How Do You Stream Music on Your iPhone?
Outside storing music in the iPhone's built in iPod app, there are a variety of ways to simply stream the audio you want to listen to:
- Streaming internet radio/subscription apps are the obvious place to start. Slacker [iTunes link (opens in new tab)], Pandora [iTunes link (opens in new tab)], Pocket Tunes [iTunes link (opens in new tab)], Spotify [iTunes link (opens in new tab)]... the list goes on an on. Some are limited to the US (or just slightly beyond the US) or Europe, but those who have them in their area often swear by them. Some of these also provide local storage so you can keep some of the songs on your device for those occasions when a Wi-Fi or 3G isn't available.
- Musical games, spearheaded by Tap Tap Revenge [iTunes link (opens in new tab)] and Rock Band have shown that users are just as willing -- sometimes even more willing -- to buy songs for sport as they are for simple enjoyment. With in-app purchases, some of these games have even become music stores unto themselves.
- Musical apps, where an artist or group wants to create something more than just a song file or even iTunes LP, have also become fairly common on the App Store. These can range significantly in content and presentation, but they can and do bring the music.
- Storage apps, like MobileMe iDisk, Box.net, DropBox, etc. can give you access to the music you keep on the cloud. Just like they can view your documents and other files, they can typically play any supported audio format you've loaded them up with.
- Mobile Safari, the iPhone and iPod touch (and soon, iPad) web browser can play any music format Apple supports. Just tap on a link and the Quicktime player pops up, buffers, and plays your audio. This includes audio you've stored on your own web-enabled server setups. And it's one of the few apps that's allowed to keep playing in the background -- when it doesn't run out of RAM or lose connection or otherwise glitch-out.
- iTunes app, while it will only give you 30 seconds of music for sampling, will stream full-length podcasts if you tap on the title instead of the download button. If you prefer talking and creative commons to the latest premium hits, it's a surprisingly useful option. And it will play in the background just like Safari (and potentially fail, just like Safari).
We're all hoping iPhone 4.0 addresses that pesky "no streaming internet music while using other apps" multitasking miss we've suffered through lo these last 3 years, but in the meantime -- what are you using to stream your music on your iPhone? Any tips and or tricks you can share?
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.
i prefer to hear my own music, not radio or other shallow stuff
why put your future and enjoyment of technology entirely in Apple hands when the iPhone is so obviously geared towards Apple money making ploys. Ps legitimately I use Wunderradio and Last FM
It's the music streaming trifecta.
I also switch between a couple different apps for internet radio. WunderRadio, ooTunes, and TuneIn Radio.
I also use the new jailbreak Grooveshark app. It's awesome if you use the desktop or web version of Grooveshark too.
Then of course for all of these apps I use Backgrounder so I can multitask and Music Controls so I can change songs, etc right from the status bar instead of having to open it up.
Shame on you. It is the first software on the iPhone where you can stream your own playlist from your home server. All my music (oh about 100 Gb) is sitting on my pc at home. I just stream my music to my iPhone.
Best app out there for music listening.
Shame on you for not mentioning it.
I love being able to control and skip songs right from my headphone controller...Or my radio dock. just as if the song was playing through the iPod app.
Other than those I use the iPod on my iPhone.
Seriously... Look it up.
Untrue. Its easy to get the url of the streaming site and start the stream in safari, then move on to another app. Note: some apps may stop any streams or ipod playing due imbedded music or sounds.
What else out there is remotely close to lala except maybe rhapsody?
But something cool I discovered today: got an email from a fellow bandmate who wanted me to listen to some rough recordings. I opened the emails on my iPhone, and it let me download the attachment songs and let me listen to them... Very useful! At least for me...
I didn't even know that Simplify isn't in the app store anymore. I thought I was still getting updates.
Also, I use Lala instead of iTunes for music discovery now. They do a better job selecting new music I might like based on my listening habits, much better than iTunes does.
Thanks for mentioning Jukefly. I've been searching for a replacement for Simplify Media for months (man I loved that app) and this appears to be the solution. It still has a few improvements to go, such as better library browsing and shuffle play, but it's a great app as is and now I can finally stream my MP3s on my phone again!
I always seem to have issues with Jukefly. It has never worked. I also thought Orb was so clunky. It's terrible for making playlists, and it makes you launch the audio in some other player. Plus the web app didn't work for me on my iPhone half the time.