Why use an Alternative to the iTunes Store?The iTunes Store is a great resource for your iPhone in order to purchase and download songs, but you may want a different way of discovering and listening to music that Apple's service doesn't provide. For example, you may want to use an all-you-can-eat streaming music service rather than purchasing and downloading specific songs. There's also the style in which music is delivered to consider too. You may for instance prefer listening in radio style. How you get your music selections is also an important factor. Having the flexibility to choose some songs to store on your iPhone (offline mode) while also streaming playlists from the cloud could be a consideration depending on your needs.
In order to make your life easier, we've compiled a toplist of stellar music services that work well with the iPhone.
Slacker Radio is a stellar choice if you want to stream music to your iPhone in radio style. With Slacker Basic Radio you don't even need to pay a subscription in order to use this service on your mobile Apple device. Being able to stream to a mobile device usually means that you've got to pay for the privilege, but Slacker Radio offers this for free -- although it does come with certain restrictions such as advertisement-supported songs and a maximum of 6 song skips in a station per hour.
There are currently two subscription tiers you can choose for streaming and caching an unlimited amount of music to your iPhone. These are: Slacker Radio Plus and Slacker Radio Premium. Using the first subscription level gives you the ability to locally store radio stations while the top premium level gives you the luxury of cherry picking certain albums and playlists and caching them to your iPhone's memory.
If you like to listen to digital music like Internet Radio), then Slacker Radio is a great way to use your iPhone for: accessing hundreds of professional programmed stations; creating your own custom stations, and sharing songs via several social networking platforms.
For more information on this streaming service, read our full review of Slacker Radio.
Spotify is one of a growing number of services that offers a mobile music solution for the iPhone and a number of other smartphone platforms too. There's no free mobile streaming option as with Slacker Radio, but subscribing to Spotify's Premium service gets you unlimited streams to your iPhone with high quality audio up to 320 kbps.
Paying for their top subscription tier also gets you other benefits too like Offline Mode. This helps you to manage and download songs to your iPhone's storage space instead of relying on streaming. This can be really useful for times when you don't want to burn into your monthly data usage too much or don't have an Internet connection. For the cost of an album per month, Spotify is worth a look as an alternative music resource to the iTunes Store.
Rdio is another flexible cloud music service that provides millions of songs that you can tap into using your iPhone. Rdio offers a free account for streaming to your desktop computer, but you'll need to sign up to their Unlimited plan to be able to use it on your Apple device. Using their top plan gives you the maximum flexibility when discovering and listening to music. There's also an offline mode so you don't have to be connected to the Internet to listen to your favorite songs.
Rdio also provides a desktop app which functions in a similar way to Apple's iTunes Match service. Your iTunes library can be matched to Rdio's large library of songs so you instantly have them in the cloud for your iPhone. Overall, Rdio is a stellar iTunes Store and iTunes Match alternative to listen to music almost anywhere.
If you like music delivered to your iPhone in high quality audio, then MOG just might be the service for you. Most of the songs in its library are encoded at 320 Kbps ensuring that the audio played back on your Apple device is crystal clear. As with most of the other services in this toplist, you'll need to subscribe to MOG's Primo level. This gets you access to an unlimited supply of music with an offline mode too which can also be used without any limits. You can also keep your playlists in sync with your iPhone and the Internet which can be a really useful time-saver.