Audio Player Blues... Poweramp no longer playing nicely

Discussion in 'Android OS' started by raspabalsa, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Hi all!

    I've been quite happy with Poweramp's performance, except for one detail: the license scheme is absurd. The unlocker app will re-run its license checks even after passing them, at seemingly random intervals. Since I spend a lot of my time offline, this means it will eventually run its license check while there is no internet and Poweramp will refuse to work. This has happened to me 4 times in the last 6 months. Emails to Poweramp's support remain unanswered, and reviews on the Play Store show many users complaining about this, even after several updates. I'm about to ditch this app... it's no fun to spend 8 hours (as I did today) surveying several hectares of hot, humid, bug-infested forest, only to have Poweramp cut my music 1 hour into the job.

    Enough of the rant, but thanks for listening! I'm looking for a replacement audio app. I don't like Sony's Walkman app because it won't let me play folders. I'm testing Mixzing Audio Player, but I found an interesting option: Neutron Music Player. It claims to be very advanced, and I tend to agree since I can't make sense of a lot of its features and options. Settings are highly technical, but this is not as good as it may seem, since right out of the box the app may not yield adequate audio quality. On my Z1 audio was clearly distorted, so I had to RTFM and activate the "automatic gain protection" feature. I'm still testing it, but 5 days (duration of the trial app) is not enough to run through all the options. Has anyone here tried this player? If not, I'm looking for other options. What other audio player can play folders, has good equalizer and strong bass response, and uses the regular Google Play license scheme?

    Thanks!
     
  2. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    Music Folder Player plays folders, and has an equalizer. I can't really speak to how good the audio qualities you're asking about are. It *Does*Not* support playlists. As far as I can see, if you buy it, you're set even when off-line.

    I'd bought AstroPlayer for it's ability to combine stereo to mono, but it has done the same periodic check you have issue with. It's more advanced than Music Folder Player and supports both folder & playlist, though (I think), but on the S3 there's a built-in mono/stereo switch, so it's less needed now
     
  3. Hook

    Hook Have keyboard, will travel

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    Sorry to hear. I was not aware of this problem with Poweramp as when I'm off line (at work) I can't listen to music anyway. However, I agree, I would never put up with that from any program no matter how good.

    You might try Media Monkey. I think you need the Pro version to do folders, but the free version will let you do it for a limited time, I believe. The Pro version is on sale this week-end I believe. It also syncs via wifi to a desktop music manager which is excellent (there is a free version-- I have a lifetime license). I confess I have continued to use PowerAmp on my Android rather than switching to Music Monkey, but MM is #2 on my list. Has very good sound.

    My only hesitation is I honestly don't know what it's licensing scheme is. I don't think it uses a phone home scheme, but then again, I didn't know PowerAmp used one.
     
  4. SGosnell

    SGosnell (retired) Palm Pilot

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    I've never had that problem with Poweramp. The version I have, and have always had, downloads the unlocking app and keeps it on the device. It works whether I'm online or offline, no difference. Do you have the unlocker installed on your device, Raspy?
     
  5. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Thanks, Rick. I'll check it out, and it's no big deal if it does not support playlists, since I seldom use them, and then only on my Windows boxes. On my mobile devices I just select or enqueue a folder, then play it either sequentially or with track shuffling.

    Ah, that's too bad. I really don't need the hassle of periodic checks. But Neutron Player can combine stereo to mono, so it's another point in its favor.

    I wasn't aware of it either... until it happened to me, that is. The problem is that there seems to be no way to prevent it, or even to manually force it to run its check preemptively. After the failed checks I've kept a watch on the app, launching the unlocker app several times while online to make sure it still shows a valid license status, and then checking on Poweramp itself the same (and how silly it is to have to do this for an app I paid for!). After some weeks have passed it seems the unlocker and main app are both satisfied, so I stop doing this, only to have Poweramp fail license check again at the worst possible moment (such as when a 3-hour road trip turns into a 7-hour one because the road is jammed).

    Thanks, Hook. I'll check it. I don't mind purchasing another audio app, as long as it works every time, online, offline, and under water :D

    I'll search Media Monkey's reviews. If it has a similar scheme then probably some users have reported problems.

