Explore more options in the mobile music marketplace than Spotify, iTunes

Francie Johnson

Technology is a wonderful thing, especially for music lovers. If you’re as attached to your smartphone and your music as I am, here are some great apps you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

SongKick

If you’re in need of a simple, convenient way to keep track of when your favorite bands will be in town, look no further. SongKick scans your music collection and provides you with a calendar of concerts near you, customized based on the artists in your own library. You can select multiple locations to show up in your calendar, so you can find out which artists will be stopping in Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas, as well as in your hometown. The app also provides links to RSVP to the concert, share it on Facebook or Twitter and buy tickets.

Shazam

You hear a song on the radio, at a store, or in a restaurant, and you think, “Hey, this is awesome!” But you have no idea what the song is called or who sings it. So you try to remember some of the lyrics to look up later, but fast forward a few hours, and you’ve completely forgotten everything. Sound familiar? If so, you might want to try Shazam. Just open this free app whenever you hear a good song playing, and it will listen to the song and identify the title and artist in as little as one second. The app also keeps a list of all your tagged songs so you can look it up or download it later.

NPR Music

Anyone who’s a fan of NPR Music or All Songs Considered will be a fan of the free NPR Music app. Through this app, you can listen to any of NPR’s music channels across the country. You can browse by genre or by artist, as well as create a playlist of content to listen to later. Additionally, there are sections for all of the various NPR music shows and blogs, such as All Songs Considered and World Cafe, where you can listen to full podcasts and read blog posts straight from your phone.

8Tracks

In this music app, all you have to do is select a combination of two genres or moods, and you’ll be provided with a variety of playlists that fit your description. With options ranging anywhere from “soul” to “feel good” to “cover,” you’re bound to find a playlist that has exactly the music you want to hear. Additionally, there is the option to search specifically by genre, mood or artist.

Pandora

This app lets you take the popular Pandora website wherever you go. Simply type in an artist or song name, and the app builds you a custom station that plays music similar to what you selected. You can also star your favorite songs, bookmark certain songs to look up later, and customize your playlist by selecting “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to certain songs. This app is perfect for discovering new music, as well as hearing some of your old favorites.