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Old 26th October 2019, 12:58 PM   #1
Meadmaker
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Android MP3 Player Recommendation?

There are some things that drive me bonkers, and reviews in online app stores are one of those things. I'm looking for an MP3 player for my Android phone. I go to the Google Play Store, and put in MP3 Player. Needless to say, there are lots of them. How to choose? Let's look at ratings. Inevitably:

Five stars: This app is the mostest awesomest!!! It does everything!

Followed by

One star: This *%&^% app broke my phone and never works!


Sigh.

So I turn here and hope someone has some suggestions. My needs are fairly simple. Every Halloween night, I play classical music through my yard. (Toccatta and Fugue, Danse Macabre, that sort of thing.) For twenty years, that meant pulling out my computer to play the MP3 files (all legally purchased, I might add) and running the extension cord to power the speakers and keep the PC alive.

Well, I decided this year, to enter the 21st century. Those little battery powered Bluetooth speakers are plenty good for my small yard, so all I need is to find an app that I can take a dozen MP3 files off of my PC, and tell the app to play them in a loop. I pair the device with my little, but powerful, Bluetooth speaker, and its time to hand out candy.

But....what MP3 player. Reading about the apps, some of them scan my phone to find MP3s. I don't want that. Lots of them go out to the internet and look for other songs I might like. I don't want that. I want them to play my songs that I select and that I've already paid for, that I can load onto my phone, and that's that. Simple. 20 years ago, I bought devices that did that just fine, but without the Bluetooth part, but I don't have those devices anymore. When it comes right down to it, I don't even need the Bluetooth part. I could just plug in the headphone jack. However, the phone and the speaker already have buetooth, so I'm ok with it.

I'm cheap, so the best app would be free, but I'm willing to pay a few bucks to avoid an advertisement suddenly coming on instead of my music.

Putting it slightly differently, I want a very simple, bare bones, MP3 player that won't interfere with its core function of playing the selected MP3 files by deciding that I probably want it to do a bunch of other stuff for me. No need for album art, organizing my music library, or finding other songs I might like either already on my phone or out in the cloud somewhere.

Any recommendations?

Last edited by Meadmaker; 26th October 2019 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 26th October 2019, 01:08 PM   #2
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I do a Google search for "Top Ten X" or "Best X". I pull up a handful of the results, which are websites ranking X.

I make a note of which products show up on multiple rating sites, then take a closer look at the details of each, to make they have the specific features.

This strategy has done well for me, overall.
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Old 26th October 2019, 01:29 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post

Any recommendations?
Isn't there a music app that came with your phone? Mine had one simply called "Music" that is reasonably good--shuffles, allows you to create playlists, search by title, by artist, etc.
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Old 26th October 2019, 01:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Isn't there a music app that came with your phone? Mine had one simply called "Music" that is reasonably good--shuffles, allows you to create playlists, search by title, by artist, etc.
Yes, would say the same. Plain vanilla apps that come free with any or all relevant devices.

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Old 26th October 2019, 02:01 PM   #5
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Yeah, "Music" seems exactly what you are asking for.

foobar2000 mobile is the best Android music player, though. Free, no ads, no spying, tons of features.
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Old 26th October 2019, 02:58 PM   #6
Meadmaker
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Isn't there a music app that came with your phone? Mine had one simply called "Music" that is reasonably good--shuffles, allows you to create playlists, search by title, by artist, etc.
I would have expected that, but I didn't see it. The closest thing is Google "Play Music". It has a subscription or an ad version, and goes to the internet and, all the stuff I don't want it to do.
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Old 26th October 2019, 03:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
There are some things that drive me bonkers, and reviews in online app stores are one of those things. I'm looking for an MP3 player for my Android phone. I go to the Google Play Store, and put in MP3 Player. Needless to say, there are lots of them. How to choose? Let's look at ratings. Inevitably:

Five stars: This app is the mostest awesomest!!! It does everything!

Followed by

One star: This *%&^% app broke my phone and never works!


Sigh.

So I turn here and hope someone has some suggestions. My needs are fairly simple. Every Halloween night, I play classical music through my yard. (Toccatta and Fugue, Danse Macabre, that sort of thing.) For twenty years, that meant pulling out my computer to play the MP3 files (all legally purchased, I might add) and running the extension cord to power the speakers and keep the PC alive.

