Best Free Music Player and Organizer for Android

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Introduction

Android. The Operating System that is flexible, can do everything, can do social networking, can do media, music... wait a minute. That "music" app on my desktop is supposed to be my music player, and organizer? What kind of junk is this? On my high-end Android?

Let's face it: the stock Android music player, if you're not on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, can, well, play music. That's about where it ends. It does the typical stuff, sort by artist, song name, create playlists, whatever. The stock music player on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is Google Play Music, and it's better than the previous stock player - and you can download it on Android 2.2 FroYo or later (see the Google Play Music review). It still has its limits, though. While some companies have added a skin to Android's music player on their device, it usually doesn't add all too much. Hey, I'm on a Samsung Galaxy Player, which is basically an Android mp3 player. And I've got basically that stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread music player, just with the Samsung skin. Fine for basic playback, but what do you do if you want something more than "shuffle"?

That's where Android's magic shines - you can use whatever app you want to play music, and, if the developer did it correctly, you won't even notice that you're not using the default app. Here are the best music players and organizers for Android.

 
Discussion

MixZingMy first choice, at the moment, is MixZing. It has a good amount of features, but is still easy to use. Recently, it's gotten a huge update, and is almost the ideal music player - and will be, once the advertising problem has been sorted out.

The app's design was always fairly simple - and now, it's gotten a visual makeover. The help is gone, which is a disappointment, but it shouldn't be a problem for most people. The songs, artists, albums and genres sections are as expected. Also, when you choose an artist or a genre, you can choose what to see - albums, songs, or artists. Playlist management is decent, and there's an auto-playlist: recently added. There is also a file browser built in to find your media. Search functionality has been added. There are a couple of bugs in the now playing interface - mainly when you try to skip to a certain part of a song - but I expect that to be resolved soon.

You can also do quite a few things with your songs. You can set a song as your phone's ringtone, but most importantly, you can manage your library from this app - you can edit a song's tags and delete songs. You can also get all sorts of information - a biography or the artist and song lyrics, as well as wikipedia, youtube, and google results.

The equalizer in this app is one of the best I've seen - you can set how smooth it should be, and also apply the equalizer settings to certain songs and certain albums.

Recommendations are something that only this app has. When you listen to a song, it finds songs from your library that you might also like together with that song. If you have it configured properly, it will even pay attention to if you skip to the next track or listen to the whole song, and customize your recommendations based on that. In my experience, this works best for pop music, but MixZing says it is continually updating their library. Anyone coming from iOS and who liked the Genius playlists should check this out.

It now also has the Shoutcast online radio service, and you can get personalized station recommendations. A search function is missing, though.

As with most music players on Android, it replaces you lock screen while music is playing. It has gesture controls and turns on when the music changes. If you're on Android Jelly Bean, you also get music controls in your notifications.

There are also many settings, from customizing the app, to recommendations and music controls.

The app doesn't run in the background when it's not needed, but when music is playing, it takes up about 20MB RAM, which is OK.

Advertising is a big problem in this app - way too often, a video will play before you get to do something, with no way to get past it. Even though this is freeware, it's a big problem, and I can't recommend an app too easily that has advertising this intrusive.

Overall, it's a very good app that has a good set of features, and that is easy to use.

 

Winamp is the next program. This app doesn't offer as much as MixZing, but it still has a good amount of functionality, and is also very easy to use.

The artists, songs, albums, and genres sections work as expected. Scrolling gets a little laggy on older devices in the albums section where there's a lot of album art. Playlist management isn't the best, it's easier to add songs to the "queue", basically the now playing list, and save that as a playlist. There are also a couple of auto-playlists: recently added, recently played, and top played.

You can also sync Winamp on Android with the desktop version of WinAmp.

SHOUTcast is a feature unique to WinAmp - it's an online radio, with over 47 000 stations available (a believeable number if you check it out. You also have access to Spinner mp3 downloads and the "Full CD Listening Party" music streaming service.

The equalizer and lyrics are not available in the free version. There's artist and album information, but it isn't well done - MixZing does a way better job.

The lock screen player's design is better than MixZing's, but it only sits on top of your phone's lock screen. In other words, you have to go through two lock screens, even if you don't have a passcode set.

One big features is that this works with Android voice commands - for example, in voice commands, you can say "Listen to 'Have a nice day'", and if you have everything configured properly, it will go into WinAmp and play it.

When you play music in the background, it needs 30MB of RAM, but it doesn't run in the background when it's not needed. Just make sure you use the "exit" option in the menu when you don't want it running in the background anymore.

