The Top 11 Free Music Apps

The best free music apps for your mobile device

FrancescoCorticchia/Vetta/Getty Images

These free music apps will help you listen to music in just about every different way imaginable. These are the best free music apps to help you listen to your personal music library, discover new artists, identify songs, listen to streaming music, and find radio stations near you.

All of these music apps are completely free and most are compatible with both Android and iPhone. Use the link to download the app or find it in the app store on your phone. You'll be up and running in no time with a free music app that you won't be able to remember how you lived without.

If you're a music lover, see the best places to listen to free streaming music, the internet's best online radio stations, the all-time top sites for downloading free music, and free music video sites you should visit.

Pandora

Screenshots of the iPhone Pandora music app
Pandora App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • You can start stations based on artists

  • Pre-made stations are available for different moods, activities, decades, and more

  • Lets you rate songs to fine-tune the music selection

What We Don't Like

  • A user account is required (it's free)

  • Shows advertisements

  • Lets you skip a limited number of songs per day

Pandora is popular for a reason. For most people, it's because they find it to be the best app for streaming music.

Enter your favorite artist and Pandora will play songs by them along with similar artists that Pandora recommends. This is the easiest way to find new music similar to the songs you already love. 

As you listen, you can rate songs so that Pandora will play more music like that again, or will not play songs like that if you dislike the song — it learns and improves suggestions based on your ratings.

You can also bookmark your favorite artists to access them later.

The Pandora app really works best when you're connected to Wi-Fi so you can stream the songs with little to no buffering.

Register for free with Pandora and you'll be able to save your stations and ratings across the phone app and their website if you also listen on your computer.

Works With: Android, BlackBerry, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch), Kindle Fire, NOOK, Windows Phone, and Web

Cost: Free

Shazam

Screenshots of the iPhone Shazam music app
Shazam App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Identifies songs with one tap

  • Stores every song it tags in your user account

  • "Auto Shazam" will listen to every song it hears until you turn it off

  • Supports an automatic mode to listen every time you open the app

  • Buying music from the app is easy

What We Don't Like

  • Includes advertisements

  • Lyrics are available for only some songs

Shazam is a very cool free music app that you should have for those times when you don't know the name of the song you hear in a store, during a movie, in the car, etc.

Shazam listens to a song that's being played and then tells you the name of the song and the artist. You then have the option of sharing your discovery, watching a music video of it on YouTube, playing it in Spotify, finding tour information, viewing a discography, reading album reviews, and creating a Pandora station based on that artist.

Each song that's identified through Shazam will then be saved as a tag. You can share these tags with your friends and view their discoveries as well.

Sometimes, depending on the song that Shazam identifies, you can even watch the lyrics scroll by as you listen along!

If you create a user account, you can view all your Shazamed music from a computer.

Works WithAndroid and iOS (iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, iPod touch)

Cost: Free

Spotify

Screenshots of the iPhone Spotify music app
Spotify App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Works on lots of devices

  • You can make an unlimited number of playlists

  • It's easy to listen to playlists made by others

  • You can try the premium features free for 30 days

What We Don't Like

  • Only six songs can be skipped every hour

  • Shows advertisements

  • You have to make a user account to listen

Spotify is an awesome music app that lets you follow artists and sync music from your desktop. Similar to Pandora, you can create a radio station so Spotify will play recommended music based on your initial interest.

You can find music by viewing top lists and new releases as well as by searching for playlists and your favorite artists and albums. You can even add your favorite songs to a Spotify music library and then play them again later.

One thing that makes playlists so enjoyable with Spotify is that anyone can make one and share it with others, where they can play the same songs in their own app. For example, this Spotify playlist is perfect for streaming Christmas music.

The app allows several different push notifications like for when a new album has been released for an artist that you're following and when a playlist has been updated.

Works With: Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch), Windows Phone, and Kindle Fire. Spotify can also be used in a web browser and installed on Windows and Mac operating systems.

