Apr 09 AT 6:26 PM Guest Blogger 33 Comments

bTunes: a worthy iPod look-alike mp3 player for Android

btunes-post-img

Many of us have used Apple’s iPod UI at some point, namely the interface supplied with Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch. Being a former (and proudly rehabilitated) iPhone junkie, one of the things that I wasn’t necessarily impressed with in Android’s OS from the beginning was the music player. Sure, it did the job, but finding certain songs in a thousands-deep library wasn’t always easy. Enter bTunes.

bTunes is an iPod look-alike application for Android. The entire UI is designed after the iPhone / iPod Touch application, which is one thing Apple is most famous for. From the look and feel of the touch interface to the graphics and functionality, bTunes does leaps and bounds over the stock music player.

It’s easy to build playlists on the go, rearrange the track order within them, add and remove songs at will, and shuffle the entire mix. When the phone is in sleep mode with the screen off, bTunes has a lock-screen overlay that gives easy access to “Next Track”, “Pause” and “Previous Track” buttons, while displaying downloaded album artwork in the background. Nice.

Each time you launch the app, bTunes searches your memory card for new media files automatically, so you’re always up to date with new additions to your music collection. Use the “Recently Added” queue to then take those songs and insert them into your existing playlists.

For advanced users, the Preferences list is a dream. It allows you to control all aspects of bTunes; from Last.fm scrobbling to shortcut key functions to search options.

Pros

  • Familiar and fully functional user interface
  • Modified lock screen with quick shortcuts for track selection
  • Fully bluetooth compatible (with ‘Mute’ function when using voice dial / voice search)
  • Great homescreen widget; similar to Pandora

Would benefit from

  • Cover flow browsing in landscape mode
  • Less active memory usage (approximately 30mb as opposed to stock music app’s 22mb)

Download bTunes from the Android market today. At $1.99 with lifetime updates, that’s cheaper than a cup of coffee from Starbucks – and it’ll last longer too! You’ll never go back to the stock music player again.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Note: This review was submitted by Mike Beauchamp as part of our app review contest.

From time to time we invite guest bloggers to contribute articles about various Android topics. This is one of those times...

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • http://Website Danny

    QR code doesn’t work for me either.

  • http://Website Louie

    It isn’t in the android market. I deffinitly want to check it out. Seems great!

  • http://Website erick

    great. first app i actually want to download from these reviews and its not even in the market.

  • http://Website DgDeBx

    I think Apple was just granted a patent for Cover Flow:
    http://erictric.com/2010/04/09/uspto-approves-apples-cover-flow-design-patent/

    I can definitely see Apple attempting to get rid of this app, as it likely violates other patents.

    However, it looks really nice and I just might download it!

  • http://Website Trey

    There is another app in the market with an identical interface, but only supports streamed media. its called orb live. it let’s you stream all your music, videos, tv, and webcam from home. I love it!

  • http://Website klmbo

    FYI guys if you go check out the bTunes site it clearly states Android 2.0+

    http://www.btunesmusicplayer.com/

    Apparently someone forgot to mention it on their review ….

    • bdveteran18

      Luckily I went back to a 2.1 ROM on my G1 yesterday. This app is great

  • bdveteran18

    Just downloaded it. First app I’ve paid for. Liking it so far. Thanks for the review on it

  • http://Myz06vette.bloodspot.com Mike Beauchamp

    I’m not sure guys. I tried the qr code on my wifes phone and she doesn’t have the app… It popped right up. Which brought me to a correction: the app is $1.49 not $1.99.

    If you are running a custom rom, check with thendev and other users of that rom to seen if they are experiencing problems in the market. I know Simply Stunning by ChevyNo1 was having problems with apps not appearing in the market at one point.

    Otherwise, I don’t know what to tell you. I just found it via the qr code on this page and they just released an update earlier this week that I had no problems downloading.

    Mike

    • http://Website Lin

      Mike,

      Are you running a custom rom? if so, what is it?

  • http://Website Edward

    The QR Code link on every page is invalid? I could scan read it from my Xperia X10 but browser can’t locate the file.

  • http://@spar_RX Bryan Sparks

    Mike,

    I’m curious about the screenshots you took from your phone. What kind of phone are you rockin and what ROM?

  • http://Website Brian Douglas Hayes

    Wish we could have something more inventive and unique to Android, rather than an Apple knockoff.

    • http://ivansotof.com Ivan

      I second that… The app itself looks ugly and like a ripoff of the music app for iPhone.

      I bet they can do something better for Android.

    • DistortedLoop

      Just because we’re fans of Android doesn’t mean we have to be haters of all things Apple. The iPhone/iPod touch are so wildly popular because people like the interface. I happen to like the iPhone interface to music much better than the stock Android music player or the “3″ music player on my Nexus One. If someone can come up with something better than Apple’s I’ll switch, but in the meantime, if Apple’s got the best interface and someone’s ported it to Android, I’ll give it a shot. (just downloaded now)

      • http://Website Brian Douglas Hayes

        I like the design of most Apple products too (own several, actually) but if I wanted an iPhone-like UI for my music player, I would have bought an iPhone.

        Not only does copying the UI bring potential legal issues, it also says a thing or two about the developers: lazy and unimaginative.

        Android shouldn’t be second-class to iPhone, but when many apps are merely iPhone knockoffs, it’s hard to not see it that way. There’s no reason we can’t have better things.

