Sorting through apps can be one of the most tedious tasks out there. We all know there are great apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch, people tell us as much, but how do you discover them with the number available constantly growing? Well, we’re here to help you with that by breaking it down to a handful of essential apps in a number of different categories. Sure apps vary by taste, but these are some of the ones we feel will appeal to a wide audience.

And, oh yeah, we’re only doing free ones, so put your wallets away.

All links will take you to the iTunes page for more information and a link to download the app.

Top 5 Free iPhone/iPod Touch Music Apps

Pandora iPhone App gives you access to your account, tagging songs and exploring what your friends have been sharing.

NPR Music: National Public Radio (NPR) is mostly known for news shows, performances and weekly shows such as Car Talk, but it is is also a great source for off the beaten track music.  This app will give you access to music such as Pop/Rock/Folk, Jazz & Blues, World, Classical and Hip Hop/R&B.

Pandora: It’s Pandora … do you really need to say any more?  If there is only one music app you download for your iPhone or iPod Touch, this is the one for you.  Features everything you love about the Web version such as creating new stations based on a song or musical group, vote on songs and more.

Slacker Radio: The popular streaming music service made up of user created channels of over 100 preset selections allows you to explore a wide selection of musical styles.

Stitcher Radio: Stitcher Radio allows you to stream music stations from around the United Sates as well as numerous podcasts without having to download them.  Great app for those that don’t sync their iOS devices all that often with iTunes.

Top 5 Free iPhone/iPod Touch Shopping Apps

Shop Savvy

CNET Reviews: Look up CNET reviews of gadgets and appliances while you’re out shopping so you can learn if that “bargain” you’ve stumbled into is really even worth the discounted price you’re about to pay.

eBay Mobile: Find items to bid on or buy, keep track of your auctions, access your saved searches & messages and more.

Groupon: Access your Groupon account to pull up all of your purchased deals and even explore new offers while on the go in case you run into a business you think may have a deal you want.

Price Check by Amazon: Another price checker application, but this one only works with Amazon, but considering how they carry just about every imaginable item, it might as well be the one you use.  You can scan, speak or type the item, and if you find it cheaper in the app, you can order fdirectly from there.

Shop Savvy Barcode Scanner: Using the iPhone or iPod ouches camera you can scan the barcode of an item and find information about it on the Web such as prices and reviews, as well as learn what stores around you locally carry the item and at what prices.

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