Thursday 17 July 2014

Jolla apps: Top Sailfish OS music and radio apps

Image: 9 Music Apps multidriving on Jolla phone's home screen

After system update Tahkalampi Sailfish OS powered Jolla phone has become quite a jukebox. Here we take a look into top 10  music apps in the native Sailfish OS side (all available), a couple of interesting projects (possibly available soon), and just for the comparison and information I'll add Spotify and Simple mp3 from Android side along to this article.

Get to know the apps that suits best for your musical taste!


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Jolla's audio equipment isn't great without connecting it to an audio system or using some nice headphones, as Jolla only carries 2 speakers - One for phone calls close to your ear, and one for music / speaker. This means that we can only hear mono sound without any accessories.

Personally I'm using a Bluetooth Stereo receiver connected to my home audio system with an optical fiber, and when I'm on the move, I carry Sennheiser headphones with me. This is not because of audio quality of Jolla but smartphones in general - I don't like listening to music on any smartphone speakers anyway.

Apps reviewed in this article

  1. QuickRadio
  2. SailWave
  3. U-Radio
  4. Radio FM4
  5. Y Radio
  6. SomaFM
  7. Media
  8. QuasarMX
  9. YTPlayer
  10. Spotify for Android

    And some extras...
  11. Simple mp3 Downloader (Android) with Cargo Dock (Sailfish OS)
  12. Spotify for Sailfish OS (in development)
  13. CuteSpotify for Sailfish OS (in development)

Online Radio apps

Apps 1.-6. above are all developed for listening to the internet radio channels and serve you only in this purpose. All of these are available ot Jolla Store, all are native Sailfish OS apps and all have Play/Pause option in the app cover, so switching between 6 radio channels is very easy directly from your home screen. I'll quickly go through their pros and cons one by one, based on my experience:

1. QuickRadio

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Felix Woxström
  • Tested version: 1.1-1 debug
  • Licence: GPL 3.0 (Open Source)
  • + Add stream URL manually, enabling your favorite list of multiple channels
  • + Go through your added channels directly from the cover
  • + Channel name visible in the cover
  • + Very quick and light (resource friendly) app
  • - No instructions how to find a stream URL. However, internet is full of URL lists by country/genre
  • - No pre-installed channels or links to the lists of channels
    TIP: Google with "stream URL list"

2. SailWave

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Michael Neufing
  • Tested version: 0.2.1
  • Licence: GPL3.0 (Open Source)
  • + Add stream URL manually, enabling your favorite list of multiple channels
  • + Cover actions: Play/pause, Next, Sleep timer (if activated). Channel name in the cover.
     (possible bug: I saw these only with a fresh added channel, afterwards there was only play/pause)
  • + Favorite channels are shown at the top of the channel list
  • + Very quick and light (resource friendly) app
  • - No instructions how to find a stream URL. However, internet is full of URL lists by country/genre
  • - No pre-installed channels or links to the lists of channels
     TIP: Google with "stream URL list"
Edit: Nice hello from Michael! He just told me in Twitter that there are 25 000 predefined stream url's coming up in some future update. No schedule for this, but this is just great whenever we get this!

3. U-Radio - developed to serve Swedish Jolla owners

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Mikael Hermansson
  • Tested version: 1.1.1
  • Licence: GPL 2.0 (Open Source) with one exception
  • + Change channel directly from the app cover
  • + Channel name visible in the cover
  • - Supports only 5 pre-listed Swedish channels. No possibility to add new channels

4. Radio FM4 - Austrian Alternative Rock / Electronic music radio station

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Thomas Perl
  • Tested version: 2.0.3
  • Licence: Unknown
  • + Track name visible in the cover
  • - Play starts always from the latest published track
  • - You can add favorites, but you can't listen to them
  • - There's a list of the latest tracks, but these can't be selected
  • - No possibility to add new channels

