Over the years music fans have gradually changed how they listen to their music and what they listen to it on. With the rise of the smartphone, it's only natural that the one device we carry with us everywhere is also our primary media player. On Android devices, in particular, there's a huge community of developers creating some of the best Android apps. Whether it's a combination streaming service and music player, or an app dedicated to playing your local music files, here's a roundup of the best music player apps on Android right now.
Top streaming service and music player apps
When it comes to listening to music on the go, it's safe to say that some of the best music player apps on Android are also the top music streaming services: Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and Apple Music. Here's a breakdown of the top dual streaming service and music player apps for Android, which should help you decide which is the best fit for your device.
In addition to being one of the best music streaming services, Spotify makes it easy for users to download and listen to local files they've been storing for years.
All you need to do is login to your account and head to Settings. Under Settings, you'll want to scroll down to "Local Files" and select "Add a source." Once you've added your personal files, you'll be able to see them listed as a standard playlist called "Local Files" under the Your Music section. It's worth pointing out, however, that files or downloads downloaded from illegal sources won't be permitted.
One of the best aspects of Spotify is that you can sign up for free and listen to your favorite music, albeit with limitations like ads. Spotify's Premium plans start at $4.99 per month, but remove any of those limitations and include the option to stream curated playlists, among other perks. You'll also find $9.99, $12.99, and $15.99 tiers.
Since Spotify is available everywhere, you can start listening on your phone then pick up where you left off on your Google Assistant-enabled speaker, computer, or smart TV.
The best of them all
Take your music to the next level
From curated content based on your likes, to being able to use without paying a dime, Spotify is one of the best music player apps on Android. It's not even a competition.
YouTube Music features many of the same features as its predecessor, Google Play Music (GPM), including the ability to import your own music files and playlists — which allows YouTube Music subscribers to download files and playlists to their phone to listen to offline.
In order to start listening, tap a downloaded audio file via an app or file manager and select "YouTube Music" under the "Open With" prompt. From there, a small music player with a black overlay and YouTube Music branding should appear on your screen. When you launch the player for the first time, your phone will ask if you want to allow YouTube Music to access locally stored files. You'll also want to make sure you're using the latest version of the YouTube Music app.
Similar to Spotify's Premium tiers, the ad-free YouTube Music Premium tier costs $9.99 per month and includes access to "The Hotlist," which collects all the latest trending songs.
New kid, old tricks
Out with the old, in with the new
With the days of Google Play Music behind us, YouTube Music is here to take its place. There are plenty of great features to keep you happy, including personalized recommendations and a custom "mixtape" for when you're offline.
Amazon Music now boasts more than 75 million songs in its catalog, and if you're already a Prime subscriber, you don't have to do anything else but download the app. Like Spotify and YouTube Music, the Amazon Music app also allows users to download local files for offline playback.
To get started, select the Library tab within your account and click on "Songs." From there, select "Purchased" to see all the music you own and click the download icon next to the song or album. The music you have downloaded will save by default to an Amazon Music folder on your computer.
If you're an audiophile, you will also be pleased to know that Amazon Music HD provides access to millions of songs in high-res quality. While a limited version of Amazon Music is included with all Prime memberships, Amazon Music Unlimited costs $7.99 month for a monthly subscription or $79 per year for an annual subscription. Non-Prime customers pay $9.99 per month.
Audiophiles apply here
Not just for Prime subscribers
Amazon has its own thing going on and combines its Prime Music streaming service with its music store and decent-looking music player all in one. If you're a Prime subscriber, you'll already have Prime Music and so you'll need this on your phone.
An entire generation grew up depending on Apple for their music needs thanks to iTunes. And while you may not have a lime green iPod anymore, you can still access your local files on your Android phone with Apple Music. All you need to do is choose File > Add To Library or File > Import. From there, locate a file or folder and click "Open." If you chose to add an entire folder, all the files within the folder will be added to your library.
While Apple Music doesn't offer a free tier, new users can sign up now and try the service for free for three months. After that period, the service costs $9.99 per month. Your Apple Music subscription will give you access to the full music streaming service. You'll also have the ability to purchase and download music right to your phone, edit which items show up in your library when you open the app, and add music to your Library while you're streaming.
Much better than you may expect it to be
It was only a matter of time before Apple brought its streaming service to the world, but the truth is, it's not too shabby. There are more than 60 million songs on the catalog, including personalized content in the For You tab.
The best of the rest
Outside of the major streaming service apps, there are a ton of great music player apps available in the Play Store. If the aforementioned options doesn't necessarily fit the bill for you, we've rounded up a list of additional music player apps that are both competitive with the big brands and compatible with Android devices.
