Best Android music playing applications [May 2013]

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Music is a big part of a smartphone’s feature set. We’ve already talked about the best available music streaming services, but sometimes music streaming isn’t an option, whether that’s because you’re dealing with a pesky data cap, you’re somewhere without a reliably fast internet connection, or you would just rather keep your music on your device. Whatever the reason, we’re going to go over the top music playing apps for your Android device so hit the break to find out more.

poweramp

Poweramp is one of the most robust music playing apps available. It’s packed with features and even includes theme support. If you’re looking for something that almost acts like a desktop music player, Poweramp is as close as you’re going to get.

One of the best features that Poweramp does extremely well is audio processing. It supports nearly any format you put your music in, and offers a 10-band graphic equalizer, as well as separate bass and treble adjustment, replay gain correction, and some basic mixing tools. Overall, those features make it one of the best-sounding players available. If you’re picky about your music quality, this is definitely the first app to take a look at.

Aside from the excellent audio processing, Poweramp does also have a full suite of other features. It’ll get missing artwork for you, as well as song lyrics. It supports Last.FM scrobbling, tag editing for songs, and several different widgets, including lock screen controls. There’s not too much else you could ask out of a music player. You can get a 15 day trial of the app, but the full version is only $3.99.

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Play Store Download Link (Trial)

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Play Store Download Link (Full)

winamp

Winamp is a popular, feature-rich desktop music player, and the mobile version is just as great. As a free application, Winamp features a great interface for playing local music files, as well as wireless syncing, support for iTunes, and lock screen and widget support. It also has a lot of integration with the Android OS, allowing other apps to interact with your Now Playing music as well as scrobbling support and a ton of SHOUTcast radio stations.

If the free version isn’t quite doing enough for you, Winamp offers a few in-app purchases to really extend how much the app can do. The first in-app purchase bundle adds song lyrics support for your music, and the lyrics will auto-scroll for you while you’re listening to music. It’s a really cool, polished feature for the extremely detail-oriented music lover. The second in-app purchase is an album art bundle. It automatically retrieves artwork for your music, as well as updated tags for your files that are incorrect or missing. The last available upgrade is the pro bundle, which is also available as a standalone application, throws in a ton of features like a 10-band graphic equalizer, support for .FLAC files, and personalized radio recommendations.

The in-app purchases add some really cool features, but compared to an app like Poweramp, it can be a little more expensive and complex to get them all set up. However, I personally prefer Winamp’s interface, and the wireless syncing support and iTunes support are really handy features that many users need. The free version of the app is great by itself, though, and it’s definitely worth trying out before making a decision. All the additional features can then be unlocked through the free app.

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Play Store Download Link (Free)

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Play Store Download Link (Pro)

mixzing

If you’re looking for a more simple music playing application, MixZing may be a better option than the previous apps we’ve mentioned. It isn’t as feature-filled, but sometimes less clutter makes for a better app.

MixZing’s biggest draw is its attractive interface and playlist support. The interface is very clean, and the free version of the app fully supports downloading missing album artwork to keep everything uniform. It also has a robust built-in tag editor for your music organization needs, as well as an equalizer for your music. However, where MixZing really stands out is the playlist support. A unique Mood Player selects music in your library based on the “mood” of each song and creates playlists based off of those specific moods. It’s a bit like Pandora, but centered more around emotions. It’s a really cool feature, and something that makes MixZing stand apart from the crowd.

MixZing isn’t going to win over any users by throwing tons of features at them, but the features it offers, it does extremely well. It’s also easily one of the simplest music players available in the Play Store, so if you need something light, this should be on your list. There’s a free version of the app, as well as a paid version to remove ads.