5. Y Radio - Developed to serve Finnish Jolla owners

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Kaj-Michael Lang
  • Tested version:
  • Licence: GPL 2.0 (Open Source)
  • + Supports album artist images from NokiaMixRadio selected channels
  • + Settings for stream audio quality and enabling artist images
  • + Daily program: All channels listed by time in one sheet
  • + Change the channel directly from the app cover
  • - Supports only pre-listed Finnish YLE channels. No possibility to add new channels

6. SomaFM - Underground internet radio from San Francisco (

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Damien Tardy-Panis
  • Tested version: 1.1.0
  • Licence: GPL 2.0 (Open Source)
  • + Select either the Channel image or Artist and song to be shown in the cover
  • + List of channels (+20) by popularity or by genre
  • + Select stream quality and format (AAC is currently not supported)
  • + Bookmark single songs and search them from Google
  • + Favorite channels
  • + Left-handed setting
  • + Sleep timer
  • - Three (!) pulley menus (one up, two down) and three application screens. Not too intuitive
  • - Only one cover action
  • - No possibility to add new channels (However, there are plenty pre-listed)

Local music - apps for playing audio saved into the phone

7. Media - NOTE: App is in Beta stage, developed by Jolla Oy

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Jolla Oy
  • Tested version:
  • Licence: Copyrighted (Closed Source)
  • + Supports playlists and play queue
  • + Browse by artist or album, search by artist
  • + "Install plug-ins from store to add other media sources (NOT FUNCTIONAL YET)
  • + Artist and song name in the cover
  • + Change next song directly from the cover
  • - Limited supported formats (e.g. .wma not supported)
  • - Browses only one Linux folder "Music" in the phone. Can't scan for music in other locations
  • - No settings, no pulley menus, no app screens. Too simple to be called "Media"
  • - Cover isn't scaled right - Artist/Song with longer name is cutted
  • - No possibility to add any media sources because of missing plug-ins
  • - Slow development, too long time in beta stage

8. QuasarMX - NOTE: Free app includes locked features (unlocked with a paid license)

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Andre Beckedorf
  • Tested version: 1.8 (free)
  • Licence: Variable (mostly Closed Source)
  • + Even too much settings and options to be listed here. Very comprehensive.
  • + Add local files/folders manually from both Sailfish OS and Android file system
  • + Connect to your account
  • + Wide options for searching
  • + Very good audio file details
  • + In-app Bluetooth pairing and Car mode
  • - Android like buttons instead of Sailfish OS pulley menus. However, quite intuitive UI
  • - Artist/song name in very small font in the cover. Not usable with more than 4 covers in use
  • - Playlist and Sleep timer are locked features. (IMO all other paid extras are understandable, but these two might as well be free.)
Nice video from my great frind Sepher Noori, the author of Jolla Users

External music - Apps for streaming music from an internet source

9. YTPlayer - Simple YouTube client

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: "tworaz"
  • Tested version: 0.2.4
  • Licence: GPL 2.0 (Open Source)
  • Note: This app uses both official YouTube API and unofficial, undocumented ways to perform well
  • + Browse by categories or search by artist/name
  • + Connect to your personal YouTube channel 
  • + Setting for the amount of search results. Useful with a slow internet connection
  • + Landscape/full screen support for video playback
  • + Stylish app cover
  • - Doesn't playback all the content in YouTube. However, this is a licensing issue
  • - No support for playlists - However, there are plenty of playlists in YouTube to select from
  • - Cache size can't be selected, meaning that a fast internet connection is needed
  • - Only one cover action at a time (either play/pause or search)

10. Spotify - Android app. Free app includes ads and has limited features

  • Android app
  • Developer: Spotify
  • Tested version: (latest:
  • Licence: Variable (Both Open and Closed Source. See
  • Note: Available at external Market Places, for example at Aptoide App Store
  • + Supports playing your own playlists (free version: Only shuffled)
  • + Browse by playlist/song/album/artist/"radio" or discover via search / recommended to you
  • + Connect to Facebook or
  • + Setting for private session
  • + Easy sharing and adding songs to your playlists (hold gesture on the song cover)
  • - Music only - no video playback
  • - Shuffled play only in the free version
  • - Cache size can't be selected, reasonable internet connection is needed
  • - No cover actions, cover image is not automatically updated (this is an Android app)

