Ever Since I wrote My iJoe Recommends EP about CarTunes Music Player I've not stopped trying new Music Players.
There's been so many I thought id cover them in an App Showdown, but then 24 Hours ago I found another one that seemed to check every last box so I needed to tell you all about it.
So let's round this up firstly. Here's my first review of Car Tunes Music Player - iJoe Recommends and here's my App Showdown - AppShowdown.
So the conclusions that I came too from those posts were that Car Tunes Music Player was a Solid App that had a minor glitch that was effecting usage and also id fallen out of love with its Black and Purple screens.
Listen had become my default music player because I needed a change. I liked the Now Playing screen but hated the music library screens. It also had a bug, which was fixed in an update on Thursday.
Rondo and iOS music apps were strong and certain advantages but for me Listen was going to be the champion.
Then I discovered SMART PLAYER.
Download - £1.49
WHAT'S IT ALL ABOUT.
Well it's much like Listen and Car Tunes Music, it's an alternative Music player. Based around gesture controls and attractive visuals.
As covered in previous posts. The default app is strong but it lacks limitations to power users and music lovers.
HOW IT WORKS.
It utilises Gestures to control your music and the app. These are as follows and are introduced to you on a wonderful little tutorial when you first load the app.
Tap with one finger to play and pause.
Swipe right to left to skip to next track.
Swipe left to right to skip to previous track.
Tap and hold with Two fingers to fast forward.
Tap and hold with Three fingers to rewind.
Slide up to increase volume.
Slide down to decrease.
Swipe up with two fingers to toggle repeat mode.
Swipe down with two fingers to toggle shuffle mode.
Tap and hold with one finger to reveal social options & sleep timer.
Tap the time label to reveal the scrubber/Status bar.
Pie chart in corner, scrobbles to last.fm and updates profile.
Touch top left corner to visit music library.
Touch top right corner to go to settings.
To make a playlist slide and flick individual tracks, albums or playlists to add them to your playlist. Play your playlist by tapping on last track to add.
When browsing music library you can tap the artwork in top left to shuffle that selection.
Now it seems like a lot of information however it's produced in an easy to understand tutorial that can be reloaded at anytime. Plus it covers every feature you need and many more only a few might use.
This app is so accessible that it's as easy to use as the default app and a million times as functional and a billion times more beautiful.
Much like the App showdown I feel it's only right to review it based on same criteria as the other 4 apps. UI (Visuals), Audio, Usability and quality. It will also be covered in every scenario you would need your music player for such as in Car, Dock, speakers and via AirPlay.
App was born just over a year ago and is the hard work of lone developer Shad Deen. I personally love lone developers because of the effort and passion that they drive into the apps they produce.
Visuals are a massive part of these sorts of Apps this is a testament of how attractive the default app is. The previously reviewed apps also have some very beautiful parts of their apps, however Smart Player has a beautiful App. The whole thing. The now playing screen is crisp and beautiful. It hides a lot of things that don't need to be on show all the time. The fact it's controlled by gestures mean the music player controls are hidden, the status bar/scrubber are hidden with the time, track data and album art only things that are on display.
The music library screens are simplistic and crisp, the font that is utilised is large enough to be seen when its required but not bold enough to be over powering. The developer has also stuck close with iTunes and iOS music app colours but with a strong use of album art work.
The audio quality in this app is not enhanced or adjusted to improve the quality, however it's as strong as the default app, it also uses the same data as the default app so if you adjust the EQ in the music settings this app will utilise that data. I personally don't feel the EQ or any app that adjusts music sound actually improves the quality. So this app ticks the audio quality box for myself.
Gesture control apps can take a large amount of time to adjust and "learn" features and how to get best out of it. However the well produced tutorial and the fact it's very similar to other music player apps gesture controls assists this app in bringing Apple levels of usability to a professional 3rd party app. It also has a subtle amount of customisation and personalisation, with adjustment of visuals and social integrations.
It's also got lots of usability options to assist playing options. It has a disable auto lock which will keep the screen on for when using app either in car or dock however you could keep this setting on even when using headphones as it also utilises the Proximity sensor so if you placed your iDevice in your pocket the screen would switch off, once you removed it then it would light back up. Really useful features that allow this app to support all types of scenario you would use it for. AirPlay is supported however to switch devices you have to use the Apple default of the multitasking bar. The app developer does point this out on the Q&A that is in the settings. If you get stuck or have development ideas you can also get in touch with dev via the links in the app.
It's a faultless app. I've been using for 24 hours and have found no bugs or glitches, general feedback from other users seems to be requesting a search bar which the developer has promised to work on. You can tell the app is well developed and that the developer is listening and trying to improve end user experience.
Smart player for me is the best of All the music player apps that I've reviewed. The other apps are easily 8/10 contenders however Smart player is a full 9/10. It isn't missing anything as far as I'm concerned as could easy be a 10/10 however with so many strong contenders I can not be sure that something can't come along within a few more weeks and blow my socks off.
This sums up the quality of Apple devices and the ecosystem that the App Store is. Everyone is aiming to be top of the charts and that drives people to improve and in the end "WE" the end users are the people who benefit. Thank you developers.
Download Smart Player
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