It’s easy to forget that the ‘smart’ in smarphones truly started for most users when they allowed users to listen to music . Today’s range of smartphones are more powerful than ever and wittingly or unwittingly, all of us get a lot more out of them than just the time, communication and music as was the case just three-four years back. . Despite all the new features, making the phone almost a replacement for computers for some, music remains an undeniably key feature for buyers . Interestingly, even as the phone camera has taken centrestage in the past three years, most of the handset manufacturers seem to have focused on it to the detriment of music playback, keeping it really average when it comes to audio output from both speakers and headphones. There are exceptions in the name of LG, HTC and even Apple, but let’s look at some of the best music apps which can help you improve your music listening experience from your smartphone. Note that, this list covers music players, music streaming apps and even radio apps.
Poweramp Music Player – Free / Rs 68
Starting with one of the most used and one of the oldest in this segment, Poweramp Music Player is the most complete music player ever. Apart from access to your normal music library and basic equalizer, Poweramp offers some next level customisations. Opening up the app, you will notice that the User Interface is quite simple, you get your usual album access, songs grid and now playing section. Jumping into the Equalizer settings, you get some presets along with ability to fiddle the frequencies individually. In the settings menu, you can change the look and feel of the app, customize your album art settings, play around with lockscreen settings and a bunch of other audio tweaks such as Cross Fade, Audio Buffer etc. Not only this, the app can also find the correct lyrics for the song currently playing. The Poweramp Music Player is available for free on Google Play Store, however, there is also a full version available for Rs 68. While Google Play Music in itself is a decent music player and most of the OEMs also put in their own version of a music player, we recommend you to use the Poweramp Music Player for once.
Gaana / Saavn – Free (Monthly – Yearly charges for full version)
Well, we are pretty sure that you must have guessed this one as soon as you read the header of this article. Saavn and later on Gaana changed the way we used to listen to music in India, taking our entire music playlist online. While both the apps are equally good, online streaming of music does come with some issues relating to connectivity, especially in a country like India. Fortunately, both these apps come with an option to download your favourite songs offline to play later without internet. However, for that you will have to activate the Pro version of both the apps which is priced around Rs 95 per month for Saavn Pro and Rs 99 per month for Gaana Plus. Coming back to the free version, you get to stream songs from a tonne of libraries from all around the world. Both the apps have their own Radio tabs and we also get some playlists presets for easy segregation of different genres of music. Further, Saavn also offers you songs in a bunch of other Indian local languages, apart from Hindi, which we couldn’t find on Gaana. If you like to listen a lot of music and are tired of downloading it from the web, Gaana and Saavn will save your day.
SoundCloud – Free
While Saavn and Gaana offers a tonne of options in Hindi and English music, SoundCloud is the master when it comes to English music barring Spotify which is yet to make its way to India. With India one of the few countries to not get the Spotify even today, SoundCloud is probably the next best option for you to stream the latest English Music. Further, SoundCloud is not just for people listening to hollywood chartbusters, the app basically allows anyone having a soundcloud account, to upload their own content as well. So keeping aside all the top 10s and top 50s from around the world, SoundCloud is a perfect place for you discover some new music from relatively less popular artists. Besides, users can also search for various music and radio stations. The overall user interface is pretty neat and the trademark soundcloud now playing menu with that frequency graph still remains one of our favourite features of this app. SoundCloud is available for free on Google Play Store and there is no pro or plus version of the app which makes it an ad free experience which otherwise is only available in the full version.
Musixmatch – Free / Starting Rs 42/month
A lot of us often search for lyrics online on the web while streaming the music on our favourite music player, Musixmatch comes in an offer a quick access to lyrics of any song. The app can replace your native music player easily and will then add lyrics to every song you play automatically. Further, you can also identify lyrics and will push you the song’s name, so you don’t need a dedicated app for that. That aside, one of the latest and probably our favourite feature from this app is something called ‘Floating Lyrics’. If you don’t want to use this app as your primary music player, you can use floating lyrics to get the lyrics on any of the other music players and even on YouTube. Not only this, you can also choose from the given languages in which you want the lyrics to appear on a small popup window. The app is available for free on Google PlayStore and the Premium version starts at Rs 42 per month and will let you download the lyrics offline, remove ads and you can cancel your premium membership anytime thereafter.
FM India – Free / Rs 50
While most of the apps in the list come with a bunch of radio stations from all around the world, FM India is strictly a Radio FM app and gives you access to all the local radio stations. A lot of handset manufacturers often skip the FM Radio app on their device without realizing the fact that a large chunk of people in India still enjoy listening to music on FM. Coming back to the app, FM India will throw up all the radio stations from the major cities across India. Unlike most of the built-in radio apps, FM India can play any radio station without plugging in your headsets. We get to choose from different cities and genres of music which helps users organise their stations. Apart from being one of the best FM apps in India, this app can also act as your native music player.The app is available for free on Google PlayStore and there is also a full version for Rs 50 which will remove all kinds of ads inside the user interface.