Last fall i switched from iPhone to Android and for the most part am happy I did. Apple has great design, but you can only do things the apple way and i wanted more options. One of the things I wanted was more audio playing/managing options. I don’t just want any player, I am picky – I’ve listed my requirements below.
Sync audio (music and talk/news radio) with Android. Specifically:
- Make it easy to create/edit playlist on mac, and sync it with bionic, the way iTunes and iPhone work. Includes adding and removing songs from a existing playlist, and those songs get sync’d .. easily.
- Make it easy to do daily syncs of podcasts from iTunes (or skip itunes and sync android with internets)
- Make it easy to delete songs/playlists from android.
- Do it all for Free.
- Mac with 5,000+ songs and podcasts in iTunes.
- 400GB of mp3s on backup drive.
- Fast wifi at home, but dsl (slow) between home and internet.
- Android bionic phone, limited storage (8GB, can only sync a few playlists of songs from my collection).
Winamp is similar to the classic program from the 90’s. For android, its a complete and quality program, few bugs. Similar to Doubletwist.
- UI is functionally complete and then some.
- Bottom always has a drawer that you can drag up to get info on what is currently playing.
- Clicking on winamp lightening bolt logo in bottom right goes to main menu
- Has a progress bar showing elapsed and total time of current track, and you can drag current position marker to move to end or beginning of track.
- Pressing and holding next/prev arrow buttons goes fwd/back a few seconds in track. Great for fine-positioning tracks over an hour (too hard to do with position marker on progress bar).
- You can’t sort songs, but there are 3 useful built-in playlists: Recently Added, Recently Played ,Top Played
- Pauses when headphones are pulled out
- nice if you’re out and about listening on your headphones and someone asks you a question, you can immediately pull out cord, talk, and then spend time with android to start playing where you left off.
- Updating playlists duplicates them, should replace. You can manually delete older ones by tap and hold, but if you want to auto-sync 5 playlists, you will have to manually delete 5 every time you sync. Gets old real quick.
Doubletwist is complete music app, appealing to those who like iTunes
- UI is functionally complete and then some.
- Very easy to manage through iTunes, then ready to sync, launch doubeltwist, connect phone via usb, and done
- Adding new songs to existing playlist in iTunes does not update playlist in Doubletwist on phone. However, there is a fix – open Winamp and delete all but most recent version of a playlist, then come back to doubletwist to see most updated version of playlist (see Winamp Cons)
Google Music Beta, now Play Music, is Google’s version of iCloud. You sync your music from your computer to the cloud, then either download to android or stream real-time.
- Sync without wires, over the cloud
- Stream is useful if you have fast connection and not enough space on device
- Cloud syncing is WAY too slow. Syncing one or two songs is fine, but to sync GB from mac to internet and back to android takes forever.
- UI for app is pretty basic
- Has bugs .. like syncing unknown albums
DoggCatcher (DC) Podcast App, is for the android only, does not run on a computer (a mac). You setup your podcast feeds directly on your phone.
- Best way to manage podcasts – on phone directly
- Intuitive interface
- Feeds – lists all your podcast feeds, add by category or suggestions or search. Perfect.
- Playing – summary and complete description about podcast (other players cut this info off)
- Audio – lists all downloaded podcasts, tap and hold to reveal many options
- player at bottom – always there, pause easily.
- Free for trial period
- Content is very limited compared to what is possible with iTunes
- When the headphones pull out, it plays off speaker (winamp pauses automatically)
I want to use these a bit more before I review them
- Voodoo Sound App – improves sound quality
- MIUI Music App – another manager
- Streaming: Last.fm App
- Streaming: Pandora App
- Streaming: 8tracks App – “social, curated alternative to Pandora”
- PowerAmp App – similar to winamp
- n7player App – free trial, cool visual UI.
- MixZing App – advanced player
- Cubed App – replace the stock player
- iSyncr – similar to doubletwist but better according to some. $3
I have been using a combination of the above for months now. I love winamp the most for playing audio for all reasons listed above. I use Dogcatcher to automatically get the latest news and talk radio podcasts, like NPR’s This American Life, AC360 from CNN, the Nerdist, and Comedy Bang-bang. And I like doubletwist to easily keep iTunes playlists on my mac in sync with my android.
Note: I will update these as i try new music apps.