This app also doesn't use any advertising, so for those of you with small screens, WinAmp is ideal.

Overall, WinAmp also has a good set of features. Even if you have another music player you still prefer, it's still worth downloading WinAmp for the voice commands feature.

 

After that we have Cloudskipper. It also has a good set of features, and has a beautifully designed interface. The developer has said that it's been left behind and deteriorating, but it's still pretty good.

The artists, albums, songs and genres sections work as expected. The main exception is that when you choose a genre, you get a list of songs, instead of a choice between songs, albums or artists. However, everything is designed very nicely and elegantly. There is also a podcast player, but not a downloader.

There is an equalizer, which does seem to be having a couple of problems. But, when it's working, it sounds amazing. There's also a reverb effect, a virtualizer, and a bass booster. The only problem is that it makes the music lag on older devices - making it useless on those devices.

The lock screen player, as you could expect from this app, is very nicely designed, and can even be set as your permanent lock screen, although there are a couple of problems with that.

The app doesn't run in the background when it's not needed, and takes up a decent 12MB RAM when playing music in the background.

The app doesn't use any adds either - ideal for people with small screens.

Overal, this app doesn't have any features that make it stand out. However, if you don't need advanced functionality, but like something that is very pleasing to the eye, this is for you. The equalizer is also very good, as long as your device can support it without lagging.

 

Next up: Meridian Player Transcend. This app plays music and videos. In this review, I will be covering the music section. It has a suprising amount of funcionality for an app of this type, and enough to make it a decent music player. Oh, and it has ratings. More on that later.
The interface is a little confusing at first, but you get used to it. It also isn't the most elegant interface, either, but it's not ugly, either. The artists, songs, albums, and genres sections work as expected - and it also has a "writers" section, probably better known as "composers" on many desktop programs. Scrolling is smooth with a small amount of lag when there's a lot of album art, and extremely smooth when there's none. Playlist management is decent, if somewhat odd. It also lacks a now playing list, but otherwise it's fine. The now playing screen works as expected.
It also has quite a few interesting features. It has tag editing, along with something I haven't seen up until now - album art editing. To add or replace album art, all you need is the apropriate image file on your device to replace it, and you're ready to go. Another interesting feature which is suprisingly rare on Android media players is ratings. That's right, Meridian has the standard five-star rating system that is well known to anyone who has organized their music on a PC, and not only that, you can actually filter your music according to it - for instance, you can only show song that have a 4 star rating or higher. This shouldn't be such a big deal, but this kind of functionality is surprisingly rare in the mobile world. It also has a decent equalizer, except the on/off switch is not very easy to access, and doesn't work well.
This app seems to take a huge 60MB (!) memory whe it's running in the background. It also seems to have problems running in the background when it's no needed, but I haven't had any problems with that lately. I also noticed a surprising amount of bugs - from the tag editing not working until I do a full restart of the app (with a force close) to some songs refusing to be played. This could just be my luck, though.
Overall, this app has quite some potential, but needs some work. Still, for those of you looking for a music player (I've heard a lot of you) that supports star ratings, this is it.

 

Next up is Songbird. This is an app that is very integrated into social media - and that's its main strength.

It has several functions in relation to an artist's feed - you can see news from the artists in your library, and post concert pictures and fan art to an artist's feed. There's also a "trending artists" section and "recommended artists" sections. The only problem is that too many of these features don't work at all, and there are some features that just really make you scratch your head. For example, you can see an artist's "top fans". Please don't ask me what that is.

The artists, songs, albums, and genres sections work as expected. One handy feature is the play button on every item, which will play it, but leave you where you are. Probably the biggest disadvantage in these sections is that when you play something, it will always return to playing it with shuffle off, even if you had shuffle on before. On older devices scrolling can get a little laggy when there's a lot of album art. There's also a podcast player (but no downloader), and a video player. The video player doesn't have any extra codecs, though.

There is no equalizer in the free version... and they're extremely keen on selling that. There's an easier option than giving in to that, though - MixZing and Cloudskipper both have really good equalizers.

There's also lockscreen player, but there's nothing revolutionary here.

There aren't many settings either, except that they try to sell you the equalizer again.

For those of you on tablets, this app has a couple of nice optimizations for tablets. It's not a complete tablet design, but it's a lot better than what many other apps offer on tablets.

Songbird only takes up 6-7MB of memory when playing music in the background, except it runs its media playback service every time the device boots, running when it's not needed. and it doesn't seem to have any problems with running in the background when it's not needed anymore.

