Online streaming of music on apps is the in-thing now.
You can get real-time access to the latest songs and listen on the go with your Internet-enabled device.
However, doing things the “old way” is still fashionable among some music lovers.
You have come to the right place if you are looking for the best apps to stream and download music online.
In this article, we take you through the journey to understanding how the six (6) different music apps we shortlisted work.
This article also covers the pros and cons of streaming and downloading music with these apps.
Music Streaming and Download Apps
A music streaming app is a web-based service that lets users stream songs to their PC or mobile devices.
Such services may let users download songs for offline playback as well as allow users to upload their own music collection to the cloud.
Although these apps support music downloads, the extent of the coverage is sometimes limited.
For example, after signing up, you would soon discover that some of these apps only permit you to download music offline to the app, not the device.
Therefore, you may not find the songs in your local device storage because they are on the app.
Another important fact worth noting is that music download apps are not entirely free.
Subscribing to the premium versions gives you access to most of the features.
You can use these apps to listen and download your favourite music for free in these countries: American Samoa, Argentina, Aruba, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Bulgaria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, French Polynesia, Germany, Greece, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Oman, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Turks and Caicos Islands, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, the United States Virgin Islands, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Top 6 Music Streaming and Download Apps
Here are the best-rated music apps to stream and download your favourite songs for free on your iOS and Android device.
6. Hungama Music
Some music download sites are tailored to specific audiences – Hungama Music is an example.
The app is primarily for serving Indian music content, especially those in MP3 quality.
Although Hungama Music is exclusive to Indian music, it also covers some international hit songs.
Users could stream, download and look up to 15 million songs from Indian and international markets.
Hungama Music Features
- Download your favourite songs with data or switch to Wi-Fi if you are close to a free Internet connection and looking to preserve your data.
- Download these songs straight to your local storage, an improvement from the in-app storage some apps offer.
Hungama Music Downside
The major disadvantage of working with Hungama Music is that the app prioritizes Indian music content.
If you are not a fan of Bollywood tunes, it makes sense to look for a music download app that covers international playlists.
Sitting on the No. 5 spot is Audiomack, one of the popular music download apps.
According to Wikipedia, it is “an on-demand music streaming and audio discovery platform”, allowing artists to upload their songs in real-time and get massive airplay.
Users get to stream these songs online with data and download the same for offline listening without using their data.
These are some of the innovative features that Audiomack has brought to the online music streaming and downloading market:
- Although signing up is a must, users don’t need to subscribe to a paid plan before downloading songs on Audiomack.
- Find the latest talents in town with the “Trending” feature that lets you know which songs are popular and the artists behind them.
- Using the app, you can either look for new tracks and artists or look up some other information, which is more straightforward with the search bar.
- Users can also upload or add the songs they have previously downloaded to their devices, probably from other platforms, and start listening without paying a dime!
Audiomack makes online music streaming free and accessible to everyone, but without having some downsides.
- Users wouldn’t be able to enjoy the app to the fullest because of the ads served on different sides of the screen.
- Users on the free plan wouldn’t enjoy higher-definition streaming and downloading of songs. The feature is exclusive to the paid plan, which goes for less than $10 a month.
- As a creator or artist, using Audiomack may not be the best idea because the app doesn’t support several music formats. MP3 is common here, and other formats like m4a, Wav, and AIFF aren’t readily available on the app.
4. Amazon Music
Amazon has its fingers in every pie.
The company saw the opportunities in the online media streaming industry and was quick to tap into it on September 25, 2007, with the launch of Amazon Music.
Amazon Music serves two purposes:
- It serves as an online music streaming platform.
- Amazon Music lets users integrate with other devices in the Amazon family.
Pros of Amazon Music
Are you looking to work with Amazon Music for music streaming and downloading?
Here are the benefits that come with that:
- Unlike other music streaming apps, Amazon Music lets you download songs for offline listening and you don’t even need data or Internet connectivity to do this!
- The app easily integrates with other Amazon devices, Alexa, for example. That ensures you have music when you want it and wherever you need it.
- Amazon Music lets you enjoy lossless music, thanks to the improved audio quality, comprising Ultra HD, Dolby Atmos, HD and FLAC encoding.
- Amazon Music tops the chart with its industry-leading 90-day free version for you to familiarize yourself with the app and decide if it ticks most of your boxes. Users will access millions of songs for three months before upgrading to the premium version.
- Sing along with your favourite tracks with Amazon Music’s scrollable lyrics. Without disrupting the User Experience (UX), the on-screen (scrollable) lyrics and track information help you get in-depth information about the songs being played.
Amazon Music Downside
Amazon Music has flaws, including that:
- The podcast selections are only available in a few countries.
- Users are sometimes put off by the limited selections of songs on the free plan.
Boomplay is an indigenous music download app.
It is currently the biggest and fastest growing music app in Africa, with 85 million users and a catalogue of 20 million songs and videos, which are still growing daily.
Users can stream songs and videos online free, subscribe to one of the daily, weekly or monthly plans to save songs and videos to play whilst offline or purchase content to download.
The service is currently available on Android, iOS and Web.
Although the primary market it serves is in Africa, Boomplay has also gone beyond the continent’s shores to include hit tracks from other parts of the world.
