Tested version: 0.9.1
Latest version: 1.4.10
Requires Android: from 2.1
We’ve been debating which player to use in order to play music and videos long before the advent of smartphones. Back in the day we used to argue about which player worked best for our computers—and the Winamp-Player has been a faithful companion for PC since 1997. The Beta version of Winamp is now also available for Android phones.
This review was written by Andrew Gruetzner.
Features & Use
The difference between the Android Winamp and its big brother PC Winamp is that it can only play audio files (MP3, AAC, OGG, WAV). Music files can be categorized on the SD card according to title, artist, or album—and that’s it, unfortunately. It isn’t possible to organize your collection by genre, for example. To make up for that it is possible to create playlists and Winamp automatically creates lists of the songs you listen to most frequently.
Along with the album cover, you will find buttons that allow you to navigate through your tracks on the display. There are also shuffle and replay functions. When listening to a track you can also jump to the artist who is performing the song or the album from which it is taken. A convenient search function helps you find the song, artist, or album you’re looking for, even when you’re music collection is considerable.
Winamp also boasts the following extra features:
• You can set a song to be your ringtone.
• You can search for more details about a song in Google or YouTube which also makes it possible to play video clips on YouTube.
• If you’ve installed the Last.fm app on your Android, you have the option of having Winamp scrobble the songs you’ve played.
• The app can set up its own lockscreen, which means that you can use Winamp without unblocking the display. During the testing phase the Winamp lock blocked the original block, which meant that I had to unlock the display twice: annoying.
• My favorite feature: synchronizing music via USB or WLAN. In order to benefit from this feature you must have Winamp 5.59 Beta installed on your PC.
Synchronizing via USB didn’t work for me during the testing phase (Winamp kept crashing on my computer), but the WLAN option worked out really well. After my phone had connected to the router it appeared on my computer and I was able to sync data. However, Winamp set up a new folder for each artist or band on my SD card, which turned my SD card into a big mess. It would be more convenient if it were possible to select one folder.
Screen & Controls
Using Winamp is easy and intuitive on the whole. The app’s most important elements (choice of artist/title/album, playback lists, search function) are shown on the main display and all the other functions can be found easily. The widget that comes with the app provides you with the most important functions including cover art and infos about songs, viewable from the homescreen.
Navigating the music is also possible via headset. The way playback lists can be organizing could still be improved as at the moment it’ looking rather notchy and it can become taxing, especially if you’ve got a lot of music.
Winamp isn’t a bad player, but it isn’t a great one, either. The Beta version is pretty decent and it offers a few very cool features, but it isn’t quite there yet. The player could be expanded in various areas. The app would be an “all-rounder” if it provided options that enabled web-streaming or video playback, for example.
Speed & Stability
Winamp reacts quickly, the playback lists make their way across the display without much lagging, and you generally don’t have to wait much for tracks to be played—in other words, the app’s speed is perfectly acceptable.
You can get Winamp for free from the Android Market.
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