The 5 Best Android music player apps [May 2014]

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Last year we covered some of the best apps available on the Play Store for playing your locally stored tunes, and even though a ton of music listening has gone in the streaming direction, many people still prefer keeping music on their phone or tablet. If you’re dealing with low monthly data caps or you’re going somewhere without an internet connection, solid music players are still fantastic to have. We figured now would be a good time to update our previous guide with some newer apps along with updated info on the apps that made it over to this year’s list. Hit the break to get started.

poweramp

Poweramp made our list of music players last time around, and it’s only gotten better since last year. It still offers a ton of features aimed at power users that other music players can’t match, and the themes and tweaks in Poweramp make it one of the best in the business.

Poweramp excels when it comes to tweaking how your music sounds and handling any file type you throw at it. FLAC formats tend to be the preferred format for storing audio without sacrificing any quality, but if you’ve ever tried to listen to a FLAC file on a mobile device, you’ve probably noticed it can be tricky to get them to actually play in a music player. Fortunately, Poweramp handles FLAC files like a champ, as well as other slightly less common files like OGG, WMA, ALAC, and… well, you get the point. Few apps can handle as many different file types as Poweramp, which makes it an excellent tool if you happen to store your music collection in differing formats.

In addition to just playing all of your odd music formats, Poweramp supports a ton of music enhancements that make your music sound that much better. There’s a built-in 10 band equalizer that’s infinitely better than what you’ll find preloaded on any Android device, separate bass and treble tweaks, support for gapless playback, crossfading, replay gain correction, and mono mixing. These features may be a bit overwhelming for extremely casual music listeners, but for the power user, they’re extremely useful to have.

A powerful app just isn’t complete without some personalization options, and Poweramp addresses that, too. There are multiple themes available on the Play Store, and there are four built-in widgets and a configurable lock screen for you to set up. Poweramp will also fetch lyrics and fill in album artwork for you, keeping your music library looking fantastic.

Poweramp is free to try for two weeks, after which it costs $3.99 to buy the full version.

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Play Store Download Link

doubletwist header

doubleTwist has always offered more features than other music players, and they haven’t stopped improving or adding new tricks to the app. Plus, it’s one of the few apps that can painlessly sync your iTunes library to your Android device, and with how popular iTunes is, that’s a fantastic feature to have.

Since the introduction of KitKat, doubleTwist has revamped the interface to better align with Android’s newer design standards. The interface is fantastic and arguably one of the best on this list, allowing quick navigation around your music and playlists. The slide-out drawer gives you quick access to moving to different parts of your libraries, including podcast and video libraries, as well as different settings.

On top of the excellent interface, doubleTwist offers a ton of extra features, including the iTunes syncing that made the app so popular in the first place. It can also act as an Airplay device, similar to an iOS device, allowing it to stream content to any AirPlay receiver. There’s no real unified streaming protocol on Android like AirPlay, so having that functionality is unique and extremely useful, especially if you’re already invested into any other AirPlay devices. doubleTwist premium also throws in a customizable equalizer, auto-fetching album art, and automatic podcast downloading.

A relatively new feature of doubleTwist is its Magic Radio, which is a competitor to services like Pandora. It creates custom radio stations based on the usual artist/song selections, but it can also build radio stations off of words or phrases, too. It’s a very cool feature with a 7-day trial, but after that, it runs a relatively steep $24.99 per year. If you’re in the market for a new streaming service, it’s not a bad option as compared to others like Pandora or Google’s All-Access, but if you’re simply looking for a music player, you’ll probably never really use this feature.

doubleTwist can’t do quite as much as some of the other power-user friendly players like Poweramp, but it can give you an excellent listening experience with a fantastic interface, and that counts for something. The basic pieces of doubleTwist are completely free with a few in-app purchases to add in some of the more premium features.

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Play Store Download Link

google_play_music

Google’s Play Music is mostly known as a front-end for listening to music you purchase from the Play Store and stream from Google All Access, but even if you don’t plan on using either of those features, the Play Music app makes a fantastic offline music player.

If you’re really into apps that stick to Google’s design standards, there’s no better option than what Google itself puts out, and Play Music is no exception. The interface of Play Music is fantastic with its Google’s card-aesthetic, as well as plenty of fluid swiping and pull-out action bars. The main library of the app can sort through genres, artists, albums, and songs, and it can hide everything except the music you’ve got stored on the device. If you mix and match local music with cloud stored music, that’s a pretty useful trick.

That useful trick is also what makes Play Music stand out for many Android users. If you ever purchase a song from the Play Store, or if you do subscribe to All Access, that music will be stored in Play Music, but won’t be readily available anywhere else. So if you have some music stored in Google’s cloud locker, some music pinned in your library from All Access, and some of it stored on your SD card, you’d want it all to be uniformly available in one place, right? Play Music handles that perfectly, showing all of the music you own in one place, regardless of where it’s stored.

Unfortunately, Play Music doesn’t compete too much in terms of extra features. You can access your device’s built-in equalizer from the settings and search for any particular song from within the app, but that’s about as much as it offers. There’s quite a bit of Google+ integration, but that’s pretty standard for a Google app.

If you’ve dabbled with All Access or purchased any music from the Play Store, Play Music is arguably your best option for keeping all of your stuff in one easy-to-find location. If you really like simple music players that follow Google’s design guidelines, it’s also a fantastic player. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t bother with cloud storage and has more features, though, keep looking.

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Play Store Download Link

n7player

n7 Player is an extremely popular option that’s shaped up to be just as great as the other players we’ve mentioned. The interface and usability of n7 really makes it stand out from some of your other options.

When you first fire up n7, it automatically builds your library for you. It compiles everything on your SD card and internal storage, and will even fetch your album art for you. Afterwards, it throws you into the main screen of the app and gives you a few pop-up tips to help you navigate around, and these navigation features are really where n7 shines. The first screen displays your music as words and phrases, and pinching and zooming will narrow things down to help you find exactly what you’re in the mood to listen to. At first, using gestures to navigate around your library seems a bit confusing, but once you get the hang of it it’s extremely fast and very visually appealing.

Aside from the interface, n7 does have some other features that make it worth using. You’ll get a full 10-band equalizer (if you’re on Android 4.1 or up), support for many different audio files, gapless playback, and a fully featured tag editor accessible by long-pressing on a song. There’s also DLNA/UPNP and Chromecast support baked right into n7, which allows you to sling your media to just about any wireless device in your house, including smart TVs, computers, game consoles, and, yes, Google’s own Chromecast.

n7 Player is available with a free trial in the Play Store, and the full version only costs $3.49 through an in-app purchase. Give it a spin if you’re looking for something with a little more visual flair.

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Play Store Download Link

Fusion music player

Fusion music player is an app that believes music discovery should be a major component of listening to music, which is a rare thing to find in a music player that isn’t a streaming radio service. It also features a pretty slick interface and a few customization options.

When you’re browsing your music in Fusion, you’ll notice that there are two extra tabs next to your artists and albums for Charts and Radio. The Charts tab shows you the current top songs that everyone is listening to, and tapping on it will search for different sources where you can listen to the song. If you’re trying to find some new music, this is a pretty handy way to glance over what’s popular. Unfortunately, you can’t really fine tune it to specific genres, so if you aren’t into pop music, this might not do you much good.

The radio tab is basically a front-end for Shoutcast radio, which is a little more robust than just glancing over top songs. You can look at the current top radio stations, search for specific keywords to find a radio station you like, and save any station as a favorite to find again later. Shoutcast isn’t quite on the same level as something like Pandora, but it’s nice to have that functionality baked right in alongside your music library in case you’re ever in the mood for a radio station.

You’ll also find the regular set of music player features in Fusion, including an equalizer and lock screen widgets. However, there are also a few unique features it offers, including shake and wave gesture support (think Samsung Air Gestures) for devices with proximity sensors, direct sharing to social media sites, custom ringtone trimming, and even a visualizer. For power users, these features aren’t going to be as valuable as what some of the other apps offer, but for most users the features are fun to use and definitely worth looking into.

