doubleTwist Releases MagicPlay Source Code To Stream Content To Connected Devices

doubleTwist Releases MagicPlay Source Code To Stream Content To Connected Devices

Jul 9, 2013

doubleTwist, the popular music app with more than 10 million downloads, released source code for MagicPlay that allows third-party developers to implement it into their media apps. This new ability lets users stream content to any MagicPlay connected device, providing similar features compared to AirPlay. This means you can easily connect your smartphone or tablet with speakers, TVs, car radios, and more.

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Qualcomm and doubleTwist Want to Popularize MagicPlay, Their Open Source Version of AirPlay

Qualcomm and doubleTwist Want to Popularize MagicPlay, Their Open Source Version of AirPlay

Feb 27, 2013

The lack of an official AirPlay variant on Android is certainly something that has been open for third parties to attempt to jump in on. We’ve seen Zapstreak making strides toward a version of this, and now doubleTwist wants to jump in on this market along with processor manufacutrer Qualcomm. Their new service MagicPlay wants to be an open AirPlay replacement.

This protocol will be open source, and will stream media to Qualcomm devices running the AllJoyn protocol. Their chips are in devices as diverse as TVs and cars. As well, it will be possible to actually stream media over wi-fi, which hopes to alleviate some of the hassles that come with streaming media.

The benefit that MagicPlay will have in starting out is that doubleTwist has a sizable install base on Android, of 10–50 million downloads on Google Play alone. While they’ve tried to use AirPlay in the AirSync app, this is still limiting to only AirPlay receivers. While Zapstreak’s DLNA support gives it the widest compatibility, it will still need a way to breakthrough into the mainstream. doubleTwist may just provide that opportunity for MagicPlay. TechCrunch reports that it should start hitting this spring with source code available in Q3 2013, and doubleTwist is demoing it at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Alarm Clock by doubleTwist App Review

Alarm Clock by doubleTwist App Review

Apr 6, 2012

Being a college student, getting a good nights sleep is very important yet very rarely accomplished. Due to all the late nights toiling away at one’s studies, having good alarm is essential, and a little flair wouldn’t hurt. Enter: doubleTwist. Now I’ve reviewed apps by doubleTwist before, notably their flagship music player, but an alarm clock app took me by surprise. After looking through the app for a while, however, it started to make sense. One of doubleTwist’s strongest assists is its striking and elegant visual style and their music management system. This beautiful app bears doubleTwist’s signature dark styling, and when selecting a playlist or song to use as an alarm the doubleTwist Player has to be installed. Some may question the decision to make such a large aspect of the app proprietary, but this move represents a bold step foreword for doubleTwist. By establishing a suite of apps that all feed off of the same ecosystem, they are attempting to form what Apple and Sony have been doing with home entertainment for decades.

The app itself is, as previously stated, gorgeous. The landscape analog and digital clocks are sublimely detailed, especially the analog one which includes an array of gears behind the elegantly ornate centerpiece. For phones with a kickstand like my EVO 4G this app would work beautifully as a bedside clock because of the included night modes of each clock which dim the screen brightness and change the colors from whites and oranges to calming blues and blacks. The one problem with this is that there is no in-app option to turn off the screen timeout so this must be done remotely. I did not find this to be much of a problem seeing as it is an option on a switch widget on my home screen, but an included option would have been nice.

As an alarm clock this app works just as well if not better then the stock Android clock application. Built in is a sleep cycle calculator which for those who don’t know, suggests time to either fall asleep or wake up based on the fact that the best time to wake up is between sleep cycles. Websites like sleepyti.me do this but having this feature baked into an app is a giant plus because it does work and I utilize it almost every night.

With great integration with their Player and standout visual appeal, DoubleTwist has put together an amazing free app that is worth downloading even for those not privy to the doubleTwist ecosystem.

