Best Free Music Player and Organizer for Android

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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.


Rocket Music Player is a suggestion I got from several people in the comments section, and it is now also my first choice for this category. While this is a free version with a paid version available, and it isn't uncommon to run into a paid feature that you can't use, the free version can still do a lot.

The artists, songs, albums, and genres sections work as expected, except there are more sections - folders and even composers. Everything is very smooth and very well done - the only minor issue here being that it takes a little while for album art to load on older devices. There is also a podcast and video playback section. Playlist management is also very good - simply go into any secion and hit the multi-select button. Then you can choose as many tracks, albums, or whatever else as you like and add them to a playlist. Also, you can choose a song, album, or whatever else to play right after the current track is finished - another very handy feature

And while I'm at the playlists, let's not forget a feature Rocket Music Player has that no other app I've seen has had: auto-playlists, or as this app calls it, Live Lists. Go into the playlists section, hit the menu button, and click "new Live List". Then you can add "rules" for the tracks that should go into your playlist, and for those rules you have a variety of possible criteria: Title, Date Added, Year, Play Count, and, oh, right, Rating. Yes, you read right. There are seriously too few music apps that support the standard 5-star rating system, but this one does. Back to the Live List feature, though: I won't go through how it works, because I could write an entire article on that alone.

The now playing screen is clean and useful with all the controls you would expect. You can also access a 5 band equalizer, rate the track, set the track as a ringtone, set a sleep timer, or show the songs embedded lyrics - yes, you read correctly. This app supports embedded lyrics.

You can also use this app to edit tags and to edit album art, which is also very useful.

There is also a decent amount of settings you can tinker around with, but beware that a good amount of them are only available if you pay.

The app uses around 30MB RAM when it's playing music in the background, which is more than it should be, however, it doesn't run in the background when it isn't supposed to.

Overall, this is a solid, fast, and useful app. The paid features are a bit of a nuissance, but on the other hand there are no ads anywhere in the app. If you're looking for a music player with a good set of features - or even one that's easy to use - this is it.


Winamp is the next program. This app doesn't offer as much as RocketPlayer in most aspects, but it still has a good amount of functionality, and is also very easy to use. It has recently changed ownership, but it is still available to download on Google Play - although only with the link (which can be found in the Product Description section). Its future is currently uncertain.

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 great feature in 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.

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, either.

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 and the SHOUTcast 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 ads either.

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.


MixZingMixZing hass a good amount of features, but is still easy to use. While it really is a good app, the developer's insistance on intrusive advertising is a real nuissance.

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. All in all, WinAmp is much better for this.

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 - 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 that has intrusive advertising.

Overall, it's a very good app that has a good set of features, and that is easy to use, however, the developer's insistance on intrusive advertising is annoying, to say the least.


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 album art editing. It also supports the 5-star rating system. You can filter your music according to it - for instance, you can only show songs that have a 4 star rating or higher. 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.


Next up is Songbird. This is an app that was very integrated into social media - and that was its main strength. has now shut down, and the app is no longer in development. However, with the link in the Product Description section, it should still be possible to download it. Also, as the software is open source, sevelopers can create their own versions of the Songbird app.

There used to be a social component to the app, but that doesn't seem to be working anymore, as this was most likely connected to the service.

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 - RocketPlayer, MixZing and Cloudskipper all have really good equalizers.

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, 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, as uncertain as its future is.


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 usually doesn't run in the background when it's not needed.

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.

As mentioned already, 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. You can set a song as a ringtone, or as a notification tone - something unique to TTPod. 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...


Some of the apps above feature lyrics, however, if you really want an app that finds lyrics quickly and easily, MusiXmatch is worth a download. Although the music player isn't great, it can alert you about lyrics even if you're using a different app. You can read more about the app in this Free Mobile App of the Week article.


No matter which of these music players you choose, you might stumble accross some tracks or sounds in your music library that you never put there or that you don't want in your music library. In that case, you can check out the StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager, which basically lets you take folders out of your music library.


Other apps reviewed:

  • MyMusicOn: an old app that used to be a lyrics program - until it ran into a legal issue.
  • RealPlayer: It's well-known to desktop users, but had quite some controversy surrounding it. The android version doesn't really offer much, and has too many problems.

More apps to be reviewed:

  • TuneWiki
Related Products and Links

You might want to check out these articles too:

Quick Selection Guide

Rocket Music Player
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Fast, clean and snappy interface; Very good playlist management; Automatic "Live List" playlists"; 5-star rating system support; Edit tags and album art; support for embedded lyrics; Easy to use
Paid version features sometimes get in the way
Varies with device
Varies with device
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Android 2.1 Eclair and up
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
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.1 (Eclair) or above

This product is currently not being developed, and its current fate is unknown.

