(I think that from now on I’ll review more Android apps than I previously did. College life is pretty tiring, and now I could have a week without touching my laptop .)
XenoAmp is a music player that has been around on Google Play for a time, but I’ve only found it when I browsed XDA-Developers’ apps forum. The idea of an almost entirely gesture-based music player is pretty interesting for me. Let’s see if XenoAmp lives up to my expectations…
The first time you open up XenoAmp, you’ll see this:
It seems XenoAmp wants your music to sound better than on any other players, and the developer tried to make sure the new users got the note. When you thought you’ve finished this (unskippable) wizard, there’s also one more wizard which tests how great your earphones/speaker is by playing noises of different decibels. If you, like me, don’t care or know about audio quality and only care about listening to music, just skip this.
Once you get past the wizard, you’ll be taught how to use and get around the player with a series of dialogues. This way, you can be accustomed with how the XenoAmp works in no time.
The main view looks pretty intriguing, since it doesn’t seem to have any buttons. By default, the main view has large, circle on the center, the cover art, which is shown with a Ken Burns effect, and the currently playing song. The outer circle actually shows you the current position of the track (you can also navigate the song with it), and the inner circle shows you the position of the song in the playlist (in this screenshot, the third out of eight songs).
If you move your finger inside of the circle, you can control the player’s volume and see the remaining time of the song. To play and pause, you could simply tap on any empty part of the screen, and swipe left or right to play the previous/next song on the playlist. Long-press the screen, and you’ll see a nifty pie menu, which lets you access other features of XenoAmp. You can also use the left sliding menu instead, which hosts other features not found on the menu.
Just like any music player, XenoAmp would search for music on both your internal storage and SD card and add them to its database. It lets you sort your music by artists, albums, genres, and years using the buttons on top of the screen. Sadly, it shows blank squares as album covers way more often that the real covers.
You can also find songs using the built-in file manager instead.
XenoAmp has a pretty satisfying approach on playlist management. Double-tap an album to play it, single-tap to view the songs inside, and tap on songs to add them to the end of the currently playing playlist. The playlist itself is easily accessible from anywhere in the app, by swiping up (notice the three dots on the bottom of the screen).. You can save the playlist, which will be saved on your internal storage in .m3u format.
XenoAmp also lets you access other music sources like Subsonic, Google Play Music, 8Tracks, and Dirble radio directory. I have tried Dirble and I could listen to songs, although it couldn’t show any information about the currently playing song.
XenoAmp is a quirky audio player with a good concept, but it’s not my favorite. As you might guess, I really like the gesture-heavy way to control the player (this way, you don’t have to look at the screen), the main view’s unique interface, and the way you can easily create and save playlists. But this app is not very stable; sometimes it will crash when I added many songs to the playlists or instead refused to add them, showing a blank screen instead:
And God forbid if you turn your screen off with XenoAmp still playing, because I had to restart my phone in order to unlock it:
I’ll stick with BlackPlayer and Hiki Player.