With the arrival of the smartphone and its endless streaming capabilities, the mobile music revolution is romping forward like never before. But many of us sadly lack the mobile data plan we need to give free reign to our musical whims.
But despite their archaic reputation, music player apps have skipped along with the times, and offer just the kind of data-friendly solution you've been looking for, not to mention some surprisingly slick sound quality plus a huge range of features and extras.
We've selected our absolute favorite music player apps for Android, each with a different tweak that makes them stand out from the crowd. Find out which apps are the best for pumping up a party, singing along to the lyrics karaoke-style, and for pure and unadulterated music minimalism.
Poweramp is a classic among classics, and it very courteously allows you to try a trial version before you buy. It's a brilliant app for bring some semblance of order to your music collection, for utterly easy listening. And Poweramp isn't just any old music player, no sir: it'll play your music videos too.
It's a well-rounded and highly customizable option, and you'll love it if you can't listen to a song 'til you've fiddled with the equalizer: Poweramp lets you tweak away until you're in equalizer ecstasy. Then just sit back, relax, and set a timer for when you plan to go to sleep so Poweramp will power off all by itself.
Download if... you want a traditional player, stacked with customization options.
Encore Music is an open source player that aggregates all your favorite music sources together. Thanks to its series of extensions, you can play all of your favorite tracks from Spotify, Google Play Music, as well as any of your local files, without ever having to leave the app.
As if that wasn't enough, Encore also gives you suggested playlists, a feature for displaying lyrics for any songs, and a song identifier for when you're dying to know the name of a song you've heard. You can even check your playback history (for your eyes only).
Download if... you're subscribed to various music services and want to listen to everything in one place.
n7player Music Player is an original, minimalist, multi-touch app. Navigate via a huge collection of tags, pinch to view your albums, unpinch to view artists, and tap any of them to explore a bit more.
n7player has a complete audio equalizer, plus is great for quickly exploring your library and creating new playlists. And to completely personlize your experience, pimp the place out with a choice of swanky skins.
Download if... if you're after a simple, minimalist option based on intuitive design and functionality.
Musixmatch is built upon three mighty functions: it gives you song lyrics for all of your tracks, identifies songs playing around you, and puts your entire music library at your fingertips. Share songs, mark favorites, and enjoy music via a modern and elegant design.
Musixmatch trumpets itself as one of the best sources of song lyrics out there, allowing you to follow the words to the music, find other lyrics from the same artist, and study their bio. Better still, it's compatible with a ton of other music players, including Spotify, so no need to give up your creature comforts.
Download if... if the music means nothing without the lyrics.
Okay... so it doesn't let you access your local files, and it's only compatible with Soundcloud, but AmpMe is still a worthy candidate for its single most important function. These clever player is ideal for those moments when you what to crank up the sound, but don't have any speakers.
AmpMe lets you host a playlist on your smartphone, then sync with others nearby to create the symphony of sound you've been dreaming of, providing they've downloaded the app first. The developers promise that compatibility with other services is in the pipeline, but in the meantime, best get your mates creating playlists on Soundcloud.
Download if... you've no speakers and you're looking for a quick and simple way to crank up the volume at your party.