Overall, it's a decent media player. The music browsing is done very well, on the other hand, its main strength, artist information and the other stuff, doesn't work well and has enough problems.

 

Google Play MusicAfter that, we have Google Play Music. This is actually a service for buying music, and is part of Google's Play system. This app is basically meant to tie in with the Google Play Music service, and it doubles as a music player. Starting with Android 4.1, it's bundled with Android. It also has a good tablet interface - so if you have an android tablet, you can give it a try there.

Google has given it a visual makeover recently, giving it a Google Now look. Sadly, a lot of the (really amazing) eye candy has been removed.

The albums, artists, songs, and genres sections work as expected. The playlist functionality doesn't have anything new, either, with a "last added" playlist, and the "thumbs up" playlist.

You can "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" a song. Thumbs up adds it to the "thumbs up" playlist, and I'm not sure what "thumbs down" does, other than play the next track.

Probably the only unique feature in Google Play music is the "Listen Now" feature. Here, it collects music it thinks you might want to hear, and, if you're in a supported country, you can also see your recommended radio stations. While it does put together a decent collection of stuff that would be interesting to listen to when you just need to kill some time, it only seems to list albums and radio stations, and there's no option to just play all songs.

The app only takes up a pretty good 8MB RAM when playing music in the background, but with this update it is always running in the background, even when you don't need it. For a while, it even sucked the battery life out of my device even when it wasn't being used, but an update has fixed that.

Another big disappointment: No settings. That's right, you can't change any settings in this app.

Coming from Google, I was expecting more, but aside from that, it's a decent app.

 

TTPod Music PlayerTTPod Music Player is next. Probably the first thing you'll notice about this app is its non-native look. And the fact that it uses Japanese. Or Chinese. But more on that later.

This app is skinnable, so you can download different skins to give the app just the look you like. Some of them are very well designed, but there are already a couple of small language problems here.

TTPod has a well-documented language problem. There's either Japanese or Chinese all over the app. Recommendations and some other online things are all in Japanese, and are useless if you don't speak it.

The albums, artists, songs and genres sections work mostly as expected. There is no album art anywhere - and the scrolling is odd - sometimes laggy, sometimes smooth. Playlists are displayed as sections here. Multi-select is available for adding songs to a playlist. There's also a recently added playlist, and a "My favourites" playlist.

You can set a song as a ringtone, or as a notification tone - something unique to TTPod. You can also add a song to the My favourites playlist. You can also edit tags and delete songs.

The app always gets the album art from the internet, which is often incorrect, even if have your own album art. There are also synchronized lyrics, but they are always the explicit version of the lyrics.

The equalizer is very good, with 10 bands, with reverb, bass boost, virtualizer and channel balance. The lock screen player depends on your theme, but a lot of them are beautifully designed.

There aren't that many settings (there used to be many more). The shake feature is probably the biggest thing here - shake to go to the next track.

The memory footprint is between 14 and 17MB, which is decent. There aren't any problems with it running in the background when it's not needed. On the other hand, there is way too much lag within the app, especially on the music controls. Recently, it has started adding a whole bunch of shortcuts on my desktop, and giving me random japanese notifications. It's a shame that the developers are doing this.

Overall, TTPod has so much potential... I just wish it didn't have all the language and lagging problems, and that it didn't do so many things that apps are not supposed to do...

 

musiXmatchNext up is musiXmatch. This app's main feature is the lyrics.

The albums, tracks, and artists sections work mostly as expected - the genres section is missing here. You also can't play all of an artist's songs by choosing that artist. The interface is slightly confusing at first, but it's not too hard to get used to. Playlists are straightforward, but there are no auto-playlists.

The now playing screen is also slightly confusing, but again, you can get used to it quickly. The lyrics are displayed here. Nothing is saved on your device, though - if you want to see lyrics, you have to be online. The lyrics aren't synchronized, which will bother some, but I prefer it is like this. Lyrics are pretty accurate. You can also find more information here - like the artist's discography and other songs from that artist - let's just say there's loads of information here.

There's also MusicID, which listen to a song and identify it.

The settings are decent. One feature you can find here is that it can notify you if you're playing music in another app and it finds the lyrics. Note that this means a service is constantly running in the background.

Even if you have that setting turned off, it still sometimes runs in the background when it's not supposed to. When playing music in the background, it uses an acceptable 20MB RAM.

If you like finding lyrics, this app is ideal - and is worth a download, even if you want to use another music player instead. The artist information is also interesting. On the other hand, the other functionality is missing a bit.

