In the days of streaming services and online radio stations, there’s no need to create and curate your own music collection. However, exclusively streaming music is all well and good until you venture outside.
If you’re traveling, or you’ve run out of your data plan, you’ll want your favorite music available to listen to offline. Thankfully, a number of services offer this feature, so here are the best music download apps for Android and iOS.
Spotify is currently the most popular streaming service. It’s the best place to discover new music, boasting a great discovery engine where you’ll find new tracks to listen to. Spotify has made it really easy to create, share, and embed playlists.
No matter what your tastes in music are, Spotify has you covered. And if you opt for the Spotify Premium plan, you can download any song, album, or playlist offline in the app.
2. Apple Music
If you have gone all-in on the Apple ecosystem, Apple Music is the best option for you. Unlike Spotify, it doesn’t come with a free tier. You pay $9.99/month for the service, and that includes the ability to download songs for offline listening.
It’s very easy to build your offline music collection with Apple Music. As we’ve highlighted in our look at the best Apple Music features for iPhone, you can go to Settings > Music and turn on Automatic Downloads. Now when you add anything to your library, it will be downloaded instantly to your device.
3. Amazon Music
Amazon Music is a service you probably have access to, you just don’t know about it. If you’re one of the millions of Amazon Prime subscribers, you also get access to Prime Music. Even though it’s free (for Prime members) Prime Music lets you download songs to your iPhone or Android device.
If you don’t want to pay for a streaming service, and you only need to use offline music every now and then, take a look at Prime Music. Amazon’s music discovery and sharing features are nowhere near as good as Spotify. But as a simple offline music downloader and player, it’s good enough.
Pandora is famous for its set-it-and-forget-it intelligent radio service. Pick a song and let Pandora fill the next couple of hours with similar sounding music. Pandora has also added an on-demand component. If you pay for Pandora Premium ($9.99/month), you can download as many songs as you want to listen to offline.
If you’re a heavy Pandora user, it might just be worth it. Use Pandora’s Music Genome Project to discover more songs and albums that you like, then add them to your library and carry them with you offline using the same app.
If you’re looking for alternative music or electronic music mixtapes, SoundCloud is the app for you. If you want to find and support up and coming artists in your favorite genre, SoundCloud is the app for you. SoundCloud is known as a free streaming service that’s available everywhere. But there’s also an offline feature in the app.
Some tracks can be downloaded offline on the free plan. Most tracks can be downloaded by paying for the $4.99/month SoundCloud Go plan. And if you pay $9.99/month for the SoundCloud Go+ plan, you can download more than 30 million tracks that are exclusive to the Go+ plan.
6. Slacker Radio
Slacker Radio is famous as an app that lets you stream the best radio stations (mostly sports) from across the world. But it also has a popular music component. If you’re the kind of person who likes to listen to music from different countries, Slacker Radio is a good choice.
Slacker Premium ($9.99/month) takes it one step further. Slacker Radio has a patent pending technology that will let you download content from online stations. So you can keep listening to your favorite stations, ad-free, even when you’re not connected to the internet.
7. Google Play Music
Just as Apple Music is the best option for Apple users, Google Play Music is the best option if you have gone all-in on the Google ecosystem. There are a lot of cool things you can do with Google Play Music.
Google Play Music works everywhere from the web (where it has a very robust player) to the iPhone. But it works especially well on Android, with native Google Assistant integration.
Google Play Music’s UI is starting to look old. However, the recent revamp took a playlist-first approach to the service. With the $9.99/month Google Play Music Unlimited subscription, you can also download music for offline listening.
8. YouTube Music
YouTube Music is the new kid in the block, and it’s good for music you won’t find elsewhere. YouTube has a huge collection of cover songs, live concerts, and alternative versions of songs.
The free plan lets you listen to the music for free (with the occasional ad). If you pay for the $9.99/month YouTube Music Premium subscription, you can listen to music in the background and download music for offline use as well.
Download Music to Listen to Offline
We have listed some of the best music download apps for Android and iOS, all of which let you download music to listen to online. And as they’re all legal and above board, you can use any one of these apps without having to worry about breaking the law.
Downloading music to listen to offline is obviously only one small part of these streaming services. So if you need help delving a little deeper, check out our unofficial guide to Spotify and/or our list of essential Apple Music tips you need to know.