Android App Review Special, Part 3: Most Used/Excellent Apps in my “Multimedia” Category

I have a category called ‘Multimedia’ that is a catch-all for all things audio, video, and reading materials.  These are the 5 I use the most.  They rock.

BeyondPod Podcast Manager BeyondPod Team

“Lite” version is free with a 7-day full version trial; Pro Version Unlock Key $6.99; tablet version available.

There are quite a few choices when it comes to podcatchers in the Market;  after having tried a few, I keep coming back to trusty BeyondPod. It is very easy to use, syncs wonderfully with Google Reader, and is constantly improving, with the latest updates bringing it a smooth UI facelift and better support for Android 4.0+.

I listen to a ton of podcasts, and follow a great deal of blogs; BeyondPod makes them easy to manage.  It is that simple, for me.  If you read the description on the Market page, you can see that it is an extremely feature-rich program, giving you remarkable and intuitive methods of organizing and enjoying your RSS/Atom feeds and podcasts.

The Unlock Key looks on the expensive side, but often goes on sale for $2.99 for holidays and promotions; the Lite version has all of the features of the Pro version except:

  • Scheduling of updates will be disabled (big whoop)
  • You will be able to update only one feed at a time (oh noes, so devastated…)
  • You can download only one podcast at a time.  (please, you’re killing me… /sarcasm)

The one it forgot to mention is

  • Will more or less nag you to get the full version until you do (this is actually a little annoying)

If you can stand the hassle, you don’t need to drop the cash to unlock this excellent program, but I did – I wanted to support the developers, it was on sale, and the nagging was getting to me.  Long story short, though; I’d be lost without this program.

Some of the features I enjoy specifically:

  • You can import/export a file w/ your list of podcasts, essential if you’re switching phones, or just factory reset and start over again a lot with your phone like I do
  • Plays on your lockscreen, much like Google Music
  • Being able to set and edit your own categories, as well as browse popular podcasts

Some other choices for podcast and rss feed managers include Doggcatcher, Pocket Casts, and Google Listen;  they’re all noble choices, and I’ve heard really good things about Pocket Casts.  Stitcher is one I would advise you to avoid.  Stitcher hurts the “little guy” podcaster in that they essentially download your podcast once, and then play it indefinitely to their subscribers – meaning that the little guy never gets to see how much clout they really have, as they don’t have a download count to go on.  It works well for people like Kevin Smith and Marc Maron (big names with tons of listeners) but for new up and coming podcasts (such as my friends at The Hotshot Whiz Kids) this hurts.  Avoid Stitcher!

DroidIris Alexandre Delattre

Free; DroidIris+ available for $0.99

This was one of the first applications I ever installed on my first Android phone, and I’ve never let it go.  DroidIris is just an incredibly easy interface for searching for images.  You simply choose your favorite search engine, set any filters you’d like, and enter your search query, and you’re given a beautiful scrolling list of thumbnails of the search results.  When you tap on a picture, you’re given the zoomed-in view of it, as well as options to share the link, download the file, go to the URL where its hosted, and set the image as your wallpaper.  Simple, elegant, easy, and free!

The paid version of the app allows you to view the photos on your SD card, in your Picasa/Google+ albums, or Facebook albums in the same manner.  I’m not in any great need for this (thanks to another great app, which I will cover in Part 4) but I’m likely to uninstall the free version and buy it now that I’ve realized it exists, simply to support a developer who has made an app I find necessary on my Android phones.

MX Video Player MX Technologies

Free (A few ads), Pro Version (no ads) $5.62, versions for specific tablets/processors available

This one is a bit of a no-brainer for me; it is quite simply a free media player that works with the files I tend to play.  I’ve had no problem playing anime with subtitles, HD movies, etc. with this program – if you ‘acquire’ video in a certain way, you know sometimes its a .mkv, sometimes it’s a .avi… this program handles them all with ease, and has an easy, flowing interface.  The ads show up in little bars in your file selection screen, and when you pause your movie, and are no bother.

reddit is fun TalkLittle

Free, “Golden Platinum” Edition available (has widgets)

Another one I don’t need to dump a mile of text on you for, reddit is fun is my favorite way to browse reddit on the go.  There are a ton of reddit viewers in the market, and after having tried a few, I settled on this one since it is so intuitive and easy to use.

TuneIn Radio TuneIn Inc

Free, Pro Version available for $0.99

TuneIn gives you access to AM/FM radio stations, Police/Fire blotters, and even Podcasts from ALL.  OVER.  THE.  WORLD.  This app is insanely powerful for the low cost of nothin’.  Miss the goofy DJ’s from that morning radio show back home?  Jam to them on your way to work from thousands of miles away with this app.  Wanna catch the local jams?  You can do that too.  You wanna podcast?  TuneIn can getcha Smodcast.  I’ve listened in on Haitian, Japanese, Russian, and Swedish stations just for giggles.

I have not tried the Pro Version, but from what I’ve read it gives you the ability to rewind and record what you’re listening to; pretty nifty feature for a buck!  Rip down and playback that Norwegian jam for your friends to hear later, and they’ll marvel at your incredible music-snatching ways!

Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’… this special segment just keeps rollin’… coming up next… my ‘Creativity’ category, featuring mostly camera stuff!


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