If you’re like me, you love music so much that when the iPhone 3Gs came out, you didn’t bat an eye at paying for the 32GB version. I’m still cramming MP3s into mine, but that’s not enough to feed my music jones. Half the fun of music is in the discovery, and to this point my iPhone has proven to be much more of an ally than I ever thought possible.
Hear are the music apps I use to soothe my savage iBeast.
Pandora (free): Pandora’s Internet radio app is based on the Music Genome Project, which allows users to create radio stations that play only the music they like. You’ll have to sign up for a Pandora account (it’s free) and play with the program a bit to get the hang of skipping some of Pandora’s suggestions to get the right mix for you. But once you’re acclimated, Pandora will feed you great music with all the obedience of a four-star waiter. Big plus: You can buy the songs you truly love.
Slacker Radio (free): Slacker Radio’s archives contain 100 “expert-programmed” genre radio stations and offer the ability to create your own. A bit less intimidating for the novice than Pandora, Slacker doesn’t demand as much—if you don’t want to create a radio station, just listen to music in categories ranging from hip-hop to alternative (the latter having 14 separate stations alone).
SHOUTCast Radio (free): SHOUTcast is an online directory of more than 25,000 terrestrial radio stations from around the world. The stations are neatly divided into genre categories, and from there, you can poke around and see what you like, or use a search function to locate a beloved station. Navigating is effortless, with less drill-down than Slacker and less trial and error than Pandora.
KCRW Radio (99 cents): My music biz buddies in L.A. love KCRW-FM, perhaps the coolest music station on the planet, playing the most eclectic selection of under-the-radar indie music. You need not suffer through the bad radio in your hometown ever again with this app, which streams KCRW’s live feed, a music channel and a news channel that includes NPR’s “All Things Considered.”
WXPN-FM (free). If the Left Coast orientation of KCRW hits you the wrong way, then try WXPN. Philly’s WXPN is without question the East Coast’s best adult-alternative radio station, and this app also drills down into 11 WXPN podcasts, including one for Kathy O’Connell’s award-winning kids-music show “Kids Corner.”