Antropia Media Player
Tested version: 1.0.2
Latest version: 2.0.1
Requires Android: from 1.6
You can be a true, die-hard Android fan but you have to admit that the Android Mediaplayer (of a Vanilla Android System, that is to say a system that hasn’t been altered by HTC, Samsung, etc.) is functional, but it seems like it’s still a 1.5 version and should be updated. Reason enough to be on the lookout for alternatives, and recently an AndroidPIT community member suggested we review Antropia Media Player. Is it good enough to replace the standard media player?
Features & Use
Antropia doesn’t offer a crazy multitude of extra functions. That being said, if the functions it does provide perform well it should be more than sufficient: Antropia Media Player plays music and video files, it streams radio stations (and makes it possible to record from the radio!), and it allows you to compose playlists. My interested was especially peaked by the possibility of recording radio programs, and I’ll elaborate on that in a little while.
After having installed the app and selected a language (English or German), your phone’s SD card is scanned for media files. This didn’t take very long on my device—15 seconds for 3 GB. You are then presented with the main menu, and let me start off by saying that this app isn’t exactly a looker. Yikes, “stark” is probably an understatement! But luckily that doesn’t limit the app’s functionality. Here are the options to be found under the main menu:
• Local: local media files (audio, video, and podcasts on your SD card).
• Playlist: most recent, quicklist, etc.
• Radio: Antropia FM, last playback
• Antropia Server: enables streaming from your computer to your phone via Antropia Server. The server’s still under construction, however!
Antropia displays ever SD card file that’s eligible for playback. Unfortunately, this means that absolutely every folder is shown, without regrouping music files (for example) into one category. This means that you have to manually select music or video files from each folder, which gets very tiring (and a little confusing) very quickly. There’s definitely room for improvement!
Playback works like a charm, though I couldn’t figure out which formats are supported; AVI and MPEG aren’t supported according to the FAQs, but AAC, M4A, and MP3 all work. According to the FAQ Antropia is based on the Standard Media Player and should be able to work with the same formats… the users disagree with this, however, and claim that this isn’t always the case.
For video playback there are a time bar, back/forwards buttons, and play/pause buttons; for music playback there are additional buttons for quicklist, playback list and sleep timer. The Sleep timer is convenient as it interrupt playback after 15-90 minutes. I make use of this option when I want to listen to a bit of music before I go to sleep.
You can change the names of files, delete files from you SD card, or add several files to a playlist. You can also search for folders or files, and seeing as things can get quite messy with this app this is a rather useful function indeed. Unfortunately, album covers and information related to files aren’t displayed—you’ll have to make do with the file’s title. A real drawback, if you ask me!
And what about the radio, you ask? Boasting approximately 2600 stations, Antropia does offer a big variety. However, messiness and lacking user comfort rear their ugly heads once more: it isn’t possible to sort or search for radio stations according to a region. What you have to do instead is search for the station you’re looking for. Results are updated regularly and every station you listen to is saved, which is a good thing—but there should be more options for searching for and through stations. Streaming works really well and the quality is impressive. It’s also possible to save radio programs you’ve already listened to as MP3s—pretty sweet!
I don’t prefer Antropia to the Standard Player when it comes to video and audio playback, but the radio streaming and Sleep Timer functions manage to save the app from getting a two star rating.
Screen & Controls
Okay, I’m not going to beat around the bush here; the app’s design is pretty bleh. Not only does it lose a few brownie points for lack of aesthetics, the unfortunate design also doesn’t do the app’s functionality and favors. It isn’t possible to sort folders according to artists/genres/etc. or separate video files from music files and you manually have to search for radio stations—too bad! However, I think these flaws can be tended to and I should think this will happen some time in the near future. Soon. Very soon. Please. I mean it.
Speed & Stability
Nothing unpleasant to report as far as speed or stability go. On the contrary--the app performs really well!
Antropia is available free of cost and advertisements are only displayed when you’re listening to the radio. There are other free apps that provide better service for music and video playback, but it’s so convenient to have an app with radio and the option to record from the radio. That being said, I wouldn’t shell out for this app if one had to pay for it.
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