India is fortunate enough to have a rich culture in music and other forms of art. Every state has its own traditional music and songs. Apart from producing a lot of movies every year, Bollywood also produces a lot of hit songs. In fact, T-Series became one of the biggest channels in the world on YouTube this year.
To enjoy all this variety, you need to have a good music app companion on your phone. Luckily, we have a list of high-quality apps available to us that helps us to enjoy music on the go. We will be comparing the 4 most popular music apps in India, talking about their pros and cons, and then choosing one winner out of these:
- Google Play Music
We are not including Apple Music as its share is very less compared to these 4 music apps. Although Apple Music is available for Android also, it works better on an iPhone. Amazon PrimeMusic is also not included as it is fine as an add-on with a Prime subscription, but as a standalone music service, it has a long way to go.
Let’s start with the one that is number 4 on our list.
#4: YouTube Music
Google Play Music app has been replaced by YouTube Music. It is available for both Android and Web. All the Android devices come preloaded with the Play Music app. Although, I don’t like the interface of the Play Music app at all. It is very dated and the transition between different screens is also not very smooth. Feature-wise also I will rank it at the bottom of the 4 apps.
But the one thing where it excels at and jolly no one can match it is its Radio feature. You pick up one song of your choice and set it to play similar songs and it’s almost like some real person who has very good taste in music is curating songs for you. The songs also never repeat and it keeps playing similar songs for as long as you want. This feature has seemed to draw inspiration from Youtube as Youtube is also very good with similar videos recommendation.
Google should really work on improving the UI for YouTube Music as it looks very old now. I think there has never been any major UI or feature update done to the Music App in years. YouTube Music costs ₹99 a month. Youtube Music app allows you to play songs from Youtube with your device screen locked. You can also upload your own personal songs to the Play Music library and have them sync across the web and your other devices.
YouTube Music is not bad at all but its UI makes it look outdated in today’s time. Google needs to improve the UI and we will update the review when the new version is released. If you are someone who goes on long drives in their car and can’t seem to think of what songs to play, you can try Play Music’s Radio feature. It never let me down.
JioSaavn is Jio Music integrated with the Saavn app. It has a huge music library which even sometimes surpasses the competition. Some albums that we searched were not available anywhere but on JioSaavn so it has that going for it.
One thing that I didn’t like about JioSaavn was it doesn’t have a proper music player screen. Songs just start playing with the list of upcoming songs covering almost 80% of the screen. The UI of the app doesn’t provide a dedicated ‘Now Playing ‘screen which shows info only about the song that is being played.
Seeking song on this UI is also a little difficult especially when you are driving. So you can enjoy the free version as long as you want but I won’t recommend going all pro on JioSaavn. The radio feature on JioSaavn is a hit and a miss. It works when it works. I think there is still a lot of potential and areas where JioSaavn needs to improve.
JioSaavn provides this exclusive feature for Jio subscribers where you can set a song that you are listening to directly as your Jio Tune. It also lets you hear the preview before changing your Jio Tune and is also free. But apart from this, I will rate JioSaavn as a very average music app.
#2: Best Music Streaming App For Students: Spotify
Spotify can be described as Netflix of songs. It has an enormous library of songs, a great UI, high streaming quality, and endless playlists to choose from.
Spotify is number 2 and the reason for that is its huge playlists and Podcast feature. Apart from songs to listen to, you can also enjoy some exclusive podcasts on Spotify. UI of the app on iOS and Android is very smooth and simple. Spotify is the most expensive of all the apps when it comes to the monthly subscription fee. You will have to pay ₹119 every month to enjoy the pro features on Spotify while all the other costs ₹99. So keep that in mind.
Spotify gives millions and billions of playlists so you literally don’t have to fiddle with your phone that often in order to find songs according to your mood. Spotify’s playlists are the main reason I will recommend this app to anyone. There is a student offer under which you can get its premium version for ₹66 per month and it is damn cheap.
It also offers ‘Available Devices’ option so you can control your songs directly from your phone and play them on your PC/ Smart TV/ Chromecast/ FireStick/ PS3/ PS4/ Xbox etc. So if you are looking for variety, Spotify is the one you should pick. Most of the times I can’t decide what songs to listen, that’s when Spotify’s playlists save my day.
#1: Best Music Streaming App For Everyone -Gaana
Gaana has to be the number one and God it deserves it. It is loaded with tonnes of features and forgive me if I miss out on some of them. The latest version of Gaana app is miles ahead of all the other music services. The latest iteration of Gaana has some very cool features like:
- Live lyrics for the song that you are listening to
- Embedded video support for Portrait music videos
- Voice Search
- Sharing a song with lyrics and custom thumbnail right from the app
- Gaana Originals
Gaana has really killed it whether it comes to features or songs or the app itself. I really love some of the Gaana Originals songs which are exclusive only to Gaana app. You won’t be able to find those songs anywhere else and I am talking about some very popular and hit songs.
It also has a feature that lets you share the lyrics of the song that you are listening to along with the poster. Gaana lets you customize all the aspects of the poster before you share it. You can choose lyrics, poster background, text font and a few other things.
You can also watch videos on Gaana app which are curated for playing in Portrait mode. You can also set Gaana to play a video automatically for a song if it is available. However, in that case, the audio is still played from the HD audio channel and not the video itself hence no quality is lost. Pretty smart huh!
All these features make Gaana one of the best music apps and services in India right now. Gaana app really provides an unprecedented music experience to its users. It is also available for ₹99 per month if you want to go all pro and enjoy downloading songs for offline listening. There is also a student offer which gives you a year of Pro features for just ₹149.
The one thing that I absolutely don’t like about Gaana is its radio feature. It’s absolutely pathetic and the worst among the 4 apps. Gaana really needs to work on its Radio feature and improve it to play similar songs. In my testing, it kept playing almost the same 10-12 songs no matter what song I chose as a reference point for it.
There you have it. If you want to go with our advice, you can go eyes closed with Gaana to enjoy music.