Android has no shortage of great music apps, but if you’re looking for something that’ll play nearly any local file, has a powerful equaliser, a handy tag editor and tons of customisation options, look no further than PowerAMP.
Platform: Android Price: $5.15 Download Page
- Plays tons of different music files, including mp3, mp4/m4a, alac, ogg, wma, flac, wav, ape, wv and tta; also supports .cue files.
- 10 band equaliser with presets and separate bass and treble adjusters
- Crossfade and gapless playback support
- Browse and play songs either from specified folders on your device or the automatically generated Android library
- Queue songs into an “on-the-go” playlist
- A sleep timer that lets you pause your music for a certain amount of time
- Tag editor and album art finder
- Multiple home screen widgets for quick music control
- Lock screen controls
- Built-in Last.fm scrobbling
- Four different themes as well as tons of other UI tweaks
Where It Excels
If you’re storing your music on your phone, PowerAMP is the most powerful music app out there. It can play tons of different files (including FLAC and ALAC), organise your library using a specific set of folders, and the equaliser is awesome. The tag editor, while I’m not sure when I’d use it on my phone, is a nice touch, and it comes with all the extra features you’d expect from a third-party music player, like great widgets, lock screen controls and Last.fm scrobbling. You aren’t going to find another music player on Android with this level of configurability.
Where it Falls Short
PowerAMP is an incredible local music player, but that’s all it does. You can’t subscribe to podcasts or watch videos, which may be a downside for some — but I’d just as soon get another app for those things and keep PowerAMP’s awesomeness for my music. It also doesn’t have any other focuses like recommendation engines, lyrics, or social support, but those are usually reserved for players that aim at those specific niches. Instead, PowerAMP’s niche is playing your music and giving you a ton of control over how you do it.
It’s also worth mentioning that, with the advent of things like Amazon Cloud Player and Google Music, PowerAMP doesn’t have any streaming support for your music stored online. This isn’t really PowerAMP’s fault, but it might be a deal killer for those that have already become accustomed to storing their music online instead of locally.
There are a lot of other great music players on Android, but few are as powerful as PowerAMP. However, if you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, Winamp has a really friendly interface with some extra features, and Google’s new Music app is very nice too (especially if you’re using the Google Music service).
The other players on Android usually have a specific niche, but often come with some nice extra features too. For example, MixZing focuses on a recommendations engine, TuneWiki integrates with YouTube, internet radio, and an online community, doubleTwist focuses on syncing seamlessly with your computer, and Cubed is all about rocking the eye candy. However, they’re all still pretty powerful, and definitely worth a look if you don’t like PowerAMP. Check out our battle of the Android music players for more info on the other options out there.