Best iPhone and iPad Music Apps, Apple Music Alternative apps for iOS

There are many ways to listen to music on your iPhone and you don’t have to rely on iTunes and the built-in music app. When tired of wrestling with the basic built-in option, choose something else?

Whether you want to keep using iTunes and the iOS music library, want an alternative method of transferring and storing files, use the cloud to store your media, or prefer to have your music repaired through a subscription model, there are plenty of options.

Here is the music lover for iOS.

You can learn more about Best Music Streaming Services on TheTechPie.

How does music work on iOS?

Apple’s famous “walled” approach encourages a specific and rather outdated approach to media management. Assuming you’re using your own files, you’ll need to first import your music into an iTunes music library on a Mac or Windows PC.

With your files indexed and your iPhone paired with the same computer, you’ll need to sync music to your device (this can be done wirelessly, but is much faster with a USB connection).

Once you’ve transferred your music to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, it is saved in your device’s music library and can be accessed directly from the Music app. Unfortunately, you can’t just point the Safari browser to an MP3 or other music file and expect to be able to download it and keep it in your library.

You’ll need to add new media through iTunes if you want them to appear in your device’s music library. However, Safari will play MP3s and other natively supported media files (such as WAV or MP4).

However, having a centralized music library has its advantages. Since the operating system handles media playback, any application can essentially act as a media player. That is why there are many fitness apps (such as Lounge Workout FitStar Forget The Gym, FitStar Fit with your iPad or iPhone. Forget the gym, FitStar Fit with your iPad or iPhone. If you don’t get enough exercise, there is a good chance long ago the rest of us – and you don’t want that, do you? Apps that go their own way when it comes to media management forego this inter-app usability.

Most apps that support media playback can take advantage of the media controls included in Control Center, accessed by clicking from the bottom of the screen.

A word about Apple Music

Apple Music is still relatively new and launched about a year ago at the time of this writing. This means that not all iOS music apps can be integrated well, although the majority of simple players do. Things could move forward as Apple has given third-party apps a little more autonomy when it comes to Apple Music.

One example is a recent change to the Shazam iOS app that allows the music identification service to add songs to playlists immediately after identification. Unfortunately, apps like Djay that let you mix music and apply effects still don’t have the necessary access to Apple Music (citing Apple’s DRM as the main barrier).

It seems like apps that require something more than simple playback (i.e. apps that want to process the audio) are still not using Apple Music. Many simple players are also unsuitable for browsing the Apple Music catalog. Hence, you may have to create the bulk of your collection in the basic iOS music app. Today we’re going to focus on players that integrate with Apple Music, at least in terms of playback.

iOS music alternatives

The following apps use your iOS Music Library, iCloud Music Library, or iTunes Match to give you slightly different access to your music than the basic Music app. Most are free and all compatible with Apple Music (some even work with Spotify and YouTube).

Ecoute ($1.49)

Best for: Users who want an app that takes into account game numbers and last played dates.

Ecoute is a simple app with a focus on providing a clean user interface that prominently displays the album artwork. It also has improved shuffle functionality, including shuffle by album, and uses metadata like counts and last played dates to better serve the tunes.

AirPlay support is available. You can filter your library by composer, audiobooks, etc. to optimize your selection. There are even podcasts and social items like Facebook, Twitter, and audio scrobbling via (you can even scrobble tracks in the background). A night mode rounds off an impressive list of functions, ideal for drivers or anyone who likes to listen to music in bed.

Listening (free)

Best for: gesture control.

Hearing is a breath of fresh air when it comes to navigating your music collection. The app uses lively gesture-based controls and plastic-heavy menus. The basic functionality of a music player is completely free. If you want to access local and online radio stations, you’ll need to upgrade to a subscription-based model, which starts at $ 2.99 per month.

You can browse albums, artists, playlists, and the radio stations mentioned above. There is also a well-known search function. However, things get really interesting on the screen that is playing , and you have to drag the Playing music graphics on the screen to e.g. B. Skip tracks, share something, or return to your collection.

SoundShare (free)

Best for: Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer users are looking for a social listening experience.

SoundShare is a collaborative app that connects many different services, including Apple Music, Spotify and Deezer. It’s a real social network that you need to sign up for. Everyone you want to work with has to do the same. The app allows you to like, comment and share music, as well as create collaborative playlists with other users.

SoundShare isn’t much fun to use on your own, and you really need to share a streaming service with other users to get the most of it. Because of this, it’s not for everyone, but it’s free and needs to be ticked if you can convince your friends to sign up as well.

Stezza ($2.99)

Best for: One-handed playback.

Stezza advertises itself as a music player for drivers and has all of the controls users need in a bold user interface. The music is displayed in a grid with the artwork prominently highlighted.

The user interface adapts to what you hear. The app also has support for video files. However, we do not recommend looking at anything while driving.

Drivers with an AppRadio-compatible car radio from Pioneer can pair the app. For everyone else, AirPlay, Bluetooth audio, or a simple stereo cable is the way to go. The simple and oversized user interface may lend itself to more than just drivers. So check out if you’re looking for one-handed music control.

Musixmatch (free)

Best for: Finding lyrics so you can sing along.

Would you like to sing along to your music collection? With Musixmatch you can do just that. The app works with songs that have already been synced to your device. Also, you can connect Apple Music and Spotify. The app will show you the lyrics in tune with the music, and the developers claim to have the largest catalog of lyrics in the world (although I’m not sure how they can prove that).

With a powerful search engine, you can look up the lyrics for any song, even if it’s not in your library. If you can’t remember the name, you can search for the texts instead. Musixmatch will help you identify the song. There’s even Shazam-like support for finding lyrics to the songs that are being played around you.