    Yes, the unlocker is installed on my device. Back when I started using Poweramp 2 years ago, I installed the main "trial" app, then purchased the unlocker, ran it and verified the license. As I said above, I've ran it several times after a failed check to be sure it has called home when it's online and all is ok. Poweramp does work on my device while offline, as long as it shows a valid license. The problem is when it decides to run a license check and there's no internet available. In its favor, it does seem to wait some time before it decides to stop working, but since there's no way to know when it will run the check ther's no way to prevent the fail. Yesterday I was online until 6 am, then went offline, and started playing music at 10 am. One hour later the music stopped by itself, and that's when I saw the failed license message. Last night I went online and Poweramp validated its license. Today I was offline all day, and launched Poweramp several times through the day and it did not report a failed license check.

    I'll install the apps recommended above and test them. Today I've been using Neutron Player and I'm liking it so far. I'll see how Media Monkey and Music Folder Player fare compared to NP. BTW, I also have MusiXmatch (got it on one of Google's $ 0.50 deals) but it's audio features are so limited I only use it to fetch and play lyrics, which it does very well.
     
  6. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    I uninstalled all apps I obtained from Amazon.com for similar reasons. The amazon app had to be installed for any of them to work, and for some reason, it seemed my amazon app would log me out randomly. I got so annoyed about having to log in all the time, I just gave up.
     
  7. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    Curiously, I've never had any problem with my Amazon apps. Maybe I'm kept logged by the Kindle app? In any case, I keep several FAOTD apps on my phone, and they've never failed me.
     
  8. SGosnell

    SGosnell (retired) Palm Pilot

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    I've never seen Poweramp run a license check, after the initial check. Dunno why it does that on your device, but I haven't seen it on any of mine. And if it did, it shouldn't need to be online, since the license verification is available offline. Something seems amiss on your device, but I have no idea what it could be.
     
  9. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    The thing is, it's hard to see when Poweramp runs its license check. Every time it's happened I'm listening to music, when suddenly the sound stops, and when I turn the screen on I see the "license failed" message. I don't know if it displays a "checking license" message every now and then. Really, it's too much hassle to try to catch the app doing it to see what may be wrong.

    I doubt it's a problem with my device. I've reinstalled Poweramp and the unlocker several times, verified that the license works, and checked again every now and then. About 2 months ago (soon after a failed license event) I hard reset my Z1 and installed everything from scratch from Google's backup, didn't restore anything from Titanium Backup except the data from certain apps (calendar, memos, etc). Again Poweramp received a clean install, license check, etc. I even had to manually set all it's preferences. Remembering past events, I checked the license status several times over the next few weeks, and everything seemed ok, until it again failed all of a sudden. I'm guessing there is a countdown after a license check and when it runs to zero Poweramp discreetly calls home to see if it's still licensed to run on the device, and if offline, it fails the check. I'm guessing but it's failed so many times on my device that I can think of no other answer. If true, it truly is an absurd and abusive scheme IMO.

    Maybe my device spends more time offline than most, so it has a much higher chance to fail a license check.

    I've been testing the othe audio players. Music Folder Player is way to simple, there's just the equalizer but very little in the way of features. In this respect Poweramp is much better. As for Neutron Player, I still can't get it to work properly. Some tracks sound great, but others still have distortion, as shown in NP's audio analyzer graph. I don't know why this happens, especially since all these tracks sound great on any other player. I have just 3 more days to play with NP, and I'm not sure I'll be able to get a satisfactory result with it. It's way too complicated. I'm also trying MixZing Player, but is options and features are also somewhat limited compared to Poweramp, and its UI is not very nice either. Still on the test list are Media Monkey and Meridian Player. <sigh> All I want is to have my music available anytime, everytime, online or offline!
     
    RickAgresta likes this.
  10. raspabalsa

    raspabalsa Brain stuck BogoMipping

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    I just checked Poweramp's site, and on the FAQ found this:

    So, I did update my phone's ROM about 2 months ago (that's why I hard reset it, to do a clean update). Then I reinstalled everything including Poweramp, and it did verify its license. I haven't done another hard reset, ROM update, or Poweramp reinstall since then. I have no idea why my phone's Poweramp seems to insist on checking license.
     

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