The 5 best apps (and one bonus) for streaming those hot summer songs
Finally … the grass is green, the sun is warm and winter is long gone.
Summer is here and it’s time to catch some rays, lounge around an open fire under the stars or just cherish every second without parkas, gloves and snow.
You’ve got your friends, your portable speaker, some sweet summer beverages – but wait! What about the tunes?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are the best music apps for streaming those hot summer beats.
YouTube Music is the newest player on the block, but it comes with plenty of clout, with the power of Google Play Music and Google’s seemingly endless network behind it. Music experts say YouTube Music is a worthy challenger to Spotify’s crown as the world’s top streaming service, because it has taken the best features of Spotify and added a video layer on top of it. But despite a super-clean interface and a few million tracks unavailable elsewhere, YouTube hasn’t quite nailed it yet: its sound quality is often sub-par in comparison to Spotify, and its ‘discovery’ features are particularly bad in guessing music that fits your preferences. Still, YouTube’s free service is comparable to Spotify, and with a three-month free trial, the premium suite is definitely worth a try.
You’ve got to hand it to Spotify, it’s managed to carve out quite a niche – over 70 million subscribers – despite not being a default app on any major device. That’s probably because Spotify has been around the longest and invented all the nice playlist features all the other players are trying to imitate. Spotify also mirrors the app experience on a desktop player, and has the most listening available without having to pay for a subscription. Spotify claims to have 30 million tracks available for its listeners, and when you want to advance beyond the ad-based freebie area, a monthly subscription costs $10.
Apple Music comes as a default app with every iOS product Apple sells, so it’s hard to avoid the service if you’re loyal to the brand. Apple Music boasts 10 million more songs than Google Play Music, and has similar playlist and radio functionality. Apple’s subscription also starts at $10 per Apple ID, but doesn’t have a free option like Google Play. The other big downside to Apple Music is that the service will automatically add songs to your personal playlists based on your preferences by default, which can get annoying. We’ll blame that “feature” on the controversial U2 giveaway back in 2014.
myTuner Radio Canada
The myTuner app allows users to play whatever station they want from coast to coast or even around the world if they happen to know the station’s call letters. The app is a totally free listening experience, with ads appearing on the app’s interface rather than interfering with the audio. An ad-free interface can be purchased for $3.99, but you’re able to save favourite stations and search for stations based on genre without paying a nickel.
TuneIn Radio is very similar to myTuner, with the fundamental difference being TuneIn’s premium service, which offers access to NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL games for a monthly fee of $13.99. That’s pretty reasonable if you’re into old-timey play-by-play, into cutting the cable cord or just want to follow your favourite team from somewhere far, far away. In terms of the free service, TuneIn boasts free access to over 120,000 live radio stations around the world as well as local news, sports and current events.
BONUS: Quello Concerts
We have to include this one on the list because it’s so notably different from the other offerings out there. Quello Concerts allows you to watch and hear full-length performances from many of music’s greats, from Pink Floyd and Nirvana to Queen and Robert Plant – because sometimes nothing compares to being at a great live show. There are over 1,500 performances to choose from, with some concerts lasting up to three hours in length. A monthly membership costs $8 a month, which isn’t bad for all those summer nights whiling away the hours around the fire pit with your friends.
Having the right music will only make this summer more memorable. And with the options available from many of today’s top apps, finding the right tunes to fit your mood is easier than ever.