I’m the kind of guy who’s always on the lookout for the best. Not to say that I’m picky, because I’m not, but I like to know all about my available options. And when it comes to Android music players, there are a few big names that everyone likes to throw around – e.g., Winamp and doubleTwist – but popular isn’t always the best.
Recently, I heard about a lesser known Android app called Rocket Player. I checked the Rocket Player Android app out, the screenshots looked enticing, so I downloaded it and gave it a test run. The results were pleasantly surprising, but is it a contender for the title of Best Android Music Player?
Interfaces are the most important aspect of any app, in my opinion. You’d think that in our sophisticated world of the 21st Century, the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover” would be instilled deeply into our hearts, right? Too bad that’s not the case. The interface is the first impression, and first impressions can often be a make-it-or-break-it deal.
Rocket Player’s Android interface is top notch, and by that I don’t mean flashy or innovative. If you’ve read my reviews before, you probably know how much of a stickler I am for clean, minimal, and efficient designs. Well, Rocket Player manages to do all of that while maintaining a polished feel.
The app comes with a default of two themes that you can choose from: a Black theme that looks like pretty much every black theme in every app ever made, and a Chrome theme that has a brushed metal appearance reminiscent of older versions of Mac OS. They’re both easy on the eyes.
As for the actual layout, it’s about as vanilla as they come. You’ve got artist listings, album listings, song listings – you know, the usual fare. The plus side to Rocket Player, though, is that everything is smooth and fast. My 2-year-old Galaxy S often has trouble with frame skips and lag, but not here. That earns Rocket Player a lot of points from me.
Music players are at their best when they let you listen to music without getting in the way. I’ve fiddled with far too many apps that try to be innovative and slick in their presentation, utilizing drawers and tabs and swipes in order to do this and that. Rocket Player keeps it all slimmed down: you only see what you need to see, everything else is pushed aside.
I’ve been using this app for many weeks now and I’m impressed. It may appear to be a boring music player that doesn’t have much panache, but that’s great: The interface is easy to learn so you spend less time looking for the right song and more time listening to it.
Up in the corner, you can pull out a Now Playing list of the next songs in queue. Rearranging the queue is fast, deleting songs off of it is even faster, and adding songs requires no more than a long-press on a song in your library.
There are two features in Rocket Player for Android that I haven’t seen elsewhere: free equalizer, and a tag editor. Every music player has an audio equalizer, but Rocket Player is the first one I’ve seen that lets you change it up without requiring the premium version. Of course, the free version is limited in that you can’t save or load presets, but that’s fine by me.
The tag editor is a nice touch, too, so you can fix pesky errors without loading up another app or tool. And along the same lines of convenience, Rocket Player lets you take any song in the library and set it as your ringtone instantly.
Other features you might enjoy:
- Video browser and player.
- Sleep timer that automatically shuts off after a specified time period.
- Lock screen buttons for ease of control.
- Home screen widgets for ease of control.
- Integrates seamlessly with iSyncr to synchronize your music to your Android.
For $3.99 USD, you can upgrade to the Premium version of Rocket Player. Access to equalizer presets is not the only thing that comes with it:
- Album art downloads.
- Replay gain to normalize song volumes.
- Gapless playback and crossfading.
- More audio formats: ALAC, FLAC, WAV, WMA, and more.
My final verdict? I highly recommend Rocket Player for Android users. That doesn’t mean that I think you’ll love it as much as I do; it means that I think it’s worth a try if you still haven’t found the best music player that satisfies your needs. If you’re looking for something clean and sleek with more focus on functionality than graphics, Rocket Player may be for you.
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