The top 10 music and audio apps for BlackBerry 10

CrackBerry has picked the cream of the audiophile's crop in BlackBerry World. Grab your closest BlackBerry 10 device and start downlading!

The top 10 music and audio apps for BlackBerry 10
By Simon Sage on 12 Mar 2013 07:35 pm EDT

The BlackBerry Z10 is a lean, mean, music machine, and BB10’s growing app ecosystem has given us even more ways to enjoy, share, and create audio. Sure, there are plenty of ways to simply listen to music, but there are plenty of options as far as how social you want to get about it, whether or not you want to be able to pull up tracks on demand, or if you’re cool with letting someone else curate a station for you. Plug in those headphones and dig into these top-notch music and audio apps for BlackBerry 10.

Songza - Free

Songza for BlackBerry 10

Songza is an Android port of the incredibly awesome free music streaming service. When you first boot up Songza, it detects the time of day (and in some cases time of year) and offers a selection of things you might be doing, such as cooking dinner on a Tuesday night, or kicking off the weekend on a Saturday morning. From there, users can drill down into specific moods and eventually find some absurdly specific playlists to tune into. There are no audio ads (though there are text banners), and you can’t pull in specific tracks on demand, but between the playlists offered by Songza and the community at large, you shouldn’t be at a loss to find something you’re interested in. Because Songza on BlackBerry 10 is an Android port, you won’t get any hardware playback control, but everything still navigates smoothly on the software side.

TuneIn Radio - Free

TuneIn Radio for BlackBerry 10

TuneIn Radio has continued their presence on BlackBerry with a brand new BB10 app. Users can find traditional radio stations by location or genre, subscribe to podcasts, and add stations as favorites. When listening to a station, you get a live view of what’s playing now, and can discover new stations through the Related tab. Unlike many music apps, TuneIn Radio on BlackBerry 10 responds to pause/play input through hardware and in-line headphone controls. TuneIn radio also plugs into BBM, so you can broadcast which station you’re listening to much like the native media player does. 

Pacemaker - $4.99 / $9.99

Pacemaker for BlackBerry 10

Pacemaker is an awesome and robust DJ application that made its debut on the BlackBerry PlayBook and has since been optimized for the smaller screen on the BlackBerry Z10. DJs can mix, crossfade, scratch, and tweak any track stored locally on the device. More involved distortions in pitch, bass, treble, tempo, and other effects can really help you create something unique once you get the hang of things. It even has split output support so you can listen to something different on the headphones as what’s being pumped out to the big speakers. It can be a bit challenging for those that don’t have any experience in this kind of stuff, but it does offer a fine gateway for those that hadn’t considered DJing due to the niche technical jargon surrounding the whole process, not to mention the expensive equipment traditionally involved. You can pick up Pacemaker as a universal app that also runs on the PlayBook for $9.99, or just the Z10 version for $4.99.

Slacker - Free

Slacker for BlackBerry 10

Slacker is a hugely popular on-demand music service for BlackBerry 10 and other platforms, and their app is fantastic. Though the UI follows closely in the standard Cascades layout, it has a very distinctive style in and of itself. Users can flip through stations in the catalog, mark them as favorites, and have what you’re listening to shared out to Facebook. You can listen for free, so long as you’re willing to get through the occasional audio ad, or you can pay $3.99/month for unlimited skipping, no ads, and offline caching, or go big with Premium to get all that and music on demand for $9.99.

Nobex Radio - Free

Nobex for BlackBerry 10

Nobex Radio continues to be a top-notch music app for BlackBerry, featuring a smooth, Cascades-style user interface, and a wide selection of streams from traditional radio stations. Users can mark stations from all over the world as favorites and share web links to audio streams. Users also have a fully-categorized selection of podcasts to subscribe to. Nobex makes use of hardware playback controls, and has a sleep timer, much like TuneIn Radio (though no alarm function). BBM status can also be updated with whichever radio station you’re listening to.

SoundNine - $1.99

SoundNine for BlackBerry 10

SoundNine is a third-party BlackBerry 10 client for the popular SoundCloud audio network. From here, you can log into your SoundCloud account, see what’s recently been posted by the artists you follow, listen to what’s popular, or search for specific users. You can’t upload from the app yet, but there is timeline commenting implemented, so you can see what people have to say about specific parts of a song and leave your own thoughts. You can download SoundCloud tracks that have downloading enabled, and for the ones that don’t, there are links to the excellent mobile site where you can buy tracks from whereever they’re linked.

8tracks - Free

8tracks for BlackBerry 10

8tracks is kind of a love child between Songza and SoundCloud. Users upload audio content, and create playlists out of it. The tracks can’t be pulled up on demand, which seems to get around any questionable legality. Mixes are categorized with multiple tags, allowing you to hop between mixes based on similar themes. These tags can be as simple as band names or song styles, or base more on moods. 8tracks on BlackBerry 10 is an Android port, so you won’t see anything like BBM integration, but everything still streams perfectly fine, and you can leave comments on your favorite mixes. The only real downsides here are that you’ll have to deal with banner ads along the bottom of the screen, and there’s a bad case of Notification tray spam.

Deezer - $9.99/month

Deezer for BlackBerry 10

Deezer is a great way to access cloud-stored music. Users upload their tracks to their Deezer account, or access the 20 million-odd songs that are available, and curate their collection as they will. Songs are organized into playlists which can then be shared with other friends on Deezer. Tracks can be cached locally, which is handy when you’re in a Wi-Fi zone and you know you’re going to be leaving LTE coverage. The app is a port from Android, but operates very smoothly. The only downside here is that you need a premium subscription in order to do anything particularly useful.

Podcasts - $1.99

Podcasts for BlackBerry 10

Podcasts is a dedicated native podcatcher for BlackBerry 10. Though other music apps offer podcast utilities on the side, heavy-duty podcast listeners will likely want to pick this one up.  Listeners can stream or download podcasts found through a vast categorized library, subscribe to favorites, and automatically delete old episodes. The built-in video player is great and offers simple timeline seeking by 30-second increments when streaming. There’s even a bit of Active Frame mojo at work here, so you can tell at a glance if there are any new shows available to download.

Radio Player+ - $1.99

Radio Player+ for BlackBerry 10

Radio Player+ pulls in over 65,000 online streams in a sharp, Cascades-style user interface. You can browse through the directory of genres, flip through the top 100 list, search for a specific station, or manually input the address of an audio stream. Once you’ve found a station you like, it can easily be added to a favorites list for future access. A particularly nice feature is the ability to set a sleep timer on how long to wait until cutting off the stream and an alarm time to start playing - perfect for those that listen to music regularly in bed. The vast majority of these stations seem to be pulled in through SHOUTcast, which is perfectly fine for me - they’ve got one of my few favorite stations there, WeFUNK Radio. The only downside so far is that I can’t pause or play music using hardware or in-line headphone controls.

More to come...

So those are our top picks so far. Over the weeks and months ahead we're sure to see even more great music and audio apps hit BlackBerry World. As they do, we'll keep you posted of the best ones to check out. For more apps for your BB10 phone, be sure to check out this list of the best games and apps for BB10.

For now, let's leave this top 10 with a couple closing questions. How do you access your music on your BlackBerry 10 device? Are you happy with the native media player, or do you prefer subscription services?

Reader comments

The top 10 music and audio apps for BlackBerry 10


I'm having problems with Songza. Songs stop playing half way through and jump on to the next one. Anyone having the same issue?

I use Songza religously on the Z10. Like every single day. Haven't had any issues like you're describing.

What you're describing to me almost sounds like it could be related to poor bandwidth? Might skip to the next song if it's not pre-caching enough of the current song you're streaming.  Are you connected via WiFi or LTE or 3G or ??

Hmm, could possibly be related to poor bandwidth as it happens when I am on the Go Train (where reception isn't great at times). I'm either on LTE or HSPA. When I think of it, I have never used it at home with full WiFi. Gonna try and see if it happens too. Thanks for the tip Kev!

I battled this problem for the first couple weeks of using it, but when the update landed for the Z10 (on Telus), it seemed to fix the skipping problem.

On the rare occasion, when I have a song paused and then try to resume, it will skip the song, but I don't consider that an issue, like what I was experiencing before.

Needless to say, I am over the moon that it works properly now, as I don't think my beloved BBM Music will ever make its way onto BB10 phones...

Why does it says unavailable for my device when i try to download songza in bb world? Im using z10 from singapore..

Posted via CB10

All apps good ones. From regional perspective, for Indian subcontinent - "Hungama" and "Gaana" apps are wonderful additions. Love them.

Slacker is great. I use the built in media player a bit more.

It would be great to get Shazam up and running on BlackBerry 10.

Posted via CB10

Slacker is the way to go. For myself it's the greatest thing since siriusxm. Skip songs, make playlists, listen to full albums...etc...

Posted via CB10

Nice post!

I hope more DJ and Producer stuff coming next time! OS10 is the best Plattform for musicians!

Music clouds like Songza or BBM music are not available for Germany!

Posted via CB10

Got the full version of Tunein and Nobex. The stations I listen to in the Caribbean worked on my 9900 but won't play on my Z10. Emailed the supports. Only Nobex replied saying the was a 'bug' with 'Blackberry' and that they are reporting the fault. Disappointing :(

Posted via CB10

Does anyone know if 7digital has plans to produce apps for bb10? I enjoyed the ability to link to my account.

Posted via CB10

SLACKER all the way. Loved this app since it was on the PlayBook now I use it all the time on my computer, Z10 and PlayBook!

The pro version has not been submitted as of yet for BB10 - only legacy devices have the pro version. As much as I like TuneIN, it's a little disappointing to be missing some of the features, e.g., alarms, recording content, etc that the professional version brings.

I hope they get the pro version of tunein sometime soon. I LOVE that app and use it 4 or 5 times a day. Songza also looks like it's definitely worth checking out. Just doing some "window shopping"-or "webpage shopping""- before I get my z10.. ;-)

Im loven Nobex radio on my Z10. Great app, works flawlessly with bluetooth on my truck. Where other apps have trouble over riding the stock music player that turns on automatically when synced to a vehicle. Also the Podcast player is great. Ive found every podcast Ive tried searching for, including all mobile nations both video and audio.

More features is always welcome though, keep it up Nobex

Slacker on BB10 does not let you make or access your playlists. The guy up a few posts didin't mention that little important fact. They made this app half ass if you have a premium account.

Just like they did with the Playbook app!! As far as I know, the app has never been updated for the Playbook.

Simon , would you and all other app reviewers please list what countries the app works in. Its irritating to say the least when many apps are country specific , Slacker and Songza are the most glaring examples from the list. At the very least you should list the major English speaking countries. I know, I know but you cant expect reviewers to list 50+ countries with some apps, go look at the list for Deezer.

@Darlaten responded to a post above that the paid version of tunein hasn't been submitted yet for the Z10.

Hopefully the pro version will come along soon.

Any word on Rdio, which had been announced as being on board on Jan 30? Really, really have been waiting on this one.

The Rdio website works relatively well. Not the easiest to navigate around (find it works best when the browser is in landscape mode). I bookmarked it to my homescreen.

YES!!!! I live by BBM Music. I was so disappointed to hear its not on BB10. Honestly this is one large reason holding me back from upgrading from the 9900. I don't know why BlackBerry doesn't have this subscription service available. Unless it's loosing money and they aren't continuing it?? BBM Music rocks and I want it!!!

Unfortunately BBM Music will not continue. It will not be on BB10 & will be phased out completely at some point.

+10 also. By far the best audio app for those wanting quality sound. Can't believe they missed this one. On another topic, I'm really missing Shazam on my Z10. I loved the way it was linked to 7Diigital on my Torch.

All the way with you guys on that one... Ive had neutron on my playbook for nearly a year now.... Best media player by FAR. 64 bit encoding... Pre-amp, 4 band eq, ect. I know its out there.. Im shocked cb missed it here

Neutron MP has been available in BlackBerry World for weeks. If you already purchased it for your PlayBook, you can download it to your Z10, too. Otherwise it's 4.99 very well spent dollars.

Neutron MP is the BEST audio player for QNX, period. I'm a little shocked that it wasn't included here.

I've only had the Q10 for 3 days. Yesterday sideloaded the Android port. It works...ok. It only sees files on the device, not the sd card though every other native app can see write to an retrieve files from the card. I'll spend the 5 bucks if someone can confirm file access from the sd card.

Having really learned to appreciate the android-ported Neutron MP on the playbook and looking a little more to see evidence that this Q10 version was the real deal, I bought it last night. It is great! It does everything. Gesture control is perfect for my use in the car and the ability to show the album art behind the primary play display is a very cool feature.

Seriously, you didn't include cbc music's app? First, CBC Radio three is probably the best radio station on the planet and besides that, the music is free, there are hardly any adds and for all this you pay 0 dollars (ok, you pay Canadian tax dollars but the rest of the world gets it free).

The stations are good, yes, but the app itself is pretty garbage. Android port that is pretty laggy. If you go to the "About" screen it even says "CBC Music for Android Version 1.0.0".

If you're looking for CBC Radio 3, you can get that on the CBC Radio app, which is built much better. Plus there are all sorts of awesome podcasts on demand with the CBC Radio app as well. I'd say that in their present forms the CBC Radio app is the better of the two.

Thanks mcmolineux! I will download it now. Radio 3 has become the soundtrack to my day and even though I haven't encountered any bugs, a more stable app is much appreciated.

I use a sideloaded soundcloud. Can anyone comment on why I might want to switch to sound nine over this?

Posted via CB10

Has anyone had any problems using the headphone jack on the Z10? I stopped using it on my Bold 9700 after the headphone jack jammed in 'headphone' mode.

Nope, learnt from a buddy @Spotify that they are still in stand-bye mode on BB10, waiting to see if the new platform is picked up by many more users; they are putting much effort in iOS and Android, and in new partnerships with car OEM's as Volvo and Ford. Not much lover for BB there...

Can't believe you left off Beats Audio. Sideload this onto your z-10 to enhance your listening experience in any app.

Slacker on Z10 is a disappointing. There is no caching of music and there hasn't been on the Playbook version either. Not sure why they couldn't have released a version that has all the features of the one one my BB Torch. They had plenty of time to release a full version and a head start with the Playbook version but did nothing. Slackers Indeed.

I agree. When I switched recently from Android to my Z10, I was so excited to find a music service with a native BB10 app in Slacker, so I decided to throw them my full support and subscribe to the Premium service. Only after then did I discover that the $4/mo "Plus" subscription and $10/mo Premium are no different on BB10 since neither allows you to download an offline cache nor play songs or albums on demand. I submitted a support ticket to Slacker asking whether that will change in the near future (especially since I would probably switch back to Rdio if they ever got their act together and ported to BB10). In the meantime, I'll just save myself some cash and downgrade to Plus since it's not different on the BlackBerry.

Incidentally, the writer of this article should do some more research before claiming the app does things it doesn't on BB10. That's tantamount to false advertising for the apps.

This weekend I decided to try ditching the native BB10 app for Slacker and sideload the Android version instead. To my pleasant surprise, the Android app works like a charm *plus* provides the missing Premium features that the native app does not have, i.e. downloading albums for offline play, and on-demand listening to albums and songs. Ironic that a sideloaded port works better than the native app!

I have absolutely no idea why Neutron MP wasn't listed. It's not a service, but a Podcast app was listed and it's super crazy that there was no mention of the incredible Neutron.

Tsk tsk

Posted via CB10

oes anyone know of an app that you can record music on. I know of other platforms offering these. I haven't found any yet. I play guitar and sing, and would like to plug in my guitar and record when an idea hits meNecessity is the mother of invention. So something like this would be ideal. Any suggestions?

Posted via CB10

Is there really no voice recorder?? I would try looking for that. THere is one on BBOS7. Maybe use the video recorder?

I'd really love to see an app for The Hype Machine ( come to fruition. Whether from them or a 3rd party app. It's the one time is ever say this, but their iOS app is great - provably because of the rip off of the cascades style menus in BB10

Haha, wow, yep, they sure are. Good eye!

Funny thing is, the volume rocker didn't work on BB7 devices - does on the Z10, though. 

NeutronMP is the best of any music app, hands free gesture controls, HD sound, plays all formats, surround sound that actually works. Stop play function on headphone insert and removal. Simple user interface and more settings than most high end home theater setups.

Can't wait to get a Z10 or Q10 and then put Podcasts on it! Also, I called Audible today, to find out when they will have a BB10 app, and the rep said they are working on it. He couldn't give me a date though.

Songza on App World, says "unavailable for this device" for my Z10.
Any clues what's the reason? Is it limited to particular series of Z10?