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The best free music apps

The best free music apps for your every need, from discovering new songs to hunting down unique mixtapes

Written by
Anna Furman
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For all your listening desires, here are the best free music apps you should download, whether you want to listen to a playlist of the best songs about New York City, discover the next rising star or listen to music based on recommendations from real people (not algorithms!).

Best free music apps

The classic: Pandora

1. The classic: Pandora

When it comes to free music apps, Pandora is a longtime standard of the internet radio age—for good reason. It's powered by the Music Genome Project, which aims to provide information along with songs. Select an artist, genre or composer on your mobile device, and it takes care of the rest with its complex classifying system, filling in your playlist with perfectly complementary tunes
Available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone

Most streamlined library: Apple Music

2. Most streamlined library: Apple Music

Let's be real, we all lead messy digital lives: Our music is scattered across laptops, phones and the mysterious cloud. Instead of running away from musical disarray, streamline data with the Apple Music app, combining iTunes libraries with imported tracks and purchased songs from the Apple Music store. It’s much better than repeatedly listening to that one party song playlist that randomly synced from your phone.
Available on Android and iOS

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Most creative playlists: Spotify

3. Most creative playlists: Spotify

If you don’t feel like sifting through Spotify’s 30 million on-demand songs, just pick a playlist mood (Afternoon Acoustic, All The Feels, Confidence Boost), a cleverly named subgenre (R'n'Bed, Deathcore, Epic Classical) or one of Time Out's own. lists like best motivational songs or energetic songs for workouts, and tune in to a curated collection of tracks from 1,300 genres.
Available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

Best curated catalog: Amazon Music

4. Best curated catalog: Amazon Music

Unlimited skips! Ad-free stations! Streaming from the cloud! It's technically only free if you're an Amazon Prime member, but this music app is such a fantastic option for tuning in to chart-climbing hits and creating personalized playlists, we had to include it. By liking or disliking songs, you can train the algorithm to learn your musical preferences. Your tailor-made, cloud-streamed playlist is just a click away.
Available on Android and iOS

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Best for discovering new artists: Soundcloud

5. Best for discovering new artists: Soundcloud

Upload original songs and discover emerging artists on this free music app, with a minimalist design and aesthetically sound layout making for seamless browsing. You can link your Amazon and Google Play accounts to get greater access to a wider assortment of songs, and it’s not just for music: you can download podcasts and audio shows, too.
Available on Android and iOS

Best mixtape selection: Datpiff

6. Best mixtape selection: Datpiff

Many free music apps give users access to mixtapes and underground hip-hop and R&B, but Datpiff is top in terms of usability (Spinrilla is a close second). Download unlimited mixtapes—without making an account—to listen to artists like Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka, Migos and Wiz Khalifa whenever you please.
Available on Android and iOS

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