Smartphones can do a great number of things, one of which is playing media on the go. You can pull up YouTube and watch user-generated videos, open Netflix or Hulu to watch good quality content, or even browse a number of streaming services like Spotify or Pandora.

It is the freedom of choice that is so great about Android, but it can also make things a little, well, disjointed.

When you have so many choices at your disposal, it can be tough to nail down which you want to follow.

Take buying music, for example, of which there are at least three or four different ways to do so. You can use one of the aforementioned streaming apps like Spotify or Pandora.

You can buy music from the Google Play store. You can also install a third-party media store like Amazon’s and get music there.

While I can’t help you decide which option you should follow, I can certainly help you get things done. Here are some guides for buying music on an Android phone:

1. Buy Music from Google Play

Apple and iOS devices have iTunes, while Google and Android have Google Play. If you don’t already know, you can buy a variety of books, movies and TV shows, and even music from the same store you get your apps.

Before buying anything, it’s always a good idea to ensure your apps and services are up-to-date. Also, be sure you have a payment method connected to your Google account if you wish to purchase premium content.

If you’ve bought anything in the past — such as premium apps — then it’s already done.

To buy music from Google Play:

  1. Open the Play Store.
  2. Tap the menu button in the top left. The menu is denoted by three horizontal lines.Open music app Google Play
  3. Tap Open Music App. Alternatively, you can simply open the Google Play Music app on your own. Once the music app is open, you can peruse the store for music you wish to buy. You can also purchase or download podcasts, and stream music via internet radio. Many of the options you’ll see are for playing internet radio or playlist.
  4. Search for the song you want to buy.
  5. Tap the menu button next to the song.Buy music Google Play
  6. Select Buy from the list.Buy entire albums or songs
  7. Click the button that displays the price. You can either purchase the entire album if looking at an album or individual tracks by scrolling down.
  8. Select your payment method. You can either enter your debit or credit card which can also be used to purchase other paid apps.
  9. The song will add to your purchased songs list.

2. Buy Music from Amazon

First, you need to ensure you have the Amazon Music app installed on your phone which allows you to purchase and play music from the retailer’s storefront.

To find it, simply open the Google Play Store and type “amazon music” in the search bar. It should be the first entry you see in the results. Install the app and sign-in using your Amazon account.

When you first boot up the Amazon Music app — provided you’re logged in — you will see a variety of content available, including top and popular charts. Feel free to browse the store for a particular artist, album or song you wish to purchase.

  1. Search for a song or album.
  2. Click on the song.
  3. Choose the menu button (three vertical dots).
    Shop for song
  4. Choose the Shop for [Artist/Song] option. Choosing a song will redirect to the Amazon Music store (within the app).Purchase album/track
  5. Click the price button to purchase the track or album.

After you’ve purchased something, you must download the music to your device if you wish to listen. Alternatively, you can stream music you’ve purchased from the cloud if you have limited storage space.

To download purchased music from Amazon:

  • Find the album or track you wish to download.
  • Tap the menu button (three vertical dots).
  • Select the Download option from the list. The content will begin downloading to your phone.

Downloading music allows you to use a listening or playback app of your choice — you’re not confined to Amazon Music. This is great if you prefer to use a custom player such as Winamp, AIMP, JetAudio, or MediaMonkey.

3. Use a Streaming Service

If you don’t wish to purchase your music outright or would rather stream content from the cloud, then both Spotify and Pandora are great alternatives.

Others include iHeartRadio, Mflow, Grooveshark,, and SoundCloud.

Many of them offer subscription-based services that allow you ad-free listening and access to higher-quality content streams.

Without a subscription, you can still listen to music just fine but you’re limited to a certain number of skips, and you must deal with ads — whether audio or video based.

Bottom Line

In truth, buying music on an Android device is quite simple. What makes things difficult is the number of options you have at your disposal. You can either use Google Play, Amazon Music, or any number of streaming services.

If you have any questions about buying music on your Android, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to help.