Posts Tagged ‘ PowerAMP ’

Songbird – Not Tweeting, Not Angry, Just Singing.

Songbird

It’s been a while since a new music player caught my eye and this week it was nice to stumble upon ‘Songbird’ to try out as an alternative method of listening to music.
Already a popular desktop application, ‘Songbird’ comes to Android bringing with it it’s stylish purple design to take on the likes of Winamp and PowerAmp.
Everything about Songbird is tidy and clean, exploring your music collection is quick work and surprisingly flexible. Like Winamp, the ‘now playing’ screen can be accessed via a slide-up drawer which works excellently. The ‘now playing’ screen features all the usual controls as well as a unique Flickr button which activates a photo stream of the artist that’s currently playing. There’s also a Facebook ‘Like’ button that allows you to inform/annoy your Facebook chums about what music you’re listening to.
One of Songbird’s main strengths is the ability to easily create playlists. I’ve seen other music apps completely fumble the method of playlist creation but Songbird seems to have nailed it perfectly.
Sadly it’s not all thumbs up for Songbird, the home-screen widget kept locking up and would only come back to life with a handset reboot. Bear in mind this may not solely be an app issue, it’s possibly a compatibility issue with my Cyanogen rom.
Songbird is also lacking some of the cooler functions when compared to more established apps like ‘PowerAmp’ but the creators have promised a number of new functions and plug-ins in future updates (lock screen controls are top of my list).
Songbird may not yet be the ultimate Android music player but the potential is definitely there. It’s pleasant on the eye, simple to use and allows a strong degree of freedom on how you listen to your music.

About This App – Current Version : 1.0
Requires Android : 2.1 and up , Category : Music & Audio , Size : 1.2M , Price : Free

Links : Android Marketplace, Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : It’s not quite up to the benchmark of the leading Android music apps but given a bit of time (and a few updates) Songbird could be the music app everyone is chirping about (groan!).

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XiiaLive Lite – No, I don’t know how to pronounce it either

XiiaLive Lite

The obligatory 'Now Playing' screenshot

Way way-a-ways back, long before Android existed, I used to own a Nokia N95 and for me it was the best phone in the world ever. One of the reasons I loved it was for the excellent Nokia Internet Radio app. It was made by Nokia themselves and it was a superb application that, in typical Nokia style, was never pushed into the spotlight like it deserved to be and it remained largely ignored.
One of the first things I looked for when I got my HTC Desire was the Android equivalent and I found it in DroidLive, now known as the unpronounceable (and therefore much harder to remember) XiiaLive Lite. XiiaLive is an app that gives you free access to the thousands of internet radio stations that make up the SHOUTcast.com network, whatever genre of music you’re looking for (not forgetting the talk, sports and community broadcasts) SHOUTcast and it’s directory of over 35,000 stations has more than likely got what you’re looking for. With so much content to deal with XiiaLive does a great job of helping you stay on top of it all within the confines of your Android handset’s small lcd screen.
The first thing you’ll notice is the UI, it’s pretty striking stuff with black backgrounds and glowing text, it may not be to every-one’s taste and it’s slightly tricky to navigate your way around the app at first but it operates at a quick pace and once you’re settled in you are good to go.

The timer function is ideal for when it's Dreamy Sleepy Nighty Snoozy Snooze time.

From the home screen you can browse the top stations, genres or perform a search as well as browse your favourites, history, settings and tracks you have previously tagged. Performing searches bring back countless results complete with information on current listeners and bit-rate; once you’ve found something you like a single click will take you straight into the listening screen. This screen contains pretty much everything you need, there’s on screen volume controls, track details, a handy ‘timer’ function that closes the app after a certain time (perfect for listening when you’re tucked up in bed) and a ‘tagme’ button. If you hear a track you like you can press ‘tagme’ and it’s details are saved to the ‘tagged’ list of songs which is accessible from the main menu.  There’s also a simple one bar widget to throw up on your home screen which lets you choose or play/stop your station of choice.
Streaming works as well as you’d expect over wi-fi and even on 3G I could go for at least 30 minutes without a single dropout although this is more down to network reception rather than the app itself. In the wake of ‘PowerAmp‘ it’s a shame that there’s no EQ but this doesn’t ruin the app for me. The paid version of XiiaLive claims to cut out the adverts but in all the time I’ve usedn the Lite version I’ve not heard any ads at all, maybe that’s more to do with the stations that I’m listening to.
In conclusion XiiaLive Lite is an app that’s worth downloading, it’s ideal as an alternative source of music away from what you may already have stored on your handset.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom Line : XiiaLive is a great app for music lovers looking to have access to free internet radio wherever they are. Recommended.

PowerAMP – Forget the Llama’s Pyjamas, this is the Cat’s Knackers.

PowerAMP Music Player (Trial)

A wise man once said “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it”, this rule could also apply to the Android Marketplace. Less than two weeks ago I was singing the praises of Winamp for Android to the high heavens but now, out of nowhere, a new app has appeared to completely ruin the Winamp party. PowerAMP is a music player (currently in a trial period) loaded with features missing from other media players such as EQ control, album art downloading and support for a wide range of audio formats.

The 'Now Playing' screen even adds a background effect to match your album artwork

One of the main plus points of PowerAMP is it’s ability to offer numerous options to the user without losing them in a wealth of menus and buttons which is quite a feat considering how wonderfully flexible this app is.
On first start up PowerAMP will scan your SD card for media folders (once you tell it where to look) and it impressively takes an instant to complete this process. Once set up, your media library is clearly listed (either sorted by folder or by Android’s system media library) with album art and once you’re inside an album folder you can control whether to play the whole album, play a single track, add a track (or all of them) to a playlist, make it a ringtone plus much more. The main ‘now playing’ screen is excellently designed, from the clear controls, to the album art (which scrolls deliciously when you change albums), the simple access to your music library and the option to adjust your EQ.
That’s right, EQ.

AT LAST! EQ on an Android music player

Ever since buying my Android handset I have mourned the lack of being able to adjust the EQ when listening to music, having to put up with flat sounding audio was never fun. Not anymore, PowerAMP boasts a 10 band graphic equalizer complete with presets. You can also adjust the parameters yourself and easily create excellent results thanks to the fast, responsive interface. Speaking of interfaces, PowerAMP gives you a choice of three skins as well as a selection of homescreen widgets and a fully tooled up lock screen all of which work superbly. Headset support is also included, when you remove your headset the music stops. Plug your headset back in, the music picks up exactly from where you left off, excellent.
PowerAMP also supports Last.Fm scrobbling as well as mp3 tag editing and comes complete with numerous ‘under the hood’ options to give you plenty of room to make the app work the way you want it to. (Tip : If your album tracks appear in the wrong order (ie. alphabetically) try going into settings>sorting> and tweaking the options until you get the desired result)
Given the choice between this and Winamp right now I think I would have to go for PowerAMP, it does lots of things Winamp doesn’t do (as yet). One feature Winamp does have in it’s favour is the wireless streaming which would have made it a closer call, had I been able to get it to work. PowerAMP is a hugely impressive application and one that is quite rightly generating a lot of excitement in the Android community. As yet there are no details of what will happen when the free trial version expires but for the right price this app could well be an essential purchase.

Link : Install via AppBrain

Bottom line : It looks good, it works even better and it sounds superb. So far this is the best music player I have found on Android. Try it asap before the trial expires.

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