Well, I decided this year, to enter the 21st century. Those little battery powered Bluetooth speakers are plenty good for my small yard, so all I need is to find an app that I can take a dozen MP3 files off of my PC, and tell the app to play them in a loop. I pair the device with my little, but powerful, Bluetooth speaker, and its time to hand out candy.

But....what MP3 player. Reading about the apps, some of them scan my phone to find MP3s. I don't want that. Lots of them go out to the internet and look for other songs I might like. I don't want that. I want them to play my songs that I select and that I've already paid for, that I can load onto my phone, and that's that. Simple. 20 years ago, I bought devices that did that just fine, but without the Bluetooth part, but I don't have those devices anymore. When it comes right down to it, I don't even need the Bluetooth part. I could just plug in the headphone jack. However, the phone and the speaker already have buetooth, so I'm ok with it.

I'm cheap, so the best app would be free, but I'm willing to pay a few bucks to avoid an advertisement suddenly coming on instead of my music.

Putting it slightly differently, I want a very simple, bare bones, MP3 player that won't interfere with its core function of playing the selected MP3 files by deciding that I probably want it to do a bunch of other stuff for me. No need for album art, organizing my music library, or finding other songs I might like either already on my phone or out in the cloud somewhere.

Any recommendations?
Usually your phone will have baked in player.
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Old 26th October 2019, 03:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I would have expected that, but I didn't see it. The closest thing is Google "Play Music". It has a subscription or an ad version, and goes to the internet and, all the stuff I don't want it to do.
Download a MP3 to your phone and then try and open the file. If it has a built in player one it will be presented to you to use.
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Old 26th October 2019, 03:52 PM   #9
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What phone is it?
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Old 26th October 2019, 04:40 PM   #10
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Don't exactly recall how I came across it but I loaded the Rocket music player app on my android tablet and it seems to do everything fine.


http://www.jrtstudio.com/Music-Player-For-Android

Oh, and it's free.
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Old 26th October 2019, 04:40 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
What phone is it?
It's a moto g7. And yes, I would expect that I wouldn't have to download an app to play an mp3 or even to make a playlist and put it on a loop, but there was no Music app.
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Old 26th October 2019, 05:07 PM   #12
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VLC Music Player

Been around forever (in Internet terms).

"VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files, and various streaming protocol".

The only permission it asks for is to access your media files and you can restrict access to a single folder if you wish.
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Old 26th October 2019, 10:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
VLC Music Player

Been around forever (in Internet terms).

"VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files, and various streaming protocol".

The only permission it asks for is to access your media files and you can restrict access to a single folder if you wish.
I've been using their video player for years, and it's excellent as well.
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Old 26th October 2019, 11:14 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I've been using their video player for years, and it's excellent as well.
AFAIK, it's one and the same.
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Old 27th October 2019, 04:31 AM   #15
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I gave up on the music player that came on my Moto G5 as it was just the Google Music app and it sucks if you never intend to use the streaming services.

I used to use a paid version of Rocket Player but something broke during an update (I don't remember what, sorry) so I moved on and found Pulsar which works fine for what I need it to do, and I'm pretty low maintainence for music playback.
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Old 27th October 2019, 09:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Yeah, "Music" seems exactly what you are asking for.

foobar2000 mobile is the best Android music player, though. Free, no ads, no spying, tons of features.
I didn't know foobar2000 is on mobile, I'll have to have a look.
I've been using Deadbeef, another bare-bones player which is exactly what I want, it does gapless playback too which is a 99999999999% dealbreaker for me.
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Old 27th October 2019, 11:30 PM   #17
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Buy an actual, physical MP3 player instead of an app. They are cheap, much smaller than your phone and won't interfere with it in any way.
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Old 28th October 2019, 04:18 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Buy an actual, physical MP3 player instead of an app. They are cheap, much smaller than your phone and won't interfere with it in any way.
It would have to be a pretty fantastic mp3 player, in order for me to consider carrying and charging a second device. Do you have any recommendations?
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Old 28th October 2019, 04:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I've been using their video player for years, and it's excellent as well.
I tried VLC. I had used it on Windows in the past.

I managed to create a playlist, although how to do so was far from obvious. I eventually figured it out. I wandered around "settings" and such trying to figure out how to set it on automatic repeat. Haven't found that answer yet, although I did find the place where I could tell it to save the repeat settings so that once set, I wouldn't have to set it again, so I know there is a repeat setting.

