While the iPhone is a great phone with some great features, the apps are what make it excellent. While buying apps can be an expensive hobby, many music apps, fortunately, won’t set you back a dime. Whether you’re looking for free music or great tickets to a concert, here are a few iPhone apps that are worth adding to your collection.
Unique among music apps, 8tracks radio features “handcrafted” playlists and user-submitted mixes. You’ll find a decent variety, from Arcade Fire to Eminem. It can be hard to tell a given mix’s genre — most descriptions tend to be artsy instead of informative — but it’s a small shortcoming on a great app.
A classic concert finding app, Rukkus takes your location as well as the contents of your music library and uses this information to generate concert recommendations in your area. At the moment, there are more than 100,000 events listed in Rukkus at a given moment. How is this possible? Rukkus pulls in ticket listings from all the web’s largest ticket hubs, like StubHub, eBay, Ticketmaster, and many more — if you’re looking for Adele tickets, this app will find them.
Rukkus also supports finding and purchasing tickets for sporting events and theater shows as well as concerts, which makes it a go-to app for finding tickets based on your concert going history and personal tastes.
Band of the Day
What if you had a plugged-in friend to recommend an interesting new band every day? If you’re looking for new music, that would be very valuable. Compared with all the other apps that offer free music sampling, Band of the Day gives you 3-5 songs as a sample and does an excellent job of curating the music on offer. That means you have enough material to figure out whether you actually like the artist.
The only downside? Band of the Day tends to lean heavily on indie, singer/songwriter, blues, and folk genres. But, provided you’re into those genres, you’ll love this app.
Bringing together more than 4,500 concert recordings from the last 60 years, Concert Vault has a catalog that would impress any music lover. You’ll find everything from classic recordings at the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals to 1960s West Coast concerts put together by bill Graham to modern sets at SxSW. You can listen to Concert Vault for 10 hours a month for free, after that, it will set you back $48 per year.
Another excellent way to discover indie bands, Daytrotter gives you more than a thousand “mini concerts” — 3-5 song sets — from just as many indie bands. Some of the artists are famous, some are obscure, but they’re all excellent. New concerts (known as sessions) are added constantly and Daytrotter lets you stream music over WiFi, LTE, 4G, and 3G. A great app for the indie music lover, or someone looking to discover the indie scene.
iHeartRadio is your ticket to hearing radio stations from all over the country, live. If you love the experience of hearing traditional radio, this app will bring you not just music stations but talk, news, comedy, and sports. You can also create custom “stations” by searching for songs or artists, Pandora style.