The 7 Best Free Music Streaming Apps for iOS and Android (2024)

01 out of 07

Stream music videos and live performances: YouTube Music

what we like
  • Find content you can't find anywhere else.

  • Live recordings, concert footage and interviews.

  • Create unlimited playlists to share with friends.

what we don't like
  • Premium account enjoys ad-free music and offline listening.

  • A paid account is required to play in the background.

YouTube Music offers an incredible amount of streaming songs and videos from popular artists as well as lesser-known niche content creators. Its powerful recommendation engine adapts seamlessly, serving up songs and content based on what you've played before, where you are and what you're doing. Its smart search feature can help you find the song even if you don't know the title.

YouTube Music video content includes popular music videos as well as live recordings, interviews, concert clips and more, spanning decades of artists' work. Add songs to your library and make playlists, or choose from a variety of preset playlists. It can build playlists for you based on your favorite music.

Another feature I appreciate, and one I don't find in most music apps, is the ability to read lyrics while a song is playing. It's like having lyric videos for all your favorite songs! Not every song has lyrics, but most of the songs I play do, which is one of the reasons I continue to use the app.

The basic version with ads is free. Music Premium ($10.99 per month) lets you listen and watch ad-free content and offers an audio-only mode so you can play songs without videos. Music continues to play even when the screen is not active. There are also family and student plans. Try Premium for free for 30 days to see if the upgrade is worth it.

download :

02 out of 07

Stream your favorite music on any device: Spotify

what we like
  • Works with many devices.

  • Make unlimited playlists.

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

  • Excellent Apple Watch integration and functionality.

what we don't like
  • Show ads.

  • A user account must be created to listen.

  • Music downloads require a paid account.

Spotify is a great music app that allows you to follow artists and sync music from your desktop. You can create a radio station so that it plays recommended music based on your original interests. This is my go-to music app when I want to find music similar to what I already like.

It lets you find music by viewing top lists and new releases as well as searching playlists and your favorite artists and albums. Like most apps that offer free music, Spotify allows you to add your favorite songs to your music library to play again later.

One thing I think is delightful about Spotify playlists is that anyone can make a playlist and share it with other people so that they can play the same songs in their own app. The app allows for multiple push notifications to alert you to things like new album releases or playlist updates from artists you follow.

The basic version is free. If you want to remove ads, play any song anytime, download music, etc., you can choose the Spotify Premium plan.

download :

03 out of 07

Find up-and-coming artists: SoundCloud

what we like
  • Find new music easily.

  • There is a lot of content and it is constantly being updated.

  • Fast forward songs; rare feature.

  • Some music can be downloaded for free.

what we don't like
  • Most of the music is from new artists.

  • You might have a hard time finding a track you're familiar with.

  • A user account is required.

SoundCloud contains a large amount of audio uploaded by other users, including homemade audio and music by emerging artists. That's why I love it; it's one of the best ways I've found to stumble upon new music.

Search music, artists, and audio, and follow other users to keep track of their new uploads. Over 10 hours of user-posted audio appears every minute: trust me, you 'll find something you like.

You can create custom streams of your favorite music and share playlists with others. Some devices also allow you to record and upload audio via an app.

If you create a user account, you can access your saved songs and other data from the app and website. Have a SoundCloud account and subscribe to enjoy no ads, no previews, high-quality audio and offline listening.

download :

04 out of 07

Listen to local radio anytime, anywhere: TuneIn

what we like
  • Easy to use even while driving.

  • Includes tens of thousands of live radio stations.

  • Includes podcasts.

  • Provide sleep timer.

what we don't like
  • Can't hear specific songs because it's a radio service.

  • If you just want a music player, this isn't ideal.

  • The free version has a lot of ads.

If you love radio but want the convenience of a mobile device, check out TuneIn's free music app. I love that I can use it to listen to local radio stations wherever I am. In fact, it's a great music app for traveling, especially in car mode with its large, easy-to-touch buttons and voice search.

