back to article PowerAmp

The one feature of iOS that beats Android like a red-headed stepchild is the music player. Hardly surprising given Apple’s experience with media player UIs, but that still doesn’t excuse just how basic the Android alternative is, or how unimpressive the efforts of the various Android phone makers have been. PowerAmp …


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  1. Neill Mitchell

    Equaliser and cost

    It's worth noting that the equaliser works with bluetooth headsets. Most other apps don't support this.

    This is a great app and well worth £3 of anyone's money. This is the trouble with these app stores - there's so much crap for 50p that people start complaining about paying a few quid for a decent app.

    I switched to Android from the Windows Mobile world where apps regularly sell for £20. I must have spent a fortune over the years. So £3 is nothing for such a decent app.

  2. Ben Rosenthal

    15 day trial?

    pah, MixZing is the way to go. Does all that for free (ad supported ofc), and adds some nifty extra features in the paid version.

  3. batfastad
    Jobs Horns

    FLAC support!

    This actually looks very decent.

    I don't have too much of a problem with the built-in music player on my HTC Desire to be honest, apart from the track search bar is a fiddly nightmare of touchscreen hell. The play/pause/skip buttons work. And there's a button to access playlists/albums/folders!

    Would be cool to use the optical scroll to operate it or a touchscreen swipe. Most of the music files I listen to are 1-2hr long sets/recordings so any improvements in navigating through long tracks are a bonus.

    Not so fussed about management/tagging as I keep all my music strictly de-tagged and have a rather revolutionary idea of using the filename to describe the contents of the file, rather than meta data.

    Hoorah for FLAC support as well! Not because I want, need or can notice the extra quality when playing music on my phone but it will save me having to convert from FLAC to WAV to MP3 all the time. FLAC should have been supported by the built-in music player from the start though.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE: FLAC support!

      No idea what you're talking about, but android supports flac natively. At least it works here with the native player.

    2. John Riddoch

      HTC Desire

      I've been thinking about getting a better player, mainly because the HTC Desire one hangs (and needs a force close) if I click on the "song list" button - I have my CD collection ripped to MP3 on a 32GB SD Card and it seems to barf if you try and search 5000+ songs...

    3. paulf

      storing the current playback position

      Nice to see I'm not the only one who listens to very long music files albeit mine are in mp3 (created using an input and output plugin in winamp to timer record audio). The MP3 output doesn't write suitable tags, and I can't be bothered to update all the files so mine use only the file name for identification.

      My HTC Hero struggles with them (2-3 hours at 192 kbps), but once it has started playing it seems to be fine.

      Something worth mentioning is the ability to remember where the player is in a very long file. Not a big deal for 4 min music tracks but pretty important for longer recordings. I understand that PowerAmp will now store the current playback location when play back is paused (I asked the Dev if he could add this and to his credit he did it within a few days), but this only happens when play back is paused.

      On the other hand Mixzing seems to store on pause and also logs its current position in the background every so often which has proven to be useful on those occasions when my handset has randomly rebooted itself while playing and MixZing just picked up from where the Hero went titsup.

  4. Miffo

    Only decent app my wife has bought!

    The wife's not a geek but she needed to play wma files so we bought this app and were impressed at the other features. You can set it so it pauses the music when you remove the headphones. She loves the album art download. The only other app she's bought is some quiz - I don't think that'll be winning the coveted Register award!

    1. John Riddoch

      Pause for thought...

      The default media player on the HTC Desire pauses the music automatically on removal of the headphones as well. Sometimes it even restarts automatically when they're plugged back in, but I haven't figured out the rules for that.

      1. batfastad
        Jobs Horns


        What annoys me about the default music player is that it restarts music automatically when a call ends - which would be fine if I was using a phone headset to talk. But when using normal headphones and unplugging them to take the call, the music restarts as soon as the call is ended and usually blasts out of the speakers so I sound like one of thoze kidz on the busez wif their phonez and the load muzic innit.

  5. spegru

    Dubious Taste

    "beats Android like a red-headed stepchild"?

    Looks like a nice app though.....

  6. Jim Carter

    Looks like a great app...

    But... DIDO??

  7. Manu T

    Why do you expect everything you want standard included in a device

    RE: Not a huge amount on money, true, but it a music player of this quality really should be part of the OS.

    Why do you assume that? Google provides an adequate music player. The rest is up-to to developers. This way 3rd party developers also can make some few bucks out o/t platform. Creating competition and hopefully creating better and better apps.

    Why does everyboday assumes that an OS-developer needs to included everything for everyone inside the OS? This is what gotten MSFT into trouble. IMHO an OS should be delivered on machines as clean as possible (unless the device is purpose build) and 3rd party development should cater for the extra apps. Creating market. Sure, it's helpfull when an OS is released that the OS-developer creates a simple app (fit for purpose) to lead programmers' intrest into the platform. But from then on it should be up to developers to create momentum in apps.

    Just my 2 pence.

    1. Chris Neale

      Changing opinions

      It is interesting to see a comment like that (from el Reg). Have we all forgotten the included browser fiasco from Windows?

      It would appear so as Linux Distros come with a free office suite and/or GIMP and music studio apps included for free. Phones come with a plethora of installed apps.

      Have we all gotten over the hoo-ha of "but if it comes included it's anti-competitive"?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Once again...

    A music player with no STOP button. Errm Hello?

    1. Jerome 0

      Stop button?

      Are you afraid the MP3 will wear out if you leave it on pause for too long?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Stop button?

        Nope I just don't want it to resume where it left off when I decide to stop listening to the music.

        You know that function of playing the track from the beginning without having to manually wind the thing back or select a different track to reset its progress.

        if Winamp on my PC can do it no reason my phone shouldn't.

