Free music is in. Yesterday, Amazon revealed their first ever smartphone, the Fire Phone which comes bundled with a years subscription to Amazon Prime, enabling free music streaming for its users. But say you aren't interested in the Fire phone, or music streaming, and just want to make the most of your banging HTC One (M8) speakers with cold, hard mp3s. What then? Well, here are my picks for the best free apps for downloading free music.
Disclaimer: all of these apps are available for free from the Google Play Store at the time of writing.
Gtunes Music Donwload
Hmmm... Donwload? "If they can't even spell their own name correctly - I'm skeptical of the functionality," I thought. Then I loaded Gtunes up, searched for a song, downloaded it, and played it. This is amazing; it was a real song and everything.
Gtunes provides a list of album charts for you to select music from, or search for a song or artist name yourself. The charts aren’t up to date exactly, (there are bound to be some caveats to this free music download affair) so I suspect they only put songs in their charts which they have available to download. This works to Gtunes' advantage, instead of regularly coming across songs that were unavailable, I never once encountered a song I couldn’t download.
The Gtunes app has no frills. The interface is boring and the icons are distractingly low resolution. It’s also a little confusing, there is a download manager in the App, but my downloads don’t show up in there, they show in library. It’s a minor quibble. But I really can’t complain. I can’t complain at all. It's free, all you have to suffer are some ad banners and you’re probably going to have your phone locked in your pocket anyway. Some tracks even show up with their lyrics too. It’s really quite wonderful.
And I thought Gtunes had a lo-fi aesthetic - Tunee opens to a white background containing only a search button and a folder button. Minimalist ain’t the word.
Tunee Music lets you download and stream MP3s with a simplistic interface. I was unable to play downloaded songs in the Tunee music player itself, they had to be streamed for some bizarre reason (though I’m not ruling out my own ineptitude or a tablet issue as the reason for this). However the MP3s did download to my media library and can be played with another music player app on your handset without fuss. The search interface also displays the download size and bitrate of songs, a helpful addition which ensured I always downloaded songs at the highest quality.
Free Mp3 Music Download
This isn't the easiest app to find on the Google Play store and it's a bit of a hidden gem. Free Mp3 Music Download is basically the Google Search engine optimized for discovering MP3s. It doesn’t have its own library, and for this reason it is possibly the best free downloader for finding recent tracks.
Once you’ve searched for a song, and downloaded it, the track is shown in the downloads folders. Click on the track in there and select the music player you want to play it with. This works perfectly, I was able to find any recent tracks from the US Billboard top 100 chart without a hitch, but because of this I’m not sure how long this app will last before being removed from the Google Play Store. When I first opened Free Mp3 Music Download, it made a point of telling me that if I download any tracks illegally it is MY responsibility. All this app does is point me in the direction of MP3s. Still, I’m not sure how I’m supposed to know what is legally available and what isn’t based on their search engine. Or at least that’s what I’ll say in court...
Music Download Paradise Mp3
This app has a library of Copyleft and Creative Common licensed songs, but it’s not just classical music and standards it provides. Music Download Paradise MP3 very cleverly accesses free music from all kinds places, like something and artist has made available to download on Soundcloud, for example.
This doesn’t have an in built player like Tunee and Gtunes, so once again you must play the apps from from another player. Thankfully, this is easily done, most devices come with Google Play Music and we've even written a best free music player apps guide if you want some recommendations too. Music Download Paradise MP3 does feature full screen advert videos that can’t be skipped, but it downloads music super fast and it's extremely easy to use.
Simple MP3 Downloader
Simple MP3 Downloader offers a huge library of songs to download, has its own player, and supports both streaming and downloading.
It's my favorite downloader out of the bunch, the interface is slick and is capable of finding some really rare tracks. It certainly looks prettier than the others apps too, and displays album artwork in the search menu. There were no hiccups when trying to download or buffer any tracks. Simple MP3 Downloader lives up to its name. It is simple, it's almost magical. I love it.
What’s your favorite MP3 downloader app? Do any allow you to download whole albums at once?