As we often mention in our reviews of Windows Mobile Professional phones, one of their main advantages smartphones is the ability to install various applications. In this article we will discuss those of them, which will let you transform your device in a personal multimedia player (PMP).
Keep in mind,that no program can compensate for poor sound quality or overcome the low-end earpieces included in a device’s package, and that’s why we’ll only rate them for comfort of control and options offered.
The tests have been made with Samsung OMNIA, HTC Wizard and i-mate 6150 in order to check if all players are fully operational under the different resolutions ( respectively WQVGA, QVGA, VGA) and processor speed. If it hasn’t been explicitly mentioned in the text, then we’ve had no troubles.
Slide 2 Play (S2P)
One of the most impressive functions of iPhone’s music player is Cover Flow, which allows you to view your music collection by simply swiping your finger over the large album. Thanks to Slide 2 Play this awesome interface is now available on every Windows Mobile Professional device. The last version of the application is offered in two variants – for QVGA and VGA displays, but you can still use it with a WQVGA (240x400) one, like in OMNIA.
Basically, this is the best and player in terms of options and design, and an added bonus is its price…free!] There still are no extras such as an equalizer, but its creator (A_C at xdadevelepors) often releases updates and we expect functionality to be continually added.
Although not as effective and convenient as S2P, the Mort player offers many options and a few variants for different skins. Like the PC application Winamp, skins completely transform the player and influence everything from album art display to control scheme. There are various visualizations (showing the playlist or minimized to only a quarter of the screen), as well as different sound effects and the option for manual adjustment of the equalizer.
Unfortunately, Mort Player is kind of ugly, not very intuitive and you’ll need time to get used to it. Also, bear in mind that it doesn’t appear in full screen with WQVGA displays.
You can organize your songs in playlists, but an equalizer is not present which is somewhat annoying since you have to pay $19.95 for the application. However, the Flipside player has an Ace up its sleeve; it provides fast access to the artist information of the current track courtesy of last.fm. The same source notifies you of upcoming concerts and similar groups which is a nice extra but doesn’t have a very useful application on a cell phone.
Vito Audio Player
VITO’s advertisements announce that it is targeting users sick of rummaging through the various options and switching between different modes. Basically this is a greatly simplified player, almost to the point of being crippled. It will not let you easily jump to the next track (you’ll have to FFW it manually) or play a random song in the playlist while listening to music.
You are probably wondering why should you pay $9.95 for this application. There are a few nice functions such as the bass booster and the “start where you left it” feature, but overall it’s not worth the money.
Is it worth the $20? Definitely not.
Electric Lobster Tunes
The application uses a lot of traffic and it should be combined with an appropriate data plan (with many MBs). Electric Lobster Tunes is priced at $19.95.
If all that is not enough, Pocket Player also adds a video player (similar to Windows Media) and podcast functionality. The ability to use classic Winamp skins (.wsz files) is very cool, but since they are not intended for a mobile phone resolution they do not visualize correctly and interfere with the controls. Nevertheless, we dare say that this is the best paid player, priced at $19.95.
Resco Pocket Radio
Have you ever wanted to kill some time by listening to some music, but not have any loaded on yourdevice? Well, if you have a decent internet connection and Resco Pocket Radio, you’ll never be in a situation like this. Resco has a simple but user-friendly and beautiful interface, offering access to numerous radio stations divided in categories such as Electronica, Hip-hop, R&B, Soul, Pop, Rock and many others. You can even add your own stations. Right next to each of them you’ll see the quality (the bitrate) of the tunes and their format (MP3, OGG).
Resco Pocket Radio can be yours for $19.95.