We’re well into the streaming generation of music consumption and music downloads are starting to look a bit like DVDs in the age of Netflix. That said, there’s just something reassuring about having your music right on your device without having to worry about the vagaries of poor internet connections or keeping you entertained on long-haul flights.
In fact, many people prefer to have a music download app on their mobile phone to get their favorite music straight to their device. Here are our favorite music download apps for Android and iOS that won’t cost you a penny.
Available on:Android | iOS | the Web
If you want to know that the music you download won’t violate any copyright laws and you’re also open to discovering emerging talent in the hip-hop, electronic and reggae genres, then give Audiomack a try.
This application gives a platform to artists without official distribution points. At the same time, it has a content filtering system to ensure that the content is of good quality. This project has already propelled hip-hop stars like T-Wayne, Fetty Wap and Migos to record label deals. So this gives you a chance to help find the next big star.
Users can also access and play tracks in Audiomack from their PC browser. However, the track download option is only offered through the mobile apps. Additionally, Audiomack doubles as a music player, with the ability to add local files to the app.
Fildo is not available through traditional means such as Google Play Store. In fact, you can only get it through the official website where it is waiting for you to download it in the form of APK. Although it is currently only available for Androids, its developers are also working on a Fildo Lite iOS version of the app.
Once installed, the application is quite simple to use. Simply browse the top results through the app’s main screen. Alternatively, you can use the search function to find specific songs or albums.
If Fildo manages to find the song or album in question, tap the album cover to open it. To download a song, just tap the three-dot icon next to it and select “Download”. The app also lets you create playlists and gives you access to lyrics. The songs you end up downloading will be saved in your device’s internal storage, so you can access them even without the app.
A downside of using Fildo is that it is riddled with ads, so if you are not comfortable with that, we suggest you choose some of the other options on this list.
3. Audials game
Available on:Android | iOS | Windows | the Web
Audials Play takes an interesting approach when it comes to downloading music to your device. The app is basically an aggregate of radio stations from which you can download your tunes. Besides that, it includes a Podcast section.
With Audials Play, you can record entire shows, and the app will then record the stream with automatic song separation. If you feel like listening to a specific artist, the app has a handy search function that quickly identifies the stations where songs by that artist are playing. From there, you can go ahead and upload your song easily.
Audials Play also lets you import your own music, so you can listen to it without having to leave the app.
The free version of SONGily is ad-supported, but offers access to a healthy stock of music, new and old, from artists both mainstream and obscure, from chart music to sea shanties. With each song you find, you’ll see options to play and download the songs you’re listening to. The app also has a lyrics feature that redirects you to a SONGily webpage where you can read the poetry behind the music.
Although it is possible to get SONGily from the Google Play Store, it is an older version that lacks some features such as the ability to download videos. However, if you’re willing to use the APK option instead, you can take advantage of this feature along with improved search and the ability to start multiple downloads at once.
One of the sleekest and most official music download apps, YMusic lets you play any YouTube video as an audio file, even allowing you to run it in the background on your phone.
The real advantage here is that you can also download videos as audio files. You have the option to download them in both M4A and MP3 formats, and it has a great library user interface which then lets you manage your music files like you would in a music player app. Downloaded songs are saved on your phone, so you can easily access them through your favorite music player.
YMusic is currently working on an interface overhaul which you can test out for yourself by tapping on the hamburger menu in the upper left corner and selecting YMusic beta.
6. New pipe
NewPipe is another app that gets the job done when it comes to downloading music. It is open source and is constantly being improved. It also supports SoundCloud, MediaCCC, Bandcamp, and PeerTube downloads, which means you can use NewPipe to search for these apps. It’s not limited to YouTube like some of the other apps.
By default, the app opens as the YouTube interface. Just find the video you want to have on your device first. Then click the download icon below the clip and choose whether you want to download it as video or audio. NewPipe also gives you access to a bunch of settings for “Downloads”. For example, it lets you limit the download queue and choose where to download each song.
If you want to switch to SoundCloud or Bandcamp, tap the menu icon in the top left corner, then the big red “NewPipe” icon at the top and select the desired service.
TubeMate is a specialized application that allows you to download videos from YouTube. Naturally, the option to do it in audio-only format is also offered.
If YouTube is your primary source of music, this app might be the best option for you. However, if you fancy some variety, you might want to look into one of the other options.
You can download TubeMate from the official site (Google doesn’t allow it in the Play Store, probably because it infringes on YouTube). When you try to download videos as audio (M4A or MP3), you will also be prompted to download MP3 Video Converter, which syncs with TubeMate to convert video to audio.
Downloading is easy. Just find the video you want, then hit the floating red download button at the bottom of the page.
Frequently Asked Questions
I just downloaded an APK file but I can’t find it on my Android device. What should I do?
Is it safe to install APK files on my device?
Since this type of file installs applications on your system, it can pose a serious security threat. Your phone notifies you when you are about to install an APK file and you need to grant it permission to do so. This is why you need to make sure that the site you use to download APK files is reliable – sites like APKMirror and APKPure are a safe bet. It wouldn’t hurt, however, to double-check that the file you’re about to use is clean, you might want to scan your APK files for viruses.
Are these services legal to use?
Yes and no. Under copyright law, obtaining or distributing a copyrighted work (such as an MP3 file) without permission from the copyright holder is against the law. However, some music files are copyrighted while others are not. Moreover, even though some music files are copyrighted, artists can choose to freely give and update the songs on the Internet. So while you may find songs and albums from popular artists on some of the apps listed above, they are most likely copyrighted works, and so the safest thing is refrain from downloading them. Even so, it still leaves you with plenty of content that you can access without any problems.
Image credit: lookstudio via Freepik All screenshots by Alexandra Arici
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