        • DistortedLoop

          Kind of bold to call developers lazy and unimaginative, especially if you’re not one yourself. If you are one, then wow us with a music player that is easy, intuitive and stable. If you’re not, you can still suggest some better-than-iPod UI on the google code site or xda forums and see if someone implements them. It’s just too easy to sit back and name call developers because you don’t want to see anything Apple-like on your Android.

          With your logic about having iPhone like features on Android, we should get rid of pinch to zoom and all the other nice iPhone features that have been “borrowed” for Android 2.1.

          Like I said originally, if someone comes up with something better, I’ll use it, but I’m not going to refuse to use what might currently be the best out there because it’s an iPod player clone. bTunes’ ratings and reviews are overwhelmingly positive so far.

          The high end Androids (Nexus One, Droid, Desire, and stuff coming out in the next 3-4 months) are in no way 2nd class citizens to iPhones, even if they borrow/steal/clone some UI features. The hardware puts iPhones to shame, and the OS is much more computer-like than PalmPilot-like.

          I switched to the Nexus One because it appeared to be the best hardware on the market at the time, with an open OS and Market that let me get out of the jailbreaking games with Apple and their closed walled-garden approach to the iPhone and App Store.

          As nice as Android 2.1 and the Nexus One are, there are a lot of things that the iPhone still does much better, in my opinion, than Android in terms of the UI and slick applications availability; the iPod-like controls is one of them. Obviously, your mileage may vary.

  • http://Website Alex

    im using the 2.1 rom on my eris and i cant find it in the market and ive tried the qr code to

  • http://gomobile.com.ar/ Zim

    Interesting, I’ll try it! :D

  • http://Website jonathan

    This app does a good job at mimicking iPhone, but it’s not much better than the stock music app. It also had trouble reading id3 tags that the stock app didn’t.

    Not worth switching unless you’re one of those Android users who’s jealous of iPhone and uses iPhone themes and such. It’s just different, not better.

  • http://Website saimin

    The QR code just worked for me (Motorola Droid with 2.1). However, I don’t see any cover flow browsing. Is that dead now?

  • http://Website Helmore

    Is there a music app for Android with a ZuneHD like interface? That would be awesome :D

  • http://twitter.com/britmic britmic

    I was on the fence about this one until I read this review. I thought it was a cheap knock-off of the iPod interface but came to realise the interface makes perfect sense, and is very good.

    Two things I think the dev should promote more as features:

    Scanning on startup (and it seems much quicker than the stock app on my Nexus One)

    Play controls from lockscreen – this even works if you have a swipe-pattern to unlock. It was basically this that sold it to me (and the fact that $1.49 is not a lot of money and the fact that refunds from Android Market are very very easy if I thought it was a crap app).

    I don’t care if this apes the iPod interface – it does the job very well and is a keeper for me.

  • http://Website Name (required)

    the widget on th homescreen is crap.
    you can´t stop the music wth the button on the headset

  • unfeasible

    Please, its android, stop trying to look like mapple.

  • http://Website JB

    I could access it running a 2.1 rom.

    • http://Website JB

      I meant could NOT access it.

  • http://Website Hubert Samm

    Sorry, but the product does not work. I’m sorry I purchased it… yes, it does play songs, and I love the fact that I can shuffle all my songs… here’s the problem… it stops after every song. I won’t start up again, until I hit a button on my android to wake it up…. so far I’m not impressed with the product. I’ve googled for this problem, but get no hits that match what I’m experiencing.. have left email for the support person, have yet to hear back from them…. meanwhile, I’ve removed the application from my android, looking for a better one that plays mp3′s with ability to shuffle the songs.

  • http://Website Stéphane dustache

    I also tried this one but I kind of agree with all the comments above. What’s the point of android if your apps are all copies of ipod ones …Anyway as I was saying in another post, I also tried out a player called “Music Player Pro”. In the spirit of the stock player with improved UI (there are three different skins) and interactivity: the player automatically downloads missing album art as well as artist pictures and genre illustrations and displays the views in grid mode. You can even pick your own preferred pictures, and also get some information on the album and/or artist. Quite cool. And it supports the trackpad.

  • http://Website mlc

    I went from a T-mobile G-1 (which I loved), to a Droid X (which I liked), to a iPhone 4 (which I hated except for its iPodability), back to my unlocked G-1 on AT&T’s network. Even though I only get the Edge network on it I still like it better than the iPhone. Android has a lot going for it and so does iPhone. Too bad we can’t take the best of both and put it all together.
    From a google calendar event I can click an address (not clickable on iPhone’s native calendar) and it automatically brings up google maps, which has a navigate button i can push to automatically start navigation to that location. The iPhone has no way to click an address and navigate to it… it requires much more than a couple clicks to get navigation going. Of course the Android navigation is free. The iPhone navigation you have to pay for… either as a 3rd party app or you can pay $10 EVERY month for the AT&T navigation.
    I think the perfect setup would be an Android phone with an Apple developed iPod app.
    I’ll keep wishing… but I don’t plan to hold my breath.

  • Jimmy

    Pretty good. However it would be great if it had letters in artists menu for easy locating.

  • DemonnPrincess

    I really like it. It is kinda smooth and it’s way better than the default music player. I am now thinking about uninstalling my default player.