Five Apps for That: Customize your drive-time music lineup

| December 04, 2017

You can listen to your favorite type of music while you’re on the road – even choosing your favorite songs – with the selection of the right streaming app. The leading apps offer millions of songs that can accommodate your listening preferences.

All of these apps are available for Android and Apple devices. Most offer a free version and at least one premium version that’s ad-free with other features.

Pandora

Pandora’s free version has curated radio stations and playlists based on artists, songs and genres. You also can customize playlists as you give feedback on whether you like or dislike the songs automatically selected for a playlist. The free version requires ads.

The Pandora Plus subscription includes unlimited skips and replays, better audio and no ads. You also can listen to three of your most played stations offline. It is $4.99/month.

Pandora Premium gives subscribers on-demand listening for $9.99/month. It includes all the perks of Plus and adds fully customizable playlists.

Pandora is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Spotify

Spotify’s library is available for free with ads, and users can skip a song up to six times within an hour. Music on demand – choosing the song you want to play – is not available with the free version, except on a desktop computer. The app offers Shuffle Play and a Radio feature, in which the service picks music for you but also lets you create playlists.

Spotify’s subscription service offers ad-free and offline listening with unlimited skips. The basic plan is $9.99/ month. The family subscription is $14.99/month and covers up to five listeners. Spotify offers a 30-day free trial.

Spotify is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

iHeartRadio

iHeartRadio features AM and FM radio stations from around the world, plus playlists. Listeners can skip up to six songs per hour per station and up to 15 skips per day across all of their Artist Stations.

The iHeartRadio Plus plan offers songs on demand with unlimited skips. It is $4.99/month in the Google Play Store and $5.99/month in the App Store.

The iHeartRadio All Access plan includes the Plus option but adds offline listening and more songs. It is $9.99/month in the Google Play Store and $12.99/month in the App Store. Both options offer a 30-day free trial.

iHeartRadio is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music’s app offers an audio mode that focuses on music, not video. Users can build playlists, as with other services. Live concerts are included.

YouTube Music is free with ads. A YouTube Red subscription is needed for ad-free music, offline listening and background play, which means your music doesn’t pause when you exit the app.

YouTube Red offers a three-month free trial and a $9.99/month subscription. A family plan covers up to six listeners and offers a one-month free trial and then is $14.99/month.

YouTube Music is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Amazon Music

You can listen to songs you’ve purchased through Amazon Music, and you can import songs from an iTunes library. You also get access to Amazon’s music database, including playlists. An Amazon Prime account includes a Prime Music plan with 2 million songs.

Amazon’s Individual Plan offers tens of millions of songs and streams. It costs $7.99/month or $79/year for Prime members and $9.99/month for non-members. A Family Plan covers up to six listeners for $14.99/month for Prime members and nonmembers alike. All these options offer ad-free listening.

Amazon Music is available on Google Play and the Apple App Store.

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