Thank goodness the new Gallery and Music apps replace the old Mediascape; it was a good idea in theory – to have all your media in one place – but in practice it was a mess.
Photos and Videos.
Your photos are now displayed through an app called, funnily enough, