Market Overview

6 Apps For Music Lovers - And One To Avoid

6 Apps For Music Lovers - And One To Avoid

Before video took over the Internet, consumers used the World Wide Web to search for, discover and eventually download new music.

iTunes and Napster led to a revolution that completely changed the industry.

Now a new era is coming, and it involves streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora (NYSE: P).

They are among the apps every music lover should have, but they are not the only ones that consumers need in their collection. Click through the slideshow to see which ones are a must-download -- and which one should be avoided like the plague.

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this slideshow.

Posted-In: Bandsintown iHeartRadio Lyrics+ Pandora Shazam Spotify TicketmasterTech Best of Benzinga

  • Get: Spotify

    Get: Spotify

    The cream of the crop, Spotify is the king of mobile streaming music -- but only for those who are willing to pay.

    Paying customers are able to play any song they want at any time. There are some regional restrictions (ex: some songs available in Europe may not be available to American listeners and vice versa), but the same can be said for the PC and Mac iteration.

    Non-paying customers will have to settle for a randomize, radio-inspired app that takes away Spotify's on-demand charm. It's still a decent app for music, especially for those who don't mind cycling through an artist's catalogue at random. But to get the full effect, users have to pay.

    Or get a tablet, as it is the only mobile Spotify app that allows to play on-demand music.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Avoid: Lyrics+

    Avoid: Lyrics+

    The app is exactly what it appears to be: a lyric app for the iPhone and iPod.

    Users can pick a track from their library and instantly acquire lyrics for that song. It's a great concept, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired.

    The user reviews include a number of complaints ranging from grammar errors to songs that ultimately don't have any lyrics.

    In fact, that latter issue is something the company warns about. Lyrics+ can only deliver lyrics for songs that are already in its database.

    This could be a huge disappointment for those who buy the app, only to find out that their favorite tracks aren't covered. At the same time, lyric sites make it easy to instantly find song lyrics to any song -- for free.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Get: Pandora

    Get: Pandora

    Spotify may be popular, but its user base of 24 million active listeners still pales in comparison to the 75 million people who enjoy Pandora every month.

    Its popularity is rooted in its consistency to deliver a unique radio-style listening experience. Pandora was the first to allow users to create their own station just by entering the name of an artist, genre or composer.

    Pandora automatically matches the user's entry to other artists that its database believes the listener will enjoy. Free users can skip a handful of songs they don't like per hour, or pay $3.99 per month to eliminate the wait.

    Whichever you choose, this is an app that every music lover should have on their phone.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Get: iHeartRadio

    Get: iHeartRadio

    Unlike Pandora, which was inspired by radio, iHeartRadio is comprised of actual radio stations.

    More than 800 Clear Channel radio stations are offered through the site and its various apps, along with numerous other stations.

    Thus, users don't have to be in California to listen to ALT 98.7, or in New York to play NASH FM 94.7.

    The app has received a ton of praise across all platforms and is regarded as one of the premiere apps for traditional radio.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Get: Bandsintown

    Get: Bandsintown

    Apps can be annoying. They bombard users with unnecessary notifications, they take up space, and if left unopened they can drain the phone's battery.

    There are some apps, however, that provide information users cannot live without. One of those apps is Bandsintown.

    Bandsintown is described as a concert listing and discovery app, but it is so much more than that. Users can create a personalized concert calendar and sync the app to their existing services (Spotify, iTunes, Pandora etc.). In doing so, Bandsintown will be able to notify the user whenever a related concert appears in their area.

    This makes it a must-have app for anyone who doesn't want to miss another great show.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Get With Caution: Ticketmaster

    Get With Caution: Ticketmaster

    For many bands, there is only one place to turn for online ticket sales: Ticketmaster.

    This makes it tough for users who hate Ticketmaster's excessive fees. It's even worse for those who want a great mobile app for buying tickets.

    When Benzinga tested the app after purchasing tickets to David Copperfield, it worked flawlessly. Tickets could be pulled up at an instant, and dropped into Passbook for easy access later.

    But some users complain that the app is broken. They say the app won't allow them to buy tickets. This is a serious problem when Ticketmaster offers pre-sales that can only be accessed through the app.

    Others have complained that the app logs users out over time, which Benzinga also found to be true.

    Thus, the Ticketmaster app is great for users who have already purchased tickets and merely want to access them. But it may not be the best way to order tickets.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Get: Shazam

    Get: Shazam

    Have you ever been in a store, at a restaurant, a club, watching TV, or anywhere else and wondered, "What is the name of this song, and who is it by?"

    Shazam is the app that can answer that question.

    It's not a perfect app (users will surely get frustrated whenever a song goes undetected), but the success rate is fairly impressive.

    The app keeps track of songs that users have discovered, which makes it easy to go back and find them again later.

    The app also allows users to buy songs instantly from various music stores, such as iTunes.

    Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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