With a plethora of music streaming services to choose from these days, local music players have become somewhat of a niche app category. But that doesn't mean users and developers have completely lost interest, and many people still prefer to own their music. That's where apps like Phonograph or Shuttle come in, and the developer of the latter has just released the beta of a completely rewritten Android app. You can give it a try on the Play Store.
This story was originally published and last updated .
The demise of Google Play Music might have you thinking it's time to go back to the old way of locally storing your favorite music. Fortunately, this is the kind of thing Android was made for, and there are so many apps available that do more than organize your library into a playlist.
Several years ago, developers of music players on Android had to implement a persistent notification in order to keep their app running and music playing even when users switched to another app. With better memory management and more available RAM on modern phones, this isn't a concern anymore, and most devs have forgotten about that commodity. That has had one annoying consequence on several audio apps: If you mistakenly swipe them away, your music or podcasts or audiobooks stop playing.
VLC is one of the best media players. It's available on pretty much any platform and able to play almost every audio and video file type you could think of. Its UI on Android has become a bit stale over the years though, so with the recently released version 3.2.3 of the app, the developers have decided to polish up the looks while also adding new features to the Android TV and Chromebook variants.
After stalling in development for a few years, popular music player Poweramp has found the secret to rejuvenation again. The app got updated with a brand new interface in December, added Android Auto compatibility last month, and is now implementing a feature every media player should really have: Chromecast support. As a bonus, it also works with Assistant.
Listening to music, podcasts, and audiobooks while driving can make or break your commutes and long road trips. Engaging audio content keeps you entertained and alert, but you don't want to get your eyes off the road to switch between your navigation app and music app simply to skip ahead or rewind. This is why Waze added Spotify integration last year, and is now expanding its in-app player to seven more partners.
If you like apps that have a distinctive aesthetic — and a good one — but are loaded with features under the hood, then Stellio Player is right up your alley. Stellio is a music player that is highly customizable, great looking, and has sophisticated playback and library management capabilities.
AT Player is a totally free app that will make your mobile music experience more enjoyable. It has two related sets of features, depending on your habits. If you have a local music library, it is a top notch player with extensive playlist support, equalizer, lyric search, and more. If you like to stream music for free, it's an easy and smart portal to YouTube's massive collection.
The age of streaming music services is upon us, but not everyone has moved to the cloud for their listening needs. Those who still rely on local music files might be interested to know that Shuttle Music Player just got a big, big update. In the v2.0 release, the developer has added a new theme engine, a myriad UI changes, album shuffle, and much more.
One of the more accomplished of the many podcast apps out there is Player FM. It's been a while since we last covered it, but today's news is worthy of a mention. Version 4.0 has been announced, and with it comes a redesigned interface, premium membership options, and a host of other new features.
If you're a regular user, the first thing you'll notice is the new UI, headlined by a five-tab bottom navigation panel. The options available to you there are Discover, Downloads, Shows, Playlists, and Settings, which should cover the vast majority of what you need to do in the app, with it all now in easy reach of your thumb.