 

RealPlayer has been a well-known, if not controversial media player on desktops. Now, it has been developed for Android.

The songs, artists, and albums sections work as expected, except for the lag, and the lack of the genres section. Playlist management isn't the best, either. It does have a 1-5 star rating system, except that you can't do much with that rating.

The now playing screen isn't that different, other than that it looks like the iOS now playing screen, but doesn't work the same way. If you're from iOS, this might confuse you at first. There is a lock screen player, but you can't turn it off, if you don't like it.

All in all, Realplayer has too many problems, and doesn't make up in terms of functionality, either.

 

MyMusicOn is an old app - it used to be a lyrics program, but there was a legal issue, and so now, there are no lyrics in this app. In terms of music playing, it doesn't do much - it's basically just a list of songs.

 

Astro Player Free is just a trial of the full app - after the trial period expires, you can't use it any more.

 

 

 

More apps to be reviewed:

  • Cubed
  • TuneWiki
  • VLC
  • DeaDBeeF
  • Fusion
  • DoubleTwist
 
 
 
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

MixZing
4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple but feature-rich interface; Find information about playing songs; Recommendations - play a song and it recommends other songs from your library to complement it which learns what you like to listen to when; tag editor; excellent equalizer; very customizeable
No eye candy when it comes to the interface; recommendations don't work well with certain kinds of music; huge ~40MB footprint while running in the background; advertising too intrusive
http://www.mixzing.com/
3.7.2
3.6MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 1.5 or above
Cloudskipper Music Player
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Elegant, fun to use interface, which doesn't stray too far from the native look; Fairly good EQ; great lockscreen widget; not too big memory footprint (12MB)
Can't change how far the recently added list goes; odd issue with the EQ (EQ still mostly seems to be working), plus EQ will make music lag on older devices
http://cloud.tv/
1.9.3
3.6MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.1 (Eclair) or above

The developers have mentioned that this app is deteriorating, however it still works fairly well as a music player.

WinAmp
3.5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Simple, clean interface; "queue" feature (like Windows Media Player Now Playing list); sync WinAmp on Android with WinAmp on dekstop; SHOUTcast (internet radio) feature; intuitive now playing interface; good headset controls; lockscreen player
Difficulties adding songs to playlists; Can't add multiple songs to a Playlist at once; large 30MB memory footprint while playing music in the background
http://www.winamp.com/
1.2.12
4.7MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.1 (Eclair) or above
Songbird
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Songbird.me - pulls together news about artists in your library; Great albums, songs, artists and genres list functionality; good lockscreen player that disables your normal lockscreen if it doesn't have a passcode; light memory footprint while running
Songbird.me only lists information from more famous artists; news from friends' artists doesn't work; podcasts are advertised but don't work; app occasionally runs in the background when not needed
http://getsongbird.com/
2.2.1
2.2MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.1 (Eclair) or above
Meridian Player Transcend
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
"Writers" section (aka composers); tag and album art editing; support for 5-star rating system with filtering options; equalizer
slightly confusing interface; no easy way to turn off equalizer; takes a huge amount of memory while running in the background; a little buggy
http://www.sais.tw/
Varies with device
Varies with device
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Varies with device
Google Play Music
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
"Listen now" list; good now playing screen; small memory footprint
no settings or options available; need to download from somewhere other than Google Play if you're in an unsupported country; some features missing; runs in the background when not needed
4.3.606.400990
4.8MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.2 (FroYo) or above
TTPod Music Player
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Skinnable Interface; A lot of options in the "Now Playing" screen; Edit song information; Synchronized lyrics; 10 band Equalizer; Shake feature
Language problem (certain text displays in Japanese/Chinese); Synchronized lyrics are not always properly synchronized, especially with remixes; Album art is always taken from the internet, even when album art is available on the device; Album art is often wrong
http://www.ttpod.com/
3.5.0522
4.0MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.0 and up

NOTE TO PARENTS: This program is rated "Everyone" in Google Play, but in my experience, the "Everyone" rating is not justified. The problem is when the program finds lyrics, it finds the lyrics of the unclean version of the song. Lyrics may include: swearing, violent language, sexual content, and more.

musiXmatch
3
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Lyrics are very accurate and are available for a lot of songs (musiXmatch claims 6 million lyrics in 20 languages); mostly simple interface; you can add songs to playlists from anywhere; lots of information available (if you have a data connection) about artist, albums, etc.
Arrow buttons on tracks, albums and artists are confusing; not too many features when compared to other media players
http://musixmatch.com/
3.0.11
7.1MB
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.1 (Eclair) or above

App's main use is for finding lyrics (not playing music), and it will work well with other media players as well

 
Editor

This software category is maintained by volunteer editor trainman261. Registered members can contact the editor with any comments or questions they might have by clicking here.