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Play Store Download Link (Free)

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Play Store Download Link (Pro)

doubletwist

doubleTwist is almost like the Swiss Army Knife of music players. Like Winamp, doubleTwist boasts iTunes support, but it goes a bit further by letting you sync music wirelessly through iTunes. On top of that, doubleTwist has lots of AirPlay features baked in for streaming your music collection to other devices. If you’re unfamiliar with it, AirPlay is Apple’s proprietary streaming protocol, similar to DLNA on many other devices. The biggest advantage to using AirPlay is the out-of-the-box support for things like a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, and it’s the simplest way to utilize an Apple TV with your Android device, if you have one.

Aside from the deep iTunes support, doubleTwist also offers standard features like album artwork collection, smart playlists, and wireless podcast subscription syncing. And, doubleTwist has their newly introduced Magic Radio built in, which is like a blend of Pandora with your personal music library. It plays suggestions based on your music tastes, but throws in songs you own to keep things slightly familiar. It’s a nice spin on music discovery and it’s a great feature for the app. The service runs $3.99 per month, which is a bit cheaper than some other similar music services.

doubleTwist offers their pro features in bundles, similar to Winamp’s approach. If you buy the full Pro key, however, you do get a discount. The AirSync bundle, Music Lover bundle, and Podcasts bundle are all $4.99 a piece and they unlock all of doubleTwist’s handy, usually wireless, features. You can also opt for the Pro bundle to save $5 on purchasing all three bundles separately. I think doubleTwist does a better job of streamlining the add-ons than Winamp does, and that makes up for a few features that Winamp has on doubleTwist.

Even if you’re just looking for a straightforward music player, the free version of doubleTwist is a great choice. It sports a clean interface, as well as other music player standard features like scrobbling and widgets. It is missing a graphic equalizer, though, which may or may not be a big deal to you, depending on how picky you are about how your music sounds.

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Play Store Download Link

These are just a few of the many available music players available on the Play Store. Generally, these are the most solid, highly rated apps that cover all of the basic things you’ll need, like widget support and easy ways to manage files. Are there any of your favorite apps that didn’t make the list? Sound off in the comments.

» See more articles by Jared Peters


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  • James Gray

    Whoa weird, I was almost done with this same article, never realized someone else was writing it.

    Anyway, I’d add a few suggestions including GoneMAD, Jet Audio and the newest version of Songbird.

    • http://www.facebook.com/winnie.she.5 Winnie She

      Second that suggestion for GoneMAD. Among other reasons, GoneMAD and Neutron is the only players I know of that correctly displays the embedded art for song tracks in a given album (i.e. if you have ten songs in an album and they have different cover art, most other players will only pick up the cover art for the first track).

      • James Gray

        Exactly! I hate Neutron’s interface though. It reminds me of Winamp back in like ’99

  • Spencer McClendon

    I would have added Google Play Music All Access.

  • CJ456

    No music player surpasses Neutron player in terms of audio quality.
    I have used (and bought) most of the players mentioned above, and I can tell you that neutron regardless of not having the best user interface it has absolutely top notch sound quality.

    • mel897

      Agreed, but I finally gave up and uninstalled it. It has severe performance issues handling large libraries and a few too many bugs. I’ll give them some time and give it another look down the road (since I paid for it ;-). I’m surprised PlayerPro wasn’t mentioned… it’s among the best.

  • Todd Gless

    Google play music. The new $7.99 service. Can’t touch it with a ten foot pole

    • RTWright

      Google Play for $7.99? A month? Eh, yeah I can touch that easily, as in no way! For starters cloud based music systems tend to fail a lot because of several connection issues on the go. Yeah if you’re stationary a lot, have great signal almost always, they’re okay. Nothing beats having the music directly on your device, very low latency and always accessible no matter of signal quality or having access to WiFi or not. Google play falls short in a lot of places. I have tried almost every single audio player on the market ( At least ones that offer free versions to try before buying ), I come back to PowerAmp every time. Now I will say I’ve not yet tried Neutron, but I’m installing it right now to do just that :)

      • Todd Gless

        Your a little slow so I will help you out. I can keep the music in the cloud or put it on my device. All from my phone

        • Michael Vasovski

          Suggesting that someone is “slow”, while misspelling “You’re” and missing the obvious fact that your first sentence is two, separate statements is quite ironic. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • http://twitter.com/Geek_Musical Geek_Musical Psico

    I love Poweramp, nice interface and powerful functions, but NRG Player is most easy-to-use!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1524158112 Pallab Gupta

    I have quite a few music players – jetAudio, Google Music, WinAmp, but Neutron wins hands down.

