New Apps Let Android Users Manage Media

MANAGING music, photos, videos and podcasts on your Android phone usually means attaching it to a computer and transferring files manually.

Or syncing with Windows Media Player, or using an FTP app such as AndFTP.

Until now, there has been no integrated equivalent to iTunes, but that is changing.

Recently, I tried mSpot, a cloud solution to personal music library management.

You go to, sign up for a free account, and upload your music, even your iTunes collection.

Your music is then available to you wherever you are via a PC, Mac or a mobile phone.

The free Android app presents itself as a mini-iPod and is capable of downloading your music to your phone's SD card, and thereafter syncing it.

It's slick and it works.

The only catch is that you pay a few dollars a month for online storage, should you choose to use more than the 2GB free limit.

But it's a nice way of maintaining a single music library on multiple devices.

A new starter in this area is doubleTwist (, which allows you to sync music, videos and podcasts from a desktop computer to Android phones, Palm Pres, BlackBerry and other mobile devices.

It is also the closest software I have seen to iTunes for Android. It even links seamlessly to the Android market for apps, and Amazon's music store in an iTunes-style interface.

The software claims it converts incompatible audio file formats to a playable format.

You install doubleTwist on your desktop (it's a free Beta), then connect your phone to your desktop in storage mode. DoubleTwist quickly recognised my HTC Desire, and I was able to drag and drop music from my desktop to the phone and vice versa. You can send media to Flickr, YouTube and other doubleTwist users.

The final step is to install the doubleTwist player (currently free) on your Android phone. It provides an alternative iPod-style interface for all this media.

I also like the idea of the integrated podcast manager, which further gives it a claim to being an Android iTunes substitute.

If you get tired of your music collection, you can download Scanner Radio (free) and listen to police and emergency services scanners. This app connected to services in NSW, Queensland, South and Western Australia.

Similarly there are apps emerging to help you manage and edit photos on an Android phone. Adobe offers a free app called Photoshop Express that lets you crop and adjust images by sliding your fingers across the photos. Very neat but basic compared to editing photos on an iPhone 4.

The PicSay Photo Editor (free & pro versions) lets you add word balloons, titles, and various objects to photos.

August 17th, 2010