Now that I have more of my music migrated to a new 16 GB memory card, I’m listening to tunes more often on my Android handset. The native Music player is OK, but it’s fairly boring to look at and use. AndroidGuys recently reviewed a beta application called “Cubed,” although you’ll find it in the Android Market as “3″. I’ve used it for a few days and it’s far more exciting than a plain, simple list view of music.
As the name implies, the navigation interface is a cube: spin it up or down to browse by album covers or twirl it left and right for quick alphabetical searches. If you’re not into the cube thing, 3 offers two other views. The wall option shows a scrollable grid with two columns of album covers, while the boring view is just a plain text listing. Actually, it may be called boring, but the large artist name with smaller album title has a little Microsoft ZuneHD feel. Each view still shows music controls, making it easy to play, shuffle and skip around.
The app is fairly intelligent and customizable too — it can retrieve album art over the web if needed. And since the visual interface utilizes album art, you’d hope this feature would be there. In fact, I love to play a music and watch the cube rotate around like dice at a craps table with each new song. Another setting lets you choose if the music controls are at the top or the bottom of the screen. And Cubed also supports Last.fm scrobbling so you can tell your friends what tunes you’re listening to. One close call: I almost couldn’t find the music scrubber controls, so I originally thought you couldn’t navigate back or forth in a song. As I was shooting pictures of the app however, I tapped inadvertently under the song title, and what do you know: a scrubber. It looks nice but doesn’t offer a very fine level of control — and it took me a couple of days to find it. ;)
Overall, the free download offers a far better visual interface than the standard Music app found in Android. I’ve included the QR code above for Android handset owners, so happy listening and don’t get too mesmerized by the addictive cube!
QR image for the Android Market courtesy of Android Guys
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