For people with a smartphone, there’s little reason to carry around a dedicated MP3 player anymore. The times have changed, and phones now ship with software more than capable of pumping out tunes. The thing is, people like to consume music in all manner of ways. The default app may not be the most appealing option, and even some of the best Android music apps we’ve recently recommended may not scratch every person’s itch. Here’s a list of five alternative music players for Android that are potentially different enough to be attractive in just the right way.
1. Shuttle Music Player
Shuttle Music Player adheres so well to Android’s current design guidelines that it arguably fits in better than Google’s own Play Music app. It has a transparent notification bar by default, but for people who may not appreciate this, there’s the option to turn it off. There’s even the option to change the app’s theme color away from its default blue. Users can get access to more features such as id3 tag editing and Chromecast support by bumping up to Shuttle+ for 99 cents.
CloudAround is a music app for people who keep their songs stored in the cloud. What makes it great is that it can stream from multiple sources, such as Dropbox and Google Drive. This helps to overcome the locked-down nature of cloud services. Instead of only listening to songs through a single official app (Google Play Music, for example), you can store files where you want and still enjoy them wherever you have a data connection. There’s a lot to enjoy in the free version, but you need to go premium for $1.99 for the full experience.
NicePlayer is an app for people who like cards, as the app is filled to the brim with them. Each artist, each album, and each song can occupy its own card. The overall UI is very clean and white (though there’s the option to turn everything black instead), making the app something that’s distinctive and simple at the same time. The app has a timer, an equalizer, and other nice features. To top things off, it’s free.
4. Neutron Music Player
Neutron Music Player doesn’t even pretend to be an alternative music player for everyone. Instead, its developers pitch it as an app for professionals. There isn’t a free version to test out, and the $5.99 price is higher than much of the competition. But for people who want extensive features and aren’t at all concerned about simplicity, this may just be the way to go.
5. Clean Music Player
Clean Music Player keeps it basic. This file browser-based music player doesn’t list songs by artist and album. It simply lets users pick files from wherever they are on a device and play them. For people who save tons of audio that isn’t neatly organized into albums or those who prefer this more hands-on approach, Clean Music Player may just fit the bill. Some features such as playlists and scrobbing are tucked away behind in-app purchases, but the vast majority of the app is free to use.
This list contains a music player for people who want something that really blends in with modern Android design guidelines, for people with most of their music stored online somewhere, an option for people who love card UIs, for people who want a ton of features, and those who just want to manually locate the audio files on their devices. If there’s a different style of music app that you prefer, let us know in the comments below.