Ask LH: Which Android Music Player Should I Use?

Ask LH: Which Android Music Player Should I Use?

Hi Lifehacker, I’m currently using Songbird as a music player and management system for my phone. It doesn’t feel as polished as the iPod experience; do you know of an alternative Android app? Thanks, Pining For The Tunes

Dear PFTT,

There’s two elements to this question really: the best player on your device and the best means of syncing with it. In terms of player, we singled out PowerAMP a while back as our app of choice for music playback on Android phones, and you can hit that writeup for a detailed explanation of why and a list of possible alternatives.

In terms of Android syncing, outside of Songbird the most prominent examples that spring to mind are DoubleTwist and MediaMonkey. For a more detailed explanation of the different approaches you can take to syncing your Android, check out our guide to breaking down the barrier between your Android phone and your computer, which also mentions ways of using iTunes as your main music source. If readers want to share their own approach, the comments are waiting!

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • I’m using ubermusic atm. It doesn’t support gapless, and there is no option to increase audio buffer size (for older phones) but man, it’s got an amazing interface. People with iPhones have oohed and aahed at it. Seriously. On my $200 outright unlocked Android piece of sh!t.

  • …huh, no mention of Winamp. I’m a huge fan of Winamp for music on my PC and it claims to have cool Android syncing functions. Anybody use the two together?

  • I’m on a Mac and have a Nexus One. I tried songbird, but it almost felt like abandonware.

    DoubleTwist is my sync and playing solution of choice. It grabs iTunes stuff wonderfully. There are a few kinks, sure, but now I’m used to it I’ve got it down pat. And the wireless syncing is very nice.

  • I tried Poweramp after reading the LH reviews, and while its pretty sexy and has cool features, there were several things that bugged me like, having to hit the menu button adn other buttons a bunch of times just to get to my folders (VERY ANNOYING). The EQ is great, and support of DHD and SRS is very handy.

    Alas, that one bug got me to swich back to good ol reliable Winamp, which still rocks my world. The wireless sync is awesome on a free app, and its very intuitive and responsive.

    I did a survey on the Winamp Android app recently, and it looks like theyre toying with the idea of a premium version which would be AWESOME if comes with more high end features like linear EQ, auto-playlist generator etc.

  • Another vote for Winamp here. The Winamp app for Android is awesome and the fact that you can manage your library using their desktop version and then wirelessly sync with your Android phone is great.

  • I think I’ve tried all the majors. ubermusic is the only one I found worth the cost.

    Best UI by a longshot. Random play is actually random. Every other player I tried tended to cycle through a pretty limited selection.

    Google Music 3 is pretty cool, but more suited to tablets and a tad under-developed.

    PowerAMP is extremely powerful but a pain in the arse to use.

    doubleTwist is pretty cool. I still use it to play music to the ps3, but the lack of real random and the in app purchase pop ups gave me the s***s.

  • Sync? I don’t bother. Subsonic as a service at home and the excellent android app works for me. Caches music as you play so you end up ‘syncing’ most played stuff anyway.

  • Sync music? I don’t bother any more.

    Subsonic at home as a service + the most excellent Subsonic app on my Android handset = access to *all* of my tunes at all times.

    I believe Subsonic caches songs as it plays so you effectively ‘sync’ tunes via just accessing them when out and about or at home over your home wifi.

  • MortPlayer!

    Simple player that works with directories/filenames instead of grouping things by ID3 tag / “libraries”.

    I keep a stash of music on my device and use MortPlayer to play those and as my alarm in the morning. I also use it when out riding and stuff, as its so lightweight that it drains very little battery.

    I use Google Music for accessing my entire collection – but its bloody useless when you have no/poor internet connectivity! And the player portion is incredibly basic.

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