Wednesday, January 2, 2013

My ideal Android music player...found!

As I tried new candidates in my search for my ideal music player, I realized I left out an important criterion--looping capability, so I decided to start over from scratch rather than post an update. Just that I was about to post, my ideal-enough-that-I-don't-need-another player became available today.

My (not necessarily "the") ideal Android player must be able to

  • change tempo,
  • shift pitch,
  • change tempo and pitch while an mp3 is playing,
  • loop a section of a track,
  • the way a section to be looped is identified, and
  • either
    • have a thumb scroll or
    • come up as an option when an mp3 is selected from a file manager

I need the thumb scroll because I have folders with lots of mp3s. My Original Carter Family folder has the 250+ sides they recorded commercially. A folder of fiddle tunes contains more than 1400 mp3s. My file manager has a thumb scroll, so it doesn't have to be built into the music player.

I've come across:

  • Audioshift, which doesn't work with Android 4.0+ and has no looping capability
  • Audio Speed Changer Pro, which has no thumb scroll and does not appear as an option when I select a music file from my file manager
  • Maple, which doesn't allow pitch or tempo to change while a music file is playing looping.
  • Only recently, I found Music Speed Changer, which, until today met all of my critera but one--the way a section to be looped is identified.
    • Before today, MSC showed a waveform of the track being played with sliders that could be moved to mark the start and end of a section. There were also Start and End buttons that, when pressed, allow you to enter time in min/sec/msec.
    • I wanted something additional: an A/B switch. That is, I wanted to be able to press something when an mp3 is playing to mark the start of a section and again to mark the end of a section.

Music Speed Changer invites users to suggest additional features, so I wrote to Harald Meyer to suggest the A/B buttons. An upgrade was released today that includes the feature. So, as of today, with Music Speed Changer, I don't need any other Android music player!

I should add that Music Speed Changer works inside out from other players. Typically, one taps on an mp3 file from within a file manager to be asked to select the player to be used to play it. With Music Speed Changer, one taps on the "Import a Song" button inside the player to be asked to select the file manager to be used to locate it! It feels odd the first time it happens, but quickly becomes second nature.

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