doubleTwist for Android

It's pretty much agreed upon that the new doubleTwist music app for Android is one of the better looking players on everybody's favorite smartphone. But how did it come to be? Designer Sebastiaan de With explains on his Cocoia blog:

We wanted something that actually advanced the state of the art. I sure as hell wasn’t going to use an entirely new platform for months just to ape another. It was a mixed blessing to have so little limitations on what constituted a ‘native’ user interface.

Android has its guidelines, but most apps (even the Google-sanctioned Twitter app) have a very ‘custom’ appearance. We opted for a look that works well on the various devices and custom ‘shells’ (notably, HTC’s terrible “Sense” interface) and arrived at this muted, native-looking yet polished visual scheme

By no means is the doubleTwist app the only well-designed piece of software on Android, but it's certainly a shining example of what can be done with a minimal set of guidelines, and no sticky concerns about duplication of functions. [Cocoia BlogThanks, Rene!

 

Reader comments

Why the doubleTwist Android app looks so good

41 Comments

ok so i have a 60 gb i pod touch that i use for music/movies. should i bother with doubletwist at all if i dont use my phone for multimedia stuff? most i mount my phone for is to load super nintendo roms pretty much it.

currently eris w 2.1 standing by for my incredible 07/12/10

i have around 6gb. of ddr free music.I dont think thats a lot of music ( in 2010). i'm glad that it lets me have all my music, but it takes like an hour or longer to sync. and i don't want all my pictures on my phone. i have selected the only files on there that i want to show and it still doesn't work. i guess that if i have to have to choose none or all.a'll take all. thanks for the app. over all its really easy too use.

I'd love to try DoubleTwist! Sadly, it's a 2.0+ app and lovely Cellular South is STILL not releasing the 2.1 upgrade for HTC Hero.

two things I don't like about doubletwist software and this app:

1. It goes through a syncing process with my itunes library that takes awhile and drags resources on my computer. (15,000 songs)

2. The music player doesn't scrobble.

I tried it and wasn't really impressed. It only brought over a small percent of my album covers and was ridiculously slow to sync. TuneSync is far better IMO.

In general...it's just okay. NOTHING compared to iTunes. It doesn't get album art and it doesn't let you edit song details from the desktop app. I have to use Windows Media player to edit the song info, then import into doubleTwist. I REALLY hope they update the desktop software soon!

Second fawning review of this app in as many weeks.
Reviewers opinion was almost universally poor the last time it was mentioned, and here it is AGAIN???

Lots of people walked away from iTunes after simply DRAGGING and DROPPING our music folder over to the android. (Yeah, its THAT easy).

We neither need nor want this hard link to the computer anymore.
Give it a rest Phil.

I tried the app on my pc and wasn't impressed. I'd rather drag and drop. Way easy to do and teach people who are newbies. Plus sense music player is really good.

Android's poor handling of media is my only real gripe about the platform, and the DoubleTwist app is nice, provided you've already bought into the whole iTunes ecosystem/paradigm.

But I haven't. I just want to drag music and videos onto my phone, and have the system recognize track order, album/video thumbnails, and titles. Neither DoubleTwist nor the default players have been able to do any of these things with any consistency, and I've spent more time than I care to admit using other apps and desktop software as well as consulting various online guides to get it to work with no luck.

I've given up for now, and resigned myself to the fact that some things will work and some things won't. I'm hoping that FroYo or the rumored media streaming stuff will help resolve this.

I've never used an iPhone, but if I had come to Android from there, I'd be really, really disappointed.

I have never in my life used iTunes. I think it's crap. If you want to use a good player to manage your android music then MediaMonkey is the way to go. The native music player recognizes everything MediaMonkey syncs easily.

I uninstalled this from my phone and computer when I found out it doesn't play AVI files. Do they video files need to be in a different format?

I like how all of their renders include album art, since a mishandling of album art is a known bug for DoubleTwist on Android. The player app displays them just fine -- but the desktop app can't sync them, even if it is an MP3 with embedded media. Seriously, DoubleTwist? Stupid. Uninstalled both (the media app because it would start playing random music or videos from my SD card whenever I used the mic button on my headphones to end a call).

I don't really care for this app or software. the software takes forever to sync music to my phone. I know its not my pc because I'm running a 2.6 gh quad core with 6 gig ddr3 ram. Windows media player syncs in half the time. the app it self starts randomly all the time when I use Bluetooth controls on other apps. I'm going to keep it backed up on my phone because if they make some progress with it and start to charge I would rather not have to pay for it just to see if it got any better.

I agree with a lot of what's been said. The desktop app is a resource hog and doesn't properly sync playlists (which is weird since it's just copying files and creating directories...), and what's more, the Android app doesn't work properly.

So sure, if you want to look at a static screenshot it's ok. But I can't, for example, look at all the songs by an artist -- I have to go to an album (if I have multiple albums by the same artist). I can't 'snap to' certain letters: scrolling will show me which letter I'm at, but it's impossible for me to know how to get to an artist that starts with, say, the letter T.

