A bit of a different post today. Rather than discussing my academic work or novels, I’m writing about an app that I use. The app in question is called Rocket Player and it is, in my view, the best music app out there (and I’ve tried a few). To understand why I like it so much, let me provide a bit of context.
I used to have an iPod Touch. It was great. It did everything I needed and I was happy to have a separate music player and mobile phone. But one day, Apple updated the software and after that Smart Playlists (ones that automatically update) stopped working on the device. The only way I could get the playlists to update was to sync with the computer and the iTunes database. It was largely due to this oversight/bug that when development on the Touch stalled (and my eyes needed a bigger screen) that I decided to jump over to Android rather than have an iPhone.
But what to do about my music and was there a way to have an equivalent of the Smart Playlists that I had liked (when they worked)? After some hunting around and trying of various apps, I settled on the pairing of iSyncr and Rocket Player – two apps made by the same developers (who are a great team and respond so quickly if you need help or want to make suggestions). iSyncr can sync my music library (and playlists) between my Android and iTunes. It effectively meant that I was immediately in the same position as I had been with the way I needed to sync my iPod and iTunes. So, not able to do exactly what I wanted, but not far off and no worse off.
Rocket Player, meanwhile was the most customisable and user-friendly music player that I had found. As well as the standard options, there are a range of ways to change the way tunes are played and the look of the app itself. Rocket Player also has Live Lists – which are like the Smart Playlists on iTunes. On the whole I didn’t use these as it was missing a key rule that I used – that is being able to select a song based on what other playlist (or Live List) it is in. A recent update has changed this. Although it’s missing one option (getting a song to be selected randomly rather than, say, the least recently played) to make it fully like the way Smart Playlists work on iTunes, I am finally (probably about 10 years since I dumped iPods) at a point where my mobile’s music player can operate almost in isolation from my PC and need regularly updates. I no longer need iSync to update on an hourly basis as largely updates are only needed to check for when I add new songs.
All of this may sound quite insignificant to many people, but I need music to work. I cannot work in peace and quiet, so having a music player that does what I want is important to me. That I can use my phone rather than PC also means that I get much better sound as I can use my Bluetooth speaker.
So, if you’re looking for a powerful music player for your Android phone, I really recommend that you get iSyncr (for syncing the songs and static playlists) and Rocket Player (for using Live Lists/Smart Playlists).
UPDATE: 5 August 2022: At some point there have been changes with the team that works on iSyncr and Rocket Player. All enquiries are handled by “Muma Studios Support”. I’m not sure when this changed happened and how the whole operation works, but the end result has been a noticeable drop in quality of the app and service. For those of us who have used the apps for many years, the responses to problems from the Muma Studios Support people are often more basic and less useful than what I already know. While they claim that for the issues that they cannot solve, the developers will be contacted – I am not sure that this actually happens and I have not seen any positive results from it. The latest release of Rocket Player (at least on my phone) has so many problems, with the most annoying being that Live Lists disappear and the Google login is not working, so there is no way to backup or restore the lists (if it weren’t for the fact that I started my subscription that ties to this, in March, I would cancel it now… for now, I will give them a few months to get it sorted). The time may be coming to ditch these apps.