    2. Phil 44

      no stop?

      Try holding on pause for a couple of seconds.

  9. Miek

    Some form of title is required

    Try Winamp, for free.

    1. Lottie


      Last time I looked, it didn't have such EQ goodness and felt a little clunky.

      Might have another look if it has EQ settings.

      1. Sly

        no eq yet... but

        using it to sync with my winamp in windows allows me to use the same playlists as on my PC. I don't have to succumb to iTunes style BS listings. I don't have to be forced to view my movie soundtracks spread across my entire collection because there are various artists. Path/Filename sort FTW. Still haven't found anything (windows/linux/android/mac/iPxd/etc) other than winamp and audacious that will do this without having to painfully re-order the playlist one song at a time. When you're dealing with thousands of songs from a large CD collection... this gets old very fast.

  10. Lutin

    One of the few apps I've paid for

    Well worth the money if you ask me. I've probably only ever bought about 3 apps, but this is one of them. Swiping the album art on the lockscreen to go forward and back is a fantastic feature (when you're driving a car, buttons are not always easy to press).

    That said, I use a Rom called MIUI now, which has a fantastic Music player bundled as standard, so I don't actually have poweramp installed any more.

    1. Gangsta

      yup MIUI ROM is excellent.

      The MIUI Rom's music player is fantastic. If only that would be sold on the Market.

  11. thecresta
    Thumb Up


    Tried a load of Audio player apps, and settled on this one.

    The functionality is second to none, and the sound quality on my Galaxy S (with a volume enhancer, eg: Voodoo Soundfix) is good enough to rival any stand-alone PMP.

    Also the fact you have a very good lockscreen, that only appears when the headphones are plugged in, and allows for swipe gestures, is a godsend.

  12. johnnytruant

    shame it's so ugly

    I use Zimly, which is free and pretty. And by pretty, I don't just mean nice looking, I mean nice working too. I tried the Poweramp demo and didn't get on with the UI very well.

    Other people's milage may, of course, vary. It's nice there are choices.

  13. g e


    I use this app all the time on my Desire HD for in car tunes.

    Really recommend it.

  14. boatman


    there is a very good music player in the android market called "cubbed" (i think) which has a far more intuitive interface, has an equilizer can get album art.

    give it a go, or better yet el reg could give it a review

  15. mrmond

    all Poweramp does plus..

    Lyrics, DSP, search for album art and save lyrics for offline playback:


  16. Steve King


    Always enjoy the Andriod app feature - long may it continue. Never thought I'd see a screenshot of one of Runrig's albums though.

    Great band. I'll now spend the rest of my lunch hour daydreaming about the time I flew from London to Prestwick, hired a car and drove like a madman to see them play in a tent outside Portree. Bliss!

  17. cnapan

    Does it have gapless playback?

    ...because I gave up trying to find an android player that could do this one simple thing a few months back.

    It took apple about 4 or 5 versions of the ipod before Apple finally got round to building a player which could play an album with no gaps between tracks.... I thought it was quite obvious what a music player has to be able to offer by now.

    1. SKiNFreak

      JukeFox has gapless playback

      Jukefox has gapless playback and it works brilliantly. There are some other really cool features such as the sound map in there. Check it out but the interface is not as nice as some other Android music players.

  18. Martin Carroll
    Thumb Up


    The crown jewel of PowerAmp is the 'folders' option of displaying your collection. Im used to having my music on the pc here with seperate folders for the latest stuff, the best stuff, single favourite tracks, etc, you get the picture. If you do that and find yourself lost when its all thrown into one huge a-z list then PowerAmps for you.

  19. Him over there


    Winamp is good but requires excessive permissions. I tried this a few days ago over Winamp and it does seem very good.

  20. Cowardly Animosity


    Has anyone tried this on an HTC Wildfire; yes I could try it myself but I like to hear what other people think too.

  21. Darkimmortal
    Thumb Up

    Folder playlists

    Folder playlists are the main reason I bought this app. The sqlite database they are based on is trivial to edit (you can just do it in-app if you're not automating things of course) and, most importantly, doesn't reset itself like the stock android m3u playlists from media scanner on boot.

    And the interface is really second to none. The only other music player with a theme that doesn't look distinctly outdated and horrible is the Samsung TouchWiz player, and it leaves a lot to be desired in pretty much every other area.

  22. The Envoy


    Two thumbs up and a couple of beers to Alun for the fine choice of music/artist!

  23. Chris Byers
    Thumb Up

    Best music app I've tried yet

    I purchased this last week and have installed it on my Wits A81E which I use as a large screen sat nav and in-car music system, and the sound output/quality and features are by far the best I've seen an any Android music player yet. It's also stable as anything, as some other plyers are, how can I put it? Flakey to say the least?

    Anyway, thanks El Reg, a cracking recommendation.

    Oh, and it also has the great feauture of starting off where you left it when you have rebooted/shut down, instead of having to navigate back to where you wanted it to be.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Cum on feel the noize


  25. Purlieu

    @ skelband


  26. D. M

    Best music player

    I paid for this app. It is currently the best. Flac support and folder play option/list are the best right now. I only use folder play function, and my main collection is in flac.

    The main problems for me:

    1. some times earlier, the developer changed the interface with new control that if you touch the blank area it jumps to "random" folder. I understood why he did it, but seriously, it is stupid, considering it is too easy to mistakingly touch the "invisible" control.

    2. Still didn't fix a memory management bug I reported. It doesn't affect me now since I simply stopped using the function that triggers the bug, but some people will find it annoying. and will say this great app is crap because of this bug.

    3. Still didn't fix the problem you cannot exclude songs you want to stop it from searching for album art. If you have some songs by "not so famous" band, the album art search won't work and you cannot delete the individual wrong album art.

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