If you're an audio perfectionist, you've surely stumbled onto flac, an audio compression format designed to deliver lossless recordings. The file sizes are considerably larger than your average MP3, but the sound quality is unparalleled by lossy compression algorithms. It's not hard to see why audiophiles drift towards flac as their preferred storage medium. Now imagine the latest version of Android is causing stuttering, cracks, pops, and static in the otherwise perfect playback of flac.
Last week, we heard from Dan Morrill (via Reddit) that "top men" were working on the "sleep of death" issue that caused 4.3 devices to become unresponsive if they fell asleep while streaming from Netflix through the Chromecast.
Tonight, though, it looks like the issue is already fixed with Netflix's update to version 2.4.1. We've been testing the update since it popped up earlier this evening, and haven't experienced a lockup yet.
Google released an update to the news reader it hasn't abandoned today, adding a bunch of support for audio-centric features. Playlists are now available for editions that contain audio content, and users will be able to play, pause, and jump forward or backward in the playlist. There are even status bar controls added for when audio is playing, so you don't have to sit staring at a blank playback page while listening.
SoundCloud may not be the most famous app around, but when it comes to sharing a simple audio clip or a song, it's hard to beat. Now, the company's mobile app is getting an overhaul and with it comes a shiny new interface that doesn't suck. The UI upgrade makes use of the action bar, side navigation panel, notification controls and all the other fancy new features that we've grown used to since Ice Cream Sandwich and beyond.
In ancient Greece, Apollo was—among other things—the god of music. In ancient 2012, Apollo became the official music app for CyanogenMod. It was gorgeous, functional, and completely customizable, as you might expect from the world's most popular ROM. At the time, we were told that this lovely bit of software would be coming to the Market "in the coming weeks." That was back when we still called it the Market.
While services like Spotify and Rdio may steal the spotlight most of the time, there are other streaming subscription services out there. Related: we need a better name than "streaming subscription services." Rhapsody, originally founded by Real Networks and since become an independent entity, has a pretty impressive library that users can now download for offline playback. An essential feature for a modern cloud music player. Update: To clarify, it's the ability to download songs on an individual or per-album basis that is new.
If you want to listen to your own music on your Android device, there are two ways to do it: first, store it locally, or second, stream it from a cloud-based service like Google Music or Amazon MP3. Obviously playing back locally would be faster (no buffering), reliable (you don't have to worry about reception), not use up valuable bandwidth, and allow you to use whatever music player you want.
It seems like we've been waiting forever for an official build of VLC to land in the Play Store, and that day has finally come... for some people, anyway. First off, the build that just landed in the Store is for devices with ARMv7 NEON CPUs only. This includes most modern processors, like Tegra 3, Exynos, OMAP4, and Snapdragon S2, S3, and S4. If you have an older processor, like Tegra 2 or one that uses ARMv6 architecture, then a build for your device should be available "in a few days."
While this version is beta, it still supports all the features that users of VLC's desktop software have come to expect, like playback of nearly any video or audio file, media library, support for multi-track audio and subtitles; as well as some mobile-specific goodies like auto-rotation, aspect ratio adjustments, and gestures to control volume.
VLC is one of those tools that's in every geek's toolbox. The video player that supports every video format known to man still doesn't have an official, finished Android version, though. In the meantime, however, developer cvpcs, has done us all the courtesy of setting up an hourly build server for the alpha of VLC for Android.
The builds come in both NEON and non-NEON flavors. So, folks with older phones, or devices with the Tegra 2, for example, should probably download the non-NEON version.
Based on a tweet by Cyanogen, the G2 isn't going to be sporting another rehash of the Snapdragon family of chipsets that has come to dominate HTC devices for the past 6 months.
You may remember back in November of 2009 (or maybe not, I didn't) that Qualcomm demoed an updated family of chipsets for mobile multimedia devices. The name of that chipset is the remarkably catchy MSM7X30 (really has a ring to it, no?), and it's bringing a little more to the table than its predecessors.