Hive Player

While music players for Android smartphones are aplenty, when it comes to music players optimized for Honeycomb the selection is still rather slim. Enter, Hive Player -- a Honeycomb optimized music player that offers a few things the stock music player lacks.


  • Scrollable widget with music collection navigation (Albums, Artists, All Songs, Playlists, Genres), shuffle, pause/play next and previous.
  • Widget and Player sync with each other - view an album in the widget, then in the player the same album is loaded. Every navigation and song play is synced to each other - even when only the widget or player is running, load the other and it will sync on startup.
  • Play and navigate music library using just the widget - player doesn't even need to be loaded or running.
  • Navigate back through navigation steps using back button on player or widget - uses the standard Android back button on Honeycomb.
  • Albums, Artists, All Songs, Playlists, Genres are displayed on the left and player controls on the right.
  • Multi-Select playlist additions - build a playlist as it should be done, not one song at a time - add multiple albums, artists, genres, songs and even current playlists to a playlist.
  • Duplicates are filtered out when adding to playlists.
  • Search with playlist additions - search and keep searching as you build the ultimate playlist. Search appears over player.

Hive Player comes in two versions, giving users plenty of choice. The lite version is available for free with some restrictions on the widgets, playlists and display options while the paid version with the full features costs only $2. One thing to note though is that if most of your music is stored with Google Music, those files won't show up within the app. Google is not allowing or releasing details to developers to put Music Beta functionality into their music players.

We'll have a full review up soon but in the meantime, you'll find the download link past the break. Give it a shot, and leave some comments. The developer, Nicholas is looking for some feedback on how to improve the app.


Reader comments

Hive Player - Android Honeycomb Music Player


"One thing to note though is that if most of your music is stored with Google Music, those files won't show up within the app. Google is not allowing or releasing details to developers to put Music Beta functionality into their music players."

That's really a shame. With a wifi tablet, I've had absolutely no reason to load any music myself, and it would take some pretty compelling functionality to change that for me.

How does Hive Player store its playlists? If I switch over from stock its going to be because the stock player doesn't allow you to save, export, or even manually find the playlist files....I recently lost them when I moved my music over to an SD card on my Xoom. :-(

Does Hive create / modify actual playlist files that can be manually accessed, edited or moved?

Hive Player loads playlists from the android media store, just like the stock player. I may include further playlist support in the future, because I agree most players don't allow this and personally it does frustrate me as well when switching between players on my android phone. Currently I have a lot more features and some more bugs to fix first, but once those are done I am always looking for ways to improve Hive Player.

Oh and as soon as or if Google releases details to developers for Music Beta I will integrate it into Hive Player. I know its a very demanded feature but my hands are tied at the moment.

Good to hear, because that's an important feature with more and more people switching to the cloud for their collections.

Maybe see what Amazon offers as well.

First third party player to integrate Google Cloud, Amazon Cloud, and (dare I say it?) iCloud will rule the player market.

I would love to combine them, I think Amazon does support third party developers, I haven't looked into it just yet. Should I start with Amazon if they do and go from there?

I know some people like the Google Music Beta because it's free... But I think Amazon's cloud player has the edge right now, when you download music off it the files are saved as standard MP3. When you pin stuff on Google Music for offline use it's stored as data in an encrypted file that only their app can read, and you can't even re-download uploaded songs on a PC. It's a very closed system. If you can actually implement support into Hive to stream music from Amazon's cloud that'd be sweet.

Is there a way to specify the location of the music library? My music is not in the usual Music directory.

Unfortunately the music is loaded from the android media library. I am thinking of doing a rescan or custom folder feature. If your songs don't show try force closing hive player then open it. If not then you'll need to use the default folder. Just to let you know I check the forum more often I may miss comments here after a while or take longer to respond. Thanks.

If anyone is still viewing this article, here are my plans for the next update (v1.0.3):

-Fix song sorting to track sorting instead of alphabetical (if track information is present).
-Notification controls by the clock (very similar probably identical to stock player's controls).
-Fix alphabetical sorting to ignore "The" in titles.
-Include an option for file/folder loading in addition to the current media library loading.
-Rescan button for the media library and currently set files/folders.
-Change to shuffled list instead of shuffle next song. (keeps a random list in memory instead of selecting a random song when you hit next/previous) Allows you to go back to older selections. This will cycle through the list to the top when you hit the button and pressing shuffle off and then on again will generate a new list.
-Playlist deletions.
-Playlist creations.
-Bug Fixes.

As always please refer to the forum thread for the latest info, discussion and to give feedback/questions: