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Best alternatives to Apple's Music app for iPhone and iPad

Apple Music Lyrics Airpods Max
Apple Music Lyrics Airpods Max (Image credit: Christine Romero-Chan)

If you have the best iPhone, the chances are high that you're using the Apple Music app. It's where your entire iTunes music library lives on your iPhone, and you can even stream music from the Apple Music service if you have an active subscription. But not everyone is a fan of the interface that Apple's chosen. So if you're looking for an alternative to Apple's Music app on your iPhone or iPad, then you should consider some of these great third-party apps.

Please note that while some of these can be considered "replacements," you technically still need the Music app to be installed for them to work, as they need to access your music from there.

Soor

Soor Screens

Soor Screens (Image credit: Tanmay Sonawane)

When you require a beautiful music player, then look no further than Soor. With Soor, you're getting a premium and gorgeous way to interact with your tunes right on your iPhone.

Soor is one of the first feature-rich third-party Apple Music apps on the App Store. This means you can access your personal music collection, as well as get access to all of what Apple Music streaming has to offer through intuitive gesture-based navigation. You can view Apple curated content personalized for your personal listening tastes, and you can also browse, like, share, and play music directly from the Apple Music catalog. There are light, dark, and pure black themes to pick from, Musixmatch integration, Last.fm scrobbling, widgets, new release alerts, and so much more. And again, the interface is so much better than Apple's Music app by far.

It's important to note that you will still need the Music app installed on your device to use Soor. It also only works with music you've uploaded into the Music app or the Apple Music catalog. No other streaming service is supported.

MusicHarbor

Music Harbor Screens

Music Harbor Screens (Image credit: Marcos Antonio Tanaka)

If you care about when your favorite artists and record labels are releasing new music, then MusicHarbor is a nice option to have in your collection.

With MusicHarbor, you can get a feed of your favorite artists and record labels and get a chronological timeline of upcoming releases. You can preview a song at any time and even add them to your library or a playlist on Apple Music, as well as Spotify and other music streaming services. Tapping an album in MusicHarbor can also open it up directly in Apple Music too, as well as other streaming services. MusicHarbor also supports music videos, news and events, widgets, and more. MusicHarbor is also very customizable, so you can set it up as you need it to be.

Musixmatch Lyric Finder

Musixmatch Lyrics Finder Screens

Musixmatch Lyrics Finder Screens (Image credit: musiXmatch srl)

Do you love to sing along to your music? Then Musixmatch Lyric Finder is a must for your collection.

Musixmatch synchronizes with every song in your music library, so you never miss a beat. You can connect your Apple Music or Spotify account, and Musixmatch will show real-time lyrics as your music plays. You can even get lyric translations to help you learn a new language while you jam out, which is a nice touch. And when you discover a new song that you are unfamiliar with, Musixmatch can listen and identify it for you. When you want to listen to something specific, Musixmatch lets you search for songs by title, artist, or even just a line. Other features of Musixmatch include Party Mode, Lock Screen lyrics, and more.

Cs: Music Player

Cs Music Player Screen

Cs Music Player Screen (Image credit: Mike Clay)

Another great-looking music app alternative is Cs: Music Player, formerly known as Cesium. With Cs: Music Player, it automatically works with your Apple Music — no extra accounts, signups, or subscriptions required. Oh, and there are no ads, but this is expected from a premium, paid app.

Cs: Music Player puts the focus on your music collection, so you won't get any suggestions, recommendations, or radio stations. Nope, none of that clutter here — it's just you and your music. It preserves the classic tabbed music interface, but it also adds a modern twist. You can even organize your entire library with even more sorting and display options than Apple could ever provide. Cs: Music Player is highly customizable and gives you all of the details and metadata that you may require. Other features include being able to pin favorite albums, playlists, create convenient shortcuts, advanced playlist functions, and more. Plus, the player changes color based on the album artwork.

Picky Music Player

Picky Music Player Screens

Picky Music Player Screens (Image credit: Charles Joseph)

When you want some time dedicated to just listening to your favorite albums the way they were meant to be played, then Picky Music Player is the way to go. This app is designed for those particular about their music and gives the listener full control over browsing and listening to albums and songs.

In fact, Picky keeps things uncluttered by hiding those albums that only have a few songs on them, though you can change the filters to adjust this if need be. You can queue up your songs to play later through simple gestures, and Picklists let you quickly play a group of songs, which is like listening to an album without the bonus tracks. Picky even has features to hide singles and one-hit-wonder tracks, sort tracks by release date or duration, smart grouping, and more. If you are picky about music, then it's clear that Picky Music Player is for you.

Stezza

Stezza Screens

Stezza Screens (Image credit: Ricardo Santos)

One of the most common places to listen to music is in your car. And when you're driving, you definitely want a simple interface that lets you control the music without being too distracted. That's when Stezza comes in handy.

With Stezza, it's all about simplicity. The app works seamlessly with your iTunes music library, and the Now Playing screen will have large, easy-to-see buttons, so you don't need to fiddle around while on the road. Stezza features adaptive album themes, custom color themes, video playback and is fully accessible for everyone. It's also compatible with Pioneer® AppRadio®.

Your favorite alternatives to Apple's Music app?

As much as we like using Apple Music, the Music app itself isn't always a banger. Thankfully, some great alternatives on the App Store let you access your Apple Music in a whole new and better way than before.

What are you using? Did we miss your favorite app? Let us know in the comments.

Christine Chan
Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently the iMore lead on all things iPhone, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.