If you’re debating which music streaming app to subscribe to, hold on. You need to first check these little-known apps to stream music for free without any major hassles.
Right now, the top two free music streaming apps are Spotify and YouTube Music. Each offers a few features for free, with ads, and you can upgrade to a premium plan for more features like offline playback.
But you might be surprised to know that you don’t need to pay for anything to get a good music streaming experience.
From hip-hop mixtapes to better interfaces for YouTube, and even a way to listen to your own music from your computer, here are some of the little-known ways to stream music for free.
1. Aux.app: YouTube, SoundCloud, Deezer, and MixCloud in One App
If you want to listen to a song online without paying anything, you will likely find it in one of the four major free music streaming apps: YouTube, SoundCloud, MixCloud or Deezer. But of course, each has some songs that the other doesn’t have. What you actually need is an aggregator like Aux.
Aux combines all the four free music streaming apps into one neat interface. Search for a song across all services, or check out their individual search results. Add any song to your play queue or a custom playlist, or tap Like to make it one of your favorites. If your queue is empty, Aux will recommend a track to listen to for continuous playback.
You can use everything without ever registering, but you’ll need a Deezer account to search that service. You’ll also need to sign up to save your playlists and likes for the future. If you connect your YouTube or SoundCloud accounts to Aux, it will fetch your favorites.
2. Spinrilla: Free Hip-Hop Mixtapes
In the early days of hip-hop, when it was more an underground movement, artists spread their music through tapes of live shows and parties. Over time, hip-hop has legitimized itself through production houses and music labels, but the underground movement remains strong. And that’s what you’ll find at Spinrilla.
Hip-hop artists still release mixtapes on which they lay their own original track, or create a whole new remix. Any fan of this genre of music would love to hear where upcoming musicians and artists are taking hip-hop, and you’ll find it all on Spinrilla.
Spinrilla is a free streaming app only for hip-hop mixtapes. You can explore trending, popular and upcoming mixtapes, discover new singles, and even check out videos from some artists. Sign up to save songs and mixtapes, and even create playlists of your favorites.
Whether you use the web player or the mobile apps, Spinrilla plays without a hitch like any major music streaming service. It’s impressive how good the streaming quality is, given it is completely free and without any paid upgrades for a premium package.
The official YouTube Music is a fantastic streaming service, with one flaw. There is no desktop player. On the other hand, mobile users get a YouTube Music app filled with great tricks
that makes the listening experience better.
But where YouTube doesn’t provide, some enterprising developer will. YouTube Music for Desktop is a nifty program for all major operating systems that gives you the full YouTube Music experience, with a little more. You can search, make playlists, listen to radio stations, and everything else from the free account.
The player also integrates MusixMatch into the program for an added bonus. YouTube Music doesn’t have lyrics, but this is a nice way to flip to a different tab in the player to read the lyrics, which scroll based on the line you’re currently listening to.
4. Mozaart: Huge Catalog of Music With YouTube Links
More people listen to music on YouTube than any other streaming app, but YouTube isn’t optimized for music. Mozaart is primarily a music discovery and catalog app, but by adding YouTube links to all songs, it becomes so much more.
Head to the Charts to see the top 50 trending songs from any country, or go to Playlists for readymade collections based on categories, mood, or nation. Click the play button next to any song to start streaming music.
The deep interlinked catalog is the big sell of Mozaart. While it’s not meant to be a YouTube music browser, that’s what it ends up becoming. It’s the most systematic way you will be able to look at artists, albums, and so on, and be able to play any song immediately. It’s a whole new way of browsing YouTube.
5. mStream: Setup a Home Music Server
You have stored folders upon folders of music on one computer, how do you listen to it on another device in your home? mStream is the easiest way to set up a private music streaming server with which you can access your music on other devices.
The makers claim you can set up the server in 30 seconds, and they’re not far off. Run the program, add a username and password as well as an open Port on your network. Usually, Port 3000 will work. Point the software to your music folder and click on Boot Server to get an IP address. Depending on the size of the folder, it’ll take some time to make the list and then start.
Now, as long as you’re connected to the same Wi-Fi network, go to the IP address, key in the username and password, and you’ll see all the music right there. Click any file to start playing it. It really is the simplest and quickest way to get music all across your home.
You can install the open-source software on any major desktop operating system. It doesn’t currently support Raspbian, but you’ll find documentation online about how to build it with any Terminal.
The Best Music Streaming Service for You
Just because these are fantastic free music streaming apps doesn’t mean you don’t need a paid service. Apps like Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music do a lot more than just let you listen to music, and are worth the price they ask for.
But you don’t need them all, of course. What you need to do is figure out which is the best music streaming service for you