If there is an adequate iTunes-like music player available on Android, DoubleTwist is it. It is an incredibly simple app that lets you keep your personal collection organized, sync to your desktop, play live radio, and even subscribe to podcasts. It can also function as a video player, though it is unquestionably best for listening to tunes.
DoubleTwist opens up to a dashboard of icons for all of your primary music functions. It doesn't have the prettiest interface in the world, but it also doesn't have a particularly unattractive one. More importantly, though, the interface's functions are clear, and navigation is intuitive. Its color scheme is dark, but clean lines and sharply designed buttons set it apart from eyesores like Winamp. What's more, DoubleTwist comes with home-screen widgets and controls for your Android lock screen when the app is active.
With a single tap from the dashboard, you can browse your music collection by artist, album, genre, or song title, or you can access your playlists. No matter how you decide to sift through your collection, you can play any song with a single tap. Conveniently, each song also has a "+" button next to it, in case you simply want to add it to your queue. From the dashboard, you can swipe right for app settings or swipe left to see a list of your locally stored videos. Because everything is so neatly organized, it is easy to zip around the app.
The Now Playing screen (which is always accessible from other parts of the app via slide-up bar at the bottom of the screen) offers a nifty Cover Flow-like view that showcases album art and gives you a peek at previous and next songs. You can also switch to a simpler list view if you prefer. Basic playback controls are at the bottom of the Now Playing screen along with a share button, which lets you post what you're listening to on Twitter or Facebook. Premium users can hit the graphic equalizer button to make granular adjustments to their sound quality.
If you find yourself wanting to venture outside of your personal music collection, DoubleTwist offers a couple of options. First, there's a built-in radio feature for streaming live stations from around the Web. All of the stations are organized by genre, but still, it can be difficult to navigate the seemingly endless nesting menus. Second, DoubleTwist offers a Podcast Directory, where you can search for and subscribe to some of your favorites. In the directory, I was able to find the podcasts I was searching for, but many users have reported differently. If you find that DoubleTwist is missing a podcast, you can contact the company directly to see if it can add it.
When it comes to syncing your music collection with your desktop computer, DoubleTwist is one of the best apps I've seen. In my tests, it was exceptionally reliable when syncing either via USB or Wi-Fi, though the latter method requires a premium upgrade. From the desktop computer, you can simply drag and drop content onto your mobile device and rest assured that DoubleTwist will do the rest. If your connection gets interrupted, syncing will pick up right where it left off. And if you mistakenly try to transfer a duplicate copy of a song over, the app won't make the mistake. Syncing to desktop collections is certainly where DoubleTwist shines, and it is reason enough to choose it over other Android music players.
As I mentioned, some of DoubleTwist's more advanced features are available through paid upgrade. The most important is AirSync, the feature that lets you wirelessly sync your Android music collection to your desktop. AirSync functionality costs $4.99 on Google Play, and I would highly recommend shelling out the dough for it, as it is reliable and unquestionably convenient. Another option is an in-app upgrade to DoubleTwist Pro for $9.99, which gives you AirSync, plus the graphic equalizer, a useful album art fetcher, and more.
One thing DoubleTwist is missing is access to relevant artist and album information. Many other music players on Android offer links to artist bios, discographies, Wikipedia entries, and even YouTube videos. These are things that I think audiophiles using DoubleTwist would really enjoy.