The best streaming music apps for iPhone, whether you need huge collections, offline access, or international reach. Can't stop the signal!
The iPhone was born of the iPod and as Apple is fond of saying, there's music in its DNA. While Apple will be introducing iTunes Radio as part of iOS 7 this fall in the U.S., there are many other services that stream music to iPhones in all sorts of different ways, in all sorts of different regions. So which one is best for you? We'll help you find out. Here are our favorites!
Note: Availability and sometimes catalog size and feature sets vary greatly by location. The U.S. has most services, other countries only a few or none.
If you aren't the "mixed bucket of tracks" kind of girl or boy and know exactly what you like, Spotify lets you create just exactly the type of experience you want from their library of around 20 million songs. It's one of the largest, if not the largest of any streaming music service currently available. You need to pay the $9.99 a month subscription fee to have access to Spotify's mobile apps and the ability to create offline playlists, but you can try before you buy.
If having access to the largest collection of music available for streaming is the most important feature for you, get Spotify.
Rdio's big attraction is that you aren't limited on how many songs you can save for offline use. If your device can hold them, they're yours to use offline use as long as you're a subscriber - which will run you $9.99 a month. Rdio also has a great interface and design aesthetic, if that sort of thing matters to you more than collection size.
If you don't want to be limited to how many tracks you can save for offline use, get Rdio.
Songza acts like a concierge or assistant. Select the type of music you want to listen to or tell Songza what you're doing and it will give you music suited for just that occasion. The playlists inside Songza are curated by industry experts and DJs. You can even match Songza to the exact headphones you're wearing for optimal song quality. The free version of Songza is ad supported. If you'd like to remove ads and get premium content, you can join Club Songza for $0.99 a week via in-app purchase.
If you care more about mixes and quality playlists than anything else, Songza is a great choice.
Pandora is free if you're okay with ads and listening limits on iOS. If you're not, you can subscribe to Pandora One for $3.99 a month or $36 a year in order to remove ads, access the desktop app, have unlimited listening privileges, and have more skips (6 per hour). Pandora only offers around 1 million songs, which is on the small side.
If you're looking for a free option that doesn't require a subscription in order to access the service through mobile and you're okay with limitations, a smaller selection, and ads, get Pandora.
Slacker recently redid all of its mobile and web offerings and brings to the table a library of 13 million songs, many of them from indie artists. If you're a sports fan, Slacker also offers many sports stations and covers many events that other streaming services don't even touch. Their Fine Tune system lets you better tailor your experience as well. Subscriptions start at $3.99 a month
If you're a sports fan and want ESPN Radio, Slacker is the only streaming service that can give it to you .
These are our current favorites when it comes to best streaming music services for iPhone. If you know of a better service in your country or region, let us know in the comments!