Extras - Some additional cream and stream for our readers

11. Simple MP3 Downloader*

I'm adding this nice Android app to the list as it's about the easiest way to copy music from the internet to local mp3 files in your phone. This is quite simple with this app so instead of a review I'll advice you how to get this downloaded music available to all the Sailfish OS apps which are used for playing local music (Media, QuasarMX).

You could do this with enabling the developer mode and creating a file/folder linking with a simple command in Jolla terminal, but the developer mode is not needed with these steps:
  1. Install "Cargo Dock" from Jolla Store.
     - This is a two-pane file manager app similar to FileBrowser, just more simple
  2. Start the app. On the left (default) pane, simply tap on "Music" to open the folder
  3. Change to the right pane (make a flick gesture from right to left)
  4. Open (tap) the "Android Storage" and long hold on the folder named "Music"
  5. Use the pulley menu in the bottom and select "Link to Other Side"
  6. Move back to the left pane:

    You should now see a new folder "Music (data/sdcard/music)" inside the folder "Music", meaning that the Android music folder is linked into the Sailfish OS Music folder. Now each of your Sailfish OS apps using this Music folder will be able to scan music from the both file systems (Sailfish OS and Android side). Close "Cargo Dock"
After downloading any music with Simple mp3 Downloader, you can test this for example with "Media"

12. Spotify for Sailfish OS**

This is currently an ongoing project in which the official Spotify app is getting ported to Sailfish OS.  The future, which is yet unsure, might bring this app to the Jolla Store - either as (more likely) a free or a paid app.

Developer Bob Jelica, employee at Spotify and an active contributor to the Mer Open Source projects has paired with Pär Bohrarper in this currently internal (Spotify) project. I've contacted Bob and hope to be able to give my readers a short interview soon, but at this point you can find the reason for my excitement by watching this great video where Bob introduces you Spotify on Sailfish OS:

13. CuteSpotify - already available unofficial Spotify Client for Sailfish OS

  • Native Sailfish OS app
  • Developer: Mike Sheldon (until Sailfish OS 1.0.7), continued by Lukas (Sailfish OS 1.0.8). Crediting Meego app MeeSpot by Yoann Lopes
  • Tested version: 1.4.0-2
  • Licence: GPL 2.0 (Open Source)
  • Available at:
  • + / - : Better to see yourself :) Note: The video shows version 1.3.1

Published: July 17, 2014 19:27 UTC
Updated: July 17, 2014 22:58 UTC

Disclaimer: 11* Simple mp3 Downloader is for downloading audio content on which you have rights to make a local copy. Please refer to your local rules for copyrighted audio content.

Disclaimer: 12** Official Spotify app is not announced to be available for Sailfish OS at any point - it's currently an internal app in its early development and it's not available for public. While we don't know if it ever will be published for Sailfish OS, let's just keep our thumbs up and leave the developers free with their work, and let's support the great development process of CuteSpotify at the same time! Hopefully, but not necessarily, both apps might show up in the Jolla Store in the future.


Sailfish OS with its Home Screen app covers makes Jolla an exceptional JukeBox: You can have 9 different apps running and you can use simple cover actions to move from one song to another. Additionally, the audio switching between Sailfish OS apps and Android Apps seems to work fluently. Few times I've experienced having two audio apps playing at the same time on top of each other, and once I've experienced an Android app loosing it's audio totally. Restarting the phone fixed this.

Surprise your friends with this amazing feature, but please get decent earphones or connect your Jolla to your home speakers for full satisfaction! 

1 comment:

  1. Sad is: integrated FM HW have not antenne connected.. #FAIL