Cloudskipper Music Player
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
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.

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
recommendations don't work well with certain kinds of music; advertising too intrusive
Unrestricted freeware
Android 1.5 or above
Meridian Player Transcend
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
Varies with device
Varies with device
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
Varies with device
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
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 has shut down; news from friends' artists doesn't work; mostly low on the features end
Open source freeware
Android 2.1 (Eclair) or above

The development of this product has officially ceased.

Google Play Music
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
Unrestricted freeware
Android 2.2 (FroYo) or above
TTPod Music Player
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
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.


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.


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

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by notoscar on 14. February 2015 - 22:23  (121120)

Has anyone used doubletwist? It seems to get good reviews on other sites, but apparently also has a number of "additions" that cost. Interested in how the free version (without the pay additions) compares with Rocket as a basic music player. thanks

by Remah on 14. February 2015 - 23:59  (121122)

For many years doubleTwist has been used for syncing iTunes playlists from Windows PCs to Android phones. The iTunes syncing works very reliably compared to other products I've used so it is the only free product I now install for that purpose. The setup could be easier but there are other products, even paid products, that are far worse to setup for syncing.

As a music player the free version is nothing exceptional because you need to pay for the Pro version to get the equalizer, DLNA support, wireless features (AirSync and AirPlay), and "album art search and removal of podcast ads."

by trainman261 on 14. February 2015 - 22:44  (121121)

I have taken a look at doubletwist a while ago, and decided it wasn't worth adding to this article back then (I think that was about a half a year ago). I'd have to check it out again, but I think it was because the free version didn't really offer anything that stood out among all the different music players.

by notoscar on 15. February 2015 - 19:38  (121126)

Thank you. I think you're correct. I simply want to use my phone as an mp3(or wav or whatever) player with only the basics for sound and perhaps a shuffle option. I can live with Google (came installed) except I'd prefer not to get past Google wanting me to save my library to its cloud and download music from its site. I have all my music files organized on a separate drive on our NAS using a program on my computer. I'll transfer full playlists onto my phone and simply want to play them. It looked like Rocket had the fewest bells and whistles that I don't need, but doubletwist seemed to get good reviews for its basic player (with complaints that all the extras cost money). Thanks again.

by George.J on 14. January 2015 - 11:30  (120563)

RocketPlayer is good, but even simple things like finding Album Art requires you to pay for the software. This put me off. MusixMatch seems to be good for now.

by littlebird on 9. December 2014 - 20:44  (120062)

I've been using the free version of Google Play Music for the last few years, because so far it does what I need it to do, but even when updated it tends to rearrange the obsessively organized music files I load onto my phone. Trust me, it all looks peachy on the SD card in Windows explore, then when looking at music on my phone, albums are split into two icons with half the songs on each (as though it were two albums instead of one)... and songs from other albums are redistributed into multiple unrelated places, under other artists. I keep on top of all updates and am using a newer phone (Galaxy S5), so I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong. I'll admit I'm not extremely tech savvy, so all the bells and whistles aren't necessities but displaying the files accurately seems pretty basic. Has anyone else had this experience? Is it user error? App error? Just plain time for a different app? Please help..

by trainman261 on 14. December 2014 - 18:04  (120111)

My apologies for the late reply.
The problem is that in the world of organizing music, there are two ways of doing it. There is the one way, in which you did it - which is to sort everything into folders. Then, there is the more common way - by way of tags. Tags are small bits of information hooked onto your music files which indicate which album they belong to, what the artist is, and what the song's name is. To see what I'm talking about, stick the SD card into your computer and look at your music with Windows Explorer. Go to a track, right-click it, choose "Properties", and then go into the "Details" tab. Here you'll see different fields, such as Title, Rating, Comments, Album artist, Album, Year, etc. These are the song's tags. If the file isn't open in another program, you can also edit most of them. Google play music (and most other music players) organize music based on their tags. If an album is being split into two, look at one track of each of the two "new" albums, and you'll notice the album tag is different. It could be a small difference, or it could be a big difference. Whatever it is, the fact that it /is/ different means that Google Play Music will see it as two different albums. As to your songs ending up in different artist - this most likely comes from you having albums with multiple artists. In Google Play Music (I'll just abbreviate it GPM from now on), if you go into the artists section, different tracks from that album will be under different artists. However, if you go into the albums section, it should all go into the same album. So, basically, GPM uses the tags to sort your music, while Windows Explorer just looks at which folder they're in, and displays your music like that.
If you want everything properly organized, you pretty much have two options. The first option is that you get a music player that supports folder-based playback. Rocket Player supports folder-based music playback, so if you like, you can check that out. Just make sure you go into the "Folders" tab, otherwise you'll have your music organized the same way it is on Google Play. If you want a quick solution, this is the way to go. If you want to keep using GPM but have everything organized, you can edit the tags. This can be time-consuming, depending on how much music you have and how many tracks need editing. On the other hand, it has several advantages. For one, you have more flexibility when it comes to sorting your music. You can instantly look at your music sorted in different ways. For example, you can play a mix of music from a certain artist, regardless of which album(s) the music comes from. Or, you can play a mix of music from a certain genre, regardless of artist or album. The other advantage is that you don't necessarily need to organize your music into folders any more - whenever you get new music, you can just dump it into one folder, if you don't mind the mess - it will all appear properly organized in GPM. If you want to edit the tags, you can either do it on your computer or on your device (although that could well not work if you're on Android 4.4). If you want to do it on your computer, you can do it as I explained earlier. If you want to do it on your device, you can do it with Rocket Player - that has the capability of editing tags.