You can expect to find songs from artists in the United States of America, Canada and the United Kingdom.
Advantages of Using Boomplay
Boomplay’s users use the app for one purpose – to download continental (African) and international songs.
All you need to do is to sign up for an account, search for your favourite songs and start downloading!
In addition, you get to benefit from these just for using the Boomplay music download app:
Unsure of the type of music you love? Leave it all to Boomplay!
The app has a set of curated playlists you will like.
Tracks are drawn from several genres, including Reggae, RnB, Pop and Afrobeat.
Stream Trending Songs
Get access to the latest songs that have been released all over the world.
Stream them online and download them if you want to.
Go Back in Time
A music app with a library of over 20 million songs sure has some oldies on the list.
Head to the search bar, enter the song’s name and look it up.
You might be lucky to find it in Boomplay’s database.
Listen to the News
Boomplay is designed so that it doesn’t let the users seek external information.
The app has a built-in news section, where you get to see firsthand the latest news and interviews with your favourite artists.
We are not pleased with these features on Boomplay:
- Boomplay requires the users to upgrade to the premium version before accessing most of the app’s features.
- Like Spotify, Boomplay doesn’t let you download songs to your local storage. All tracks must be downloaded and stored on the app.
2. YouTube Music
YouTube Music is a music streaming service developed by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google.
It provides a tailored interface for the service, oriented towards music streaming, allowing users to browse through songs and music videos on YouTube based on genres, playlists, and recommendations.
The app is subscription based, similar to Spotify, and will go toe-to-toe with the larger music apps on offer.
YouTube Music is available to download and use for free from the Google Play Store or from the app store across both iOS and Android devices, with users able to listen to their tunes with ads dispersed between tracks.
The free version will also stop music from playing when the app is offline, forcing users to upgrade to the Premium version to listen to music whenever they like.
The upgrade to Premium will cost £9.99 on a monthly subscription.
This will stop adverts from interrupting your songs and will let you download songs for listening when you are travelling and not connected to the internet.
Simply head over to either store on your phone or tablet and search for YouTube Music.
Once downloaded, create an account with a unique username and password, before selecting a payment option and if you would like to go Premium.
Once you have done that, you will use YouTube Music on Wi-Fi or 4G connections to download music, similar to how Spotify and iTunes work.
Spotify is the first on the list, being it is the best online streaming platform for music presently.
On Spotify, you stream and download your favourite tracks and playlists at the speed of light.
As one of the largest music hubs, it has millions of songs from different artists across different countries in the world.
Upsides to Downloading Songs on Spotify
Besides having millions of tracks on its database, Spotify also presents many other opportunities.
Users can stream and download podcasts and songs to their devices.
You can choose to access Spotify on the go with your smartphones or tablets or even with your desktop.
The app is also accessible on your car’s audio channel, Xbox, television and PlayStation.
The web player and computer-based versions are also readily available.
Peek into Yet-to-be Released Albums
Save costs on going for album listening sessions.
You can do something similar on the Spotify mobile app by upgrading to the premium version.
As a premium user, you will have access to the albums before they are released to the public.
Local Audio File Playing
Get to play the audio files you stored locally on your device with the Spotify desktop app.
Flexible Subscription Plans
Spotify is not only bridging the gap between effective music distribution and fighting piracy in the music industry.
It also accommodates the interests of different classes of users.
You can access the platform if you are a student, a business executive, or a family.
The availability of different pricing plans helps the other classes of users to find the plan that suits their preferences and budgets.
Discover New Artists
Spotify takes pride in being a music and artist discovery, allowing the users to discover new songs from new artists.
It is a great way to find new talents, especially those yet to gain mainstream fame.
Spotify is Global
It doesn’t matter the part of the world you live in.
Spotify is globalized and has a presence in at least 178 countries.
Download the app on either the Google Play Store or the App Store and start downloading your favourite songs.
As much as Spotify helps you stream and download songs in real-time, it also has some downsides.
Here are some reasons it may not be worth your investment.
You don’t just download songs for the fun of it.
You also want to sing along – and having lyrics helps.
To some considerable extent, Spotify lacks in this aspect, as lyrics of some songs are not readily available on desktop applications.
Most times, users use the free plan or the free trial version to get the hang of how the platform works.
Only a few users get encouraged to upgrade after that.
If you fall into the latter category, dealing with ads can be challenging.
Spotify serves ads mainly on the free account, so you can expect to engage with some of these apps before maximizing what the app offers.
Music Download is Premium
Spotify’s primary designation is an online streaming platform for songs and albums.
Downloading tracks is secondary and subject to subscribing to the premium plan.
Only then can you download and listen to your favourite songs offline.
6 Best Music Apps in 2024
These are the best music streaming apps in the world present.
- YouTube Music
- Amazon Music
- Hungama Music
Using the best music download app guarantees getting access to millions of songs curated from thousands of artists all over the world.
While at it, you want to check if the app offers a free plan, which typically lasts for a few weeks or months.
The free plan lets you use the app for a while until you are satisfied with what it offers and decide for or against upgrading to the premium plan.
Finally, it would be best if you considered the intuitiveness of the app because you want to use a music app that is easy to use and has the proper categories in the right places.