Don’t you miss the days when Apple Music was just a music app? I do, and you gotta admit, you probably miss it too. Since its iOS 9 redesign, Apple’s native app has been getting more features with every update. The latest version enables users to share playlists among friends.
Some of these features are pretty useful, but there are many others we could do away without. Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with Apple Music. Third-party music apps are available on the App Store and they can make it so much easier to enjoy music on-the-go.
It’s also worth noting that these apps are music player apps, which are designed to enhance your listening experience. If you’re looking for free apps to stream or download music, then check out this article, it’s a comprehensive list of best music apps available on the market for iOS users.
Listen is a unique app that lets you control music using hand gestures. You don’t have to take your phone out or press on-screen buttons. With a simple tap or swipe on the screen, you’d be able to switch tracks, hit pause or play, adjust the volume, and add music to the ‘Favorites’ list – all without looking at your phone.The app disables your device’s auto-lock feature so you don’t have to unlock it every time. Quite handy, really.
Its innovative controls need getting used to, but only because it’s different from traditional playback. Gestures are actually quick and easy. Once you get the hang of it, Listen can be useful in certain situations such as when you’re driving, jogging, or riding a bike.You do have to look at the screen when organizing your library, but it continues to operate on a simple ‘tap and drag’ motion. And it doesn’t hurt that this hands-free music player comes with an elegant and minimalist interface.
Listen is available as a free download for iPhone and iPad. It’s already good enough as it is, but if you want access to online radios and other premium features, you can opt for in-app purchases.
If you want a music player with a classic feel, you can’t go wrong with Ecoute. You get to enjoy music privately without being bothered by social aspects like knowing what your friends listen to. There’s still the option to share on Facebook or Twitter, but unless you log in to social media, you’re basically left alone to your music library. Besides this, Ecoute has so many good features for an app that costs under a dollar.
For starters, the app lets you filter music by artist, album, song, genre, playlist, composer, or compilation. As soon as you’ve selected songs to play, they’ll appear on the ‘Queue’ list where you can change their order or remove them as you wish. Other features include gesture controls for quick navigation, the ability to switch to a mini-player, and shuffle play.
Perhaps its greatest feature yet is how it seamlessly integrates withyour iTunes purchases and iCloud Music Library. It syncs across multiple devices so your playlist remains the same.Surprisingly, scrolling through hundreds of albums is smooth and responsive on Ecoute.
SoundShare is like the social media for audiophiles. You get to follow people around the world and have them follow you. You can share your favorite tunes to friends, but also keep track of their playlists on music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer. Staying true to its social features, you can like your friends’ songs and leave comments.However, it takes things a step further by letting you send entire music tracks via the iMessage app. But what makes SoundShare truly special is that it allows you to play the same songs your friends are listening to, straight on your device.
The app is available as a free download. To access its community, you only have to sign up for an account which is also free.
Don’t let its snazzy name fool you. Stezza is actually quite easy to use and has a simple and beautiful interface. You can customize background colors and add or remove playback buttons to your liking. But what it lacks in customization, it makes up for with features like full integration with iTunes purchases, and AirPlay compatibility.
Stezza’s home interface is divided into panes that reminds me of the Windows Phone music player. From there, you can see what’s playing, hit play or pause, or skip and shuffle songs. Control buttons are large enough that it’s impossible to miss them. Not to mention, they make for effortless navigation when setting your phone on an audio dock or the car’s dashboard.
Cesium hits close to home. That is, if you’re looking for something that doesn’t stray far from the original. It has been designed in such a way that bl ends with native iOS apps. It does this by to utinga classic white background and blue and black text, among other similarities. The Apple-esqueUI is then combined with seamless navigation that lets you access your music library and iTunes purchases from the bottom tab.
Of course, Cesium gives us reasons to love it more than the original. One of them is a customizable tab so you can organize tracks by artist, album, genre, song, playlist, or composer – with the option to include audio books. Its best feature, however, is ‘Playlist Grouping’ which allows users to combine multiple playlists and play them as one.
By offering other useful features we never thought we needed, Cesium does more than bring us back to the days when Apple Music was strictly a music player. It brings us a better music experience, which isn’t bad for an affordable app.
We can only hope that Apple would have enough sense to make their music player more user-friendly as they roll out future iOS updates. Until then, it’s good to know there are third-party music apps available on the App Store. Alternatives like Cesium, Stezza, SoundShare, Ecoute, and Listen give us the freedom to enjoy our music. However, we want it – privately or with friends, hands-free or with effortless on-screen navigation.
Which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. Between you and me, I like Cesium the best.
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