#Music is an important genre of entertainment to many of us. I plug in when I am on the way to work, burning calories in the gym or when I am chopping spring onions. The right kind of music at the right moment can set the mood and lift your spirits.
Thanks to the hordes of #music streaming apps, you can now listen to millions of tracks for free or at an affordable fee without having to pile up CDs at home. Most of the apps also come with suggested playlists, mood lists and a peer-to-peer playlists to help you discover music and groove to the rhythm instantly with a few simple clicks.
#Apple‘s latest music streaming service and app, Apple Music, joins more established players like Spotify, Rdio, Rhapsody, Pandora, SoundCloud and Tidal in the race for music streaming supremacy. But whether their song catalogue is 20 million or 30 million tracks, these services do not currently offer a comprehensive list of Asian songs.
Sure, you probably can find the some of latest tracks from popular Asian artistes and groups like Jay Chou, Jacky Cheung, Big Bang, AKB48 and Girls Generation, but it’s much harder to find songs from local and indie artistes in Asia.
Here’s our pick of 6 great music streaming apps from Asia you should check out. You can download from both Google Play and Apple App Store and you will never have to buy CDs again. Not physically anyway, unless you really want to of course.
Taiwan-based KKBOX is definitely one of the most popular music streaming services in Asia. Started by a group of Taiwanese software programmers with a shared passion for technology and music, the service now has support from more than 500 international major and local independent music labels, featuring 20 million tracks and the most comprehensive Asia-Pop music library. The service is now available in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and members can gain access to exclusive videos, artist interviews, live concert reports and entertainment news through its Let’s music! KKBOX monthly magazine.
Available on iOS, #Android, and Windows Phone, AMPed is a free-to-stream music service in Singapore owned by Singtel. AMPed strikes a good balance in providing a decent catalogue of songs from International, Asia and local artistes. If you are a Singtel subscriber and an AMPed premium account user (S$9.98 per month), you can literally stream music to your heart’s content as the telco will absorb all data charges for music streaming and downloads.
An additional perk of being an AMPed user in Singapore is that you get to attend music events and meet-and-greet sessions with your favourite artists like Lady Gaga and Echosmith, as well as local artistes like Stefanie Sun and Tanya Chua.
3. QQ Music
QQ Music is a music streaming app developed by Tencent, the same company that brought you the popular instant messaging service WeChat. Free to download and use on #mobile, tablets and desktop devices, the app unfortunately is available only in Mandarin. So if you don’t read the language, it may be a major bummer. Other than being able to follow your favourite artistes and DJs, QQMusic also has an intelligent recommendation algorithm based on your listening history and recommends the next track from their vast library of popular tracks from China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and U.S. They have also recently included tracks from the massively successful singing competition in China, The Voice of China.
Soliton is Hong Kong’s multi-functional music streaming platform that has a library of over 1.7 million songs from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and international artistes. Other than having a comprehensive cantopop library of songs, Soliton also has a voice recognition function that allows users to read out lyrics, song titles or artistes’ names when searching for songs.
Raku (Radio Ku) is Malaysia’s very own music and online radio streaming service which provides access to millions of international and local songs, podcasts, as well as localised content such as comedy, news, sports and traffic updates from all around the world. The app allows its users to stream songs, videos and listen to more than 20 radio stations in Malaysia. The app is similar to Last.fm , focusing on online radio services.
Launched earlier this month in Hong Kong, JOOX is already going after the Southeast Asia markets with a vengeance. JOOX not only sets itself apart by offering tracks from local top music charts, they also work closely with a local team of music curators. JOOX, like QQMusic is also owned by Tencent, but the newly launched music streaming app has loftier plans of using it as a platform to highlight local artistes as well as allow users to discover local talents. Malaysia is chosen as the second market after Hong Kong due to the high smartphone penetration and social activities but ultimately move to offer the app to the rest of the region. Moving forward, JOOX also has plans to offer video streaming and integration with parent company TenCent’s messaging app, WeChat.