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Play Store Download Link

These are five of the best music players available that cover a ton of features, depending on how you like to listen to music. Are there any apps you really enjoy using that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

» See more articles by Jared Peters


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  • Justin Tipton

    Have you checked out my music player, Rocket Player? It offers more features for free than these players, not to mention that I just added Chromecast support for free. I don’t think any of these apps have Chromecast support for playing music on your device…

    • UmmSeriously

      You don’t think GOOGLE music has Chromecast support?!?

      • Justin Tipton

        I know Google Play Music has Chromecast support, but you have to upload your music to their cloud for it to work. That is why I said…. “I don’t think any of these apps have Chromecast support for playing music on your device…”

        By on your device, I mean stored on your device. Not uploaded to the cloud.

  • AllPurposeRadio

    You’re a little too kind to Google Music. I find the UI kind of clunky and redundant in places. And that widget…oh that widget that won’t resize properly for different grid sizes but yet has such soooo much wasted space. But yeah still having that $7.99 all access subscription eases a lot of that

  • Sid

    I recently came across Stellio..really nice UI, lot of good features..

  • Phill

    I like Player Pro – lots of Features including downloading artist pictures.

  • Anthony Pisano

    PlayerPro? How can you miss that?

  • Blah

    What about Neutron? What about Jet Audio? These are the best players in my opinion

  • kay

    Can’t believe Player Pro wasn’t listed!!

  • Ian

    Can’t believe you didn’t include Rocket Player. It is by far the best music player for Android. I’ve tried all the other apps and always come back to Rocket Player. Intuitive interface, support for all file types, speedy, and chromecast support for music/playlists stored on phone. You should check it out.

  • Brad Degenaars

    I have used all of the apps mentioned in your list and I cannot believe you left out Rocket Player. Rocket Player is the only one in the bunch that handles Bluetooth connectivity, Search and Playlist exports properly in my opinion. PlayerPro constantly would not send the artist and song information to my car stereo unless I stopped and restarted the track. It also lacks in search not being available unless you are specific screens within the app.

  • John

    How about Rocket Player? Great features and there is a huge and active developer support.

  • francis

    rocket player still rocks for me. despite of its simplicity, the audio quality still uncompromised.. =)

  • francis

    when you listen to music, you use your ears and not your eyes, so why
    bother those other add-ons and nice visuals if the audio quality sucks. I
    still believe on Rocket Player in these aspects: simplicity, no
    “exagerrated” add-ons, nice equalizer and perfectly-blended sound
    enhancement with bass and virtualizer perfectly blended. =)

  • Zach

    Maven Music Player by far has the absolute best audio quality! It needed to be in this list

    • Mikhail Mcmillian

      SO TRUE

  • tonya23222

    Fusion is the best… if only it had scrobble support. It’s free and amazing. By far the best, I’ve tried em all.

  • trula

    Nothing can beat Rocket Player, simply the best!

  • Shiva Sharma

    nothing can beat sony walkman music player :D

  • benirom

    no shuttle+ ….. ???

  • Alfa

    Try uFXloops for Android. It’s not really a player, but can be used to play your own musical projects in completely new ways. So considering you would like to create what you play, it’s a very interesting tool.

  • Badmaash Flakez Abban

    fusion is the BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FrogMonkey

    Great guide, thanks. Poweramp was the one I settled on in the end.

  • SNAKESKIN

    PEOPLE SHOULD TRY THE MORT PLAYER

    • obloodyhell

      PEOPLE WHO WANT TO ENCOURAGE USAGE OF A SPECIFIC APP SHOULD NOT USE ALL CAPS.

      …As well as write something to justify it, other than “USE ‘X’!!!”

      Allow me to demonstrate:

      HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO USE A TURKEY BASTER TO PLAY YOUR MP3 FILES? TRY IT!!

      Capisce? Not particularly encouraged to consider the music-player possibilities of a turkey baster, are you?

