Best iPhone music apps

Take one iPhone, add a decent data connection, a pair of headphones that didn't come free in the box and all you need to bring yourself 24/7 music wherever you go is a well chosen set of apps and services. As ever, this is where we come in at Pocket-lint to help point you in the right direction.

The App Store is full of software to make music, listen to music and even chat about music too. Whatever your pleasure, here are the best iPhone music apps available right now to enjoy. Watch this space for a few more as we find them.

TableDrum

This is forgivable as the app is clearly designed with fun in mind rather than the serious musician. To use TableDrum, you'll need a few implements and a variety of surfaces to bash said implements against. In our tests we used a pen on a cereal bowl and our fingers on the table itself - one sound resulting in a drum beat, the other a cymbal crash. This worked pretty well and we managed to cobble together a decent beat which TableDrum followed precisely. 

Initially you're given the classic drum kit to play with, and this can be added to with Ethno/Jazz and Electro/Glitch kits for 69p a go. Nevertheless, TableDrum remains a very decent effort and at 69p, it's well worth a download. Read More

iTunesLink 

Price: £1.49

Rating: 4/5

 

Vevo

If you like music videos, then Vevo is where it is all at and is pretty much an essential app for your collection. Land on the homepage and there is a carousel of several featured artists and videos. It’s bold, it looks sharp and there is no messing around. Hit the one you want and the video streams, it’s as simple as that.

It’s clean, simple, direct to the point and easy to use. The selection of videos seems to cover the most popular current artists, so if you have specific tastes you might be disappointed. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

Sonos Controller

This handy app acts as a free wireless music controller for your Sonos system. Download the app, install it, press a button on any one of your Sonos ZonePlayers and away you go. It really is that easy. IT enables you to manage your library remotely, and stream music to every room - you can either play different songs in each room or sync all your ZonePlayers to play the same song. Volume can be controlled via the hardware buttons on most Android phones.

And voice search can be performed from within the app. Plus, it also features the ability to press back on your phone rather than having to press a dedicated icon on screen. In practice, the volume buttons work a treat making changing volume on the fly really easy, and the voice search saves you having to tap away at a tiny keyboard. This one's also available for iPhone and iPad. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 5/5

 

Guitar World Lick of the Day

This clever app offers a list of available licks for you to choose from, which you download within the app. You're then presented with a tutorial video from one of Guitar World's award-winning instructors or celeb axe-wielders like Zakk Wylde and Joe Satriani. You'll also get written performance notes explaining how to play the lick, along with scrolling musical notation. You can choose between a standard music stave or guitar tab, and there's also a virtual fretboard displayed beneath the music (which can be inverted for the lefties among you).

There's also a handy practice mode where you can alter the settings to control various features like music notation tempo, looping and a metronome. The app is free but if you want to get the full benefit then you'll need to shell out for a subscription that will guarantee you one new guitar lick per day. You can purchase a one-, three- or six-month subscription, priced at £1.19, £2.99 and £5.99 respectively. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 3/5

 

GarageBand

This is the most fully functioning music app out there giving you what the majority of individual apps offer, but only better and in one package. You get to play piano, guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and if you’ve got the right dongle, even record your own guitar playing as well. Broken down into a number of different areas or instrument groups, the idea is that you can play your favourite instruments, lay down a track, and then edit and manage them into a song before exporting said track into iTunes or your desktop and then share it with your friends.

The whole experience is incredibly easy, and depending on your musical skill rather than computer skills you can create a track in minutes rather than hours. The interface is very much like GarageBand on the Mac and you can add more instruments, loops, delete tracks, expand and shrink, and basically anything else you need to create that next Number One. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £2.99

Rating: 5/5

 

Spotify

If you're a Spotify user already, then you'll have no problems using the app as it's as straight forward as the desktop version. Your account is synchronised across all your Spotify platforms (with sync-on-the-fly) so if you create playlists on your PC, they are copied over to your iPhone and vice-versa. Also, all of your account details are automatically copied as well. As well as your playlists, you can search for artists, albums and tracks as per the desktop version, and play tunes straight away, with streaming over Wi-Fi and 3G possible. The Wi-Fi streaming is obviously a lot more reliable than streaming via your phone network, but we 3G streaming also works well. 

The app's killer feature is that it gives you an incredible offline catalogue to choose from. You can choose to sync the playlists (i.e. actually download them to your device) via 3G, although you can turn this option off, but it's best to sync over Wi-Fi at home before going out and about. Not bad for a monthly subscription of £9.99. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: Free (but you'll need a Premium subscription)

Rating: 5/5 

 

Sound Hound

You've probably heard of Shazam. We mean, who hasn't? Shazam is a brilliant app and has rightly been massively successful in the app world. But what if there was an app that could do all of what Shazam could, but with added extras? Ah, but there is. SoundHound is like Shazam, but turned up to 11. It's Shazam's bigger, better looking nemesis, that not only recognises music that you play to it, it can also tag tunes that you sing and hum to it. And if you're too shy to sing or hum, you can even just speak the lyrics into it, or type them in if you're feeling shy.

From your tagged songs you are able to view related videos of the song via YouTube, buy the song from iTunes, share it with your buddies via email, text, Facebook or Twitter, and even get the full lyrics displayed. You can also view the song artist's biography and get recommendations of similar artists. If you're wondering whether the humming function actually works, then wonder no more. It does.As well as tagging your own songs, you are also able to have a look at what other people are tagging using the 'What's Hot' feature and you can also use SoundHound as a mini-karaoke system by displaying the lyrics to songs playing in your iPod app. Read More

iTunes: Link

Price: £4.99

Rating: 4/5

 

Shazam

Shazam started out as a bit of a gimmick, something cool that early iPhone owners would use to show off the capability of an app to their mates. Since then it's grown, blossomed if you will, into a fully fledged music application, replete with track previews, tagging and global popular track lists.

The core Shazam experience is about using the app to find out what a song is that is playing around you. A prime example would be say, if you went to a restaurant and heard a track but didn't know what it was, Shazam would tell you by letting the app 'listen' listen to it. Clever stuff really. The really good news is that while unlimited tagging used to cost cash, the service is now free. Enjoy.

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

SoundCloud

SoundCloud is a project that's been steamrolling towards success from day one. On the Internet, it's a huge community for DJs, producers and musicians to post their musical creations online. Its bespoke player and ease of use has also led to a very quick community of music lovers cropping up, many posting home made sets and mash ups. 

In app form, SoundCloud behaves very similarly. You can comment and like different tracks the people have posted and engage in the community in just the same way. The best bit however is being able to record straight from the app, allowing you to pop music straight up onto your profile from your tablet. 

iTunes: Link

Price: Free

Rating: 4/5

 

Pandora Radio

Pandora Radio is very similar to Spotify, which is a good thing. The service is ad-powered but for $4 per month you can get better quality audio and an ad-free setup. Pandora can be used to select single tracks or will play entire mixes, similar to Spotify radio. There is also a desktop application which comes with custom skins, those paying the $4 get access to that as well. 

As of now, Pandora isn't available in the UK, which is a shame as its service has a pretty diverse track selection. Those seeking something similar could try Last.fm's paid for service. One of the real highlights of the app is the information you get on each artist, making it particularly good for browsing and finding new music. 

iTunes: Link

Price: Free (paid for ad free)

Rating: 4/5

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