Android Central

doubleTwist needs little introduction really. Charting over 10 million downloads from the Google Play Store, it's without question one of the finest and most popular music players available on the Android platform. The ability to interact with Apple's iTunes and Airplay services provides a path many iTunes users rely upon to manage their music on their Android device with minimal fuss. Besides the iTunes integration, doubleTwist also offers -- albeit via in-app purchases -- a range of add-ons such as full podcast support, an equalizer and high quality artwork. 

Today, doubleTwist launches their latest add-on package, Magic Radio, their answer to a music streaming service. Subscriptions to Magic Radio cost just $3.99 per month through Google Wallet and come with a 7 day free trial, so you get a good chance to put it through its paces before committing your money. But, the music streaming space already has some heavy hitters with the like of Sony, Spotify and Rdio all having their own offerings. Does Magic Radio have enough to provide a compelling experience? We've been playing with it for a few days now, and the tl;dr version is this; It's really good. Well designed, well executed and pretty good value for money. However, the Magic Radio approach may not be for everyone. So, click on past the break and we'll take a look. 

doubleTwist Magic Radio video walkthrough

In some respects, Magic Radio is very similar to Spotify's Radio service. It's all about discovery, serving up music which it thinks you'll like based upon your indicated tastes. The first difference though is the price. Spotify Radio requires you to be a premium customer, which carries a $9.99 montly price tag. Magic Radio is also a subscription service, but costs just $3.99 per month. OK, so you're not choosing set albums and tracks to listen to, but it isn't that expensive. 

You're not asked to pay straight away though, Magic Radio comes with a 7 day free trial to see whether it's right for you. And you know what? It's a really great service. Magic Radio can tune custom stations based upon pretty much anything. Your currently active playlists within the doubleTwist app, an artist, a song, a genre, or even just words. And, as you're listening to the music you can quickly highlight new artists or songs to base a station from if you like what you hear. 

Purchasing songs you like is taken care of through a partnership with 7Digital, so you will need an account there to buy anything. But, how many songs are available through Magic Radio? doubleTwist claims a library of over 13 million songs, and because it's subscription based, there are no advertisements. 

So, it's all good then? Nearly. First up Magic Radio is a U.S. only product right now, likely due to the usual licensing issues that go along with anything involving music. Secondly is that the app update to v 2.0 seems to remove internet radio as an option, at least in the U.S. anyway. I've verified it's still there when downloaded from the UK Play Store, yet the version tested with Magic Radio definitely doesn't have it. Not everyone is going to be too happy about that. 

Magic Radio isn't necessarily everyone's bag, but it is a fantastic service. Literally, not once during testing has it thrown in a song that hasn't been the sort of music I usually listen to. That's impressive. Magic Radio is available today via an update to the main doubleTwist application, and is available to download in the Google Play Store right about now. 


Reader comments

DoubleTwist launches Magic Radio streaming service, we go hands on


Who in their right mind uses iTunes? Even iPhone adherents hate iTunes, why would anyone use it if they didn't have to? have these people never used any other music/media management system in their lives?

I use iTunes, and I like it, especially since the last update. But I'm on a Mac though, on Windows it's quite slow.

It's slow and it's clunky. If it's not the worst product of its type on the market, it's pretty darn close. Even the Mac users I know complain about it.

Funny, I was going to say something similar.

For everything doubletwist does, would it be so hard to integrate with another library? (EX: Winamp for those that still use it - first one that came to mind).

Does their PC app have it's own library too? I haven't gotten far enough to try it.

Last time I used doubletwist their pc app is pretty basic, you can see you files and transfer whatever songs you want pretty easily. It's a nice setup. I've stopped using it for now as I've decided to just use Google Music so I don't have to store so much music on my phone.

I did find the podcaster and other features to all work well, although maybe a little expensive to unlock everything.

Hopefully their new streaming service is a hit for them.

Me too. I switched to Google Music and other streaming services. However, search for GmusicFS. A device in the XDA forums just released it recently. It mounts your Google Music library as it were local and then other apps can access them. DoubleTwist does work too.

Sorry, brendilon, I'll take the other side of that argument. I am a PC (Win 7/8) user, and an Android phone/tablet person. My iPods sync beautifully with iTunes, and doubletwist has been nothing short of a nightmare trying to sync to my android devices. I am now using iSynchr and Rocket Player, because they match up perfectly to my itunes library, which is already in place. Why should I have to redo all of this and have separate music libraries for different platforms?

I've never used doubletwist, so I can't speak to that app. My point is why on earth would anyone want to use iTunes? Oh, right, Apple FORCES you into iTunes, because that's what they do. So why would you keep using devices that force you to use substandard software with all the options on the market?

I use iTunes and iSyncr as well and have had a great experience with it. In my case I rely heavily on smartlists of iTunes to sync over the air to my Note 2 and Note 10.1. While iTunes can be a little on the heavy side most of the alternative music library management applications I have tried all suffer with a large library; I'm currently sitting at just over 40k songs in my library on my NAS.

I'm not sure why this is being compared to Spotify. Sounds closer to Pandora or Slacker and its the same price.