Posts Tagged ‘player’
On October 16th you’ll see the above-pictured device on store shelves. It looks like a normal Android smartphone, but it lacks one key element: a cellular radio. Instead, it’s a WiFi-based Android that essentially mimics Apple’s iPod Touch. It’ll come in two sizes: the four-inch screen will cost $ 229, while the five-inch screen will cost $ 269. Those are reasonable prices for devices that will carry no monthly service commitments. But I have to wonder if the Android platform is ready for this type of device.
One reason the iPod continues to sell, even with the iPhone in play, is music management. Apple makes it easy to move items from your iTunes library to the iPod. True, Windows users have a tougher time with it; iTunes works considerably better on a Mac. The management system isn’t quite as clean with Google Music. It could be what holds back the device. On the other hand, if Google created its own simple music player — perhaps one that lays over iTunes, such as doubleTwist — they could create the necessary interface for a device like this.
Ever since I got my Android, it has become my default portable music player. While that often doesn’t bode well for the device’s battery life, it also saves me the hassle of carrying around multiple rectangular gadgets. It was just an OK substitution at first, but as the Android platform advanced — especially with the addition of Google Music’s cloud streaming — it became the perfect replacement for my MP3 player. Well, not quite perfect. The one thing it noticeably lacked was a quality audiobook interface. There are some apps for that, though, and Akimbo’s ranks near the top. If you’re an audiobook addict, I highly recommend it for your Android device.
There are a few important features of any audiobook player, and Akimbo Audiobook Player seemingly has them all. First, it is compatible with the popular audiobook formats: M4A, M4B, and MP3. The M4s are the most typically popular audiobook format, since they are bookmarkable. That is, they remember the place where you left off so you can pick right back up in your next session. But Akimbo’s software remembers your spot even in MP3 files, so you can play audiobooks in all formats — you know, so long as they’re not DRM protected. It can also pick out chapter breaks, so you can browse through the books with ease.
Yesterday, when I wrote about the new Android music player, I promised a longer look at it once I had the time to install and play with it. What I didn’t promise is that it would bring anything significant to the table. While there are a few neat features that I appreciate, this appears to be more of a bug fix than anything else. Still, there are pictures to be viewed, so here’s what the new version brings.
The most significant bug fix I noticed was with playlists. I’m not sure if it was just the way I had my music organized, but I could not add artists, albums, or songs to playlists within the app itself. It would give me some error message, and nothing really fixed it. (That is, I re-organized the music and even did a battery pull, but still no dice.) This time around it’s quite easy to add songs to an existing playlist, or to create a new one. Then there’s another bug fix, though I’m sure that Google was the only party that considered it a bug. Yes, that’s the syncing and streaming service.