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.
Media has certainly been the focus for Android developers recently. Android has always been lagging behind iOS in terms of media capability, but given the recent increase in media apps available for the platform and Google’s recent Google Music announcement, it seems that they are finally pulling their finger out and trying to beat Apple off the top spot. Android is still a long way away – there is still nothing equivalent to the iTunes Store available for Android and media still isn’t as integrated as on iOS (I’m talking about syncing capabilities, which can still be a little bit hit-and-miss with Android) – but at least the cogs are starting to turn.
Instinctiv aims to simplify this by making the music on your PC/Mac available on your phone without having to transfer it. In short, it is a wireless music player which, according to the app’s description, promises “a better music experience for Android”. This is similar to other apps in the Market, such as doubleTwist’s AirSync, however Instinctiv is completely free (for the time being anyway). I decided to give it a go – read on for my full review. (more…)