As a former iPhone user and new Android convert, I miss my iPhone’s built-in music player. Though my new Android has a lot more storage space than my iPhone, I’ve neglected filling it up with music partly due to my lack of enthusiasm over the default player.
The developers of PlayerPro have attempted to create a more fully-featured, attractive, and intuitive music experience to the Android, adding features such as automatic album art downloading, customizable music organization, gesture support, and a variety of widgets for your home or lock screen.
In PlayerPro, your music is organized much as it would be in any other music player: by artist, genre, album, song, or playlist. PlayerPro includes the additional option of browsing via folders, which is really handy for people who want more direct control over the organization of their music, and can be done quickly from your computer, rather than one song at a time from within the app.
When you select a song on PlayerPro, it is played right away, and a corresponding playlist of the album is created on the fly, but you can create a custom playlist as you go by swiping to the left (“play this song next”) or swiping to the right (“play this song last”). From the “Now Playing” screen, you can access the playlist, and re-arrange songs by dragging and dropping.
Browsing albums and the "Now Playing" screen
The PlayerPro interface is pleasant and intuitive, featuring customizable skins, layouts, and behaviours. My only complaint would be that the search feature is not prominent – you have to click your Menu button, then “more”, then “search,” which seems like a lot of steps for such a basic function.
You can easily create playlists from within PlayerPro with a long-press on any song, or you can use the shuffle feature to shuffle songs within a given category, like an album, genre, or playlist.
PlayerPro features a comprehensive set of audio settings to configure, including seven presets, a 5-band manual equalizer with saveable settings, a number of reverb settings, and simple dials to control bass and volume. It’s a very slick, attractive interface for controlling audio settings, and has a lot more options than the default music player.
PlayerPro's shiny audio settings
If you’re using Android version 2.2 or earlier, you need to download the DSP plugin to access these features
PlayerPro can automatically download information about tracks and albums, such as album artwork, lyrics, and other ID3 tag information. Most of my music already has lyrics and artwork associated with it (thanks to the testing I did for my review of Mac app Tagalicious), but PlayerPro found the artwork and info for any tracks that didn’t already have it. A long press on a track in the library will bring up the options to view and edit track information, including an attractive lyrics viewer and the ability to edit ID3 tags from within the app.
Reading lyrics from within PlayerPro
PlayerPro features a number of widgets for your lock screen or home screen, in 4×1, 2×2, 3×3, 4×4, and 4×2 sizes. The widgets are great-looking and functional, giving you one-touch access to your playlist from your lock screen, letting you play, pause, and skip through songs without actually opening the app.
The 4x2 widget on my home screen, and the 4x1 widget on my WidgetLocker lock screen
PlayerPro has a lot of other features that set it apart from the default Android app and from the competition, including:
Sleep Timer lets you set your playlist to end after a predefined period of time, including options to fade out volume, and play the last song until its end.
Custom Skins can be downloaded for free from the Marketplace, featuring custom colours and icons.
Music Statistics including play and skip counts, recently played songs, and ratings. You can import ratings from your computer, and sync ratings with iTunes via iSyncr.
Shake It feature allows you to skip through songs by shaking your phone.
Headset Support with customizable actions.
Share album and artist artwork and information on Twitter and Facebook.
Video Browser and player.
Overall, I’m very impressed with PlayerPro’s features and interface; it’s slick, fast, and intuitive, balancing powerful audio configuration options with beautiful design.
There’s a fair amount of competition in the field, as detailed in this roundup of great Android music players, and while PlayerPro is one of the more expensive options – and isn’t quite as powerful as PowerAMP in terms of audio options – it’s a great choice for those looking for both power and style. PlayerPro’s customizable options are appealing, and I love that it lets me take full advantage of the extensive ID3 tagging I’ve done with my music collection.
PlayerPro offers a 7-day trial, which makes the high price a little more palatable.
It’s a competitive category, and people tend to be very picky when it comes to their music, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on PlayerPro and other players in the category! What’s the most important feature in a music player for you?