Cost: Free

iHeartRadio

Screenshots of the iHeartRadio iPhone music app
iHeartRadio App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Includes music, radio, and podcasts

  • Plays zero commercials

  • Works on a wide variety of devices

What We Don't Like

  • Must log in to your user account before listening to music from the app

  • Only a certain number of songs can be skipped on a daily basis

If you just need a radio app for your mobile device, iHeartRadio has you covered. It supports tons of devices, has awesome features, shows

commercials, and finds nearby radio stations with ease.

You can also listen to podcasts and create your own music stations based on your favorite songs, search for stations, and look in categories like 80s and 90s hits, alternative, holiday, classical, rock, oldies, and more to find the music you'll like the most.

Your favorite stations can be saved as presets and even set as an alarm clock complete with a daily schedule and snooze option. You can also use the iHeartRadio music app to set a sleep timer to turn off a radio station after so-many minutes or hours.

The iHeartRadio also lets you view lyrics as you listen, see an artist's biography, and share a station with others.

Works With: Android, iOS (iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, iPod touch), Kindle Fire, and Windows Phone. In addition to mobile apps and desktop web browsers, iHeartRadio is available for Windows, Xbox, PlayStation, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku, and more.

Cost: Free

Slacker Radio

Screenshot of the iPhone Slacker Radio music app
Slacker Radio App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • You can stream music without a user account

  • Lots of pre-made stations are one tap away

  • Lets you adjust the audio stream quality

  • Can alert you about music news and sports updates

What We Don't Like

  • Only six songs can be skipped per day

  • There are occasional commercials between songs

  • Not every feature is free; some require a paid upgrade

Slacker Radio is a free music app that has pre-programmed streaming radio stations for just about every genre you can think of.

While listening to these stations you can fine tune them to play more of the songs that you like or leave things a bit more open to find new kinds of music.

You can also create new stations and playlists as well as keep track of your favorite songs and recently played songs.

Works WithAndroid and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)j. Slacker Radio also works from other devices in your home and in your car.

Cost: Free

TuneIn

Screenshots of the TuneIn iPhone music app
TuneIn App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Really easy to use

  • Includes tens of thousands of live radio stations

  • Finding music to listen to is easy

  • Also includes podcasts

What We Don't Like

  • Can't hear specific songs because it's just a radio service

  • Must make a user account to listen to music

  • Isn't ideal if you're wanting just a music player

  • Lots of ads in the free version

If you love radio but want the convenience of it on your

, then you'll want to check out the free music app from TuneIn. You can listen to local radio stations wherever you are, which is perfect when traveling.

You can also enter a song or artist and you'll instantly have a list of all the radio stations around the country that play that song or artist. With a push of a button you can then listen to that radio station from your phone.

TuneIn lets you access podcasts, too, and sports radio.

If you really like TuneIn, you might want to buy their pro app which allows you to record what you're hearing on the radio.

Works WithAndroid, iOS (iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, iPod touch), and Windows Phone. TuneIn also works for several smart TVs as well as on Amazon Alexa, Google Home devices, through your browser, and other devices.

Cost: Free

SoundCloud

Screenshots of the SoundCloud iPhone music app
SoundCloud App (iPhone). ​

What We Like

  • One of the easiest ways to find new music

  • There's a lot of content, and it's always being updated

  • Lets you fast forward through songs unlike most free music players

  • Some music is free to download

What We Don't Like

  • Most of the music is from new artists, so you might have trouble finding tracks you've already heard

SoundCloud contains tons of audio uploaded by other users, so it includes both homemade audio and music from up-and-coming artists.

You can search for music, artists, and audio as well as follow other users to keep track of their new uploads. A combined 10+ hours of audio is posted every minute from the users, which means you can surely find something interesting to listen to.

Playlists can be built on the iPhone so you can create a customized stream of your favorite music and share the playlists with others.

Some devices let you record and upload your own audio right through the app.

If you create a user account, you can access your saved songs and other data from both the app and the SoundCloud website.

