads between songs and may restrict features such as offline listening.
Choice of Music. Most of the big players in the music app world have access to huge libraries of music. It is hugely annoying wanting to listen to an artist and finding that they aren’t on the streaming service.
Unless you’ve been hiding away for the last few years, you’ve probably heard of Spotify and even had a go on their free account. The company has a massive free library of music, which can be listened to if you are willing to put up with the ads in between songs. The premium subscription service to spotify will not make you listen to ads, and is becoming ever more popular for this reason. It is also needed if you plan to listen to music offline.
One great thing Spotify can offer that most other apps don’t is an exceptional social aspect. A huge amount of people are on Spotify and it links to most social networks pretty well, you can see what your friends are listening to, what is trending and listen to playlists which have been made by your friends. Playlists can also be searched for and are a great way to discover new music.
You could be forgiven for thinking you have to have an Apple device to use Apple Music, but it also works on Android, meaning you aren’t restricted. Apple Music is another app which offers most of the famous music ever made for one flat subscription cost. It makes perfect sense if you find yourself spending more than $10 downloading music each month, as for the same cost you can listen to anything and be able to download it to your device to listen offline right from the app.
Apple Music does not have a free version, which is a good thing and a bad thing. There are no annoying adverts but you do have to part with some money if you want to use this app. Apple periodically run free trials for the app so you might be able to see if it is for you using a free three months. Another great feature is the family membership, so you can share a membership with your partner, children, siblings or parents and save money on the service.
Within the app is also Apple’s clever suggestion algorithm which can recommend music based on what you have listened to and the artists you like and follow. Beats radio is also included within Apple music so you can listen to loads of great content from radio DJs at no extra cost.
Whether Soundcloud is for you or not will probably largely depend on which type of music you listen to. As it is largely managed by the bands and artists themselves, there are so many grassroots producers sharing their compositions. Many of these are in the electronic music space, so if you listen to a lot of dance, drum and bass, trap or hip hop music Soundcloud can actually be a brilliant way to discover new musicians.
There are various payment plans as well as a free version, each of which offers its own level of features and takes away adverts and restrictions.
The search feature in Soundcloud as well as the social aspect of it (commenting on music, following artists and more) mean that it is easy to navigate and find new music you like.
One downside of Soundcloud is the lack of quality control. Pretty much anyone can make a track on their laptop and upload it to Soundcloud, meaning that a lot of the tracks on there aren’t the best in terms of production quality. A lot of Soundcloud music isn’t in the form of albums or playlists either, so you are likely to spend much of your time listening to individual songs.
Google Play Music
While Google play is a decent option, it doesn’t have as much functionality as Spotify or Apple Music, for example. The reason we have included it on our list is the fact that it has catered for those with existing music collections. You can scan your collection of CDs and download music you already own, even some which isn’t on the application to stream for free. This means you can combine an existing library of music with their service. On top of this, the app is brilliant for using across different platforms, so you can access music on your laptop, tablet and phone all with relative ease.
Which music app you opt for is dependent on the type of music you listen to, the device you have and the features you require. Fortunately, we live in an age where it is easy to access most of the music ever commercially released, and each of the apps mentioned above has its own merits and the ability to access almost endless music options.