 
Tags

best free music player, top free music player, Android, smart phones, mobile device, music organizer

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Comments

by blewenstein on 11. April 2014 - 20:46  (115631)

Both WinAmp and Songbird appear to have been pulled from Google Play.

by trainman261 on 15. April 2014 - 16:44  (115717)

That's odd, I have the same thing going on here. I'll have to look into it.

by conroypi on 13. March 2014 - 22:38  (114997)

Hi Trainman 261. I am hoping you can help me with this. I am looking for an app that I can put on my Samsung Galaxy SIII and my Daughter's Samsung Galaxy SIV. I have mp3 files of audio books on my computer that I want to put on our phones. These mp3 files were made from audo CD's that I purchased, as they are unfortunately not available on Audible.com. Any help in picking an app (and possibly an explanation of how to get the files from my computer to our phones) would be greatly appreciated. I do not need anything fancy. Just the ability to read the files in order, pause, rewind, etc. I would also need to be able to have folders so that I can make sure the files are in order (they are currently sorted by cd number).

Thank you for your help. It is greatly appreciated ; )

by trainman261 on 18. March 2014 - 19:29  (115115)

Hi, and sorry for the delay. From the way I understood it, you plan on having your music files organized into folders, and you want to be able to play all music files in a folder in the proper order. I'm also going to assume you're using Windows. You'll just have to make sure you call the music files something like "01 intro", "02 second track", etc., so that the music player knows what order to play them in - if you're using Windows Media Player, you can have that done automatically in most cases. On your phones, transferring music is very simple - just plug your phone into the computer with the USB cable, and your phone should ask you to connect "USB Mass Storage", together with a picture of an android with one of its arms turned into a USB plug. If that doesn't come up, disconnect your phone, go into settings (on your phone), and into "Storage". Press your phone's menu button, and the choose "USB computer connection" (it could be slightly different - it just has to be something along those lines). You should have a window pop up which says "Connect as..." - and make sure "Mass Storage" or "USB mass storage" or something like that is checked (MTP or PTP should not be checked). Then reconnect your phone, and then the "USB Mass Storage" with the Android picture will come up. Click "USB Mass Storage", and then after a bit of time (not more than a minute), it will pop up on your computer just like a memory stick. After that, you can just copy over the files the way you would onto a memory stick (don't forget to safely remove the phone the way you would with a memory stick). As to the app itself, Mixzing has a folder browser. Another app I've heard of from other editors here is Folder Music Player ( https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nullapp.music.mp3 ). You can give that one a try if you want, as well - although I haven't tried it myself yet. If you're just looking to play the music by album, you can use pretty much any music player on the list, whereas Winamp is one of the simpler music players.
Let me know if you run into any issues.

by Evropi on 4. March 2014 - 23:59  (114798)

Three points:

- First, EQ Player (not "EQ Music Player", just "EQ Player" in the Play Store) is a fantastic app that deserves reviewing.
- Second, TTPod is developed by a Korean, not a Japanese firm.
- Third, you mention at the end that you need to take a look at VLC. Not only is it a beta at the moment, but it is also important to note that VLC is a media player, not music player or music organiser. It should not be reviewed as it would give it an unnecessarily bad image in an article in which it does not fit.

by trainman261 on 9. March 2014 - 20:29  (114915)

Thanks for your feedback.
To your first point: I'll check it out, it looks interesting, especially looking at its tablet interface (and seriously, there are way too few apps apps with decent tablet interfaces...)
Second: Exactly what country the firm comes from is less relevant - which is why I said I didn't know exactly what language it was. The problem remains, which is that it doesn't work well in English.
Third: I was sort of figuring that VLC was more of a media player - and if it isn't a music player in that sense, I won't post the review here, but maybe in the Best Free Media Player article ( http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/best-free-mobile-media-player.htm ).

by texastechy on 10. September 2013 - 21:54  (110649)

I realize it's hard to review all the music apps out there so I second the recommendation for RocketPlayer. tried about a dozen others and this one worked best for me. biggest problem in most music players is the user interface and the limitations inerrant on a cell phone. that is why i like Rocket. keep up the good work, and love the ratings and pros/cons sections for each product.

by appyface on 9. September 2013 - 17:14  (110626)

I use MoboPlayer, MX Player, and [edited] and have been happy with all three.