Works WithAndroid and iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)

Cost: Free

Google Play Music

Screenshots of the Google Play Music iPhone music app
Google Play Music App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Choose genres you like to get personalized music recommendations

  • You can upload your own music collection

  • The same account can be accessed from up to 10 devices at once

What We Don't Like

  • You have to log in (requires a Google account)

  • Can't play specific songs unless you own them

  • Displays ads before some songs and within the app

If you just want to listen to your own music library ad-free and on the go without any radio stations or unwanted music getting in the way, Google Play Music is the perfect app to do so.

You can upload up to 50,000 of your own songs to your Google account and then instantly have access to all of it with an easy to use app. You can play your music in shuffle mode, create custom playlists, or just manually choose specific songs to play at any time without any limitations. 

Once you've had the app for awhile, you can start an "I'm feeling lucky mix" to play audio from your library based on the music you listen to most, or create a regular mix from any song to play music similar to it.

If you want more from the Google Play Music app, you can subscribe to an all access pass, which lets you discover and save new music to your account for a monthly fee.

Works WithAndroidiOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch), and Web

Cost: Free

Musi

Screenshots of the Musi iPhone music app
Musi App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Plays YouTube video sound even when the app is minimized

  • Helps you find trending, top, and new music

  • You can play any song from YouTube, and fast forward and rewind

  • Music isn't interrupted by ads (but there are ads in the app)

  • Several advanced and helpful settings

What We Don't Like

  • It's supported by ads

Musi is a simple app that lets you add videos from YouTube and SoundCloud to your own custom playlists. The app will stream the music through iOS so you can use the regular volume and playback controls without having to keep the app open.

In other words, if you've ever wanted to keep playing music when you close the YouTube app, this is the app for you.

You can manually search for music or browse through the popular and trending songs, as well as look through the videos by genre or import already-made playlists directly from YouTube.

The sleep timer lets you set a timer for when music should shut off, a perfect feature if you like to listen to YouTube as you fall asleep.

Because videos are displayed, you're able to change the streaming settings from HQ to standard to save on data usage.

An unlimited number of playlists can be built with Musi, but the app is ad-supported.

Works WithiOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch)

Cost: Free

Playlist

Screenshots of the free music app Playlist for iPhone
Playlist App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Lots of songs to choose from

  • You can listen to songs with your friends, and comment with each other

  • Sharing playlists is easy

What We Don't Like

  • Must log in with Facebook or your phone number

Playlist is a free music app for iPhone that lets you access over 40 million songs in the form of handmade playlists. You can create shared playlists that others can listen to or you can find pre-made playlists.

All the music here is completely free. Just search for songs or browse the popular, featured, and trending songs and people on the front page.

There's a social media aspect of the Playlist app in that you can listen to music live with other users and comment with each other. When you view a user's profile, you get to see their playlists and which songs and playlists they've liked.

Works With: iOS (iPhone)

Cost: Free

8tracks

Screenshots of the 8tracks free music app on an iPhone
8tracks App (iPhone).

What We Like

  • Several ways to find fun and interesting music

  • All the music is 100 percent free

  • Includes a sleep timer to stop playing music automatically

What We Don't Like

  • Must log in to your user account to listen

  • Displays ads

  • A little hard to navigate

8tracks is another radio app for mobile devices that lets you listen to free music through mixes that each contain eight tracks. You can browse through staff-picked mixes, featured, popular, and trending ones as well as share mixes, comment on them with other users, and like the mixes for recommendations of similar music.

Mixes can also be found by searching for an artist or by activity, mood, or genre. As you add filters like "happy," and "summer," mixes are instantly shown on the bottom of the screen from where you can start playing them instantly.

Tracks you "favorite" are collected together and can be viewed later on SoundCloud or YouTube.

Works With: Android, BlackBerry, iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch), and Xbox. 8tracks can also be used from a web browser or with Xbox, WordPress and Joomla via a plugin, and several other places.

Cost: Free