The Google Play Store is full of music apps, and almost all of them can play music. But if you’re a fan of material design (like I am), and you want an app with a great design that still packs enough functionality to be considered useful, there aren’t many to choose from.
I did some searching and testing to discover five of the best material design music players for Android. I will also list a few other alternatives at the end of this article in case you want to explore more apps on your own.
Phonograph is one of the best looking music players I’ve ever used, and it has fantastic gesture controls to spice up your experience when playing music or switching between songs.
It has all the standard features you would expect from a typical player such as widgets, playlists, lockscreen controls, etc., as well as Last.Fm integration for downloading album art or artist information. Another key feature is its built-in tag editor which allows you to edit the tags of your music files or even whole albums.
What I like most about this app is that everything is just a swipe or tap away. The play/pause button is always visible to allow for quick playback controls, and it’s seriously fast and doesn’t crash, at least in my experience.
2. Shuttle+ Music Player
Shuttle+ Music Player offers a decent Material design interface that also packs plenty of gestures to help you navigate through the app quickly.
It allows you to switch between songs just by swiping through the album covers, and you can browse through folders in your filesystem to find music files. Using the paid version ($1.49) will also give you access to several more themes in addition to id3 tag editing and Chromcast support. You get gapless playback and Last.fm scrobbling for free, though.
3. Google Play Music
The Google Play Music app comes pre-installed on Nexus and Android One devices, so chances are you’ve already used it if you ever had one of the aforementioned devices. However, you can also download it on the Play Store for users of other devices.
As well as being able to play music files stored on your device, its subscription service offers you access to over 35 million songs coupled with membership to Youtube Red which gives an ad-free Youtube experience. You can also upload up to 50,000 of your own songs to Google Play Music and stream them from anywhere no matter the device you are using (Android, iOS, Web).
This app is probably best for users who use the Google Play Music subscription service. If you are looking for a music player focused on offline content, you should try some of the other ones on this list.
4. Pixel Music Player +
Pixel Music Player is a highly customisable and lightweight music player with a nice flat design and standard support for the most common audio file formats (MP3, OGG, FLAC and WAV).
It has a familiar interface lIke most other music players and gives you a short walkthrough on how to use the app upon installation. By default, the app uses a dark theme, but you can change that to a light theme in the settings. You can also choose from several colours as well as enable or disable other stuff like lyrics, album merges, automatic album art downloads and more.
Pixel Player also comes with a live music feature which basically searches for and plays music from public radio stations, although you have to use the pro version ($2.17) to enjoy this feature.
5. Pulsar Music Player Pro
Pulsar Music Player Pro has its own unique set of features that distinguishes it from the other apps on this list. It is very lightweight (only 2.7MB) and contains only the most useful options without any additional bloatware.
It comes with some really goodlooking themes to select from (limited in free version) and several swipe gestures to switch between music. It also has an Equalizer ($2.99 pro version only) for those who like to play with that kind of stuff, a built-in tag editor and Cbroke cast support.
The only negative thing I can say about this app is that it’s a bit slow when transitioning between screens due to the animations which dampens the experience a little.
If you don’t like any of the above, or you just want to test out more apps, here are some other music players with material design you can try.
Let us know which of the above apps is your favourite, and if you know any other great Android music players that sport a material design, we’d love to hear about them, too.