Appy Hour: Music

Did you know that mobile applications have been around for 17 years now? Amazing! Steve Jobs brought out the first iPhone in 2007 and in 2008 the first Apple App Store launched with 500 apps. App stores for Android and Blackberry devices joined the party and “App” was voted Word of the Year for 2010. We were no longer dependent on connecting our devices to our computers to transfer games, music and photos and many people embraced the mobile life.

Public libraries believe in equal access for everyone and that we are part of an educated citizenry, helping you find the information you need when you need it. This includes your digital experience. We have created a series of in-person presentations about various apps, called Appy Hour, in which you can come learn about and interact with apps. You can also watch this space for future Appy Hour blog posts!

Today we’ll examine music apps from a program held earlier this year. Let’s start with the streaming music apps that DBRL provides!

Hoopla Logo Hoopla is accessible with your library card! Hoopla is your source for chart toppers of most categories and new releases from artists of all genres. You can check out entire albums for seven days and listen ad-free. And you can download to a device to listen without using data or Wi-Fi. Since Hoopla offers more than just music listening, you can also watch documentaries, listen to audiobooks or read eBooks about your favorite artists.

Freegal logo Freegal is also accessible with your library card! Freegal offers you 10 million songs and you can download five per week to add to your personal library. You can download up to five songs a week to a computer or device and keep them forever. Also stream up to eight hours per day, entirely ad-free. Plus you can create custom playlists.

Of course, there are many music apps available and each of us have our own preferences. Sometimes it’s how the search function works or that we like the way one app provides pre-selected playlists. You may prefer to listen to radio stations. Here is a list of apps which offer free access and have been selected by library staff as our personal favorites. Both Google Play and Apple App Store will have these apps.

Spotify logo Spotify has the largest catalog of music available. You can create and share playlists, or let Spotify recommend music for you. The free version contains ads, songs are always shuffled, and you have limited skips per hour. You can’t download music. It has audiobooks, but you are limited to 15 hours per month and must purchase a premium subscription.

pandora logo Pandora’s free version has repetitive ads and the personalized stations cycle through the same songs. It is easy to influence the algorithm by marking a song ‘like’ or ‘dislike.’ You can’t add your own music and can’t create custom playlists without a premium subscription.

I heart Radio logo iHeart Radio lets you listen to radio stations locally and across the world, both AM and FM. It also supports listening to podcasts. Of course you are unable to rewind live radio. It’s free, with a couple of paid plans.

wimple radio logo Simple Radio  is very straightforward and doesn’t require any signup. You can access local and international radio stations including 25 stations in the region and 416 stations in Missouri. Your listening experience will be interrupted by ads from Simple Radio in addition to whatever ads the station is running.

Shazam logo Shazam is your friend when you hear a song you love but need help identifying it! Just open the app and instantly learn the name of that song that’s playing in the store or on the radio. It’s built into Apple products but is available for Android devices and computers as well.

Youtube music logo YouTube Music also has a large catalog of music. The free tier only works when the screen is on and the app is open. It includes ads and is good for music videos if you have a YouTube Premium subscription. And if you are already using Gmail, you don’t need to make a new account.

I have mentioned only a small number of available music apps so feel free to recommend your favorites in the comments section below. And please count this as your invitation to attend Appy Hour: Travel on June 3 at 4 p.m. We will share apps that we use to travel the country and then we welcome a lively discussion of your suggestions.

Image credit: Blue Coat Photos, Streaming Music via Flickr (license)

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