Enter a song or artist and you'll instantly get a list of all radio stations across the country playing that song or artist. You can listen to this radio station on your mobile phone at the touch of a button. TuneIn also gives you access to podcasts and sports radio.

If you like the service, consider subscribing to TuneIn Premium for ad-free broadcasts with fewer ads.

download :

05 out of 07

Most popular music streaming service: Pandora

what we like
  • Start a station based on artist.

  • Pre-made stations for different moods, activities, and more.

  • Allows you to rate songs to fine-tune your music selection.

  • Watch ads to skip and play unlimited songs.

what we don't like
  • Requires a user account (free).

  • Show ads.

  • Free accounts can skip limited content.

Pandora is popular for a reason. For most people, this is because they find it to be the best app for streaming music. I don't like that a user account is required and the number of skips is limited, but as far as free music apps go, this is definitely one of the better ones.

Enter your favorite artist and Pandora will play their songs alongside similar artists it recommends. It's the easiest way to find new music similar to your favorite songs.

As you listen, rate the songs so the app plays more of the music you like, or doesn't play the songs you don't like. The service learns and improves recommendations based on your ratings. This is what makes Pandora a great app, and I can confirm that these recommendations are spot on.

You can also bookmark your favorite artists to access them later and stream podcasts from the app.

If you also listen on your computer, sign up for Pandora for free to save your stations and ratings on the mobile app and website. If you want to remove ads, listen offline, and skip unlimited songs, there are paid plans.

download :

06 of 07

Commercial-free podcasts and radio stations: iHeartRadio

what we like
  • Includes music, radio and podcasts.

  • Play with zero ads.

  • Suitable for various devices.

what we don't like
  • You must log in before listening to music.

  • There is a daily limit on skipping songs.

If you want a radio app but TuneIn doesn't suit your needs, give iHeartRadio a try. It supports a large number of devices, has great features, and helps you find ad-free radio stations.

You can also listen to podcasts and create music stations based on your favorite songs, search for stations and find them in categories such as 80s and 90s hits, alternative music, holiday music, classical music, rock music, oldies and more Music you like.

Save your favorite stations as presets and set one as an alarm clock, complete with daily schedule and snooze option. Use the iHeartRadio Music app to set a sleep timer to turn off radio stations after a certain number of minutes or hours.

I also love that this app allows me to see lyrics while listening, view artist bios, and share stations.

Upgrading to iHeartRadio Plus or All Access gives you more features than the free version, including unlimited skips and playlists, instant replay, and more.

download :

07 out of 07

The successor to Slacker Radio: LiveOne

what we like
  • Stream music without a user account.

  • Many pre-made stations are just a tap away.

  • Audio stream quality can be adjusted.

  • Skip up to six songs per day.

what we don't like
  • There are occasional ads between songs.

  • Not all features are free; some require paid upgrades.

  • The free version has ads.

LiveOne (formerly LiveXLive, formerly Slacker Radio) comes pre-programmed for nearly every type of streaming radio station. As you listen to the station, fine-tune it to play more of your favorite songs, or keep an open mind to find new genres of music.

Create new stations and playlists, and keep track of your favorite and recently played songs.

The free version contains ads, doesn't play music offline, has standard-quality audio, doesn't have on-demand music, and doesn't let you skip an unlimited number of songs (six a day is still good, though). You can upgrade to get these features.

download :

  • There are several ways you can access Apple Music streaming for free for a limited time. New subscribers can try the service for free for one month. You can also get six months of free Apple Music with the Verizon Unlimited plan.

  • You can record streaming music directly from your computer using one of the third-party recording applications like Audacity. Settings may vary depending on the software, but whether you're watching a video or listening to music, you can use Audacity to record audio directly from your computer.

  • Many free music streaming platforms have their own iPad apps. If you search the App Store, you can find downloads for services like Pandora Radio, Spotify, iHeartRadio, and more.