One look at the Play store or Apple App Store and you will find a plethora of music management and player apps. In the middle of all this is a new entrant: FlipBeats.
Developed by hSenid Software, FlipBeats claims to be the most advanced music Player for Android. It’s been featured in LifeHacker and AndroidGuys as being a well-designed app, so that’s probably the rare Sri Lankan app that doesn’t suck.
We gave it a try after we saw it being shown off at E-Swabhimani. The app is free to download from the Play Store and Apple App store and can be used for up to 20 days with all features unlocked; after this, some of the key features get disabled and can only be re-enabled after the user pays $2.99 and unlocks all the features.
Flippin’ a new beat
The UI of Flipbeats is the first thing you notice. With the latest UI changes in Android and iOS, Flibeats also seems to be adapting to it. The UI has a mix of white thrown in with a choice of red, green or blue. It’s a rather well designed interface, pleasing to the eye and looks pretty cool on my Nexus 5. Text is easy to read and buttons and menus have a certain finish to them.
The app also includes a multi band graphic equalizer with custom presets and two exclusive presets based on the Pro EQ Engine, which are also part of the features that get disabled after the 20 day trial period.
The list of niceties is extensive, and it starts with the UI – a gesture based flip UI somewhat similar to Flipboard where the user can simply flip through his or her music library. Once it’s scanned for your music, you’re greeted with the main library interface. From here, you can browse your songs by selecting either albums, artists, playlists or genres. Clicking the circle at the top area of the screen resumes playback of the currently selected song. Song playback is amazingly minimalistic.
Music quality is from the app is pretty average, though, especially when compared to apps such as PowerAmp and JetAudio. The app does feature the Pro EQ Engine and Pro Reverb Engine which can be tweaked to enhance your listening experience but in all honesty, the quality of the listening experience wasn’t overwhelming for us to actually spend money to unlock the features.
Unlike most music player apps, you cannot specify which folders to scan – instead the app scans the root or SDcard folder and adds all audio files to the library. This is a rather annoying feature as even files such as Whatsapp audio logs and ringtones get added to the library.
Looks great, sounds okay
Average sound experience aside, some features we found pretty cool were the visualizer and themes. The themes option gives you the ability to change the color of the overall app from a green to a red to a blue. Not a lot of choice in the color department but it gets the job done nicely. The visualizer is accessible by again flipping up the album art of in the now playing pane. Doing this enables the spectrum analyser or waveform analyser, either of which can be selected via the menu.
Another set of features we found was the tag editor and lyrics viewer; these essentially help you manage your music library by allowing you to add missing song details and also download lyrics of songs being played.
The settings menu is also well-thought out – you can select options such as the audio configuration such as the Pro EQ Engine and Pro Reverb engine, the themes, sound health (where the volume is limited to a certain level to prevent hearing damage), VFX (visualizer effects), an auto off feature, a tag editor and a shake sensor. Overall, we’d say it’s one of the sexier music apps on the Play Store.
Flipbeats also seems to be pushing users towards a more social listening environment. You can actually share the details of the song you’re listening to via Facebook or Twitter for your friends to see. Seems like the developers are trying to make Flipbeats the social music player too.
If you’re in the mood to try out a new music app that is fun and easy to use with gesture features and gives you control over your music with an advanced equalizer and reverb engine, then Flipbeats is worth a try. It’s not as feature packed as some of the other paid apps or free apps out there, but it looks pretty good and has some interesting features. You have 20 days to see if you like it or not. Everyone’s a winner.