Cesium ($1.99)

Best for: Users who crave a classic Apple Music app.

When Apple Music arrived, the iOS Music app was updated to support it. As a result, new tabs appeared at the bottom: For You, New, Radio, etc. Cesium wants to undo these changes by providing a simple and useful experience and ensuring compatibility with Apple Music, iTunes Match and locally synced files.

The app is also highly customizable. So you can manage your tabs, tag your music with different genres, rearrange and queue music. It includes gesture controls and lets you do neat things like playing all of the songs in a collection (such as an artist or a genre) with a swipe and tap. You can’t browse Apple Music or create playlists (yet), but if you’re looking for a simple app, Cesium is well invested.

No more the music library

iOS stores your music in a centralized music library, regardless of whether it is stored locally on your device or transferred to all of your devices via iCloud. If you want to use iTunes Match or Apple Music, you need to stick to iTunes method.

However, if you only want to take a file-based approach, the best thing to do is to use an app that stores your files.

If you’re a Linux user, you’ll need to use one of these options if you want to sync your local music to your iPhone because Apple doesn’t make a version of iTunes for Linux. While there are many apps on the App Store that offer this functionality, the following are all free.

VLC for mobile

Best for: All things “local media” on your iOS device.

VLC should be your first choice if you are going it alone and want to put iTunes on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Not only does it play most music and video files (including unsupported formats like FLAC), it also supports multiple audio tracks and subtitle files.

You can transfer music through a standard browser using Wi-Fi, iTunes File Share, and cloud services like Dropbox and Google Drive. The app supports file sharing via SMB, FTP, UPnP and PLEX and even comes with an Apple Watch app for media control on the go. VLC doesn’t need to be open to play media, so you can listen to music in the background while you do other things.

In our guide on using VLC instead of iTunes for iOS Ditch iTunes & Use VLC for iPhone & iPad Media Ditch iTunes & Use VLC for iPhone & iPad Media VLC for iOS has rather a lot that Apple probably would rather not do. It’s also better than iTunes for media on the go. Here’s why. Continue reading .

FLAC Player +

Best for: Users who want a music-centric app to play local media.

If for some reason VLC doesn’t cut it for you, FLAC Player + should do the trick. The app supports FLAC, MP3, AAC, WMA and RealMedia formats, among others, so you can listen in the background while you do other things. The app uses a music-first method that allows you to group songs by playlist, album, artist, etc.

The app is more like a music player than a VLC, so it doesn’t work for videos. Just like VLC, you can stream your music over Wi-Fi so that iTunes is no longer needed at all. The interface could do a bit of work, but it’s easy to use, completely free, and works like a charm.

Cloud and streaming solutions

Streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer offer another way of listening to your music on the go, but they have some drawbacks. For beginners, you need an active subscription. Unless you’re gifted with a large iOS device to store your music locally on, you’ll have to stream your music, which may require a generous data plan.

Apple Music / Spotify / Deezer

You can pay for and take advantage of a subscription to one of the major music streaming services. However, be aware of the data usage and the available storage space on your device.


SoundCloud has always been a distinct breed of music streaming service.

Music Lovers: Why Aren’t You Using SoundCloud?

Finding a new artist, album, or record label that suits your tastes and expectations can be a rewarding experience. With these golden discoveries there can be few, and that’s where I turn to where anyone can upload their music, remixes, podcasts or live sessions.

The service still provides a place for regular users and emerging artists to share their work. Now it also offers an expanded catalog that is similar to Spotify or Apple Music.

Is SoundCloud Go Worth It? All you need to know if SoundCloud is worth it? SoundCloud Go is a new premium music streaming service that rivals Spotify and Apple Music.

But is it worth paying for it?

In addition to offline compatibility, the service offers a larger catalog of different labels and artists, but it cannot match what the big players have to offer.

Even if you only use SoundCloud to follow your favorite labels, emerging artists, and a few podcasts, it’s still worth it on your iPhone.

Google Play Music

With Google Play Music, you can sync 50,000 songs for free with your Google account and take them with you. The app offers a “uniquely Google” user interface with a few useful features, including listening suggestions and recommendations based on your tastes. The free version uses an ad-based model so you won’t be able to listen without a break.

You can also sync the music you’ve uploaded to your device for offline playback if you’re a subscriber. It also gives you access to a much larger music catalog, YouTube Red (in the US), and no ads. Google Play Music has been on Android for quite some time, where it earned its reputation as a go-to music app.

The best music player for Android: Google Play Music rated. The best music player for Android: Google Play Music released music streaming service, a local music player, and a podcast player – all rolled into one. And it’s great. Continue reading .

Microsoft Groove

Groove is essentially the same as Google Play Music, except that it uses Microsoft OneDrive.

You can even choose to opt out of ads and use Microsoft’s music catalog. Unfortunately, the app has not been so well received. So, if you don’t have free OneDrive space, you might be better off choosing Play Music.

VLC for mobile

If you really want ad-free listening from a cloud storage provider, VLC will check the box again. You can connect to Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive and of course iCloud to stream or download media for local playback.

Learn More

Looking to learn more about technical terms? Learn the meaning of tech words in Hindi on Tech Shabd!

What are you using?

With the latest iOS update just around the corner, Apple can make some changes to the basic music app. Personally, I would appreciate a less clunky Apple Music experience.

Which app do you use to manage the media on your iPhone or iPad? Are you using iTunes, subscribing to a streaming service, or using VLC to drag and drop your FLAC files?

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