[Moderator's note: Mention of commercial app edited out. Please post about free apps only.]

by trainman261 on 9. September 2013 - 18:02  (110627)

Moboplayer and MX Player are more like media players - they can play music files, but they can't really be used to organize anything. I've reviewed them here: http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/best-free-mobile-media-player.htm As to the other app you mentioned, that's a paid app (the trial version is for 15 days only), and I'm only covering free apps.

by dk.gs on 18. June 2013 - 17:00  (108581)

This is a great review - thanks very much for spending your time doing this.

I looked at the top picks and none of them support a feature that is very important to some - and this is a feature that the stock Android myMusic player for ICS *does* support - pretty well.

The feature is the Bluetooth AVRCP profile (version 1.3). This BT profile allows remote control of the music player including sending the track information so it can be displayed on a remote display. This is used most often in newer cars audio systems that have a display, and it's a very neat feature.

Anyone know of a music player other than the stock player that supports this?

by trainman261 on 20. June 2013 - 13:57  (108618)

That's something interesting you bring up - I've done some research, and figured out that the AVRCP 1.3 profile is not yet supported natively on android. What device do you have? Some device makers have added support, so your device probably has added support. To put it simply, not all devices with the latest version of android support that, which makes it hard for app developers to use that feature. Google has planned to add AVRCP 1.3 support in API level 18 (the next major version of android), which should be out within the next month or so. Then, depending on your device, it will probably take a while until you get that update.
Long story short, if you wait until your device gets updated to Android 4.3 or 5.0 (at the moment no one is sure what will come out next), there will be more more apps supporting it - and they'll probably support it better.

by dk.gs on 20. June 2013 - 14:32  (108621)

Aha - I was not aware of that - thanks.
My device is a Motorola Droid Razr, I guess Motorola must have their own BT stack on their phones, and modified music player app.
So I guess I will have to wait a while for this feature on other players!

by trainman261 on 13. November 2013 - 23:46  (112207)

In case you still are subscribed to replies to your comment, Android 4.3 has support for AVRCP 1.3, and I am 95% sure that MixZing supports it. As I don't have access to a car with AVRCP 1.3 Bluetooth support, I can't test it like that, but when I connect my device to my computer (windows) via bluetooth to play music through it, music information pops up, and I am 95% sure that this is going through the AVRCP 1.3 protocol.

by Henry The Mole on 22. May 2013 - 9:30  (107950)
by tuananh1988 on 12. March 2013 - 13:53  (106171)

The best music app for android here:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=vnapps.vmusic

The easiest way to access the largest music and video library from anywhere. Rather than selling you MP3s and music vidoes, vMusic lets you stream unlimited songs from a huge library with more than 15 Milion Songs and Videos.
Features:
- Search and play songs and videos
- Bookmark your farovite music videos
- Billboard music charts
- Save music to SD Card
- Song quality: 128 kbps and 320 kbps
- Share your favorite songs on Facebook and Twitter.
- Lyrics and Artist info

by Anupam on 26. December 2012 - 10:03  (103994)

Advanced Music Player : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nullapp.music.amp&hl=en

Quite simple, and good player. Has an attractive interface, the front featuring like Windows tiles. Has an equalizer, but no other extras like artwork, lyrics, tags, etc... but as a basic, simple player to play good music, it's great.

Also, via its button Shutdown, it exits completely, and does not hang around in background. Liked that feature.

Rocket Music Player : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jrtstudio.AnotherMusic...

Seems to be good too. Has very good interface with good themes. Has advanced features too, like equalizer, tagging, etc.
Might have the problem though of being in background.

XPlay seemed nice, but it just won't exit from memory, once you started it. Force killing did nothing to it. Uninstalled.

by trainman261 on 31. December 2012 - 12:30  (104123)

Good to know. The thing with this category is that there are so many different apps that are decently good... I intend to try every single one eventually, although that might be little ambitious. Another note: just because it has a shut down button doesn't mean it will quit it completely... one can only hope, and check to make sure it works. Some developers make their apps really persistent that way.

by Anupam on 1. January 2013 - 20:26  (104154)

True.. there are just so many apps out there, it's just crazy. And that's the same for different categories of Android.. the sheer number of apps is a lot. I really admire the editors who have taken up categories for Android because of this.. it's not an easy task to take one up :D.

Wow, that's really quite ambitious, but will be great if you could achieve that.

The sad thing with this category is that most of the music player apps are quite mediocre. They have features missing, or dont have good interface, or have other problems. There is no app which will just blow you over, and you make it your default.

TTPod is really improving a lot though. With the recent changes they have made, the app looks great, has a great interface, with things really organized, and features are great too. But, the occasional language stuff here and there, is really a problem. Wish they can take care of that. Otherwise, it's a great app.
Also, I think the recent version might not be compatible with older devices or android versions? I tried to install the latest on Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, and it says it's not compatible. On my Samsung phone with Gingerbread, it showed that a latest version was available, but checking play store does not show any. And I ran manual update check, and didn't see that notice again.. weird.

About Advanced Music Player, seems like it does exit completely. Otherwise, I don't think the developer would have made such feature in the app, or mentioned it specifically. The apps is great, but it's too simple, and I found that it does not advance automatically to next song, and neither did I find such option in settings, or elsewhere. Hopefully, these will be improved later on.

by Anupam on 17. December 2012 - 10:46  (103666)

TTPod updated to version 4.0. Seems like a major update. Made changes to the interface a bit, and has some additions like downloads, and customize home page, radio, etc.

by trainman261 on 18. December 2012 - 15:50  (103721)

OK, I'm pretty sure I got it pushed to my device today. Thanks for the heads-up

by crash613 on 12. December 2012 - 3:07  (103526)

I have a question about players.. it seems it *should* be simple but Android does not seem able to handle it.

I am looking for a music player on par with iOS basic player. Before the flame war begins, hear me out.

1. Most important feature. This one is the deal breaker. (if i find this, i can forgive the rest) MUST be able to sort Genre by artist. Before you say Mixzing.. the number 1 on this blog, I will tell you it does not. If you go to Genre, then it shows artist. If you click on the artist, it shows ALL songs by that artist.... not just the one in the genre you picked.

Why do i need this? I'll give you an example.

In iOS if someone wanted to to play, Green Day (for example). They could:

a) play ALL the Green day music by going to the artist section, or

b) they could play only their favorites by going to genre, (favorites) then Artist (green day) then all their favorites are there without the ‘not so good’ songs.

I am sure I am not the only one that likes to play ALL the music by an artist on some occasions, while only their favorites on other occasions.

Aside from doing it the way it is done in iOS as outlined above(having the Genre list break down into artists and albums) maybe another (dare I say better) way to come at it would be a filter that could be accessible from anywhere that would let you select “show only 5 star” or something. So you could play all songs by an artist by going to the artist tab; or you could play only your favorites by going to the artist tab, hitting the “filter” button, then selecting ‘show only 5 star songs’ or something to that effect. That would filter the rest out.

I told you the first one was a big one! now the rest:

2) Speaking of stars.... Android doesn't seem to support them. Sure they can be viewed and adjusted in some players... but why? You can't sort by them, set up playlists based on them, or use them in any meaningful way.

3) 30 second rewind like in iOS. Seems simple enough. Yet deceptively hard to find.

4) This is another deceptively easy one... Why does the scrubber on ALL android music players show the play-time on the right of the scrubber, and a STATIC track length on the other? Again with iOS.. iOS shows the time left on the right. Seems easy, right? good luck finding an Android one that can do it.

5) a playing "X of XX" tally. on a playlist of 6 songs, it would be like a "now playing" 4 of 6. Seems easy.

I am by no means an apple fan-boi. I did, however come from the ipod touch. So i am used to the Apple way.

The funny thing is, everyone says Android is better because there is so much choice..... I would LOVE to choose one that does the above. It doesn't seem to exist.

please help!!

by RDX711 on 9. September 2013 - 9:13  (110616)

In response to your point no. 4, I would like to say that Mort can do that. You can switch between time elapsed & time remaining on the left side while it shows the total track length on the right side.

by trainman261 on 17. December 2012 - 15:08  (103688)

