Why you should care
Because in a crowded market of streaming music, we’ve found one app that’s free — and helps out the Android lovers in our lives.
Have you ever been just plain ole tired of your phone’s personal music playlist? Yeah, you uploaded all of those hot tracks on your digital number-dialing device, but you’ve exhausted the bouncey theme to Kanye’s Bound 2, Lorde’s kingly cool Royals and Ylvis’ insanely catchy What Does the Fox Say? (don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone you listen to it more than four times a day).
So now, it’s probably time to hand over the music-choice duties to the professionals.
What makes Milk better? Superior design, a history recall list and special access to strong quality curation.
With the fight for your groove-loving ears underway, there are many music-streaming services at your beck and call … literally, like on your mobile phone. You have the mainstay monster Pandora. You’ve got Dr. Dre’s celebrity- and critic-created playlists on Beats Music.
But the newest system, Milk Music, designed specifically to bring the noise to Samsung Galaxy-branded devices — meaning only those type of Androids are allowed — is powered by one of the elder statesmen of the streaming world, Slacker. The ad-free service boasts millions of tracks, and debuted in March 2014 at this year’s South by Southwest, the annual tech, film and music festival in Austin, Texas.
Trusted streamers like Spotify also boast free versions of their services (with ads) for millions of tracks for their mobile consumers, plus a paid ad-free option for all platforms (Spotify charges $9.99 a month). But straight-up: Even with its mega catalog, Spotify’s choices aren’t as hip from a content perspective as Milk’s.
What makes Milk better? Superior design with a smooth center dial for making selections, a history recall list to remember that track from a few days ago, and special access to strong quality curation. Plus, all that is ad-free, at no cost. However, there is industry talk of a looming pay scale coming soon, so get it while the getting is free.
Milk Music (available only at the Google Play app store) easily takes your music tastes to the next level by incorporating algorithms that fit your current mood — once it gets the hang of the songs you keep playing and the ones you skip.
Speaking of skips, you are allowed only six per hour, per channel. However, you can work the system by changing the channel and getting six new skips at any time.
You can choose from over 200 stations with subgenres digging deep in pop, hip-hop, rock, country, R&B, alternative/indie, electronic, dance and jazz. Categorization gets as concentrated as underground hip-hop, party metal, outlaw country and trap.
The biggest cool factor? Hearing any particular song and building your own station based on that type of groove. I created the most bombastic station named “Dead Bent” after selecting the rugged song by enigmatic rapper MF Doom, found in the ”Backpack Hip-Hop” section. The fact that rare versions of instrumentals like Slum Village’s Earl Flinn can flow right after another rarity like Loud Enough by Moe Pope showcases Milk Music’s commitment to finding old gems and introducing new jewels as well. This kind of quality applies to all of Milk’s stations — true music lovers will be pleased with the vastness of selections.
With all of Milk Music’s customization features, its one drawback would be the occasional pause in streaming, which happened about three times during my two-week trial. With rumors of a subscription model on the horizon, it’s best to jump on Milk now, as other popular streaming services are pay-to-play, while Milk Music is still free-to-spree.
Yeah, Galaxy owners: Download it now, and rock on.