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A Promising Music Player App - Astro Player Nova


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  1. lakeside

    lakeside Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Early this morning I d/l another music to try out. It's called Astro Player Nova.

    The Nova is a beta app but looks to have promise. It contains several features that I look for and even includes the ever-elusive equalizer!

    I use a combination of my Eris' stock player, Cubed (3) and Zimly to accomplish my desire to create playlists, queue songs and have an easy to use interface.

    The stock player creates playlists the easiest of any app I've used that can do it, while I love the way that Cubed handles music selection and queuing of songs. Zimly has the easiest and slickest interface of any app I've tried. In fairness to Zimly, I recently found a way to create playlists and queue songs in the app. These features aren't as easy to find or identify in Zimly as within the stock music player or Cubed, but they exist.

    Well, I am trying the Nova from Astro and it looks VERY promising! This app allows playlist creation, provides queuing of songs and...wait for it...Waittttttt for it...IT HAS AN EQUALIZER!!!!:eek:

    This product is still in beta so I'm taking it through the paces, including the equalizer. I have an aux input in my car, I use wireless FM xmitter in my wife's car and I wear headphones when exercising, so I should be able to reasonably assess how useful the equalizer is.

    One nice feature of the beta app is that it has a option to send feedback to the developers right from the app. This is nice for those of us who don't have a problem with apps transmitting user data.

    I will update this thread as I use Nova more. Also, I'm interested in other opinions from new users.:D
     

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  2. lakeside

    lakeside Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Here's my first review of the Astro Player Nova after 4 days of use:

    1. Memory/buffer optimization needs much improvement. Any action to the handset causes skips/delays (micro-delays in terms of half-sec pauses). When I say "any action" I mean mean anything: activating the screen after it goes dark, turning off the lock screen with a swipe, background receipt of text or email messages, and probably any background function peformed by the OS.

    I don't have this problem with the stock player that comes with the Android OS, Zimly or Cubed-3. Zimly and Cubed are also beta apps according to their developers, although they are more matured apps in the beta state.
    DETERMINATION: A CON :(

    2. The equalizer...DOES ACTUALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!! :eek: I have been trying the equalizer in my car using the Aux input. I played several songs using Zimly, Cubed and Nova. I was amazed at the quality improvement once I started using the equalizer in Nova. Note that Zimly and Cubed do not have equalizers (neither do the majority of music player apps on the market!).

    DETERMINATION:
    A PRO :cool:

    3. Nova has a feature that I will label as "Cumulative Queuing." The primary screen has a button labeled as "ADD" which allows the queuing of songs for play after the current song ends. What is quirky about Nova's implementation is that the queue history is permanent. Even after I've closed the app and opened it later, the history of all songs I've added to the queue are still there. This is essentially "playlist-building on the fly."

    I'll have to go back to my other installed players and see if they can perform this feature.
    DETERMINATION: NEW FEATURE TO ME, BUT A PRO :cool:

    4. Lyrics button on the main screen - When I first saw this button, I thought it was a lyric finding feature. I don't think that is its actual purpose. I believe this is for lyrics that are stored as a part of a song's ID tag.
    DETERMINATION: A BIT MISLEADING, SO A CON, BUT NOT A SHOWSTOPPER. :confused:

    That is all for now! With the weekend here, I'm really going to put this app through the paces, with my exercising, lawn work, etc., that will do!!
     
  3. lakeside

    lakeside Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    HORRORS OF HORRORS!!!!

    I did an update to the beta thinking it was a resolution of performance issues.

    I think this update actually removes the Nova functions and installs the basic Astro Player. I no longer have the ability to use the equalizer and the queuing features. I keep getting a message to upgrade to the fully enhanced version. However, the beta version of NOVA is still available for d/l.

    For now, I'm going to uninstall this app. The buffering problems are too significant for me to buy the product and determine that they have been resolved.

    Too bad because I thought this app had promise! :(

    Just some more FYI on my experiences. I had the beta version (labeled Astro Player Nova) and it worked with full functionality through two release updates, 1.70 and 1.71. On yesterday, release 1.74 restored me to the what i've called the basic functions. the advanced features were deactivated with this release (equalizer, queuing, etc). I'll have to buy the upgrade to resume testing of the features.

    That being said, the base version I've been busted down to by the update, does not have nearly the sound quality of Zimly, Cubed or even my Eris' stock player! And these players don't have an eq function!!

    For anyone interested, here's the link to the site where I found out about the changelog:

    http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/multimedia/astro-player-nova_bfoe.html
     
  4. AlexNC

    AlexNC Well-Known Member

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    I think the skipping you are having is a Froyo wide problem. I get skipping when playing back music on both the stock and Mixzing players. Not too big of a deal, but frequent enough to notice. I never had this with 2.1.

    Thanks for the review. Personally I use Mixzing. It has everything you mentioned above, but also with a touch gesture widget, allowing for easy skipping of songs by swiping. This is great when driving. There is also a setting that will wake up the screen in between songs for a few seconds. This is great when you dont know the song ... you can look down and see what it is with out having to mess with the phone. This also makes for easily skipping the song with a swipe if you dont like it. But it also comes with a more expensive price tag =)
     
  5. lakeside

    lakeside Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the info AlexNC.

    I'm using 2.1 on my Eris, it is a rooted phone though, so the skipping is probably on the app side and not a function of its integration with a specific OS. It could be the way it's integrated with Android regardless of the OS version, I just know that it skipped enough to be annoying.

    I had tried MixZing when I bought my phone several months ago and I didn't see it being functional for me. I'll revisit it since I'm a more savvy user than I was at time I bought the phone - heck I rooted my phone after only 4 months of ownership!:eek:
     
  6. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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    I know your putting us on. Lyrics?! Do you know how you thought equalizer was great. Double that for the lyrics.

    Lyrics are part of the tag in a MP3 file ans 15% of my 15,000 songs have it.

    I will be checking this program out. Will it show the art work that's in the tag.

    Bob
     
  7. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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    All comments on this site looked good as reflected by you. All so it seems the program does not have art work. That would be nice but I can deal with it.

    As I was thinking that you might get so many updates untill you end up back with the base product. I will let you know, unless I buy it straight out.

    Bob
     
  8. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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  9. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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  10. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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    I checked out the above and decided against it. I ended up trying "Player PRO" & "MixZing. Player pro was going to be my choice until I found that "MixZing" can update Album covers and art. The draw back to "MixZing" was the lack of lyrics ubless you use a linked program called "Instant Lyrics". I don't mean to sound down on "Instant Lyrics". If you have nothing else it is a good solution. There set update list very few program that it works with. I believe it works with the default Droid prg.

    If "MixZing" was the lyrics built in, so to speak, I will go with it.
     
  11. lakeside

    lakeside Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I appreciate all of the comments; I'm done with this thread since my latest update removed the functionality that initially thrilled me about the Nova beta.

    I'm moving on to evaluating MixZing! I do know there were concerns expressed about the rudeness coming from the dev regarding what user data the app is sending to the dev. I'm going back to those threads to see the resolution, if any.
     
  12. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to recommend people not try MixZing. I was the one who raised the concerns about data being taken originally. The best response I got from the dev was that they collect data about your library so they can "stay in sync with it." Now personally I have no clue what that means. I don't know what data is being collected and I don't know why their server has to stay in sync with my library. I asked for clarification and was basically told that my question had been answered sufficiently and I was just being difficult and I should pound sand. Personally I would recommend btunes if you are using 2.1 or earlier. If you're using 2.2 it's a buggy, buggy program and it's no longer supported. Rumor has it the dev is dead. It's easily the best player pre 2.2 I think.
     
  13. AlexNC

    AlexNC Well-Known Member

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    yes. i have album art tagged and they all show up.
     
  14. MisterMixelpix

    MisterMixelpix Well-Known Member

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    I really suggest Music Mod. It's got touch gestures, album art, party shuffle, and the best 4x2 widget in existence.
     
  15. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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    Will it find missing album covers and add them?
    Does it show lyrics?

    Bob
     
  16. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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    can it:
    Will it find missing album covers and add them?
    Does it show lyrics?
     
  17. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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    On my brief checks on "Player Pro", "MixZing". I think it was"Player Pro" that did an wierd music add to collection. That would be OK If I could turn it off, but option did not work. Again I think it was "Player Pro". I did like it if not for the add.

