How would you change your favorite platform's music player?Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Sony Ericsson isn't making phones anymore, that's been left up entirely to Sony these days, but when I think back about the company of yesteryear, I think about their feature phones. I know, I know, they had some smartphones that found their way to retail shelves, but it was the feature phones that really stood out to me. Why? Because it was right around the time I was looking to consolidate devices. I was tired of carrying around a phone and a music player. I wanted one that did it all, and Sony Ericsson-branded devices were some of the best available.
Unfortunately, while the feature phones were great, they were just a bit too little against some of the competition out there that came down the line. Still, to me, personally, they stand out as some of the coolest music phones to date.
For me, as I've alluded to in the past, music is a big part of which phone I buy. I'll be honest: the first time HTC unveiled a device with Beats Audio Technology, I was excited. I didn't pull the trigger on one of their devices until the HTC Rezound, though, and, well, that didn't go very well. But, that was only part of it.
I do like Sense's music payer. Specifically, the way that HTC has created the Sense UI music player. It's always looked nice, and had a full range of features. Enough to get by, anyway. As much as I love music, I've had to realize over time that music is just a feature to most manufacturers, and not necessarily the focus. Even HTC, Samsung, and Apple have made music an important part, but not the most important part.
Which is fine. It probably shouldn't be.
I loved webOS's music functionality as well. And, it's pretty straight forward that Apple's music functionality in the iPhone is pretty top of the line. And while I think Android doesn't have a big focus on music quite yet, the lock screen music controls are easily accessible without any effort.
But, Android's stock music widget is still terrible. It really is. As you can see from the image right above, there's a pretty critical function missing: back. This has actually been an issue with the stock Android music widget right from the get-go, and I'm shocked that it's still not "fixed." I mean, there are just some songs I want to listen to again, and the widget forces me to access the music app in its entirety, making the widget pointless.
And, while Apple's music function is top of the line, it isn't perfect, either. I think Android's lock screen music function is better, in fact. Why? Because it's there, no matter what. Let's say you're listening to the stock music app, or even Spotify. You push the lock button, then want to switch songs? Just wake up the device, and the music controls are there. Easy-peazy.
In the iPhone's case, though, you have to double-press the Home button every time you want to access the music controls in the lock screen. It isn't' a big deal, necessarily, but it is a repetitive button press over an extended period of time. Realistically, if you've owned the iPhone 4S since the day it launched, and you listen to music every day, that's a lot of double Home presses. A lot.
I'd love it if smartphone manufacturers put a larger focus on music. Google, for example, should change their music widget to include a simple back function. The next iPhone should have music controls that are accessible on the lock screen without any effort. And, while we're at it, someone should bring webOS back and just make everyone happy. (Hah!)
But, Dear Reader, let me know what you would change in your favorite platform's music function. I'm sure it works well enough for you, but is there anything you would change? Let me know what it is.