Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, blah blah blah... change the record, can’t you? Stand out from the crowd by using one of these lesser-known jukebox apps to listen to your tunes on your smartphone. In the end you might find you prefer using them to the more well-known alternatives.
Originally a powerhouse of a program on Windows, Poweramp is now available for Android too, bringing with it just about every feature you could want: support for a whole host of formats, equalizers, crossfading, gapless playback, lock screen widgets and more.
You will have to stump up some money for Poweramp but you can use the 15-day trial version to see if the app is really for you. The app comes with a good amount of built-in customization options too, so you can really make it your own. [$3.99, Android]
Most music players have a similar set of features, so it’s often the interface and ease-of-navigation that sets certain apps apart. Cesium certainly scores highly here: the design is tastefully done and finding your way around your music is a breeze.
You can swipe left and right to organize albums, edit the play queue, shuffle through tracks, and more. Most importantly, and you can tweak the look of the app to suit yourself (there’s a night mode too). One of the best options for playing local music. [$1.99, iOS]
Jukebox isn’t a standalone music player in and of itself but it does turn Dropbox into one, slurping up all the tracks you’ve stored in your cloud locker and letting you browse through them by artist, album and so on... just like any regular music player would.
Obviously the appeal will be limited to those who’ve got a ton of music stored in their Dropbox account, but Jukebox looks sleek and stylish, and new features are being added at an impressive rate. It’s a side project from the very capable folks at The Drop. [Free, iOS]
Style and minimalism are the order of the day as far as Ecoute is concerned—it taps into your existing iTunes music library to provide an elegant way of listening to your tunes, and is helped by the gesture control support that lets you navigate around your collection.
There’s an integrated night mode theme available here, support for sharing over Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm, a neatly implemented search feature, and AirPlay support too. The app also offers an album shuffle mode, which we’re big fans of. [$0.99, iOS]
Having built up a loyal band of followers with its desktop OS X app, Vox has recently made the jump to the iPhone. The app can import tracks from iTunes and local storage and then combine them with tracks from SoundCloud, YouTube, and Last.fm.
There’s also the option of signing up for Loop, Vox’s unlimited cloud storage music locker ($10.99 a month), to access your music from anywhere. The entry fee is a little steep but it’s worth it for the quality you get, both in terms of features and audio fidelity. [$5.99, iOS]
DoubleTwist has all kinds of strings to its bow, with support for music, video, podcasts, and online radio baked right into the app. It’s almost a complete iTunes replacement for those of you rocking Android devices and there’s a companion Windows app for syncing too.
The mobile app comes with support for smart playlists, AirPlay integration for your Apple-compatible accessories, plus all the usual features you’d expect from a music app. Just as importantly, it hits the right notes in terms of its interface design. [Free, Android]
Deezer isn’t exactly unheard of, but out of all the fully fledged streaming services out there it’s probably got the lowest profile, at least in the US. Having made its name in Europe it’s now available in over 180 countries and has 40 million plus tracks in its catalog.
It’s packed with features: clients for Windows, Mac, and web browsers as well as smartphones, the ability to import your own MP3s, and some neat auto-recommendation technology wrapped in a pleasing interface. [$9.99/month, Android, iOS, Windows Phone]