Nov 21, 2011

Best Android Music Player

I have tested quite a few android music players, and have come to the conclusion that PowerAmp and Neutron are the best. Let's take a look at both.

PowerAmp - Cool features and easy to use

This player has been around for quite some time now. It looks good, it is very easy to navigate, and has a lot of cool features. I really like the queue function on this app and how it auto advances back to the playlist you where listening to once the queue list is done.
Other key Features:
- 10 band optimized graphical equalizer for all supported formats, presets, and custom presets. The EQ really works, and it's way better than any other player's EQ. It also has separate Bass and Treble control.
- crossfade
- gapless
- plays songs from folders and from own library
- lyrics support, including lyrics search via musiXmatch plugin
- OpenGL based cover art animation
- downloads missing album art
- 4 configurable widget types
- configurable lock screen with optional Direct Unlock
- headset support, automatic Resume on headset and/or BT connection (can be disabled in settings)
- tag editor
- visual themes, including support for external/3rd party skins
- fast library scan
- high level of customization via settings
On the other hand, sound quality isn't as good as with Neutron music player...

Neutron Music Player - Clean and powerful sound

When I first saw this player I was skeptic. I admit, it doesn't look as good as PowerAmp. The only thing that caught my attention was the "professional HD 32-bit audio rendering core ... deliver best possible sound quality..." line. So I installed it for a test. Conclusion: best SQ when it comes to music players. But that sound quality has it's tolls... You need a pretty powerful device to run this app, that means 1GHz+ CPU and 480x800+ screen resolution.
Now let's look at the features Neutron has to offer:
- 32-bit audio decoding/processing for high quality HD audio
- Surround sound DSP (Ambiophonic R.A.C.E. technology).
- Crossfeed DSP (for better stereo music listening experience with headphones).
- Rumble Filter DSP (to protect speakers from overloading with frequencies below 20 Hz).
- Streaming audio: M3U, PLS, ASX, RAM.
- Accurate gapless playback.
- HQ Resampling with 3 modes: fast (low CPU usage), quality (higher CPU usage), audiophile (highest CPU usage <--- but worth it)
- Dithering (to improve audio quality by eliminating quantization in signal).
- Crossfading (including manual track switching in playlist).
- HQ 4-band parametric equalizer (I like this a lot!)
- Real-time multi-band spectrum analyzer (looks cool)
- Master and Preamp digital volume adjustment
- Fully customizable.
- Smart CPU/Battery consumption
This app is still under development but I bet that in the near future it can top any other music player.
There are quite a few things that I don't like about this player. Ex. With PowerAmp I can control the music from my car stereo (BT playback. I can play, pause, next, previous). These controls won't work with Neutron music player. Also Neutron isn't as smooth as PowerAmp (navigation in the menus) and is a bit more complicated to use. Don't forget, Neutron wasn't made for looks, it was made for pure music experience.
Sound Quality on PowerAmp 7/10
Sound Quality on Neutron 10/10

For now, I keep both. Neutron for car audio because of the good SQ, and PowerAmp for home use, because it is so simple to navigate and find a song. Both apps go for ~ 5$, and in the end, both are good and worth the price (but I like Neutron more).


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