by Mietz on 14. February 2015 - 21:43  (121119)

Thank you for posting this! Just what I needed to know because my files are folder based because I listen to music, books, Spanish-learning tapes and other stuff.

by jazzhorn on 8. November 2014 - 12:11  (119523)

Hi. I'm new here and wish to enquire regarding the best free music player with regards to playing a list of songs, stopping after each song instead of playing continueously one after the other. The reason being, I perform live with backing tracks and want a break between songs to get ready for the next song. Hope this is clear enough?



by trainman261 on 8. November 2014 - 13:45  (119525)

I understand what you're looking for, although I've never seen it implemented in any of the apps I've tried, including the ones not listed here (or at least I don't remember ever seeing it implemented). It could be that there are some apps specifically made for your situation, but I don't know of any.
What you could do is put the tracks in a folder, and then use ES File Explorer to play them. ES File explorer has a built-in media player, and you could set that as the default app. That way, when you click on a track, that track plays, and then it stops. When you want to play the next track, you can then hit the back button and click the next track. It's not as simple as pressing play every time, but it would work.

by mrin on 29. July 2014 - 10:55  (117649)

I like your review criteria. Would like to hear your views on Fusion:

by trainman261 on 2. August 2014 - 19:35  (117708)

I did take a look at it recently, and I am considering including it in the review. The interface is beautifully designed, and it also has Shoutcast radio support. It also has an interesting online feature, which lets you listen and even put together playlists with online music. It doesn't have full tag editing support, though, and it doesn't have a way to properly automatically generate playlists based on what you want in the way Rocket does, for example.

by mrin on 3. August 2014 - 18:59  (117728)

I installed it after seeing the interface. Thanks for your input.

by dredclift on 21. July 2014 - 13:18  (117459)

Have you looked a n7player. Slightly oddball UI but seems to cover all bases.

by trainman261 on 21. July 2014 - 13:29  (117462)

I've just taken a look at the play store listing. It seems to have some interesting features, but it locks the folder-based browsing, tag editing and some other features are locked after 10 days of use unless you buy a key to unlock them.

by kevinevv on 21. July 2014 - 1:35  (117444)

The biggest challenge with "music players" on Android and other systems is that they don't differentiate between Music files and Podcasts. "Music players" are inherently flawed for Podcast mp3 files because they don't have fine adjustments in time. They all use the traditional slider bar to find a spot in the "mp3" or other audio file. They treat ALL MP3 files as if they ARE music, and that's just simply not the case. If they can't filter which folders they draw their playlists from, then the program is useless in my mind.

"Music Players" (even the one I chose, [edited]) are also inherently obsessive about "Album art." I don't give a wit about the art, because I'm not generally sitting there staring at the screen as it plays music. I wish they'd all have an option to ignore art completely, and give more screen space to controls, and titles.

I have used [edited] for music, and Ginkgo Player for podcast mp3's because they don't "overlap" in what they claim as their own files, if you configure them. Ginkgo Player has big and small skips forward/backward for the large audio files. [edited] is easily configured not to select podcast files for random music file plays.

I've tried a few of Gizmo's selections on this post for Android, and settled with [edited]. You simply have to get a good one.