      • bitchplease

        I agree the caps are annoying but you don’t have to be a dick to him/her.

  • Christopher Ian Kichee

    try TTPOD player for android.

  • @BarnyBirdBrain

    I’ve tried ALL the Android music players over the last few years – IMHO Rocket Player from JRT Studios (along with iSyncr) is by far the best for options, skins, functionality (Replay Gain) and most recently, Live Playlist that allows you to create on the fly, these are similar to iTunes Smart Playlists. Pretty awesome! The developers are very approachable too if you ask about new features!!

    • obloodyhell

      Rocketplayer wasn’t bad, but some elements of the interface are anything but obvious. I didn’t trash it or anything, but when I had to factory reset my phone because it was acting strange, I went looking for other players to see what they had to offer.

      In short, my own review of RP is: “meh.”

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/UDroidMania Enin McDow

    I’m a big fan of Jet Audio Plus Music and PowerAmp as my go to music players. There the best that I’ve found this far and i’ve tried many.

  • http://serials-cheats.blogspot.com/ Habee Shirzad

    Thanks Dude!

  • churmuldz

    Cant believe standard is not in the list, tatak standard tibay standard

  • carsten ibsen

    What about jet audio, that is my favorite, the plus version off course

  • http://www.facebook.com/bbhowmick Bhaskar Bhowmick

    PowerAmp is the best of all. I am using this music player app for more than two years with utmost satisfaction. Mine is the trial version. There is a ruse with which u can use these app for endless period without having to pay a single penny. Wanna know how? SMS me : +918768424079 Or call.

    • obloodyhell

      So you like it a lot, but think the creators shouldn’t get all of **4** bucks for creating it and for further development?

      Seriously? Perhaps you need to re-examine your life’s ethical systems.

      I’m not a big fan of trialware, but you’re kind of a special type of jackass.

  • lumberjake

    I liked PowerAmp until the day it decided that it would shuffle everything. No matter what I did it would not stop. I even managed to get it to play just one album but again it shuffled. Drove me mad! I spent what must have been 2 hours trying to understand how to stop this to no avail. Then I thought, fine, I will simply reset it. Seems simple, correct? Nope! Denied. No reset. I feel robbed because going to Google for help with this is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack-impossible. The only solution was to get rid of this POS. Good riddance! Who needs so many damned options? Seriously. You could write a 200 page manual on how to use this nightmare. I should not need a masters in software to stop this thing from shuffling. Hate it.

  • Renault fan

    Recently I discovered this new one, named “Car Music Player mode Twingo”, awesome minimalistic design focused on driving while using it, even has GPS speed limiter, and totally free without ads. Recommend.

  • Simon János Bálint #

    I don’t need another player. The built-in is enough.
    Samsung Note II (with original ROM): the built-in player is very good: can play FLAC too and support lyrics!
    Xperia mini pro (with original ROM): memory is low and the built-in player is very good and the hardware is the good Sony quality. And if you want, you can use Lyrics plugin.
    Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (with SlimROM): rooted device, good player with DSP!

  • ankit

    Try out Bitsy Music Player

  • Jean sauriol

    I tried 5 music players on my Samsung Tab S.
    Some really nice.
    But I’m looking for an app which let me choose to stop automatically after each tune
    (if I want),
    so I can present the next one.
    Is there such an app?
    John Sauriol

    • Ben Davis

      flipbeats helps with that… try the app ive been using it for the same purpose plus the interface and the sound quality is great :)

  • Pradeep Mahor

    Then go for jetaudio plus..

    M the king of music. If you have any questions than ask me on Facebook

  • mali

    Besides built-in player of my Galaxy note 3,Im using E player and jetaudio To me,These are the bests in apps Cutting the songs,available only in E player,and finding directly all youtube videos about the song,in jetaudio are my favorite functions that I liked much

  • alizaemoet63

    I’m looking for an free app for my Samsung tab 3 that will allow me to add crossfades into an audio track I already have cut up and put together any help?