Reviews

MixZing Turns Your Android Into a Real Media Player

June 21, 2010 | by Jorge Parrales

Android App Reviews, Android Apps, Multimedia, Reviews, Reviews

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MixZing’s Media Player has been featured in the Android Market for several months now, and with good reason.  One of the most glaring deficiencies in the Android OS is the music player, which continues to be detrimentally basic with very little to offer in terms of user experience. MixZing is looking to change that.

Don’t expect to be blown away by MixZing as soon as you open the application. The menu is pretty basic and simple to navigate, and at first glance, it might just seem like a slightly better version of the stock player. But as you get to know the app – and more importantly, as it gets to know you – the experience becomes much more special.

Much like iTunes’ “Genius” feature or Pandora, MixZing lets you tell it what kind of music you’re in the mood for by picking one or two songs to start with. It then scours the rest of your music collection to create a playlist that fits the mood you’re in. Of course, computers can’t always be perfect, so don’t be surprised if recommendations sometimes miss their mark. (You want to have at least 150-200 songs stored on your SD card, because MixZing is more effective in large libraries.)

PREMIUM FEATURES

With the free version of the application, you are given a three-day trial period to use the paid features, which include the ID3 Tag Editor and the lock-screen widget. It costs $6.99 to use those features afterward. With the tag editor, you can edit/correct the details of any particular song in your collection, such as the artist or genre, which can be helpful to getting better song recommendations. The lock-screen widget will be a big draw for users who don’t want to unlock their phones every time they want to skip or rate songs.

Overall, the experience within the free version of MixZing is very enjoyable, even after the trial features expire. It takes out the work of having to create your own playlists every time you want to listen to music and the interface is a little bit more aesthetically-pleasing than the stock player. The features available in the upgraded version are very appealing, but it may be difficult to motivate the Android user to spend $6.99 on an upgrade without having something truly unique to offer.

KEY FEATURES

  • A major virtue is that it includes the option to set music folder, meaning no more ringtones or voice recorded messages popping up in your playlists
  • Mood player automatically fills your queue with recommended songs from your collection
  • Downloads missing album art
  • Homescreen widgets with album art included
  • Recommends new music not in your collection
  • Access to artist biographies and photos

CONS

  • Some of the most appealing features expire after three days, forcing you to buy the upgrade to keep them
  • Upgrade is probably priced too high for most users
  • Sometimes slow to make recommendations
  • ID3 Tag Editor only works with MP3 files right now

App: MixZing Media Player

Price: Free (Upgrade: $6.99)

Website: http://www.mixzing.com

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UPCOMING VERSIONS

I had the pleasure of speaking with Peter Jeffe, the CEO of MixZing and he had some exciting plans in mind for the future of the company and their product. New features are on the way, some coming as soon as next week, and others planned for release no later than three months from now. Some of the upcoming features for the free version include:

  • An equalizer to change volume levels
  • Improved recommendation process and batch selection modes.
  • An integrated music store to purchase songs, and automatically recognize when a song’s tags need to be corrected
  • Integrated features with SocialMuse

NOTE: Mr. Jeffe informed me that the company will be transitioning their entire brand and title over from MixZing to SocialMuse in the next couple of months

A major virtue is that it includes the option to set music folder, meaning no more ringtones or voice recorded messages popping up in your playlists.