With the holiday season approaching, TheStreet reviews some of the top music apps for smartphones.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) Thanksgiving has passed, which means Christmas music is playing everywhere. Need a break from "Jingle Bells?" Find some new jingles at the app store.
Still feeling the burn from your Napster days? Burning CDs may be a thing of the past, but digital music has come a long way. iPods forever changed portable music consumption in 2001 (Remember Walkmans?). The introduction of iPhones in 2007 meant that you no longer had to carry a separate music-playing device. But using an Apple (:AAPL) device doesn't mean you have to buy music through iTunes. Unless you want to play "Call Me Maybe" on repeat, those dollars can add up fast.
Save money and discover new music with apps. From customized radio stations to concert planning, TheStreet recommends these five downloads.
You're listening to the radio and you hear "You ain't nothing but a hound dog" blaring. And you're wondering, "What's that song called?" SoundHound will tell you that it's "Hound Dog," by Elvis. Go figure.
But if you didn't have your app handy, there's no need to wait for the song to come back on the radio. Hum it and SoundHound will recognize it for you (assuming you're not tone deaf). The lyrics will show up, too. And all this time, you thought it was "pound dog!"
Once you've got your paws on it, bookmark the song and listen to it later. Or Tweet it to your friends. Use SoundHound to identify the "hottest" songs these days. It turns out Elvis is old news. SoundHound recommends you download "One More Night," by Maroon 5...if you can bear to hear Adam Levine croon one more time.
The free app is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, but requires iOS 5.0 or later. It is available on Google's (:GOOG) Android as well.
Your niece is coming to visit and you're aimlessly trying to create the perfect playlist. Turns out, you should take this in "One Direction." Songza will help you identify the right song for the right time.
Songza will create the right playlist for waking up, working out, or even a "sweaty dance party." The "I'm a Boss" playlist features Rick Ross and Ludacris. So "Roll Out," or create your own playlist.
The best thing about Songza is it's completely free. It's a free download with unlimited listening.
Songza is compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, but requires iOS 4.3 or later. It is available on Android as well.
Music lovers rejoiced when Spotify became available in the United States last year. Spotify allows you to create unlimited playlists. There's no downloading. All you have to do is drag and drop!
Spotify's app has a Pandora (:P)-like radio feature. Users can create customized stations by rating songs using a thumbs up or thumbs down to build lists that suit your musical needs. You can also see what your Facebook (:FB) friends are listening to, though you may be tempted to "unfriend Beliebers".
Non-subscribers and subscribers alike can use Spotify radio on their smartphones, but premium users ($9.99/month) can get the most out of the mobile experience. A subscription allows you to listen to your playlists in offline mode...perfect for ignoring that creepy guy on the subway.
The free app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, requires iOS 5.0 or later, and is available on Android as well.
There are so many great songs out there; but there are also a lot of accompanying music videos. You know you love "Gangnam Style."
Users can create a video playlist on their smartphone or tablet, with Vevo. You don't even have to search for them. Vevo uses your music library to identify which music videos will interest you. Or allow Vevo to create a customized video station.
Next time you throw a party, hook this up to your Apple TV and you can re-learn the "Macarena" together.
The app, which is free, is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, and requires iOS 5.0 or later. It's also on Google Play and Android.
There are a lot of options for listening to music on your smartphone, but sometimes it's nice to hear your favorite band live. But there's no need to Google all the concert schedules. Songkick will help you identify when your favorite bands are coming into town.
Songkick searches your music library and creates a custom concert calendar. It alerts you when new concerts are announced, so you can be sure to get tickets before they sell out. Buy the tickets straight from the app and use Songkick to invite your friends. If you want to see Lady Gaga, you'll know when she's playing at a venue near you.
The free app is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad, but requires iOS 3.1.3 or later. It is available on Android as well. --Written by Katie Roof in New York.