Winamp and doubleTwist Add Ice Cream Sandwich Lockscreen Control Support

Winamp and doubleTwist Add Ice Cream Sandwich Lockscreen Control Support

Feb 15, 2012

With Ice Cream Sandwich getting built-in support for lockscreen music player controls, the only question has been when apps would start to support them. Naturally, Google Music supports them, but that was to be assumed. Third-party apps are starting to get into the fun. First up is Amazon MP3. While Apple and Google’s high-profile cloud music launches may have pushed Amazon’s offering off to the side, it’s still kicking, and now users can stream their music with easy controls from the lockscreen. Next up is doubleTwist, which is more of a traditional music player app, though with AirSync it can sync up wirelessly with desktops, and can stream audio to AirPlay devices. Its latest update enables the lockscreen player as well. As well, podcast streaming is now enabled for all users.

While the number of ICS devices is still limited, and apps have come up with their own lockscreen player implementations in the past – Winamp in particular – this standard implementation is clearly catching on, and the standardization is good for users.

DoubleTwist AirSync Review

DoubleTwist AirSync Review

Nov 1, 2011

This review is one part of my two part look at Mac compatible/WinAmp alternatives for wirelessly syncing music to your phone. Because doubleTwist is one of the more highly used programs, I figured that a full Rundown would be appropriate.

DoubleTwist comes in with a lot of hype. There are three parts to the full package: one iTunes-like desktop app, a free media player app, and a $4.99 AirSync app that’s basically an add-on to the media player. The aim for doubleTwist is to be the Android version of Apple’s iTunes and iCloud service. It comes close, but there’s no way for Android to replicate the success and simplicity of their Macintosh counterpart.

Starting with the desktop application, I’ll say this first: I am an iTunes slave. I’ve tried multiple other media players but I always end up reverting back to iTunes eventually. I admit that iTunes is bloated and needs a rewrite, and I thought that any new media player would have to be faster and smaller. Shockingly, I was proven wrong with the doubleTwist media player. I’ve uninstalled/reinstalled this program a few times on my MacBook Pro but it doesn’t seem to alleviate the sluggishness through the menus, and the program will frequently lock up for 30 seconds before working again. The program also takes longer to load than iTunes, which I wasn’t even aware was possible. Without the Android AirSync app, however, doubleTwist does do a good job of wired syncing; it organizes your files accurately within the Music folder on your phones SD card. But a means to easily put music on your phone is the only thing this application should be used for. This is not an iTunes replacement, even though it tries to be. It also hijacks the play and next/previous buttons when closed but not fully quit which can be very frustrating.

Fortunately, the mobile app fares better. The mobile media player is very capable, and has a very elegant lock screen widget. There isn’t much to set this app apart from other mobile media players like WinAmp, but like I said in my review for UberMusic, if you want a basic media player to replace an iPod, this will do the job handedly. There are many complaints of sluggishness and “glitchiness” on the Android market, but in my experiences with it I have not found any problems on my HTC EVO 4G. There is an add-on to the media player that adds Gracenote album art automatically and allows for an advanced equalizer. But for $5.99 it kind of seems like a raw deal.

Finally, the last part of this package is the separate $4.99 AirSync application. This application basically allows you to wirelessly sync music, photos, and videos to your Android phone over a home network. Setting up AirSync with doubleTwist is easy enough, but I would like to see it simplified down a little bit more. I can easily see less experienced users having a hard time getting doubleTwist to recognize their phone. I was impressed with the speed that my files were synced over to my phone. It took less then a minute to sync a 19 song album to my phone, which is faster then it takes to do the same thing wired. I had no problem is having other media players recognize the files, which means that even if you do not like the mobile player or the desktop app, you only have to use them to transfer your files.

The final aspect of this app is its integration with the Xbox 360, PS3, and Apple TV. Surely, the Apple TV feature can’t be true. Streaming music from your Android phone onto an Apple TV? No way. Well yeah, it’s true. DoubleTwist easily streams your videos, photos, and music to Apple TV. It’s not perfect; when a song is playing, no info appears, displaying just a black screen, but come on. Close enough. Even better is the streaming to the Xbox 360. Your phone appears under the list of drives when you open the music tab and the songs start playing instantly after selecting them. This actually surprised me. One problem is that the AirPlay feature will stay on even when DoubleTwist is closed which will drain your battery, so just make sure to turn it off when done.

Overall, DoubleTwist is a good Winamp alternative if you can deal with some fairly noticeable problems, even though I’d recommend TuneSync if simply wirelessly syncing music is what you’re after.

