Winamp is a media player we have probably all used on our PCs at one point. Its light-weight, looks cool, and offers many options when it comes to playing and listening to music.
Nullsoft has taken the effort to make a mobile version of their dream child, and Winamp for Android has been available in the beta form for quite some time. The stable version is now available for download from the Play Store for free. There is also a Pro version available, which includes all of the features of the free version, plus a 10 band equalizer, a customizable home screen, crossfade, gapless playback, FLAC playback, amongst others.
Here we will be reviewing Winamp Pro for Android.
Design and Interface
Winamp has never been about the eye candy, and Winamp Pro for Android is no exception. We are not saying that it is ugly, but better skinning of the app could have been done.
The Winamp Home Screen is basically divided into an 8 tile grid. Selection of these tiles opens up various options, such as listing of music artists wise, albums wise, genres wise, etc. The remaining tiles are used to open up the equalizer, the SHOUTcast Radio Feature, or a dedicated tile which can be used to get free music from Spinner and Full CD Listening Party.
Along the bottom of the interface are standard options to move forward and backward through the tracks and rearrange the songs in the playlist.
Menus are all in a grayish-blackish tone, which looks like it’s one of Nullsoft’s favored color schemes.
When the phone is turned horizontally, the grid interface remains the same. It would have been nice to see some changes here, like the display of Album art, but this isn’t a deal breaker.
Winamp Pro is not short on features. It is a player which can easily replace your stock player. Apart from playing our MP3 collection (which it does well), it also lets us sync our phones library with the Winamp Library on our PCs, which is pretty cool. We can also listen to a wide selection of radio channels via SHOUTcast, which works flawlessly. Free music can be downloaded from Spinner within Winamp, and full length Albums can be streamed via Full CD Listening Party, but I am yet to find any music which I actually would listen to, from these two free services.
The presence of an equalizer is a welcome addition to Winamp Pro. You can customize the equalizer settings to your choice, or load one of the many present options such as classical, club, dance, rocks etc.
There is also the option to introduce a cross fade between your songs, which works quite smoothly.
Apart from cross fade and a basic equalizer, there are not many other ways to modify your music. But the options provided are more than enough to satisfy all but the greatest audiophiles, who we would recommend use PowerAmp, the king when it comes to tweaking.
Winamp Pro also supports gapless playback. FLAC playback can also be done, but only in folder view.
The audio quality is something which is hard to judge, as it depends greatly upon the quality of your mp3s, your phones hardware, and your audio equipment. But having used Winamp Pro on more than one device, I would say that with proper equalizer settings, Winamp serves as a formidable music player, and will not leave you wanting. It performs as good, if not better, then the stock Android music player.
Feature wise, Winamp is quite rich, and can be a resource hog, taking some time to load. I have also noticed that it drains battery much more than the stock player. While listening to music using the stock player, it depleted almost negligible battery with the screen off. An hour of listening to music using Winamp brought down the battery level considerably. There are also no options present to view lyrics to the songs we are listening to.
Winamp Pro is a worthy contender when it comes to Android Music Players. It comes amongst the top Android music players along with PowerAmp and MixZing Player. Its minor gripes can be forgotten when we look at the huge list of features which it offers. We recommend that anybody thinking of using Winamp on Android upgrade to the Pro version, as it has so much more to offer, making the price worth it.