I think the problem is that you're not looking for a player on par with the iOS player, but for a player that has certain things the iOS player has (it's not just you, everyone has their thing that seems ridiculously unimportant, but they absolutely want it). I came from iOS as well, so I can see what you mean. To your points:
1. As I said, that seems to be something that few people are interested in - which means you're in the dark. On another note - the players I reviewed here are not nearly all there is - I'm constantly finding new players, and I still have quite a list to add to the review... point is, somewhere there probably is an app that does that. The apps I've reviewed don't do what you said, but chances are there is an app that does. And, if I find an app, I'll tell you :)
2. You're right on the stars, the only player that supports them is RealPlayer - which is not that great of a player in the first place. On the other hand, I don't remember being able to do much with stars in iOS - in general, on mobile (I'm talking phones and tablets), there seems to be a lack of customizeable auto-playlists. When I was on iOS, I went through all my songs and rated them... only to discover that I couldn't do much with the ratings. I was just hoping that the ratings would help with the genius playlists... which they didn't - although that's not just a complaint about iOS, but the mobile apps in general - you can't do stuff with your music like, for example in WMP - "create an auto-playlist with all my 4 and 5-star rated songs that I haven't played in over a month", for example. Some players have other rating systems, for example, Google Play has the "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" buttons for rating your songs, and then you can play all you thumbs up songs. But from what I've seen, that's where it ends.
3. 30 second rewind.. I only remember that being on podcasts, and desperately wishing it was on all tracks. I have yet to try podcasts on Android, though
4. Again, that seems like something you specifically want, and not many others are interested in.. the iOS way actually confused me - and iOS was the first mobile OS I ever used with a media player (I had a Palm system before that.
5. WinAmp displays the track tally when a new song starts playing, and cloudskipper has a track tally as part of its now playing interface.
I hope the answers helped a bit - I know, this is probably a let down for you. What you were talking about in terms of choice on Android is that you can use whatever app you want to play music (iOS could too, but apps did get kicked out of the app store for ridiculous reasons) - and the apps can do all sorts of stuff that maybe the built-in iOS app could do, but third-party apps couldn't - my apologies if I'm telling you stuff you already know. A primary example of that are the lock screens - only the default player on iOS could provide a lock screen, on Android any app can. Another example - you can put a widget on your desktop to control the music, which you couldn't do on iOS (although you had the controls in the multitasking bar). As I said, if I run aross an app that does that stuff, I'll tell you ;)

by Aninnymous (not verified) on 10. November 2012 - 8:38  (102109)

Great info.

Could you please add comparison info about which of all the apps serve advertising, autostart processes when not playing music/being used, and have other battery leeching operations ?

I found Winamp opening processes at odd moments even when I was not listening to music and it does serve advertising when playing - annoying behaviors and more importantly, a battery vampire.

Thanks !

by trainman261 on 11. November 2012 - 21:09  (102174)

I have mentioned which apps run services in the background when they're not being used - none of them seem to be bad enough to actually eat up any battery when they're not playing music for them to even appear anywhere on my battery use list. The advertising is a good point, though - I'll be checking that out. I'm also planning to make a test where I compare how much battery each player takes in order to play a certain playlist at a certain volume.

by Juxxize on 11. November 2012 - 22:25  (102177)

Have you looked at Mort player? https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.stohelit.folderplayer&f...
I've tried so many free music player apps and although it's kind of super basic I just really like it , i sometimes think some music apps do too much if that makes any sense and sometimes people ( or maybe just me ) want an app that plays music and you can create playlists , as Alexander the Meerkat says ' Simpless'

by RDX711 on 9. September 2013 - 9:04  (110614)

I also use Mort as my primary music player. It supports playing on the basis of folders, but has very little or no features for playlist management like sorting by / editing album, artist, genre, star rating, etc. Its menu is very customisable so you can change the layout a bit to suit your needs.

So for the missing features I use Fusion. This has a very clean interface & strong features for the above mentioned functions. It also supports online radio & top charts. You can give star ratings, filter by ratings & edit tags.

by trainman261 on 9. September 2013 - 18:06  (110628)

I'll check out Fusion, it sounds interesting. As for Mort, I'll check it out, but if it can just do the bare minimum, I won't include it here, because there are almost hundreds of music players out there that do the bare minimum and are easy to use. Not to mention, usually the default android music player is easy to use. I'm trying to find the best media player that goes above and beyond what the default media player offers, and that is a lot harder to find.

by Juxxize on 11. November 2012 - 0:21  (102137)

thank-you, you make some good points , if the user has a little screen ( like me ) adverts can be a real issue and sometimes make a ad supported app unusable . i've used a few great apps which are ad supported which i have no issue with at all ( after all they need to be paid for somehow ) but when you have a smaller screen it can make the app unusable . Also battery use-age is important like you said some apps can be a real problem with this issue likewise unnecessary auto-start for no reason.

by Joseph (not verified) on 24. October 2012 - 1:11  (101260)

Songbird's podcast setting works; it just doesn't do what you think it does. It shows all files/albums with the genre set to podcast. This is great for finding your podcasts amidst your music. Songbird doesn't actively download podcasts, but with the right podcast manager you can have the two work together nicely.

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