Earlier this week, some folks over on the XDA developers forum got their hands on a leaked test build of a revamped Android music player that could possibly be shipping with Android’s next OS upgrade, Honeycomb. This evening the footage was spotted by Engadget, and now the word is spreading like wildfire: Android is going to get a default music player that isn’t totally mediocre.
Alright, maybe I’m being a little harsh — the music player that ships with the stock build of Android can play music just fine. But it’s also underwhelming, especially when compared to the iPhone’s much slicker music application. It’s drab and there’s nothing like Apple’s Cover Flow — but all that’s changing.
As you can see in the video above, the new music app includes a lot more color, flourishes like volume meters next to the currently playing song, and a more visual album view that looks similar to Android’s image viewer.
It looks like a solid improvement, but there’s still one feature that isn’t shown: the music store that Google previewed at its I/O conference in May. Google hasn’t said anything about this since, and there are rumors that its efforts to launch a music service have been delayed. Update: A comment on the XDA forum (and one of our comments below) indicate that the app does in fact reference streaming functionality, but it isn’t functional.
On the plus side, if you don’t feel like waiting for this new Android music app to ship, there are plenty of other options including PowerAMP and DoubleTwist, which also offers
desktop software for managing your media and a very cool new wireless sync feature.