DoubleTwist, a popular free media play application for Android, has improved its software to include over-the-air podcast subscriptions. The new feature is available as part of the DoubleTwist Pro in-app upgrade, a $4.99 fee that also adds AirPlay support, wireless media synchronization from a PC or Mac, and other functions.
I’ve long used DoubleTwist on my Android phones and tablets for a number of reasons. The software easily syncs media from an iTunes(s aapl) or other media library, although it will play DRM-free content. As a media player, it has all of the functions most users are looking for and it even imports song ratings from iTunes, as well as playlists and play counts. About the only thing missing was support for podcast subscriptions, which are now in the new release.
The Podcast section is clean and offers a wide variety of content, all categorized by channel. As in past updates for other media types, DoubleTwist cuts the computer cord with its new Podcast support. You can directly subscribe to a show on your handset and the app will pull down the latest episodes using the handset’s connection. There’s a settings option to only download new podcast episodes over Wi-Fi so you don’t have to worry about using up your cellular data plan.
Some may feel that a $4.99 upgrade to get podcast support is steep. I’d agree if that’s all the in-app purchase added. But it brings more features into the mix as well: a multi-band equalizer, high-resolution album art downloads for any missing images, Wi-Fi media synchronization and, perhaps my favorite feature; AirPlay.
I’ve demonstrated AirPlay in the past, which alone was a $4.99 purchase in the DoubleTwist AirSync app. Using it, you can wirelessly send audio or video to an AppleTV, a Sony PlayStation 3(s sne) or an Xbox 360(s msft). Here’s a look at content streaming from a Samsung Galaxy Tab to my HDTV using the app:
DoubleTwist is available in the Android Market for devices running Android 2.2 and up; Android 4.0 users will gain the ability to control media directly from the lock screen in this version. If you don’t already have DoubleTwist installed, I highly recommend trying the free version. More than 49,000 of the 73,823 people rating the app in the Android Market gave it five stars for a reason.