In the modern digital age, media is king. Whether it’s music blaring out of speakers, photos being styled and shared, movies and TV shows on demand, or the online video craze – we are all consuming entertainment at a mind-boggling rate, on an ever-growing number of devices.
iTunes is one of the most popular platform for organizing and collecting media, and for good reasons – it gets the job done, and it is backed by a goliath of an online store. It does have its limitations, though. If you want to stream media from your iTunes library, you’re going to need an iOS device. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this, here, that’s not going to suit you.
An alternative streaming system worth considering is Plex. Once you’ve set up a Plex media server on your Windows, OSX, or Linux computer, you can stream content to nearly any smart mobile device via Plex’s app. Unfortunately, there are times when streaming doesn’t cut it, either because you are restricted by a data cap, or because wi-fi isn’t available. For this kind of problem, Plex offers a syncing service (part of the PlexPass subscription), which, when combined with its beta Plex for PlexPass Android app, allows you to download media to your Android device, with ease.
Or, at least, that is the claim – but can media management really be that simple? Time for a test…
Before we get any further, I should come clean — I’m a die-hard Winamp fan. I began using the desktop version back in 1997 and it suited my needs over the years as my music collection grew. When I got my first Android phone, I immediately sought out Winamp’s app for the platform and enjoyed the interface as well as the desktop-to-mobile wifi syncing. But I soon wanted more from my music player and started trying out everything the Play Store had to offer. I still haven’t found a favorite, but GoneMAD Music Player sure comes close.
Perfect for power users, GoneMAD Music Player is packed to the gills with features and configurable options to tweak the app to do your exact bidding. From detailed playback control to lockscreen and homescreen widgets, passing by smart playlists, gesture support and configurable multi-band EQ, this player has got it all. Let’s see how well it handles tuneage with some real-world testing, and how it stacks up against the competition.
We recently selected 46 great applications to synchronize content seamlessly between your Android device and your computer so you can enjoy the same content on the go and on your computer without having to worry about manually transferring data.
Today, we’d like to push things a little further and make Android interact directly with your computer. We’ve handpicked a bunch of apps to remotely control or access your computer from your phone, stream content from your computer directly to your tablet or phone, and even use your Android device as an extra monitor.
Smartphones are great devices that let you listen to music, take photos, browse the web, save and share content, store various files, make lists and take notes, remember contact information and even save your passwords. While having intelligent devices in our pockets is great, sharing their content with computers is even better. Because computers are the most essential tool to most workers, and also because they have significantly bigger screens than phones, sharing content between our Android phones and tablets and computers makes sense.
When it comes to media playback on the desktop, few media players enjoy the kind of ubiquitous love that VLC media player from VideoLan does. Over the last few years, VLC has become *the* app of choice for playing all kinds of video and audio files without the hassle of worrying about comapatibility and downloading codecs. The app has been available on a whole host of platforms including Mac, Windows and Linux, but has taken a while to arrive on mobile operating systems — barring a short unofficial stint on iOS before being pulled from the App Store.
All that is about to change now, with the release of the public beta of VLC Media Player for Android on the Play Store. Although it wasn’t the most full featured of apps when it was announced a few months back, the development team has been hard at work adding features at a steady pace along with UI and compatibility enhancements. We will take a look at the current version of the app to try and see how well it stacks up against the host of very capable alternatives that have already established themselves on Android.
There’s an app (or several) for everything, including core functions, to suit just about anybody’s needs and preferences. That applies to video playback apps in the Android universe too, and there are a ton of them to tackle your TV shows, movies and viral clips. But which one is right for you?
Today we’re taking a look at eight great free video players as well as one of the most hotly-anticipated apps coming to the Play Store. Android’s stock Gallery does a decent job of playing videos but can’t recognize certain formats and doesn’t allow you to set up playlists. Most of the apps in this group are similar, so it’s as much a battle as a roundup of the various options available to fit your needs best.
Android mobile devices are portable powerhouses with a lot of power under the hood. The screen sizes can be huge, with top notch resolutions, making them perfect for watching high resolution video and listening to high fidelity audio. Yet despite the built in storage space and the extendable memory card slots, encoding and carrying around audio and video files is such a pain.
How awesome would it be to stream the media stored in your house to your mobile screens via WiFi or mobile broadband? Skifta is an easy way to control, play and enjoy your music, videos and photos at home and on the move. In this article, we’ll see how best to set it up for enjoying media files on the go.
As a former iPhone user and new Android convert, I miss my iPhone’s built-in music player. Though my new Android has a lot more storage space than my iPhone, I’ve neglected filling it up with music partly due to my lack of enthusiasm over the default player.
The developers of PlayerPro have attempted to create a more fully-featured, attractive, and intuitive music experience to the Android, adding features such as automatic album art downloading, customizable music organization, gesture support, and a variety of widgets for your home or lock screen. (more…)
November 9th was a difficult day for Android users round the world. Adobe announced, in a major turn of events, that they will no longer be developing Flash Player for the Android and Blackberry mobile platforms, instead concentrating on alternative media technology such as HTML 5. Android users had to slink away with their tails between their legs, mainly from the surge of smugness coming from users of Apple devices, who were all bursting to say, “Told you so!”.
Android media has come a long way in recent times, with more and more media apps being released for the platform. Just take a look at the sheer volume of alternative music apps that have been released for the platform, such as doubleTwist and Instinctiv. This demonstrates that the demand is there and people want new and intuitive ways to play their media on their Android device.
Now, however, the spotlight is on Plex. Think of it as AirPlay for Android. Plex is what every Android user has been dreaming about – a way to stream your music, videos and much more either over your local WiFi connection or, if you’re willing to play about with port forwarding, over any 3G connection. There are similar apps that offer this functionality with regards to music (such as doubleTwist, which does it better) but Plex allows you to stream all your media, no matter what it is.
Is Plex a solution for all our media needs? Read on to find out. (more…)