However, it did something very strange. I found my playlist, started listening, verified it was all good. Great. As soon as I find that repeat setting, I'll be done. So, close the app. I hit the little square, grabbed it, swiped up, the window disappeared. Done. Except.....the music kept playing. The notifications showed Danse Macabre still going and going. I couldn't make the app stop. I eventually pressed the pause icon in the little status window, which made the music stop, but even though there were no apps shown in the "recent items" display, there it was in front of me, and if I hit "play", it resumed playing.

I eventually went to the app settings and killed it with "force stop", after acknowledging that "force stop" sometimes causes programs to "misbehave". To my way of thinking, the stupid app was already misbehaving by not stopping when I wanted it to stop.
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Old 28th October 2019, 04:26 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It would have to be a pretty fantastic mp3 player, in order for me to consider carrying and charging a second device. Do you have any recommendations?
For me, it wouldn't have to be "fantastic". I don't want "fantastic". I want simple.

However, I, too, am loathe to use two devices when I know that my existing device has everything it needs to do the function I want it to do. I just need to figure out a way to make it do what I want it to do, and not do a bunch of other things that I don't want it to do.

ETA: Actually, the MP3 players would probably work, but they tend to lack a Bluetooth capability. That's not an absolute must have, but it's something I would like. I really though I was going to use my laptop, and then I discovered my laptop didn't have Bluetooth. I was rather amazed to discover that. I really though it was pretty standard, even though I, myself, had never used it, so I didn't notice its absence when I bought it.

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Old 28th October 2019, 04:44 AM   #21
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It's a bit of a kerfuffle to have multiple BT senders and receivers in close proximity. If they all do BT 5.0 it's ok, but not great.
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Old 28th October 2019, 07:25 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by batpuncher View Post
I didn't know foobar2000 is on mobile, I'll have to have a look.

It's only been around since four years or so, well timed with me buying my first mobile and then trying a ton of MP3 players including all that have been mentioned by the others. A bit earlier I did the same on Linux trying to find a replacement for foobar2000 which I had used on Windows before I switched systems. And failed still today to find a 100% as good replacement (for my needs of course). So when it came out on mobile I was happy to try it and it beat all the others, as expected.

I for one don't carry my mobile phone around with me all the time, though. But I do carry one of my Creative Zen Nano Plus' (I bought five or so on eBay after the first one broke so I have enough for a lifetime and can pick a colour fitting the outfit. They sell for around 5-10 bucks these days if you are patient).
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Old 28th October 2019, 08:23 AM   #23
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Relevant xkcd.
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Old 28th October 2019, 09:17 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I would have expected that, but I didn't see it. The closest thing is Google "Play Music". It has a subscription or an ad version, and goes to the internet and, all the stuff I don't want it to do.
As far as I'm aware, Google Play Music only has ads when playing google music channels, not when playing owned music. And there's a big switch in the left panel for "downloaded only". Flip that on and it won't use any internet connections. I used to use it extensively when I didn't have sufficient capacity on my phone for my collection.

I personally use Rocket Player now. The free version has no ads, just a few extra menus that you can't use (like the equalizer). By default it will scan your device for music, but navigate to settings -> My Library -> Select Media Folders and you can limit it to only scanning a particular folder or folders.
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Old 28th October 2019, 09:28 AM   #25
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I use Audify music player. I have music organized in folders, not by tags. Very few players can handle that these days.
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Old 28th October 2019, 09:55 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
I use Audify music player. I have music organized in folders, not by tags. Very few players can handle that these days.

Indeed, and one of the reasons why foobar2000 mobile made the race for me. Tagging a collection that was started over 20 years ago is a huge project, yet to be finished.
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Old 28th October 2019, 10:06 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Indeed, and one of the reasons why foobar2000 mobile made the race for me. Tagging a collection that was started over 20 years ago is a huge project, yet to be finished.
What do you mean by 'made the race' ? You mean foobar can play folder ? Because I surely didn't found out how.
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Old 28th October 2019, 10:16 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
What do you mean by 'made the race' ? You mean foobar can play folder ? Because I surely didn't found out how.

Yes, in the main menu there's an entry for the folder(s) you let it access. In my version it's below "Advanced Search", then "foobar2000 Music folder", then my collection folder named "Musik" with the whole folder and file name tree.
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Old 28th October 2019, 11:02 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
Yes, in the main menu there's an entry for the folder(s) you let it access. In my version it's below "Advanced Search", then "foobar2000 Music folder", then my collection folder named "Musik" with the whole folder and file name tree.
Yes, but you can't select folder and play what's inside, including other possible subfolders.
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Old 28th October 2019, 11:13 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I do a Google search for "Top Ten X" or "Best X". I pull up a handful of the results, which are websites ranking X.

