Music is my specialty. If I’m not playing it, I’m listening to it. Admittedly, I’m a bigger fan of analog than digital, but there are times when playing music on my iPhone or iPad is just more convenient. In those cases, a good music player, or a great streaming service is important.
The writing team at iDB put their heads together to come up with a list of the best music apps to come out in 2014. We then fought each other in a mud pit to be the one who gets to decide the best. Below is the resulting winner and runner-ups for best music app in 2014. We’ve also included the music app we think is the all-time best.
The best Music app of 2014
Beats Music Player
Remember all that hype about Apple buying Beats for $3 billion earlier this year? Wasn’t that nuts? By the time Beats launched on iOS, so many other streaming music services had established themselves that it was hard to believe Beats was as successful as it was. One reason this app stands out from the others is the curated playlists. Unlike services like Sonza, which also creates curated playlists, Beats uses dedicated followers of music to build playlists with a human touch. If you don’t really know what you want to hear, but you are in a particular mood while participating in a specific activity, use The Sentence to find a playlist for you. Or, dig around through thousands of artists and millions of songs to find a specific album, band, or genre that is right for you. For $9.99 per month, you’ll have unlimited access to the entire Beats Music catalogue, which you can stream on demand or download for offline listening. This app is available for free with a 14-day trial ($9.99 per month after that).
The runner ups
If you are looking for something to make your music player look better and perform smoother, Blend will make you smile. First off, it looks good and presents you with an attractive UI. If you don’t like the dozens of custom background options available, you can add an image from your camera roll to personalize it. Find music in your huge library of songs using search filters like artists, playlists, genres, and more. The Up Next feature lets you know what songs are coming up. The detailed song info shows length, genre, artist, bitrate, and more. You can fine-tune the playback quality with the music equalizer with preset adjustments, or you can customize your own. This app is available for $0.99.
The best Music app ever
The first time I tried Spotify, I wasn’t impressed. It seemed like there wasn’t a whole lot of features for non-paying subscribers. Within the past year, the company has really stepped up with tons of features for both paying and non-paying users. This past January, the iOS app was updated to allow free streaming on iPhone and iPad. Plus, the user interface is constantly getting tweaks to make your listening and browsing experience better. CarPlay support was added in October. The Discovery feature makes it easier to find new music. The Your Music feature lets you save entire albums, artists, or playlists so you can find it later. The in-app equalizer lets you fine-tune the audio playback of individual songs. All of this is free, too. A paid subscription lets you download music for offline listening, play all music on-demand, and stream for hours without advertisements. This app is available for free.
What is your favorite music app to come out in 2014? Let us know in the comments below.
Best of 2014