    • RTWright

      I’ll give Neutron one thing, they have great sound quality but so does PowerAmp with a ton less hassles. I will say that Neutron has the WORST UI Setup! That thing needs simplified in the worst way! They have way too many options and they’re organization of them is HORRID! I’ve used recording studio software that was far less complicated and that’s saying something.

      Personally speaking, a great player does not need a million options scattered all over the place, it just needs to do it’s job and do it well. I can get the same results in PowerAmp as I get in Neutron. With Neutron it uses a lot of the DSP ( Which only comes on ROMs ) for features like Surround Sound and others. Nothing wrong with that, but again PowerAmp doesn’t need this.

      I’m still hassling with their Settings UI and wishing they’d learn how to properly design a UI and arrange things in a more Simplistic manner. I can see why it didn’t make the list, as for a few reasons. Not as many know about it and the ones that do know it’s far more complicated than the average listener will ever want to deal with. I personally don’t mind the extreme advanced options, just wish their UI was a lot better. That would go a LONG way in my opinion on this player.

  • fistandantilus

    Which of these, if any, support gapless? That’s the reason why I use proplayer, but sometimes I hear a skip.

  • bungadudu

    How come Neutron mp isn’t listed here?
    If you wanna listen music at the best possible quality on a smartphone, it’s simply the best choice!

  • Cappy

    Come on dude, Neutron Player is the best player hands down, I mean the UI can be better but the quality it outputs beats any player by far

    • mel897

      Providing you are willing to put up with a clumsy, buggy UI that becomes extremely sluggish with large libraries. If I add an album, it’s almost immediately available in my other players… it’s not available in Neutron hours later. If I start a rescan, by tablet is unuseable for anything for nearly half-hour. You have to download art-work with a separate program. Great audio but too quirky by far. Needs work… maybe in time. Still use it on my Playbook though where the UI seems to be more stable..

  • http://thompsonjack.over-blog.com/training-courses-to-consider-for-the-mobile-application-developer JackThompson

    Android operating system and its effects on the open source and non-open source communities. And android music system are the free version of double Twist is a great choice.

  • http://bullockbrennan.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/important-tips-on-how-to-install-an-android-application-on-the-android-device/ BrennanBullock

    Android operating system and its effects on the open source and non-open source communities. And android music system are the free version of double Twist is a great choice.

  • Nester

    Android operating system and its effects on the open source and non-open source communities. And android music system are the free version of double Twist is a great choice

  • JOHN

    I use winamp because there is a windows version, you can import from itunes and its easy to sync (including via wifi).
    Doubletwist sounds interesting but can it also do the same thing?

    • riles123

      I’ve had a lot of problems with Doubletwist deleting playlists and what not. I’ve gone through their help forums and was able to perform the fixes, but it still wipes the info randomly.

  • shol

    For me, it’s playerpro, it’s smoother and easier to use. it’s just more comfortable.

    • Zenithv99

      agreed

  • Haley

    Does anyone have an issue with these apps saying they support iTunes playlists and then they just… don’t? For me, portable music is incredibly important and having an android phone has been an endless battle with trying to sync my playlists. Google Play Music had it together, but recently half of my songs disappeared and nothing I do is bringing them back. Ready to hop on the iPhone bandwagon so I can have my freaking music back.

    • Dan

      I’m right there with you man. I had the iPhone 4S and decided to give the Galaxy S4 a try because of all the “bells and whistles” and the awesome screen, but this crap with trying to get my playlists on the phone is making me think about returning the thing and getting the iPhone 5.

