During Google I/O last week, Play Music was updated to rival music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. Google’s Play Music has proved to be a great service so far, but it isn’t going to appeal to everyone. That said, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together a list of some of the best alternative music streaming apps available on Android. As always, simply jump to the bottom of the article to see the video.
doubleTwist with Magic Radio
We reviewed Magic Radio in the past and we were very impressed with it. It’s a very well built personalized streaming app. It has number of cool features, including infinite playlists, podcast subscriptions, and the ability to stream music to a variety of devices, such as an Xbox 360 or a PlayStation 3.
Pandora shouldn’t sound unfamiliar to you, as the service has been around for a very long time. It’s one of the most successful, well-known, and trusted music streaming apps in the world. It’s not just available on Android either — you can use Pandora on the web and on iOS too.
Pandora has an aesthetically pleasing, easy-to-use interface. While it’s a bit overdue for a new design, don’t let that stop you from enjoying Pandora’s very diverse library. The free version of the app will require you to listen to ads after every few songs, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s less than you’d hear on your average radio, and the company has to pay the bills somehow. However, if you’d like to get rid of ads and net yourself a handful of other features, Pandora offers a subscription service for $3.99 a month or $36 per year.
Songz is a well-known, but unique music streaming service. Unlike the other services on this list, Songza will provide you with a list of precompiled stations to choose from. So, if you’re in the mood for upbeat music while you’re going on a run, you’ll be able to pick a precompiled station that has, well, upbeat music.
Unlike Magic Radio, Songza is free of charge. Since you won’t be paying for anything with this music streaming service, you’ll have to deal with the ads, which seem to be pretty out of the way, aside from when you’re choosing a station.
Similar to Pandora, Spotify is another big name in the music streaming industry with a giant library of 20 million tracks. The big downside to Spotify is that it’s only integrated with Facebook. You can create an account without Facebook, but if you like a little social networking with your music streaming, your options are limited. So that’s bad news for those who left Facebook in search of something better. Of course, we’d love it if we saw some Google+ integration with Spotify.
Other than that, there’s a pretty nice desktop application to ensure that you can enjoy Spotify anywhere. Spotify has a number of subscription options, including a free one that has ads. There’s a $4.99 option that gets rid of the ads too. Of course, the free one and the $4.99 option only let you listen to music on your laptop or desktop. So if you want to listen to Spotify on all of your devices, you’ll have to opt for the $9.99 premium.
uSound Player is very different from the list on this list. uSound will let you search and play songs individually, which means you won’t be relying on any precompiled playlists. These songs can be streamed or even downloaded. If you want quick access to them, simply add them to your favorites list.
uSound Player is free, so it doesn’t have any kind of radio streaming that you might find in Pandora and Magic Radio. If you’re looking for that type of functionality, it might be best to pass on this one. Of course, since it’s free, there’s really nothing to lose. On the other hand, if there’s a song stuck in your head that you don’t look up on YouTube first, uSound player is a great music streaming service to have around.
If you take a gander at our leaderboard (image above) you can see how these apps compete against each other. Their rankings on the leaderboard are based on Google Play Store ratings, so there isn’t any bias on our part.
Browsing through this list, you probably wondered where some other well known and awesome music streaming apps were, such as Play Music, Rdio, and Rhapsody. Don’t get us wrong — these are some great streaming services. In fact, we loved the new additions to Play Music. These apps’ ratings just weren’t high enough to be included on our main list.
As always, the Play Store has billions of apps available at the click of a button. So there’s no doubt we missed a good streaming service. If there’s one you really like and think that it should have been included in our list, be sure to tell everyone about it in the comments below!