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Mougg: Upload Music to the Cloud, Listen Anywhere

Posted on Nov 26, 2010 in Multimedia, Top Rated Apps | 3 comments

Mougg allows you to access your entire music library from anywhere in the world, on any internet-ready device!

  • Version: 1.0.0
  • Size: 255KB
  • Category: Multimedia
  • Price: Free



Mougg is a cloud-based solution to your music, with easy listening via its Android app. To get started, signup at Mougg.com with your email address and password (no additional information is required). Then, upload the Mp3 and M4a music files that you want, up to the 1GB maximum (expecting expanded sizes soon). From there you have two options for listening to your music; either the web-based media-player, or the Android app. We’ll focus on the Android app for now, but we’ll mention that the web-based interface is quite elegant and a breeze to use.

The Android app depends on the music you upload and organize in the web-based media player. Currently, there isn’t an option to create playlists, upload music, or edit your collection from the app itself. However, this does mean you can listen to your music without having to sync up your entire library, which can introduce it’s own issues, e.g. lag. Overall, the app is a great solution when paired up with the web-based media player.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based solution to your music library
  • Accessible with Android app or any internet-enabled device
  • Free up space on your phone’s SD card



Areas for improvement:

  • Ability to create account via Android app
  • Edit playlists, music, etc. within the app itself
  • Option for larger storage sizes



Conclusion: An efficient way to access your music independent of browser, computer, or operating system. Plus, easy access from your Android phone!

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Winamp Beta for Android, Top Multimedia App

Posted on Oct 21, 2010 in Multimedia, Top Rated Apps | 8 comments

Winamp for Android (beta) offers a complete media management solution for Android 2.1+ devices.

  • Version: 0.9.1
  • Size: 1.19MB
  • Category: Multimedia
  • Price: Free



Key features:

1.  Mobilize Your Library

  • Seamlessly sync your music, videos, etc. by USB or WiFi
  • WiFi sync requires the Winamp 5.59 Beta Desktop version (follow the link to download the necessary desktop software)



2.  Persistent Player Controls

  • Permanent, location-locked control bar makes navigating music simple
  • Winamp lightning bolt is a quick-button to get back to the app’s homescreen
  • List button takes you to your play queue



3.  Now Playing

  • Displays song info, album art, and options to repeat, shuffle, play, pause, skip
  • Long-press on the song info to get linked to related information from YouTube, Amazon mp3, or the Web



4.  Play Queue Management

  • Real-time track listing lets you select and sort tracks
  • Save personalized play queue as a new playlist



Pros:

  • WiFi syncing, leave the USB cable behind!
  • Clean, user-friendly interface
  • Persistent player controls keep the app simple
  • Android widget for your homescreen



Areas for improvement:

  • In app visualizer!
  • Player controls on the lockscreen



Conclusion: Complete media-management solution with WiFi syncing capabilities makes Winamp a top multimedia Android app!

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Top Android App: MusicGrid Synthesizer

Posted on Sep 25, 2010 in Multimedia, Top Rated Apps | 4 comments

MusicGrid is a classic step sequencer that lets you create your own beats.

  • Version: 2009-09-24
  • Size: 92.49KB
  • Category: Multimedia
  • Price: Free



This music generating app is extremely simple and easy to use. You’ll be addicted to creating your own sounds & beats!

There are two grid sizes you can choose from: 16×10 (best for larger size screens) and 12×8 (for small screens). Click a single unit on the grid to enable it (turns white). The app will automatically play your selected notes at the default tempo (300 bpm). You can enable/disable a note by tapping it, so you can easily try different note combinations on the fly. Additionally, there are multiple options for the types of audio sounds and tempo to use.

Pros:

  • Simple, easy to use
  • Multiple grid sizes, sounds, tempos



Areas for improvement:

  • Ability to save/load/edit a beat is essential (so it can be used as a ringtone, etc.)
  • Additional sound options, or even custom sounds
  • Extended grids



Conclusion: The beauty of this music synthesizer is in its simplicity. Excited for future features!

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Edit & Share Photos w/ Adobe Photoshop Express

Posted on Aug 17, 2010 in Multimedia, Top Rated Apps | 1 comment

Adobe Photoshop Express is a convenient mobile version of the popular software, which allows you to edit and share photos anywhere!

  • Version: 1.2.2
  • Size: 1.27MB
  • Category: Multimedia
  • Price: Free



First off, this express app is packed with features and effects beyond what I was expecting. Quick note: When the app is first downloaded, a default option is enabled which only shows pictures that have been taken with the phone. If you have downloaded images to your phone and would like the option to edit those as well, make sure to un-check this option in the Settings. Then, once you have selected a photo you’d like to edit, go at it!

Photoshop Express effects:

  • Crop, straighten, rotate, flip
  • Exposure, saturation, tint, black & white, contrast, brightness
  • Soft focus
  • Additional effects, borders



Drag your finger left/right across the screen to adjust the strength of the selected effect. If you like the changes made for that effect, click the green check, otherwise click the red “x” to undo.

Once you have the photo to your liking, click the save button on the bottom right of the app. A new file will be created, still maintaining the original image file. From there, you have further options to upload your new photo to Facebook, TwitPic, or your Photoshop.com account (setup account details/login from the settings menu). This way you can quickly share your latest creation.

Pros:

  • An impressive number of effects/options
  • Uploading to Photoshop.com, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Intuitive, user-friendly UI



Areas for improvement:

  • Addition of options like zoom, layers, copy/paste multiple images, etc. would be a huge bonus



Conclusion: If you’d like basic photo editing options directly on your Android phone, you can’t go wrong with Photoshop/Adobe.

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Top Android App: RockPlayer

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 in Multimedia, Top Rated Apps | 2 comments

Looking for a way to play .avi and .mkv video files on your Android phone? Then look no further than RockPlayer for  your viewing pleasure.

  • Version: 1.0.31
  • Size:  2552 KB
  • Category: Multimedia
  • Price: Free (Ad-free $10)



There are many apps promising smooth video playback for file types not supported by the native android video app out there.  Most are disappointing; RockPlayer is not.

The free version is fully functional but does have in-video ads from time to time,  $10 eliminates these ads if you find them distracting or want to support the developers (always a good idea).

There are versions available for the different phones with ARM processors:

ARMv7 instruction set version: Google Nexus One, HTC Desire, HTC Incredible, HTC EVO 4G, Moto Milestone, Moto Droid, Moto XT800, Samsung Galaxy S, Sony Ericsson X10 (and presumably Droid X)

ARMv6+VFP version: HTC Legend, Samsung i5700

ARMv6 version: All other devices

Supported file formats: avi, mkv, rmvb, mp4, mov, wmv, asf, wma, wav, mpg, ts, mpa, dvd, au, mp3, mid, ivf, aiff, ogm, ogg, cda, flic, d2v, aac, roq, flac, drc, dsm, swf, pls, pmp

Supported audio and video encoders: AAC, AC3, DTS, FLV4, LPCM, ALAW, ULAW, MPEG Audio, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, RealVideo, RealAideo, Vorbis, AVC (H264), VC1, XVID, DIVX, SVQ, Theora, Bink

Pros:

  • Free
  • Smooth video playback
  • Video playback capability the iPhone can’t even hope to match



Areas for improvement:

  • Access videos stored on phone memory
  • Videos play great on my Incredible but might be laggy or have audio-sync problems on older phones.



Conclusion:

If you’re tired of converting your videos for playback on your phone then RockPlayer is a must-have app.  Maybe a battery and SD card upgrade are in order…

ARMv7

ARMv6

ARMv6+VFP

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