Got music covered
Android App of the Week It’s not often that I come across an application that displaces a default choice on my phone within minutes of me downloading it, but the N7Player music player is just one such. I think it’s brilliant.
Before I go on, let me make one thing clear: I’m an obsessive about album cover art. I go to great, some would say unhealthy lengths to make sure my digital music collection features the correct art. N7Player repays my obsession in spades.
Zoom out to view your library as text (left) and in to see the albums (right)
The USP is the UI. Open the app and all your album artists are displayed by name in a grid, graffiti style. Zoom out and all the album covers appear and you can keep zooming out to see larger images of said sleeves.
To keep the tile screen a sensible size, only the first three albums by any artist get single images while the rest are grouped four to a tile. Tap on an artist's name in the text view and the background fades and all the relevant albums are brought to the fore.
Select an LP (left) and get more detail (right)
Tap an album and you get a list of all the tracks on it as well as covers of all the other albums by said artist next to it. It’s an essentially simple but visually impressive way of navigating around your music, and the larger your collection, the better it works.
The icing on the cake is the quality of the animated transitions. They are superb. Fiddling with N7Player makes me wonder if this was the sort of effect Microsoft was aiming for with Windows Phone 7. The difference is here it’s apposite and it works.
The app lets you edit ID3 tags (left) and add album art (right)
Of course, to function properly all your cover art and ID3 tags need to be in order so it’s just as well the app has editors for both, and rather good they are too. Especially handy is the option to change whole album not just track tags.
N7Player isn’t just a pretty face either. As long as you are running Android 2.3.1 or above you get a five-band graphic equaliser, SRS sound, bass boost and a selection of EQ and reverb pre-sets.
All the basic music library navigation tools are covered too, including folder, artist and album views and there is a useful sleep timer with a ‘play to end of song’ override. Playlist support is a bit basic but the app keeps running lists for recent and most played tracks.
At the moment N7Player is a free - and ad free - beta so I suggest grabbing it sooner rather than later, though I for one will be happy to cough up a few quid to keep it on my handset. ®
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Putting on my luddite hat...
So what if the UI is amazing? 99% of the time I use my phone to play music - it's either in a pocket, or tucked away in the car somewhere... so the UI is (largely) irrelevant to me apart from manipuating playlists
So, from where I sit, all the UI does is restrict the number of devices it'll run on - and yes, my phone isn't one of them, but I doubt I'd use it for the shiny shiny anyway if I'm honest.
Just my £0.02...
Usual over zealous permission
Thanks for the article.
You do have to wonder why a media player needs access to the phones unique ID, phone number, number of the person your calling and the ability to read the log files on the phone (which can include account information, URLs, application information, etc) along with full internet access. Fine the internet access on it's own is probably used to grab meta data. But one you include those other permission things start to feel a little too uncomfortable.
It's not really an attack against N7Player alone. A lot of Android apps now seem to require a lot more permissions than you would think necessary. I guess it's how you get payed for "free" apps.
I'll give this one a miss for the time being. Otherwise it looks very good.
Re: Putting on my luddite hat...
I was going to say -- is this a review of a music player, or of a cover art image slideshow tool? Hard to tell from the content, which includes barely a word about how the thing actually sounds -- might be more accurate to say that it's a great music player for people whose priorities are as screwy as those of the Reg hack who wrote the article.
Re: Putting on my luddite hat...
Nothing screwy about it. It's my experience that sonically Android music players are much the same and that the real benefits are found by A) using a decent pair of 'phones, and B) having a comprehensive and competent sound modification suite. Point A is beyond the remit of this review, Point B is covered.
Also sound quality is subjective. I like the effects the N7Player's 'reverb' setting produces. Others may disagree.
If the sound the app produced was in anyway below standard, I wouldn't have rated it so highly.
Re: QR Code
Oh do grow up.