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Best music player apps for Android 2022

Spotify on the Pixel 4 XL
Spotify on the Pixel 4 XL (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

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.

Spotify

Spotify Lifestyle

Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central (Image credit: Source: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

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.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music

Source: Chris Wedel / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Chris Wedel / Android Central)

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.

Amazon Music

Amazon Music lifestyle

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

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.

Apple Music

Apple Music Replay

Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

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.

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.

TIDAL Music

Tidal Music Pop Life

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

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.

Poweramp Music Player

Poweramp Music Player Lifestyle

Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

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.

CloudPlayer by doubleTwist

Cloudplayer on Android

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

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.

Nyx Music Player

Nyx Music Player Lifestyle

Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

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.

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.

Andrew Myrick
Andrew Myrick

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.

53 Comments
  • PowerAmp.
  • No PowerAMP seriously? Oh wait, no cloud support because that's how we roll in today's day in age forbid we have higher quality local music to play.
  • +1
  • +1
  • +1
  • Agree
  • +1
  • +1
  • please please can Goggle Play Music develop a decent landscape mode?
    When I'm in the car, I keep my OnePlus3T landscape mode in the holder.
    Play Music and Beyond Pod players squeeze the artwork, rather than move it to the left, and then placing the navigation controls on the right (or v.v.)
    Amazon Music player behaves correctly - Oh, but I can't use that one, because my google streaming content won't work through it.
  • I'll echo the Poweramp sentiment.
  • I still use maven even with its outdated UI only because of its sound quality.
  • I'm a Phonograph fan when I stray from Google Play Music, personally.
  • I really wish they would overhaul the UI in Play Music. Otherwise, fantastic streaming service. Especially with a family plan.
  • I've written articles on how bad Play Music needs an overhaul.
  • Yes, and please make the track time something other than fine print! It's a pain to find a point in a long mix when there is no hold and seek feature while driving!
  • I do Amazon Prime, mostly because I decided to try out the deal they had over the summer and then because I like how it works at home with Alexa. Then I've recently started getting into vinyl and the albums I buy on Amazon show up automatically in my Amazon lists.
  • I am using the app Neutron, which has some highly technical settings that I don't understand, but might be suitable for someone that is an audiophile.
  • Great app. Tried it for a while but can't stand the UI and the look of it.
  • I've been rocking Slacker Radio for about 8 or 9 years every since I've been rocking Android these other players never really gave me a reason to leave including Google. Slacker Radio for me with a premium subscription.
  • Poweramp for me
  • Poweramp here too. Installed it on my dad's phone too, though he doesn't seem to know it's not the stock player... fwtw.
  • I'd give Poweramp a nod as well, but it hasn't been updated in well over a year, and doesn't offer Chromecast support. I've bought the license for it, but more and more I'm using Pulsar.
  • yep; I jumped to media monkey so I can cast my flac library - works great!
  • PlayerPro if I was choosing... A little dated looking, needs the Material Design treatment, but very simple or complex depending upon your tastes. Very customizable and really worth a look...
  • I don't use DoubleTwist but your own streaming service using Google Drive, Dropbox or whatever begs the question why hadn't someone thought about that before? I mean some of us have a thousand or more songs in our library, some of us have several thousand songs even. We might as well be our own stations with such an expansive library...
  • Everytime you make a best players review you always left Jetaudio out. Such a shame because that's one of the best.
  • Finally someone called out Cloudplayer. It has the best streaming from Onedrive/Google Drive/Dropbox. I have been using it since I moved from Windows Phone and was used to streaming from OneDrive..
  • I'm using BlackPLayer for the last few months, I like it.
  • Love Black Player
  • No Spotify? I mean it's definitely not the greatest player, but probably the biggest catalogue. Meh
  • I'd take spotify ovr Apple music any day - higher quality streaming & better library
  • PowerAmp FTW. Widest format support, and most features for locally stored music.
  • Spotify here. For local content I still use WinAmp 🤷‍♂️.
  • Thanks for mentioning Maven Music. I had never heard about it and just went to download it. It makes even my old poor quality tracks sound so good. Why can't Samsung or Android make an equalizer like this? Wish I could use my Google Play music on this player!
  • Rocket player was my go to for a long time. But been using GoogleMusic mostly of late. I have a pretty large collection of FLAC files on my server and Rocket was able speak dlna with it. Plus iirc it supported casting as well. As a sidebar/tangent a short coming of Google music is that I can't access my server and, despite claims to the contrary, when I tried to upload some of my music it didn't properly de-dupe (I was led to believe that it would detect if songs you were uploading we're already present it would not count against your limit.. not clear what they are using for the thumbprint)
  • PowerAmp hands-downs beats em all
  • I have poweramp but it hasn't been updated for the longest... Moved on to blackplayer ex and no regrets so far...
  • Poweramp for me
  • I have a large, 22,000 song library on OneDrive, I use Groove Music player from Microsoft. You cannot purchase music through it anymore, but you can play your cloud library for free. It also has a great UI.
  • I still use Pandora as it is the only streaming player that will allow me to create a truly random feed across all of my genres. I don't buy music in the traditional sense as I tend to like an entire genre of music instead of just individual songs. I'd go broke buying each individual song. But, I also listen to everything from CombiChrist to B.B. King to Steve Aoki to Lisa Loeb. Pandora seems to be the only player that will combine across genres.
  • I primarily use PowerAMP to play the 60GB of FLAC files on my phone because in my opinion it is the best product for that use. For streaming to my phone I do use Google Play but only because they include a full subscription when you subscribe to Youtube Red (which I have). By far my favorite streaming service is Amazon Music Unlimited. As a Prime subscriber it's only $7.99/mo and seems to have a better selection and interface than Google's, and they've begun integrating Alexa.
  • ... and two other gripes.
    can google play music (and others) stop calling each .mp3 file a 'tune' or a 'song' ?
    whilst I like listening to music, most of my listening is podcasts or Big finish Doctor Who, so they're a collection of tracks, not 'tunes' or 'songs'.
    Also, if something is classified as 'talking book' or 'spoken word' etc, can it be possible to disable 'shuffle' or at least disqualify some categories from being included in 'shuffle'?
  • Do you guys even install and run the applications? "Pulsar is absolutely free and even better, free of all advertisements. It doesn't offer many in-depth features but does include a pretty solid equalizer." - NO, in order to use the equalizer, you must purchase the Pro version! I could take a screen shot if you like? Not "Absolutely free" :) Nitpicking aside, Pulsar is my backup choice to PowerAmp.
  • You didn't even mention the very best, Poweramp!
  • For some odd reason, Deezer is not mentioned, so I'll do it now. Regardless of potential drawbacks - competition is always the best for the end-user.
  • All these links take me to different apps. Poweramp directs to stadia for example.
  • I have to say not including Rocket Player is a huge miss. I've been using it for years now and have been completely satisfied with it's playback and ability to sync without myself iTunes library on my laptop
  • Disappointing article! Looks slick but lacking in truly useful information.
    And what's up with all the old comments from 2017?
  • Have any one of you folks ever tried "Audials"? if not you are missing something.
  • Poweramp all the way.
  • What about deezer? Better song selection then spotify.
  • I'd choose Spotify or Plex. Amazon Music sounds great, but you can't make it the default music player on Android...so there goes Android Auto integration. Youtube Music is nice. But, they will play video versions of a song (or a re-recorded version) if they don't have the edition you are looking for. But it does have (obviously) perfect integration for Android/Android Auto.
  • Amazon Music is integrated with Waze which works really well. I have never got on with Android Auto and every time i try it i end up back on Waze