Listening to music is a social activity. Topics for discussion abound, whether they center on lyrics, rhythms, or something else. However, what happens when your music-loving pals live far away?
Thanks to the 10 awesome apps below, it’s easy to listen to music with your friends, even if they live far away. It should be noted that most of the apps here require access to a music streaming service, such as Spotify Premium.
That shouldn’t be a deal-breaker for most people though. Since 2012, Spotify users have asked for a feature that allows simultaneous listening among users. The streaming service has acknowledged the feedback but still hasn’t taken action. After noticing an unmet demand in the marketplace, these services created apps to fill the void.
Marketed with the tagline “It’s like sharing earphones,” this is an iOS app.
The synced playback feature lets you and a friend listen to tracks together in real time. Pick from a library of over 130 million tunes on Spotify and SoundCloud.
Its creators made it possible for users to talk to the development team during the early stages. That approach led to a user-friendly app that’s earned great reviews. There’s also an Android version in the works.
Download: Lisn for iOS (Free, but only currently available on the Indian iTunes store) [No longer available]
Due to its common name, this app isn’t easy to find without a direct link. It allows song sharing from a library of 40 million tracks.
One notable advantage is the ad-free interface. Also, every time you “like” a song within the app, that action helps build your musical identity.
Sounds attempts to help you find new friends who have the same musical interests.
Need more evidence of the app’s social slant? It works with Messenger, Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter.
Geared towards musicians wanting to share tracks with fans, this app offers Messenger and Slack integrations.
You can find a shareable track by typing terms into a search box. Alternatively, paste a compatible URL into another section to upload it to Songlink.
The site doesn’t have synced listening available. However, it’s a good option if your friend doesn’t use the same streaming service as you.
Visit: Songlink (Free)
This app focuses on music enjoyment as a collaborative process. It also lets you unleash your inner DJ and launch live streaming sessions.
You can participate in ongoing ones, too. Quorus works with a Spotify Premium account and lets multiple people share favorite songs as well.
Using this app requires a Spotify Premium or Apple Music account. After downloading the app and launching one of those services, you can broadcast beloved tracks to the world.
Going through one of these portals is a required, legal-related step. Vertigo uses a patented process for making music available. It works so that the provider of the shared content is the music platform, not the user.
In addition to giving music to one friend, you can listen collaboratively with a group. Hearing individual tracks privately is also possible. While in the app, pay attention to the +1, Core, and World ring-like sections. They look like segments of vinyl records.
The first one lets you listen to a track with one other person. The Core option provides the music for a chosen group of friends. Finally, the World broadcasts your track to music lovers all over the globe. They just have to head to the Listen Live section.
Conveniently, users can check out trending live sessions. These are great ways to potentially find new music or gain acclaim as a spontaneous DJ.
As cool as it is, Vertigo has a potential downside. It won’t work if your friends don’t have one of the two streaming services mentioned. However, suggest downloading the services on a trial basis and reverting to free accounts if desired.
Concerned about whether the artists involved still get royalties when you listen? Since Apple Music and Spotify Premium provide the content, musicians profit as normal through those services. Each host and listener in a session result in one profitable stream.
Download: Vertigo for iOS (Free, but must have an Apple Music or Spotify Premium account)
6. Wavelength [No Longer Available]
Remember when chatrooms seemed like the most exciting things on the internet? Wavelength is a social-based music-sharing website bound to make you feel nostalgic about chatting online.
Type a name into the designated box and create a chatroom. Then, invite your friends for media-driven experiences.
Unlike all of the apps and websites covered so far, this one also works with videos. You can also join a room that already exists.
Wavelength has a registration feature you might want to use as a repeat visitor. However, registering is not required to use the site. Consider that a major advantage if you want to try it without going through a signup process.
The straightforward interface and ability to share both audio and video content motivate efficient discoveries. You might even learn new things about your friends based on what they listen to and watch.
Visit: Wavelength (Free) [No Longer Available]
If some of your friends don’t like smartphone apps due to data usage concerns, suggest JQBX.
It works on Android and iOS platforms, but there’s a web-based app, too. Make a private listening room for friends you invite. Otherwise, join other JQBX community members for a global song-sharing session.
One cool thing about this app is a voting feature that lets people approve or boo tracks. There’s also chat functionality, equipping people to give more feedback.
Like some other apps on this list, JQBX emphasizes allowing users to become DJs. It focuses on offering individuals equal chances to showcase tunes through a quick and fun process.
This very slick app syncs with Spotify. It gives handy push notifications, plus tracks automatically stream to everyone in a virtual room.
It tells you when a person plays a new song, a listener likes it, or someone joins. Send your tunes to one person or several.
Download: Heartbeat for iOS (Free, but requires a Spotify account) [No longer available]
Advertised as a “social jukebox,” OutLoud is another app that emphasizes music is best when shared. The next time you need a great party soundtrack, turn to your friends and let OutLoud help.
Take a few seconds to set up a playlist. Then, ask friends to add tracks from a phone, Spotify, or SoundCloud.
Listeners vote for individual songs while the music plays. The track with the highest number of positive votes becomes the next in the queue.
Let people join playlists by accessing them in the app. Also, send web links as needed. A centralized screen shows the playlist content, including upcoming tracks.
Equally useful for fans and artists, Liyo is an iOS app that brings music and video together. It works with Spotify, SoundCloud, and YouTube.
Check out the Discover section and stumble upon new favorites recommended by live users. Chat and notification features equip users to rave about beloved material or admit it needs work.
Download: Liyo for iOS (Free)
What Songs Do You Want to Share With Friends?
Now that you know all of these options are out there, you just need to get your friends to agree on one in order to start sharing your playlists with one another. Which might be a fight in its own right. You could always try them all to see which one you prefer.
And keep your song-sharing friends in mind for the holidays or their next birthday with these gift ideas for music lovers: