Songza Is A Better Alternative to Pandora, With Pre-made Playlist Support

Suppose there was a music app that catered to your individual likes and moods. Sure, Pandora caters to your likes, allowing you to build stations around songs and/or artists you like, but what if you could narrow that scope down even more?

The Songza app for iOS allows for just that. It allows you to choose favorites and to dislike and like songs, just like Pandora. But it goes one step further. Instead of building playlists from favorite artists and songs, it has pre-made lists that are built around genres, moods, activities, decades, and culture. It makes it really easy to find just the right music to listen to.


The Songza app starts off by taking you through the Concierge. If you’re looking for a certain type of music to listen to, choose your activity. I started using it on a Saturday night, so it asked me if I was having a sweaty dance party, relaxing at home, pre-gaming with friends, having love and romance, drinking at a bar, or going to bed. Now that it’s Saturday late night, the options change, with getting lucky, getting high, and others. They didn’t have “working from home,” so I chose “relaxing at home.”


This took me to another menu with specific music genres for relaxing at home, including low-key indie, chill hip-hop and R&B, etc. I chose “laid-back acoustic,” and it gave me additional options. I chose “New Singer-Songwriters” and indeed got laid-back acoustic music for relaxing at home. In fact, it was so relaxing, I moved on, but before I did, I realized how much this resembled Pandora in the way you can skip songs or like/dislike them. Additionally, it has the Airplay function, so I can listen through my Apple TV on my television set as well.


I poked around in Concierge for a little while trying out different playlists, and these then showed up in the Playlists tab. This remembers all the different playlists you tried, so that you can go back any time to ones that you particularly enjoyed listening to. And if you find yourself really enjoying a playlist, you can mark it as a favorite to find it even more easily the next time you’re in that same mood or enjoying that same activity.


There’s another way to find the right type of of music you’re looking for. It’s a pathway to finding even more specific playlists. The Explore menu option has choices for Genre, Activities, Moods, Decades, Culture, and Record Store Clerk. Record Store Clerk? Yes. It include sub-options Artists’ Record Collections, Dance Music That’s Not Assaultive, and Mustache Music (Or: Cool in the ’70s), among other interesting choices. I went through a few different choices and finally found some great music to work by, “Walking on Sunshine,” I.’s not just that song, but a whole playlist of music that’s happy and upbeat, just like that. I haven’t found many songs on it I don’t like, and have even found a few I never heard before that I like just as much as many of the favorites I’m hearing. I made sure I added that Playlist to my favorites.


I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow morning and open this app right away. I want to find out what activity choices it will give me for Sunday morning. Perhaps there will be one for Uploading Work While Eating Bacon and Eggs. If not, and if I get tired of listening to the oldies on the Walking on Sunshine list, I can head to the Popular menu option and browse the Playlists of the songs that are trending and currently popular. The Songza app is going to be keeping me very busy for quite awhile.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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