The beauty of Android is that it is a lot more 'open' than iPhone. So you can just drop MP3s into the right directory (it's called 'MP3', you can't miss) and when you unmount your phone, it'll index them and away you go. So now it was time for the 'listening to music on the way to work' test.
The iPhone is great when playing music because:
- you can easily switch tracks whilst using other applications
- you can easily switch tracks whilst the phone is locked
- when you take the headphone jack out, it stops playing rather than playing on the phone's external speaker (handy when you need to stop for a coffee and actually speak to someone)
- the sound quality is good
So these were the main things that I was looking for in Android. I believe the player I was using was by HTC rather than the default Android one. Here's how it fared:
- Switching tracks whilst using any other app was very easy. Just pull your finger down from the top of the phone to get the notification list. It shows what's playing. Clicking on that takes you to the player were you can then skip tracks. Then a hit of the back button and you're back to whatever app you were playing with at the time
- By default, on the lock screen there are player controls. Result! A minor gripe is that if you're in the Underground, occasionally I'd get a 'Limited Service' message instead that seemed to get in the way of the player controls. Something I will have to find and kill
- Pulling the jack worked as I hoped
- Things sounded nice. (Although I have yet to do a proper side by side comparison of some music on both phones
So, as a music player, I'd say that the transition was easy as things worked in the way I would have expected, with Android maybe having the slight edge for me as if you have the last.fm app installed, it'll automatically 'scrobble' what you're listening to in a way that the iPod feature on the iPhone probably never will.
Where there is a little moment of fail (and I can understand why) is that if you leave your phone USBed to your machine to upload a ton of music and then go to sleep, while your phone is in USB mode, none of the apps on it can write to the microSD card. Thus, this morning when I went to work, no feeds were downloaded. But more on apps in the next post...