And I frequently find myself finding artists that start with the letter T: The app is to dumb to realize that artists that star with 'The' should be organized by the first letter after 'The,' ('The Beatles' should be in B, not T, unless you want T to be half your artists).

It works better than a CD player from 1998, but a lot worse than an iPod from 2001. And they're talking about dark textures (their app) vs. shiny gradients (HTC Sense). Get the functionality right, then get to work making a couple decent looking graphics, guys.

I think I might understand why he said sense was terrible. While it looks nice with itself it kinda goes so far as to make other apps look like they don't belong on the phone. Its a strong style that almost forces you to adopt it completely to have your app look native. Thats the best way I can describe it. I like sense but I can see where a dev may dislike it.

I installed this app a week or two back on my incredible and gave it a chance for a couple of days. Honestly drag and drop is a faster way to transfer my music and my "terrible sense" media player is pretty decent all things considered. The ability of the stock player to be controlled without actually unlocking the phone is kind of nice as well. In the end though I tend to use my Zune HD more often than anything else for media. Zune pass is just too awesome to leave at home.

Is it just me or does this 'black and white with blue highlights behind selected items' theme look very similar to the newer BlackBerrys?

The only thing wrong with this app and this post is that it does in fact duplicate functions( ie music). If I play music through Bluetooth to my car stereo with the native android music app. And try to advance to the next song with the stereo buttons the it starts playing songs via double twist. Its not a problem if you strictly use double twist for music but with my Droid in the car dock double twist does not support landscape. For this reason I will not use this in the car.

Not working as great as post makes it out to be. Waited the 30 min or more it took to syn with my phone then when I went into the player it shows I have no music on my phone whatsoever. When I go into b music, It shows that I indeed do have my itunes library on my SD card.

Thanks maybe for decent software to put music on my phone but poor execution that it cant scan for music or something.

Oh and now if i go to artists and select greatest hits for lets say G&R it will have songs from The Offspring and other greatest hits albumbs.... fail.

My 2 cents: Here is why I love this app way more than the stock music player. Podcast streaming! Yes I am sure you are all wondering. Well here is the thing, when I find a podcast on the Android browser and choose to stream it. Normally I would get the stock music player and it would stream just fine, but if I went to the home screen or tried to do anything else it would stop streaming. This does NOT happen with DoubleTwist. You can choose doubletwist when you click a podcast and it will continue to stream in the backround. Also the interface looks so much nicer than the stock music player. I think the desktop syncing right now is not good. It doesn't sync properly for me either. I still put music on just by dragging and dropping.

Android has guidelines for making apps look like crap? I was wondering why so many looked awful ;_;. It seems to be a lot of black and grey bezeled buttons. I do like the look of Double Twist but they need to fix bluetooth controls. Its either double twist controls all bluetooth controls or none. I had to turn it off because when I'm listening to google listen and try to use bluetooth controls, it turns on DT, it should only do that if its active player. :(

Apart from the crazy "Sense is terrible" nonsense, I've gone back to other apps because:
1) No lock screen widget - it's unusable without that
2) Doesn't always find album art in the directories
3) Relatively slow compared to similar apps

And, not that I've checked personally, but from what I've read on this site:
4) Doesn't let you edit ID3 tags
5) Can't fetch album art

Fix these and I'll try again. I guess it's early days still. The devs should take a look at MixZing for features/speed but apply the visual polish which they seem to have already.

It's not that impressive. I'll stick with the stock player.

A) It's slow as heck, even on my N1
B) It scans everything on your SD card, isn't limited to standard folders (Music, etc...). Picks up sound files from other apps stored on my SD card and my ringtones...that's a big NO NO.
C) Desktop app is ridiculously slow and forces you to use iTunes which most of us are trying to avoid in the first place.

Really, don't see the big deal behind this app.

I prefer the MixZing app myself. DoubleTwist is a bit slow for me, but it is probably just my device (MT3G 1.2 running Donut). I think this app will be a contender for sure though.

Been trying to get this ap to work on my DroidX for three days and have come to the conclusion that it's just an over-hyped piece of garbage. Way too much work and way too slow and clunky all in the name of replicating the iTunes application and experience. Looks like my iTunes days are over. Nice try Double Twist but sorry, I won't be promoting aps like this that are not fully tested or thought out.

I'm having the same problem: Double Twist plays at random times. Sometimes it will just start playing music with nothing specific done before it. It always seems to play when I hit pause on my bluetooth headphones while listening to podcasts on the Listen app or watching videos on the default video player.

I was hoping to use my phone for music instead of caring around a phone and ipod, but can't find an app that let's me use my itunes playlists. I was hoping Double Twist was finally the app that would work. I just can't have random sounds coming from my phone at the office; if the bug doesn't get fixed it looks like I'm back to using my ipod.