There is no dearth of music players when it comes to the Android platform. The stock Google Play Music app is good enough for most. However, if you are a power user with tons of music files on your local storage, then you will need something beyond the stock Android app. So, here are a few music-focused apps that will help you play any formats or better organize your local media library.
Even though there are tons of music player apps, our focus here is the apps with little or no in-app purchases, will zero intrusive advertising and continued developer support.
Shuttle by SimpleCity is a clean and simple music player that has it all. Shuttle comes with support for lossless formats, automated lyrics and artwork downloading, sleep timer, gapless playback, 6 band equalizer, playlist management and tons of UI customizations. Shuttle should have been the default music player on Android devices. Shuttle also comes with a folder browser and a tag editor, but that is available after the in-app purchases. Shuttle comes with zero advertising and the disabled areas of the free version can easily be hidden. Moreover, the lack of pro features does not prevent the free version from being a full-fledged music player on Android.
Shuttle also scales well on tablet UI, has multiple widgets that work well with every launcher. Shuttle gets the first spot on the list for being a clean and yet fully-functional and highly customizable music player with zero annoyances.
Retro Music Player recently exited beta. Built based on the open source app Phonograph, Retro music player comes in a completely different flavour. The UI borrows visual elements from both iOS as well as Google’s material design, making it look unique. It also comes with a neat looking home screen that enlists your recent and most played music. At the design of Retro Music Player revolves around simplicity. There are no overloaded menus, or power-user focused features. It is a simple music player with a really neat user interface.
You will still get the basics such as lyrics and artwork downloading, home screen widgets, sleep timer and basic playlist management. In terms of functionality, Retro is a little behind when it comes to Shuttle, but takes the second spot for its beautiful UI that even a child can understand.
VLC has been the swiss army knife of media players since its release. VLC has been the staple video player for most Windows users. VLC on android also brings the perks of VLC on PC. With its lacklustre UI, VLC is not the prettiest app out there. It’s not even focused on music. But if you have those music files encoded in some uncommon format, then VLC is the way to go. Under the hood, VLC has some pretty powerful tools and settings that you can tweak to decode virtually any media.
Like other music players, VLC also maintains its own media library so that you can find your music with ease. It does not look pretty, but it does the job. If you have an older device, and you want to have a smaller number of apps, then VLC should satisfy all your media playback and streaming needs. Moreover, VLC is completely free and does not have any advertising.
Phonograph is the open source music player that was forked into a bunch of other media players on Android. Initially, phonograph was completely free and had no advertising. However, the recent updates have disabled some of the features and added them as an upgrade to Phonograph Pro. The music player still remains one of the customizable, simpler, cleaner and one of the more functional media players in the Play Store. It has all the essential features one would need to play and manage music. However, sleep timer, tag editor and folder browser are disabled in the free version.
Phonograph slips down to the fourth spot because of adding the sleep timer as a premium feature whereas most other media players offer it free of cost. Those who are a fan of the Phonograph platform can be happy with the Retro music player. Phonograph is for those who don’t want anything other than material design apps on their Android.
Musicolet is a new entry in the Play Store. The app comes with more focus on music playback. The app is extremely light, has no ads and is totally free. Musicolet focuses mainly on play queues and is the only music player that comes with multiple play queues. It also comes with customizable headphone controls. This allows the fourth control using the headphone button. You can fast forward or also assign a different function by using pressing the button on the headphone four times.
Musicolet also comes with folder browser, tag editor, sleep timer and everything else you will need – all at zero cost. The only thing this music player does not have is customizable themes. Musicolet is at number 5 as it still has some rough edges that need some work.
So, what are your favourite music players? Let us know in the comments below.