    "MixZing" I decided against but have since saw a item on there site that seemed to suggest it had lyrics. If it's done with out the out side program, see above, I will try.

    "HELP"
    I wanted to highlight the words
    see above and create a link to my above message.
    Any help for a struggling pro.
     
  18. MisterMixelpix

    MisterMixelpix Well-Known Member

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    - Yes
    - No idea, I'm never really in a position to read lyrics while listening on my phone.
     
  19. amerifax

    amerifax Well-Known Member

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    >>lakeside<<
    I would like to say I think your going in the right direction. It got me moving on the music. I'm using your study to help me move.
     
  20. negreenfield

    negreenfield Well-Known Member

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    My guess is it's to better their algorithms regarding the recommendation features that play similar music. I don't really see a problem with it.

    I personally use Lithium for the crossfade feature, if MixZing had it I'd switch to that personally.
     
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  21. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

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    If that's what it's being used for I wouldn't necessarily see a problem with it either. My problem is the dev won't just come out and say, "we're collecting data about your listening habits so we can improve our recommendations." Why is it so hard to just say what data you're collecting and why? Why does he have to say instead, "We collect data about your library so we can stay in sync with it." That doesn't tell me what data is being collected nor does it tell me why the server has to stay in sync with it. Why be so vague about what data you're collecting?
     
  22. negreenfield

    negreenfield Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. I agree they could answer this better. Hopefully it's nothing nefarious, at worst I guess it would target the advertising based on your music? Don't really know what else it would be good for.
     
  23. AlexNC

    AlexNC Well-Known Member

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    Just to clarify things, I sent the developer an email. He is usually pretty quick about replying, so we will see. I will let you know what he says, or even if he does not reply. Here is what i sent him ...
    =============
    "It has been brought to my attention that your Mixzing app may be collecting personal data and sharing it with third parties. I understand this is a means for many companies to fund their projects, and I see no problem with it, as long as I am made aware of it. Personally, I do not buy apps that have been shown to use this practice. I am a fairly personal individual, and I do not like the idea of my data being used without my knowing consent. I paid for your full version of Mixzing and was under the impression that it did not share any of my phone's or my personal information.

    Can you please confirm or deny this?

    Keep up the good work. It's good to see your application continue to evolve into the best android music player on the market!

    Thanks,
    Alex"
     
  24. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

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    My whole exchange with the dev can be found here - mixzing.freeforums.org &bull; View topic - What information is being sent to the MixZing server? You can decide for yourself if the answers are sufficient for you or not.

    My original question was &quot;I realize that if I have recommendations turned on MixZing sends information to the server so the server and recommend other songs from my library. If I have that turned off I'm told that MixZing still transmits data to the server. What kind of data is being transmitted and why does the server need this if I have media recommendations turned off?&quot;

    The dev's answer was &quot;We track changes to your library (songs/playlists added/deleted) so that we can keep in sync with it.&quot;

    When I asked why data was still being sent when when recommendations were turned off the reply I got was &quot;As I said we need to keep track of your library so that we can perform the various functions of the player. If you don't want that information being sent to our server then just uninstall the app.&quot;

    I have no idea what keeping in sync with my library means. I have no idea what &quot;various functions of the player&quot; means or why they need my information to do that. Nor do I know what information they're collecting.

    When I told him that his answers were vague and evasive his reply was, &quot;Please don't be so dramatic. We aren't secretly collecting information on our users nor are we refusing to disclose the nature of that information. I told you very clearly what we collect as soon as you asked.&quot;

    Apparently I'm an idiot because his answer was not clear to me at least.
     
  25. AlexNC

    AlexNC Well-Known Member

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    After reading through the forum thread that you linked to, I think the Mixzing developer very clearly answered your question. They collect the songs metadata to help recommend other music. Or in his words ... "the main functions that we need the meta-data from your library for are to generate recommendations, find album art, and locate artist info." The way I read it is that the data is collected no matter if you are wanting recommendations or not (your concern). This is probably to help speed up the process if you ever turn that toggle back on. That way it will have a back history in order to make suggestions. Makes sense to me. I think you are over reacting.

    I will still keep you updated with his response to me. I was very clear about my concern about them sharing personal data with third parties. That is my main concern. And from his responses to you, it sounds like they are not doing that.
     

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