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The best iPhone music discovery apps for finding new music and favorite bands

Unearth great songs, new and old, with these superb iPhone apps

If you’ve a music streaming subscription, you have instant on-demand access to tens of millions of tracks. Yet you might often find yourself listening to the same old songs. Too much choice can be overwhelming.

This round-up aims to help you find new music to listen to – whether it’s by a band you’ve never heard before, or a surprise new album by an old favorite.

Apple Music (free + subscription)

Best for recommendations based on listening habits

Apple Music

Apple’s app provides several music discovery options. Browse and Radio point you at music Apple itself likes. But Listen Now offers a personalized experience.

Explore the tab and you’ll find regularly updated recommendations and playlists based around new tracks and existing favorites, which you can further tailor over time by liking tracks. A personal radio station provides endless music based on your listening habits.

You can also get very niche, by tap-holding a track (or choosing ‘…’ in the player screen) and selecting Create Station for limitless tracks based on your chosen song. And if you have autoplay (infinity button in the player screen) on in your queue (list button), Apple Music will continue to play similar music once your current selection runs out.

Get Apple Music

Miximum ($2.99/£2.99)

Best for rediscovering your library


Old favorites can get lost within a substantial library. Miximum helps you surface tracks via smart playlists called mixes.

For each, you pick sources to include and define rules and values for the mix. So you could have a mix limited to one hour, full of randomized tracks you’ve not played in over a year.

The app is minimal but usable (no surprise, since it’s by the Cs Music Pro creator) and wisely does not lock you in – any generated mix can be saved as a playlist to your Apple Music library.

Get Miximum

Longplay ($5.99/£5.99)

Best for rediscovering whole albums


This app is worth checking out just for rediscovering the joy of playing albums. But it also lets you rediscover albums and compilations within your collection.

Right from your iPhone’s search, you can kick off ‘album shuffle’. But within the app itself, you can shake up the albums view by displaying them randomly, or sorting them by ‘recency’, ‘orderliness’ and other criteria.

Longplay also has a fantastic widget, which puts a tiny version of the app on your Home Screen, ensuring a deep-dive into your albums is always readily available.

Get Longplay

MusicHarbor (free or $19.99/£19.99 per year)

Best for tracking new releases


Apple Music will attempt to bring to your attention new releases by favorite bands and artists. MusicHarbor, though, removes luck from the picture, by letting you monitor whichever artists you please and quickly explore their recent and upcoming releases.

The app’s sense of focus makes it ideal for discovering new albums by bands you love, even in the free version. Go premium and you gain more control over the experience, including filters and the means to automatically have new singles and monthly releases sent to a playlist.

Get MusicHarbor (from free) and Muze (free)

Best for recommendations based on artists and genres


We’re combining these two, because they do similar things – albeit in slightly different ways. They each supply an endless feed of tracks. Swipe left to discard the current song, or swipe right to add it to a playlist. The aim: to find new songs based on your tastes.



The mechanism is excellent for blazing through a slew of tracks and finding interesting ones to check out later. lets you base the feed on specific artists – if you pay. Muze takes ages to start up and its filters are basic, but its feed is based on your Music library and costs nothing. Try them both.

Get or get Muze

Bandcamp (free)

Best for delving into indie bands and artists


It might sometimes feel like streaming music services quite literally provide access to all music. But they really don’t. And if you fancy heading further afield than what Apple Music serves up, Bandcamp is a good place to start.

Bandcamp is an entire platform geared towards independent artists, helping them to more easily sell music and merch. The benefit to music fans is being able to scroll through feeds of albums you’ve never heard of, and even preview them before supporting those you love by buying the music. Properly old school!

Get Bandcamp

Shazam (free)

Best for finding out what’s playing nearby


Our final choice is an app you’ve doubtless heard of, and that’s essential for discovering whatever it is that’s playing within earshot right now. Prod Shazam’s magic button and it’ll listen to and attempt to identify what’s playing.

Once it’s done so, chances are you’ll end up with a page detailing the track in question, along with a selection of related songs, albums and videos. And because Apple long ago bought Shazam, you can of course add new discoveries to your Apple Music library with a tap.

Get Shazam