Google has been pitching YouTube Music as an eventual replacement for Google Play Music since the company refocused what it was for last year, but it's still missing plenty of features. You still can't access your Google Play Music uploads from YouTube Music, and there's no easy way to import playlists or libraries between the two services. However, YouTube Music has just picked up the ability to play locally stored audio files — though, sadly, only via external means like file managers. In-app local media playback is still absent. Read More
Streaming music is usually dominated by large names like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music, but there are some smaller services out there. Tidal might be having a tough time recently, but it's popular among those looking for higher-quality music, and now another name is entering the US audiophile-grade streaming market. Qobuz (don't ask us how to pronounce it) is bringing its high-resolution 40-million track audio library stateside later this year. Read More
Over a month ago, it was revealed that Firefox 58 would allow Progressive Web Apps to be added to the home screen. The Firefox 58 beta has made that a reality, and it's also brought with it some more new features, including FLAC support and two new locales. However, the Firefox Search widget is gone from the home screen. Read More
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.
Audio players on Android 4.4 through 4.4.2 will produce snaps, crackles, pops (heheh), and various other imperfections during the playback of .flac files. The timing of these disruptions is pretty random and seems to get worse over time. Read More
PowerAMP, one of the most popular and versatile music player apps available for Android, got updated today to Version 2.0.5-build-480 today, bringing a handful of handy improvements to an already stellar application.
Perhaps the most notable among these are ICS-related fixes, ICS lock screen controls (which strangely don't show up on ASUS' Transformer Prime), and notification bar controls for Android 3.0+ (which don't blend well with the Prime's ICS aesthetic), providing further practical and functional integration with Android Tablets and Ice Cream Sandwich-powered devices.
The update also brings support for multichannel FLAC playback, album art search based on title or filename, DSP features under the app's equalizer curve, and several other miscellaneous enhancements. Read More
While it doesn't affect those of you who have no idea what FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec) is, today's Android 3.1 announcement (see the SDK release here) will make a lot of people who gave up MP3s for FLAC files happy. Forget happy - think ecstatic. Unlike MP3s, FLAC is a lossless codec, meaning it does not degrade in quality after compression, making it the perfect solution for audiophiles who really care about the quality of their sound.
After staring at the issue (#1461) (and I'm sure working hard on implementing support for it) for over 2 years, the Android team finally added native FLAC decoding to Android starting with Android 3.1, the latest iteration of Honeycomb. Read More
The incredibly popular VLC Player is finally coming to Android after months of hard work by the open source project developers. Originally a desktop media center for Linux, Windows, and Mac, this versatile player will bring many new video-playing features to our beloved OS including a wide variety of formats such as DivX and Dolby TrueHD. The lead developer in the project, Jean-Baptiste Kempf, has confirmed that it will hit the Android Market in "just a few weeks", which means that Android will be the first mobile platform to have a version of this software finally follow iOS and get its own port (thanks, Mikeyy). Read More
You may recall Artem's preview post last week, where he showed off the latest in slick Android music players. Well, no longer are you at the mercy of filesharing site download limits, as PowerAMP build 204 is now available in the rather more dependable Android Marketplace. Cough.
With a change log of such length that it would put a cellular network press release to shame, it's fair to say that this latest version of PowerAMP is packing a few new features. Below we've highlighted a few that may be of particular interest:
- Genre support
- Last.fm scrobbling via Simple Last.fm or Scrobble Droid
- Album art fetcher
- Pause on headset disconnect
- New widgets with album art display
- Hide status bar
- Long hold or double press headset button to skip track
- Lock screen orientation
- Lockscreen widget transparency and positioning
- Many, many bug fixes
Check out the full list at PowerAMP's new homepage. Read More
If you're looking for a small, great-sounding, non-Apple music playing device, two of the most frequently recommended players out there have been the Sansa Fuze and Cowon D2/D2+. With the Fuze just getting bumped up to the Fuze+, it's only fair that Cowon release an update of their own. Although it was only last year that the D2+ was released, a certification filing on the 28th of September shows that there truly is a D3 coming, and hopefully soon.
It has been rumoured for a while that the D3 will run Android, and it seems that Korean blog MovePlayer has received enough insider information to confirm that this will in fact be the case. Read More