Your iPhone is a great device that doubles as a portable media player, but what if you want an easy way to keep your music listening fresh instead of constantly syncing your iPhone with the songs in your iTunes library? A digital music library can get stale quite quickly, and so if you are into discovering new music, then using streaming music services give you an almost never ending supply of songs. Many of these services now provide a free iPhone music app that can be used to listen to music streams via your Wi-Fi router, or through your phone's carrier network.
Mobile music continues to see strong growth as more and more people discover the benefits of accessing cloud music on their portable devices. However, not all streaming music services offer a free iPhone app. To help you to discover some of the best music services that you can use via your iPhone, take a look at our apps list below.
Unlike some music services that require you to pay a subscription to stream content to your iPhone, Slacker Radio offers this facility even for its free account. The free app (which is also available for iPod Touch and iPad) allows you to stream an unlimited amount of music via a wireless connection. You can access Slacker's 150+ pre-compiled radio stations or listen to your own custom stations.
There's a whole lot more you can do with the Slacker Radio app if you're a subscriber. One of the best features is caching music to your iPhone's storage so you don't have to be connected to the Internet all the time.
If you like listening to Internet Radio, then Slacker's app is certainly worth downloading to your iPhone.
For a completely personalized music listening experienced, you'd be hard pushed to find a smarter discovery engine than Pandora Radio. Using the free Pandora Radio app, you can use your iPhone (also available for the iPod Touch and iPad) to find and listen to millions of songs that are intelligently suggested by Pandora Radio's powerful Genome system. This personal Internet radio service learns what kind of music you like via a user friendly thumbs up/down interface.
The free Pandora Radio app allows you to stream music via Wi-Fi or your phone carrier's network (2G, 3G, etc.). Even though there is a skip limit with Pandora Radio, it's still an excellent service to use with your iPhone in order to discover new music.
3. Spotify App
To fully use this app, you will need a Spotify Premium subscription. This enables you to stream music straight to your phone; wirelessly sync songs and playlists, and use Spotify's Offline Mode. If you don't pay a premium subscription and just have a free account, then there are still things you can do with the app. You can log into your Spotify account and search for tracks, wirelessly sync your own music files, and purchase songs and playlists.
The Spotify app for the iPhone can be downloaded from the App Store using your Apple device -- incidentally it can be used on the iPod Touch and iPad too. If you don't have an account, then you'll first need to sign up using your Facebook account.
For more information, read our full Spotify Review.
4. MOG App
To stream music to your iPhone, you'll first need to be a subscriber to MOG's Primo option. This is MOG's top tier subscription level which gives you the flexibility of listening to an unlimited amount of streaming music while on the move -- you can also keep your playlists in sync between your iPhone and the Internet. The MOG app can also be downloaded to an iPod Touch or iPad to access MOG's Primo service.
Even though the MOG app is free, keep in mind that there's no free access option like there is with some other services. However, you have the flexibility to either listen to streamed music or download high quality tracks at 320 kbps. This level of audio quality trumps most (if not all) other services so this could be the deal clincher.
5. Last.fm App
If you're familiar with the Last.fm music service and 'scrobbling', then you'll know how good it is for music discovery, social networking, and keeping a log of all the music you listen to via various digital music resources. The Last.fm music service is free to use if you're a user in the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany, but if you want to stream music to your iPhone, you'll need to pay a small subscription fee per month.
Once you have downloaded the app to your iPhone (compatible with iPod Touch), you can get music recommendations based on your scrobbled profile data and stream music from Last.fm Radio (as long as you have subscribed).