      • Reginald Owens

        iSyncr does a fairly decent job of syncing not only your music, but also your iTunes playlist (iSyncr is made to sync iTunes to Android). It syncs to both the system playlist as well as actual playlist files. This means that your playlists will be available to any music app that you use. Since iSyncr works both tethered (using the USB cable) and wirelessly, you can sync your music/playlist whenever and it will automatically update on the phone. This was the MUST HAVE app that I needed when switching from my iPhone back to Android.

        • Dennerman

          I too highly recommend iSyncr. You just use iTunes to manage all your music like normal, and then hit iSyncr to sync your playlists and those songs to your Android. I’ve been using it for like a year and it hasn’t failed me yet.

      • Arushi

        try easysync, it syncs your itunes library to the “music” app already on your android device

        • Arushi

          sorry – that’s easy phone sync!

  • Chris

    Are there any Android music players that allow you to organise your media in ways other than the standard Artist, Album, Genre, using other tags? Do they all handle compilation albums, i.e. use Album Artist instead of Artist, and do they handle multi-disc sets?

    • Blaargh

      The new Google Play Music app does that fairly well. It sorts by Album Artist but still struggles on multi-disc albums.

    • qio

      GMMP

  • socrpar8hd

    I just deleted Double Twist AGAIN! I gave it 2 times to work, and it failed me both times, by not loading what I WANTED.

  • Dr Dave

    I am having trouble streaming some radio stations. Are there players that are better than others for this?

    • Anon

      Perhaps a dedicated one such as TuneIn Radio?

  • BRUTAL

    where the hell is ‘Rocket Player’ ? It is the BEST free music player hands down. There’s a pro version but I don’t need it.

    Free version

    - High quality album art from my ID3 tags. Google Play Music, Winamp, all these other overrated crap programs make my art look LOW quality.

    - NICE UI. Easy to go between songs and I can get rid of useless catagories.

    - Doesn’t hog a lot of memory. I got 512mb on my phone.

    - Overall fast and clean. Unlike Google Play Music what an atrocious design and Poweramp $5 and this can do it all for free.

    - Free version has an EQ.

    - Free version plays FLAC.

    This has a pro version for some skins and bonus features but I have no use for that.

    There is no reason for me to touch another music player.

    People at XDA recommended so many garbage music player choices. They also gave me pro choices.

    I

    • M@Rk2GP

      Thanks for the heads up!
      Suits me perfectly !!!

    • skeera

      Yo true that Power Amp is amazing… U should also try Marven player man its awesome

  • Mark

    Does anyone know of an app that doesn’t get confused by “&” vs “and”? This is the bane of my existence right now.

  • Blinky Bill

    I have been using jetaudio on PC for years and the Android version seems good too. worth a look anyway.

    • J.Ack

      I use Jetaudio on PC (best media player, ever). So I got jetaudio for my phone – best media player again.

      Used Poweramp. THough awesome too, it isn’t free.

      Google music – sucks. Interface simply sucks.

      Winamp – haven’t used it, but i know better than to use some program from the early 90s.

  • Murro

    Hey writer. You need to re-check your understanding of “best”.

  • frustrated

    Got power amp pro. Totally impossible for me to find my music, double loads everything, try to correct by deleting duplicate music and everything loaded dissappears no help at all from power amp on forums or elsewhere from developer. Totally worthless.

    • Anonymous

      You need to go the settings>Folders and all>then just uncheck all the ticks and just check(tick) the folder where you have your music. I faced the similar problem earlier, it solved the issue. Poweramp is amazing.
      Cheers.

    • JROCK

      true true = PowerAmp is dumb as dirt when managing files. I cant even give it a high rating for sound quality. OVERRATED.

  • Amigo

    I have and had a bunch of players on my android but where is Neutron? guys I know it’s probably not that easy to handle for the first time it took me half day to get used to it but it’s the awesomest! even worth buying it! Neutron is the only one for the real Audiophiles.

