There's no shortage of music players for Android, but each one fills a particular niche that another offering just doesn't quite address. CloudAround, for example, is a great option for people who love cloud storage but don't want to trust their files entirely to one service or happen to rely on a service that doesn't offer a music streaming app (i.e. most of them). NicePlayer's draw is perhaps more superficial. This is a music player for people who love a clean card-style layout and can't get enough of apps that embrace it. NicePlayer is still in beta, and it's somewhat buggy at the moment, but it's already usable and attractive enough to warrant a look.
It Sure Is Pretty
If you like Google's new card-centric UI, then you're in for a treat here. NicePlayer deals out cards like it was born in Vegas. Each album gets its own card and are arranged in stacks. Picking a specific album draws it out of the stack, and scrolling through the list opens them all up for easier view. Clicking on an album brings it into focus and the track list pulls out from under. It's smoother than it sounds and makes navigating through songs a fresh experience.
But Does It Work?
On the default screen, selecting the correct track is such a delicate bit of surgery that I want to use my finger nail, which isn't a good thing on devices with capacitive screens (again, most of them). Thankfully, clicking on the icon in the top right takes you to your playlist and transitions to a view where the track names are larger and easier to click. Tracks can be pinned to the playlist and rearranged using simple drag and drop.
The playlists come with a decent amount of depth. There are a variety of options available for randomizing the song order, a timer lets you select how long music should play before going to sleep, and an equalizer is present for tweaking how things sound. Unfortunately, NicePlayer was prone to crashing whenever I dabbled with this screen. That's quite a bit of lost functionality, but the app has been relatively stable otherwise. It handles playing music just fine, which is pretty important for a music player.
NicePlayer automatically scans for music on your device, but it also comes with a built-in file manager for picking out anything that it misses. This part of the app is remarkably robust. Far from an afterthought, the file manager supports playing files directly and importing. It could easily serve as someone's primary means of accessing their music.
There is one drawback to relying on the file manager, though it's relatively minor. Unlike songs accessed normally, files played from there don't show album art in the notification drawer.
Should You Download It?
This depends entirely on how much you dig having a card-styled layout. Functionality wise, NicePlayer is a solid option, but it doesn't offer any other defining feature that alternatives cannot compete with. As a beta, it's also not yet ready for primetime. Still, I'm fond of it, and while most alternatives look very similar and perhaps overly cluttered, NicePlayer is bold enough to be different and clean. That's worth something. It's available for free, so give it a shot.