Syncing Without Wires on a Mac

Syncing Without Wires on a Mac

Oct 31, 2011

With Apple’s iOS 5 comes wireless iTunes synchronization. This allows a user’s iOS device to wirelessly sync their movies, pictures, and music from their home computer and vice versa. This eliminates the need for cords and all the syncing goes on in the background, hiding it from the user. While there is no iCloud counterpart on Android quite yet, there are a few apps that come close. The most popular and probably the best is Winamp, but seeing that it’s only for Windows, this post looks at a few wireless media syncing software for the Mac/Winamp alternatives. 
The three apps being looked at are the popular DoubleTwist, simple TuneSync, and ambitious AudioGalaxy. All three of these apps offer different services but they all aim to basically do the same thing, offer a wireless way for you to sync or listen to the music on your computer on your phone. Seeing that all three require an application to be installed onto your Mac, that will be our jumping off point.

There couldn’t exist a bigger difference between the applications needed by DoubleTwist, TuneSync, and AudioGalaxy. The latter two offer small, menu bar applications that run in the background and one, TuneSync, only has two options in its drop down menu. This is a total contrast to the behemoth of a program that DoubleTwist requires. The DoubleTwist app aims to be an Android version of iTunes, and is just as bloated and somehow slower. The program lags and frequently locks up for 30 seconds at a time. If you want an application to solely sync music over to your phone using a cable, DoubleTwist is not the best option. A plus for DoubleTwist is its ability to AirPlay music to an Apple TV, Xbox 360, and PS3.

That said, DoubleTwist’s desktop app does serve its purpose and will get the job done. The paid AirSync add-on allows for your phone to appear on the list of devices even when not plugged into your computer. This lets you just drag and drop the files into your phone no matter where it is as long as its on the same network. It’s Android app is also a media player, which I found very impressive. Unlike DoubleTwist, TuneSync does not come with a media player, which is not really much of a problem because most Android users already have a media player of choice. TuneSync lets you sync specific playlists from iTunes wirelessly to your phone. This may seem restrictive but it is really the opposite. Simply make a playlist in iTunes then add and delete songs freely and TuneSync will update your phone accordingly. By doing this you bypass the middle man and do everything in a program you already use. If you are an Amazon MP3 user, this app also has the ability to put your purchases onto your computer as well.

Doesn't look pretty, but it doesn't have to.

Being a whole other monster, AudioGalaxy has no desktop media player but a decent web app. Instead of merely syncing files to your phone, AudioGalaxy uses your computer as a media hub, scanning your library and putting the information online for you to access at any time. The media streams off your computer over the internet to either your phone or another computer. The advantage here is you don’t need to pick and choose which songs to sync your whole library is available. The downside, obviously, is that your computer must be on and connected to the internet for this to work, and, if on 3G it will consume data. Songs can also be pegged for offline mode, which downloads the file to your phone. This process isn’t as efficient as either TuneSync or DoubleTwist but that’s not the main objective of this app. Still in the beta phase this web app shows a lot of promise once a few bugs are fixed.

When it comes to sync speed DoubleTwist is the fastest, with TuneSync coming in a close second, and AudioGalaxy obviously bringing up the rear. Even though downloading songs is not AudioGalaxy’s main feature, the fact that you are unable to check on a songs download progress is a head scratcher. Both DoubleTwist and TuneSync show download progress with TuneSync shown song by song progress while DoubleTwist just gives brief overview.

In conclusion, as usual, it just depends what you are looking for. My personal recommendation if I had to choose one is TuneSync because of its simplicity. I have a media player that I love (UberMusic, shameless plug I know) and doing everything through iTunes is much easier than using DoubleTwist’s problematic desktop app. Another point for TuneSync is that it can automatically sync when your phone is plugged into your computer. All three of these apps can work in great harmony by paying the 6 bucks and using TuneSync for syncing music, getting the free DoubleTwist mobile app for interacting with an Apple TV, PS3, or X-Box 360, and since AudioGalaxy is free, there’s no risk in trying it out, especially if the computer you use is a desktop.