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

by trainman261 on 21. July 2014 - 13:22  (117461)

Some players do differentiate between "proper" music and podcasts. Rocket Music Player and Cloudskipper both do this.
As to the album art, everyone has their preferences - although I don't think most people "[sit] there staring at the screen as it plays music". Instead, they use it as a visual cue. It is a lot easier to recognize an image, than to recognize text. That's one of the reasons why I like to have my albums with album art. However, if you really dislike album art, I haven't really found an app that ignores album art (and don't remember ever having used one) - that isn't just among the apps listed here, I've tried many others that I either have chosen not to review or haven't reviewed yet.
If you're looking for excluding folders from being in your music apps, you should try StudioKUMA .nomedia Manager ( ). You can mark folders to be excluded from Android's media scanner, which means the media they contain won't appear in most music players.

by musicmugger on 20. July 2014 - 15:12  (117432)

Now it's time for someone to produce a decent music file system for the IOS, one that will break Apples lock on no folders for music. The play list system is a joke, and only Apple insists on using it. Considering the obscene cost of their gadgets, you would think they would listen to the punters now and then. The Android get better and better, while Apple swills around in it's self confessed glory, that's going on the slide.
[Racist comments edited out]

by trainman261 on 20. July 2014 - 15:29  (117435)

I'm not a fan of Apple either - that's why this article is discussing Android apps. Playlists are not some system that only Apple uses, it's used almost universally in different formats, and just about every music player supports playlists. Not everyone has time to organize their music into folders, and even if they do - then they only have their music sorted one way. Some people like it sorting their music in folders, others don't. If you don't like Apple, do what millions of others have done: switch to Android. Then you can take a look at some of the apps I've covered, many of which support folder-based playback.

by SwanKnight on 20. July 2014 - 15:05  (117430)

I tried most music players out there but JetAudio remains my favorite.

by trainman261 on 20. July 2014 - 15:16  (117433)

I've just looked at the play store listing of JetAudio Basic, and while it might be worth a closer look, it's still missing some features, such as tag editing, an expanded notification bar, or multi-select.

by Faziri on 20. July 2014 - 13:59  (117429)

I use UPnPlay to stream my music from my laptop, where it's organised with Foobar. Basically, I think a smartphone is only good for end use, not for things like tediously organizing your collection. My setup turns Foobar into a server and my Android into a wireless headset with a control interface. No syncing, no copies, a single library exactly the way it is in Foobar. All I need is a network linking my Android and laptop together, which can be the built-in hotspot if need be.

by trainman261 on 20. July 2014 - 15:10  (117431)

That's a good setup - if you always have a good internet connection, which many don't. That's why this section is about music players and organizers - it's about finding apps that can play music and also organize parts of your library if need be. UPnPlay would belong to a different category of apps.

by Bruce_Fraser on 20. July 2014 - 12:43  (117428)

While driving or exercising, I mostly listen to recorded books or talks. They tend to be much longer than the typical four minute song, so it's important to be able to resume where I left off.
The best free app for that is MortPlayer Audio Books: It does a lot more besides, like bookmarks.
In fact, my search showed that there are very few apps which have the "resume" feature.

by LightLightning on 2. June 2014 - 14:48  (116564)

MixZing has a huge problem for me (besides the advertising) that I have reported years ago and they never corrected. I have lots of .wma music files mixed up with .mp3 in folders, and if I shuffle the folder then each time a .wma file is selected the program stops and I manually have to skip to next music or it doesn't do anything else.
Ideally I would like a music player with just 3 features: playing folders, supporting .wma files, and having playlists. But so far I haven't found any player with all 3 features.

by trainman261 on 16. June 2014 - 22:31  (116796)

As to WMA files, unless the developer added his own codecs, it's device dependant - so, assuming the app doesn't have any extra codecs, if your device supports WMA files, the app will work with WMA files, and if your device doesn't support WMA files, the app won't work with WMA files. Otherwise, Pretty much all apps offer playlists, and both Rocket Music Player and MixZing have folder-based browsing.

by YossiD on 11. May 2014 - 5:30  (116153)

Seems to be some confusion with the MixZing write-up. The review says 20MB footprint but the quick selection guide says ~40MB. also the version listed is 3.7.2 but current version is 4.3.1.

[Commercial reference removed as per site rules]

by trainman261 on 13. May 2014 - 1:16  (116208)

Ah OK thanks, I'll edit that soon. The 40MB are how it used to be, now it's more like 20MB.

by MikeR on 9. May 2014 - 13:21  (116122)

Big thanks to Trainman for all the hard work. I too have tried MixZing and hated the loading. Like others here, I think this particular review -- on its next update -- should look at Rocket. Simply put: it works.

by princejosuah on 9. May 2014 - 13:21  (116121)

I was expecting to see MediaMonkey here but no...
[commercial reference removed] but as an organizer, I think it deserves a place here. Not to mention its sync feature with its desktop counterpart, improving with the versions...

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