Once upon a time if you wanted to listen to music on the go you had no choice but to travel with a small orchestra, or at least a wandering minstrel.
With space at a premium on public transport, this arrangement has become increasingly unpopular in recent years, with more and more people choosing Android technology to carry the latest hit parades in their pockets, or to stream popular beat combos directly into their oh-so-modern ears.
But with so many app options to choose from, how do you know a smash hit from a bad cover version? Don't worry. We've made you a mix tape:
4shared.com is cloud storage with a difference: many users make their files publicly accessible. So when you search for and stream music through the site's dedicated music app, you're not just accessing your own music library, but millions of others, too!
n7player Music Player
This powerful player comes as a free 14-day trial, after which it costs £2.49. Browsing is easy, via a tag cloud of artists or a satisfying, zoomable wall of album covers – with missing artwork easily added manually or automatically.
Poweramp Music Player
Another free sample that can be unlocked for the price of a song (£2.59), this app packs a 10-band graphic equaliser, bass and treble adjustment, mono mixing and more beneath its stylish skin, while lockscreen widgets and headset support make for easy access.
With more than 70,000 stations on offer, this radio app lets you surf the world's airwaves or track down local networks via GPS. Browse by music genre, or choose from a wealth of talk and sport stations, plus millions of top-rated podcasts - with recording available if you decide to fork out for the paid-for version (£3.31).
A tenner a month for a Spotify Premium account gives you unlimited access to millions of songs for streaming online or listening offline (by syncing your playlists with your phone). A 48-hour free trial lures you with 18 million siren songs.
Along with Deezer[link], this subscription music service is the main contender for Spotify's crown. Offering unlimited access to as much (if not more) music for £9.99 a month, it scores over its rivals with a more attractive, more intuitive interface.
Lots of the apps in this list support Last.fm scrobbling – the service that suggests new music based on the tunes you already listen to. This official app is the place to stream those often intriguing recommendations on the go.
SoundCloud describes itself as "the world's leading social sound platform", with more than 10 hours of audio uploaded every minute. This official app offers full access via a powerful search function, plus a recording option for contributing your own output.
doubleTwist with Magic Radio
Something of an all-in-one option, this app blends your music library with its own database to create a 'radio station' tailored to your tastes. It also supports iTunes syncing, music videos, podcasts subscriptions, and streaming to consoles and Sonos devices.
For those who prefer their pop with pics, this music video portal offers 75,000 music videos from more than 20,000 artists. The app includes a handy playlist feature, while social media sharing means you're going to have to deal with that creepy feeling while ogling One Direction on the bus.
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