Smartphones have quickly gained traction with all different types of apps, but music apps are hard to dig through to find what's worthwhile. There are tons released each week, which is why we cut through the crap to bring you the best options. This round, we're looking at options for free music, sharing audio across headphones, keeping your ears safe and more.
5. TwinPlay (iOS, Android) This one is clearly marketed toward younger kids, but if you're the type to share headphones with a friend on the bus or wherever else, then TwinPlay is going to be the awesome thing you've always wanted. It plays two different songs or playlists through each headphone, so if you want to listen to one thing, your friend can listen to something completely different in the other headphone.
4. musiXmatch (iOS, Android) It's kind of a pain to add lyrics into your iTunes library, but if you want to have a huge lyrics database with you at all times without the annoyance of every single lyrics database in the world, then musiXmatch is for you. Even if you don't bother using the built-in music player, it'll still work as the best lyrics library on your phone.
3. Free Music Download Pro (iOS) The title is slightly confusing, but it doesn't do anything particularly illegal. It's essentially a browser for your iPhone that allows you to actually download and integrate MP3s into your music library. It's handy if you're on the go and someone recommends a song and you want to snag it (legally) right then and there. If has a music player built in and instructions on how to integrate the downloads into your library.
2. Skillz (iOS / Android - Launches September 8) Skillz is essentially DJ Hero for your iPad. Is it revolutionary? No. But if you're looking for a fun, easy-to-pick-up touch-based music rhythm game, Skillz will scratch that itch (sorry). It features 25 tracks to play through, which in itself should be well worth a few minutes and dollars of your time.
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1. Awareness (iOS) This one actually came out a little while ago, but it slipped under our radar, even though it's one of the most useful music apps we've ever seen. Awareness keeps an ear on your surroundings, so if you're riding a bike or walking in public and a giant truck sneaks up behind you, Awareness will lower the music volume and integrate the truck sound into your music so you don't miss it. Safety isn't always fun, but it's helpful.