If you want the support of a major streaming platform and the highest quality audio, TIDAL is the music player app for you. However, we've included the service in this section because there are some limitations.
While TIDAL subscribers can't currently add local music files to the platform, they do have the ability to transfer their music library and playlists from other music platforms to the platform. All you need to do is select MP3 as the source service and select local folder with your MP3 audio files. Under the Playlists tab, select the playlists you want to transfer and click "Transfer." When prompted, select "Tidal" as the destination service.
TIDAL offers a free tier, as well as the HiFi tier for $9.99/month and HiFi Plus tier for $19.99/month. While all three plans provide access to TIDAL's library of more than 80 million songs, the free tier doesn't allow offline listening and unlimited skips. Subscribers of all tiers can also stream video and audio playlists on Android TV via the TIDAL app.
The best options for high-def music
If you're someone who enjoys high-quality audio, then TIDAL will meet your music streaming needs. The service features more than 80 million tracks, multiple subscription tiers, and exclusive video content.
Poweramp Music Player
If you already have a vast library of music files and just want a fantastic app to play it, then Poweramp Music Player is the way to go. The app has been around for years on the Play Store and is still being actively developed with new features. While it's free to download the Poweramp app, you'll probably want to spend $5.49 on the unlocked version to access all features.
One of the biggest perks of the Poweramp Music Player is that fact that it allows users to play songs in all of their usual formats: mp3, mp4, ogg, wma, flac, wav, ape, wmv, tta, mpc, and aiff. It can also play music stored in any folder or directory on your Android device, and jumps from one to another without skipping a beat. You'll also have the ability to download album art, as well as search for and view lyrics.
In addition to offering a great interface and the ability to play all of your music files, Poweramp features Google Assistant integration, as well as supports Chromecast and Android Auto. The latest app updates also adds a new equalizer and UI, as well as support for hi-res output.
Your music, your way
For your vast music library
Poweramp Music Player is one of those apps that has been around forever, but has not been forgotten. The app is constantly updated and is perfect for listening to your own music library, even if you have hi-res music.
CloudPlayer by doubleTwist
DoubleTwist became a favorite among Android users that had deep roots in the iTunes ecosystem, and it still is. The base app has been replaced on this list by Cloudplayer, a newer offering that looks great and has hooks into some of the most popular cloud storage services to deliver your music.
We're not talking about hooking into streaming services, either. Create your own cloud streaming library with your own music, a Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive account, and Cloudplayer. Access to these is unlockable via an in-app purchase, but the basic app is free. That in-app purchase also unlocks AirPlay support and equalizer tools to help you get the most from your music. It's worth pointing out, however, that even the free version will play your lossless FLAC files.
Like the original doubleTwist app, you can still use Cloudplayer to listen to radio and podcasts, as well as access both Android Wear and Android Auto. It's a pretty well-stocked, one-stop shop for all your audio needs.
In the cloud
Stream from the cloud
CloudPlayer by doubleTwist is unique in that your music library does not need to be on your phone. You can sync with Google Drive or OneDrive, and then listen to everything. CloudPlayer can even stream to AirPlay devices if you get the Premium version.
Nyx Music Player
There are two factors to take into consideration when it comes to handling your precious music library. The first of which must be the actual organization of your library so you won't have to worry about oddball ways to find a specific artist, genre, or album. Another, less important aspect has everything to do with the visuals of the app. A lot of the best music player apps for Android do one or the other, but few of them combine for a fantastic experience across the board.
Nyx Music Player is an app that can do both. It has a smooth and beautiful interface for playing your downloaded songs and playlists. It allows for some customization, with three different themes to choose from, along with the ability to change up the accent color.
Nyx also allows users to play a variety of local audio files in various formats at maximum quality, as well as automatically puts all the music in various categories. Users can also access multiple equalizer bands to customize the output sound and take adavatge of the Looper feature, which enables users to select a specific part of a song and play it over and over again.
Beautiful and interactive
Absolutely beautifully designed
Nyx Music Player doesn't disappoint when it comes to listening to your music library. The app features a few different themes to choose from, along with some unique features you won't find elsewhere.
The right music player app
When it comes to picking the best music player apps on Android, it really comes down to personal preference. If you're looking for a tried and true platform, then Spotify or Apple Music might be the best bet for you. That being said, both YouTube Music and Amazon Music have made huge strides in the last year in regard to both Android compatibility and accessing local files.
In contrast, if accessing the highest quality audio is a priority, then you might want to download TIDAL or Poweramp. And if you're seeking a player that will allow you to fully customize your experience, then CloudPlayer or Nyx may be a better place to start. Regardless of which platform you choose, it's time to login and start streaming now.