The 6 Best Music Streaming Apps You Can Use to Discover New Music

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I can actually remember taking cassette tapes, popping them into my radio and recording songs directly off the airwaves. In the early nineties, the local radio station was our “music streaming app.” We could fit a whole hour of music on that mixtape.

Then there was the CD, the minidisc, the MP3, the retro vinyl, and now internet streaming music pounds through your headphones. Although things may come full circle again with the 185 TB cassette tape by Sony, people aren’t going to abandon their smartphones for Walkmans anytime soon.

The way we find our music has changed over the last twenty odd years, and it’s bound to change again. But until that day comes, you’re going to still want to find your music on the internet, in real-time.

And we’re here to show you six of the best streaming music sites/apps to help you discover new music.

Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #1: Shazam Encore

shazam encore

Have you ever walked into a store or a coffee shop and they’re playing something over the loudspeakers? The song spoke to you on some deep subconscious level, it moved you like a wave on the ocean, but you didn’t even recognize it. It was something new to you and you needed to find out what it is.

To some of you this app, available on both Android and iOS, may be an old standby, but even the oldies can still make for the best current bit of fun. Shazam has always been known as the app that tells you what you’re listening to. You could open the app, hit the big blue button in the middle and in a few seconds have a song title, a band, and even possibly the lyrics to the song.

Now, with their premium version, Encore, you can pull up the music video, and link to the song on several of the popular streaming apps. Not only this, but you can pull all this info without even opening the app. It’s called “Auto Shazam.”

And with the “Explore” feature, you can see what is trending all over the world and then quickly access those songs.

Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #2:  Spotify

spotify on different devices

It’s been two years since Tay Tay broke up with Spotify, but the streaming app never went away and it’s still one of the best places to find new music.

Despite what Taylor Swift says about art and the price tag, new indy bands find a voice on Spotify every day. And the “discover” button in the menu bar is where it’s all at. Just like Pandora’s algorithm, it will tailor your playlist to your Taylor Swift-like music tastes.

As you boot up the app every day, it will also give you the option of seeing the newest most popular music on the planet. Who wouldn’t want that?

Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #3: 8tracks

8tracks playlists

Before cassette tapes, there were 8 track tapes. They looked kind of like your old Atari cartridge and came out around the same time. They didn’t last very long, but someone decided to name their streaming service after the old limited medium.

8tracks is a free streaming app that picks new songs and aggregates playlists according to your mood or the weather or what kind of outdoor activity you’re doing. If you need a playlist to pump you up for your next SCA jousting tourney, this app might be the thing for you.

And what’s more the service aggregates music from services like INgrooves and DashGo in a massive database of 6.5 million awesome (maybe) songs.

Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #4: IndieShuffle

indie shuffle playlists

If you pride yourself in knowing about the most obscure new indy bands on the scene and your closet is full of flannel, this might be the app for you. This Soundcloud crawler blog takes indie bands, new and old, and stuffs them into genres.

In true blog fashion, IndieShuffle creates a review for each song in their database making it easy for you to decide what songs might be best for your daily mojo. Save and view your favorites from anywhere or simply find out what’s popular. Now, while you’re sipping your triple breve latte, go and download it on either Android or iOS.

Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #5: SoundCloud

soundcloud trending

SoundCloud is basically the YouTube of streaming apps. Anybody and their mom can upload songs to SoundCloud.

And with a social functionality akin to Facebook’s live video streaming service, you can see what people think of a song at various points of the song’s progress.

And, like Spotify, the app keeps you abreast of what your best friend is listening to over in Abu Dhabi while giving you a smorgasbord of remixes and covers of your favorite songs.

It’s also a great place to find podcasts if that’s your thing. And it’s not just for the obscure, indie-band loving hipster. SoundCloud recently signed a deal with Universal Music, giving its users access to top artists like Kanye and Adele.

Best Music Streaming Sites/Apps #6: GooglePlay Music

google play music overview

Did you really think you could get away from hearing about one of the giants in mobile music listening?

With its access to the largest video search engine in the world, not only can you find out what’s new or interesting in music from almost any genre you can think of (I was just re-discovering 80’s Grunge bands the other day), you can quickly pull up the music video and see your favorite or least favorite bands try their hand at video production.

If it’s your neighbor’s garageband, this might not be the best thing. But sometimes you just need to know the meaning of that one song, and an artistic film reel accompanying that one favorite song might just unlock the deeper meaning the artist wanted you to find.

Being able to download and listen to songs on your beautiful head cans will set you back about $10 a month, but that will certainly keep you from upping your Verizon data plan to 20 GB next month.


Whatever your music fancy might be, you’re not going to go wrong with any of the above six.

And until we see the next iteration of music storage and playback, we’re going to keep looking to the internet for our next music sensation. So, let us know what music service site or app you use. Sound off in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “The 6 Best Music Streaming Apps You Can Use to Discover New Music”

  1. Hey Jurgen,

    I was wondering if you had any experience with Amazon Music. I’ve used Spotify in the past but recently made the switch to Amazon Music Unlimited.

    It made sense since I was already paying for Amazon Prime which comes with Prime Music.

    My experience thus far is that it’s a pretty stellar streaming service although it doesn’t have the same selection as Spotify, unfortunately.


    1. Hey Dom,
      I’ve no real experience with Amazon Music, although I did have a Prime subscription at some point. Do you think the upgrade to Unlimited over Prime Music is a good one if you already have Prime?

  2. Fairweather Green

    I have used Spotify and SoundCloud, both were great. In fact SoundCloud streams were always free.

    Since Apple Music came out I felt trapped as all my hardware products are Apple (phone, laptop, desktop).

    I wonder why you have left this out of your review as it would be good to hear the reviews from an independent expert?

    1. The reason I left out Apple Music is because I wanted to diversify the list a bit. And with Spotify and GooglePlay Music already in my list I had to cut Apple Music. To be honest, these 3 services offer practically the same thing with some minor differences ofcource. The only exception is that both Spotify and GooglePlay Music have a free tier, while Apple Music doesn’t.

      Besides that I do enjoy Apple’s streaming service (review incoming soon!!) and they ofcourse offer you a free 3 month trial.


  3. pretty sweet and informative list you got going on here. I personally have tried all of them except Shazam Encore. I might have to give that a go in the near future.
    So, I read your comment on why Pandora wasn’t picked which I totally agree with you on but what about Apple Music? I’m currently using that because I hated Spotify’s “shuffle” feature. Disliked it so much it drove me to Apple Music. Anyhoo…I’d be interested in your take at Apple joining the music streaming biz.

    1. Hey Danny, you should definately give Shazam a try! I think you’ll love it. 🙂

      I left out Apple Music because I already included Spotify and GooglePlay Music, as they provide a free tier option, while Apple Music doesn’t.

      But Apple Music is doing great over the past few months and they are growing each day. So maybe they’ll pop up in my next list. 😉

      All the best!

  4. And here I listen to Pandora and had not heard of any of these. I am really liking Spotify and Shazam. I have an iPhone, so not sure which ones are available for me. But I am going to start looking at these aps since you didn’t even mention mine, these must be better, right? I am glad I found this post on music streaming apps!

    1. All 6 streaming apps are available on IOS, so we got you covered 😉

      There are several reasons why Pandora didn’t make the list. First of all, the quality of the music files is rather low. Varying from 64kbps to maximum 192kbps if you pay for Pandora One. Another reason is that you really don’t have a lot to say on what song Pandora’s gonna throw at you. Fun if you like surprises though 🙂 And another reason is its region limitations. For the moment Pandora is only available in the US, Australia and New Zealand.

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