Your Ears Will Love You – 7 Great Music Discovery Apps

I don’t know about you, but my music gets really old sometimes. When I’m looking for new music, I often struggle with what app to use. I tend to default to web apps, but I really wanted to find some various Mac apps that I can use to find new and exciting music. I tried a number of different applications and found a pretty decent variety.

Some apps on the list are simply a way to utilize a web app via the desktop. Others are completely unique applications which allow you to discover new music in unique and innovative ways. The list includes just a few of the many applications out there, as I tried to stay away from including too many applications which simply provide a way to play an online service via a desktop application. Follow me beyond the jump to learn more about some of the cool apps I found to discover new music.

Muse – Pandora Radio Player

First up is an application which is utlized to play music from Pandora. Pandora is a great way to discover music similar to artists you already know and love. Muse is built upon the existing Pandora website, so features are familiar and easy to use. The app is compatible with both the free and paid Pandora for ease of use. You can use the F7 – F9 keys to control the music (though the App Store has begun restricting this), set your own shortcuts or even use an Apple remote.

The app runs in the backround and pops back up with just one keystroke. The app is even compatible with other services. Utilize Growl notification services to see the current song information in an unobtrusive fashion. Muse also works with Last.fm, so you can send the songs you play. This means you can easily share songs, track trends and even get additional song recommendations. Muse is definitely a must have if you spend your days on Pandora.

Price: $4.99
Requires: OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Industrious One, LLC

Discovr Music

Discovr Music is the one app on this list dedicated entirely to discovering new music. Within the app, you simply enter the name of any band or artist that you like. Using graphics similar to a spider web, Discovr then provides similar artists/bands. Click on one you’re interested in, listen to music and watch videos, read up on the band or simply save the band to your favorites. Discovr then branches out from the new artist, providing a new batch of similar artists. The app eventually provides an interactive map of the entire music world. It’s a totally unique app and works well. I have discovered a number of new, obscure artists that I really love thanks to Discovr Music.

Price: $4.99
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Filter Squad Pty Ltd.

SomaFM Radio Player

Listening to underground or alternative music is always a great way to find artists you have likely never heard of. SomaFM Radio Player is the official SomaFM app which gives you access to over 20 radio stations and is completely commercial free. Each station is programmed by DJs passionate about the genre. Genres present include ambient, indie pop, world, americana and much more. The app runs in the background, so you can listen without disturbing other work. You can bookmark songs to purchase, view your history and easily view/listen to the most popular stations. The app also supports AirPlay when run on Mountain Lion. It’s another app I’ve found some great music from, definitely worth the download if the genres in the app are up your alley at all.

Price: $3.99
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: SomaFM.com LLC

Musicality

Musicality is another app which simply makes popular online services available via the desktop. Musicality supports Last.fm, Pandora and Grooveshark. The app offers both a full-featured view showing all the functionality of the web app as well as a simple, small view with basic functionality. You can control the music with your keyboard, shortcuts you set or the Apple remote. The app runs in the background. I love the service because it allows me to be able to close all of the music tabs I have open, saving space for what I’m working on rather than my music. The service is compatible with free and paid services and works well with Growl and Last.fm services to track the music you listen to and get further recommendations. If you use a variety of online music services, consider Musicality for easy playback without the hassle of going through your browser.

Price: $9.99
Requires: OS X 10.6.6 or later
Developer: Industrious One LLC

MOG

MOG is my paid music streaming service of choice. It’s always had great quality, a wonderful selection of music and all at a decent cost. The service provides unlimited music downloading and streaming, from a selection of over 13 million songs. You can create your own playlists or check out playlists created by popular artists and music experts. The app also offers incredible music discovery tools. The offerings are so great, in fact, that MOG has to provide tutorials to make sure you figure out all of the things that you can do. If you’re looking for a great streaming app/music discover app and you’re willing to pay a monthly fee, I recommend MOG over any other service. The biggest complaint from current users is that you can’t utilize the keyboard F7 – F9 keys anymore. Unfortunately, this is a new restriction in the App Store and will eventually be the case for all music apps. That being said, you can still utilize an Apple remote if you so choose.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: MOG, Inc.

Songbird

Songbird.me is a service which allows you to effortlessly discover new music, both from artists you listen to and from brand new artists. The Songbird desktop app provides access to Songbird.me as well as an alternative music player. You automatically receive updates from any artist you have favorited, and then based upon this, Songbird makes recommendations for you. Songbird also incorporates social aspects – using a Facebook connection you can see what your friends are listening to and utilize this to discover and follow even more new artists. The app works well, both for music listening as well as general music playback and management.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.5 or later
Developer: Songbird

Tomahawk

Last but not least is a music player called Tomahawk. This app is incredible, and I’m not sure why it hasn’t gotten more attention than it does. I hadn’t heard of it until a few weeks ago, and I’m shocked I’ve missed it up until now. The app allows you to not only listen to music you have on your computer, but also to music provided by other streaming services. You can search for an artist or song and get music from iTunes, YouTube, Grooveshark, Spotify and more. The app only works, of course, if you have the appropriate subscription when necessary (e.g. with Spotify). I love it, though. I can sync my music across various services, easily discover new music by artists I listen to, take advantage of the built-in similar tracks feature or install a plug-in to find new music. Tomahawk is a great way to listen to music across services all in one place and discover music along the way. If you are a big streamer and utilize a variety of services, try Tomahawk today for better organization and playback.

Price: Free
Requires: OS X 10.6 or later
Developer: Open Source

Those are a few of my favorite Mac apps to discover new music. I love the variety – I can default to Pandora for automatic music playback and discovery with very little effort on my behalf. If I’m feeling more ambitious, I can explore a service like SoundCloud. Better yet, I can even utilize an app like Discovr Music, dedicated solely to discovering and enjoying new music.

These are just a few of my favorite Mac-based music discovery applications. I’d love to know what your favorites are! Do you use one of the apps I listed? Do you have a favorite application I missed? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


  • john

    Spotify and Soundrop is the absolute way to discover music. Listen to music collaboratively based on genre and vote up the tracks you like. Awesome app =)

    • Jeremy

      I specifically clicked into this post just to write exactly what you already said!

      There is no other way for me these days! :)

  • renegade8164

    Spotify works for me

  • Mike

    You left of last.fm – the original and still the best (in terms of actually helping one find new music. Their recommendation engine is still the best.

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