I make a note of which products show up on multiple rating sites, then take a closer look at the details of each, to make they have the specific features.

This strategy has done well for me, overall.
That's basically what I do for electronics.

For appliances, cars and what, I like consumer reports but they're generally a bit behind on electronics.
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Old 28th October 2019, 11:55 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
Yes, but you can't select folder and play what's inside, including other possible subfolders.

You can go into a folder, play a song in it and it will treat all songs in the folder as the playlist, including using repeat. If you want more folders than one as a playlist, you can create one.
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Old 28th October 2019, 11:56 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Childlike Empress View Post
You can go into a folder, play a song in it and it will treat all songs in the folder as the playlist, including using repeat. If you want more folders than one as a playlist, you can create one.
You mean you must create one .. I can create playlist for more folders in almost every player. That's exactly what I don't want to do.
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Old 28th October 2019, 12:05 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
You mean you must create one .. I can create playlist for more folders in almost every player. That's exactly what I don't want to do.

Ok. What I sometimes need is accessing the songs through file- and folder names (which as you originally said is a rather rare feature these days) because the tagging is incomplete. I usually don't have folders that contain both songs and subfolders, so what you want is not something I need.
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Old 28th October 2019, 02:44 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
For me, it wouldn't have to be "fantastic". I don't want "fantastic". I want simple.

However, I, too, am loathe to use two devices when I know that my existing device has everything it needs to do the function I want it to do. I just need to figure out a way to make it do what I want it to do, and not do a bunch of other things that I don't want it to do.

ETA: Actually, the MP3 players would probably work, but they tend to lack a Bluetooth capability. That's not an absolute must have, but it's something I would like. I really though I was going to use my laptop, and then I discovered my laptop didn't have Bluetooth. I was rather amazed to discover that. I really though it was pretty standard, even though I, myself, had never used it, so I didn't notice its absence when I bought it.

Cheap MP3 player with Bluetooth.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/32GB-blue...edirect=mobile


When I'm working food festivals I take a BT speaker and have been using my phone, but if I leave the stand I have to leave my phone or have the music stop, plus the signal can get iffy when people are walking between the phone & speaker, including if the phone's in my pocket and I'm walking around. I've picked this up so I have something cheap to use instead. The sound quality isn't bad at all.
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Old 1st November 2019, 12:49 AM   #35
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Too late I think, but I use Folder Player.

It does two things that are important to me.

#1 Plays by folder.

#2 Keeps playing when you go to other apps / turn screen off / lock phone / etc.

Everything else it does is just icing on the cake.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...m.folderplayer
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Old 1st November 2019, 04:25 AM   #36
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I ended up using VLC last night, although I never found the "repeat" setting. My selections are about 40 minutes total, so I had to restart a couple of times.

ETA: Thanks for all the recommendations. I'll be looking at more of them in the future to find one that does just what I like.

Last edited by Meadmaker; 1st November 2019 at 04:26 AM.
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Old 1st November 2019, 05:25 AM   #37
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I went through a few before settling on pi music player about 2years ago. I have never had any problems. I may have paid at some point (couple of $).I don't know how the free version is.
I don't use playlists but there is s function for them as well as loop continuously.
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Old 9th November 2019, 09:22 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I would have expected that, but I didn't see it. The closest thing is Google "Play Music". It has a subscription or an ad version, and goes to the internet and, all the stuff I don't want it to do.
You don't have to do those things, it'll play MP3's just fine. I've had no problems with it.
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Old 29th December 2019, 12:05 PM   #39
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Just got a new phone, a smart one no less. It Bluetooths to my car real nice but one thing is missing. With my Ipod, when in snuffle songs mode, I could get a list of the upcoming and previous shuffled songs on the car's display. That way while the current song is playing I can see what's coming up or scroll down for something else. Anyone know of an Android player that would give the same kind of list when Bluetoothed to a car's system?
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Old 3rd January 2020, 01:05 AM   #40
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My memory is that most Android apps don't support this well. (I haven't looked much because my new phone (with the same music apps) doesn't even send the current song to my car audio system).

One thing to test is to try Google Music. Even if you don't use it much, give it a try. It seems to consistently work for viewing playlists over bluetooth when others fail.
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