  • Burj

    No vlc…what is this?

  • Amy

    Fusion by far is the best music app for android, its easy, free, yet gives you all the options you need. I highly suggest this app for anyone who wants a good music player.

    • IM0W Shafty

      You are so correct there. I just replaced my music player with this thanks to you and I love it.

      • Dorothy Pollock

        I agree that this is a nice pick. Love how it links to You Tube etc. I like Neutron too. I am going to try all of them on my LG G2. The comments here have been very helpful!

  • Carlos Alberto Castillo Oporta

    DaMusicPlayer is cute :)

  • Hellrazor Thug

    Hello. I want a player with loud sound suggestion for Sony Xperia J. Thanks

    • abhi

      use sound boost to improve ur audio volume it works

  • Geglor

    I’ve always had a good media device and none of the apps mentioned here seemed to be able to replace one except for PowerAmp, even then, it isn’t perfect. That was until I tried out the apps mentioned in the comment sections and tried out rocket music player. It’s quite similar to poweramp, but it has a fully usable free version

  • Tony Buffone

    Best music player hands down is Neutron MP….’nuff said!

  • ass

    PlayerPro hands down….

  • http://www.marklaflamme.com/ Mark LaFlamme

    Tell you what. This was a helpful article, due in large part to the comments that followed. I just discovered a half dozen players I hadn’t heard of before. I’m currently dinking around with Rocket. I’m digging it, though that GoneMAD action looks pretty promising, too. Great stuff.

    • Prateek

      I try GoneMad it’s pretty good thnxx for sharing

  • ayahganteng

    Music Folder Player…graetest

  • Prateek

    Poweramp is the best player I have ever use but the issue with that is volume is not louder that much so i use ttpod sometimes for that it’s awesome music player with minilyrics type floating lyrics sound is also louder you can try it also…..

  • banna

    there are many people said that the greatest music player especially ‘audio’ is neutron. a pity, i haven’t installed it yet.but another neutron, i prefer to n7player. it’s the greatest if compared by poweramp, gmmp,rocket,double twist,player pro and etc (i has tested them one by one!).now i want to test neutron. i’m going to.

  • Ramakata Oblonsky

    I agree with most posters that Neutron is the best sounding player. I tried PowerAmp and was disappointed. I think they push hard on promoting own product without care about quality. I found also another player which sound as Neutron but it provides capability to play vinyl rips. The player name is Kamerton. So I was switched to the player and really happy.:)

  • nandcep

    Hope the Google Play Music have an integrated lyric :D

  • Jarrod

    Shuttle+. it’s the best.

  • Jd

    Idiot poweramp is crap compared to Rocket player

  • kezler12

    n7 is great too

  • justanotherfellowamerican

    Is real player good?

  • John

    Jet Audio Is really amazing if you’re picky about sound quality. It offers a 20-band eq and is by far my favorite.

  • DWaudio

    Neutron Music Player is the quintessential and definitive music player of all-time for Android. I you actually give a damn about powerful audio shaping and controls over your audio, nothing compares. Period. This app single handedly made me make the jump to Android from crappy iOS.

  • JBCool

    PowerAmp Keeps looking for licence, so if you have it on Tablet and your not on WI-FI then the player is good as Death.

    • Bharat Bang

      ttpod is the best option of all

  • lester

    Mixzing ??? You cant be serious. Go fuck yourself.

  • octoroktwinkie

    I’ve had mortplayer for a while now. Its the best one i’ve used, but i crave change. This has helped me out a lot with other options i didn’t know about.

  • Fringe Agent

    Yes Trax Music Player is the best one I’ve found. Albums down one side drag/drop to the other side and play. simples, I also like the way it does not mess around with the files, it just shows them the way you put them in.

  • MRT

    Neutron player is the best one if you know how to use it.

  • jeff

    is that a music player that allows you to see the drops and build up in song similar to soundcloud

  • xmi515555

    power amp is the best.