Android users, myself included, are accustomed to being ahead of iOS when it comes to audio. Podcasts were always easy to sync to an Android device, and with multitask and widget support since the early days, we’re used to streaming audio in the background while we use our phones for other tasks. As a daily user of all things Android, here’s a rundown of what I use almost every day for downloading and streaming audio.
I recently heard that in iOS 6, the podcast portion of iTunes will be separated into its own app. Apple bloggers and fanatics immediately extrapolated this move into something larger where Apple dominates streaming and downloading audio. I don’t agree that this change in iOS is at all that big a deal: Android users are already in the future of wireless syncing and streaming audio. However, it got me thinking about what I use every day. Here’s an overview of all the audio apps I use. If you are using Android, check these apps out if you haven’t already.
BeyondPod is the premier podcast manager app on Android. It provides great controls, great organization, and great discovery tools. Combine that with Google Reader syncing, and you have a powerful podcast manager that handles almost every conceivable need you’d ever have. I highly recommend this app.
I reviewed this app recently on aNewDomain.net and nothing has happened since then to change my mind. The best in satellite radio is now available in your pocket. Every Android user should gives this app and the service a chance.
Spotify recently rolled out an updated version of their app for Android that works great with Ice Cream Sandwich. Spotify is a hugely popular music streaming service that has been leaving other streaming-only services in the dust. I love creating playlists via a desktop web browser, and then syncing the songs to all my devices. Spotify has a huge collection of music and you won’t be disappointed.
MLB At Bat
MLB’s At Bat app is not necessarily known as a streaming audio app, but if you’re a premium MLB.tv subscriber, you have access to radio streams of every game. Baseball fans will appreciate the radio version of the game, and enjoy baseball luminaries such as Vin Scully. You have the option of listening to the Home or Visitor radio stream, which means when I listen to the Mets, I always get to hear the Mets broadcast. This app has really matured into something great and it’s highly recommended for Android users.
Google Play Music
Google’s Music service was rolled out almost a year ago and it quickly became a staple in my listening habits. You can stream songs, albums, artists and playlists as long as you have an Internet connection. For those times when you don’t have connectivity, you can save music to your Android device. It’s an extremely reliable app and makes Android the main gateway to my own music collection.
Pandora was the first streaming app I installed on my T-Mobile G1. I’ve discovered more music from Pandora than any other app. Like almost every Pandora app, you can create stations, up/down vote songs, and purchase songs. Pandora is kind of a must-have streaming app for any platform, and on Android it doesn’t disappoint.
Stitcher is the “Pandora” of podcast discovery apps. Look for various topics and podcasts, and you’ll be presented with numerous other options. I love this app because it’s gotten me listening to podcasts I’d never heard of before. It works very well with Android tablets too, and sometimes I use it on my Transformer Prime as a digital stereo receiver.
Audible’s Android app was the first app they ever released, period. It was on Android before iOS 6 and changed how I listen to books forever. Your entire collection is available via the app, though you can’t stream, it’s download only. This app should be a virtual requirement on everyone’s Android device as it opens up reading in a whole new way.
TuneIn is a directory of freely available audio streams from the Internet. For anyone old enough to know what “DX’ing” is, TuneIn provides a modern version of DX’ing where you can listen in on local radio streams from around the country. Living in Kansas City but want to hear what New York City radio stations are saying about the Mets? No problem with TuneIn Pro.
It might see hard to believe that I use all these apps on a daily basis, but it’s true. I like to listen to music, talk, and sports as I work, play and sleep. All of these apps are very popular on Android, and there is a reason for that: they all provide great entertainment that almost every Android user should be able to enjoy.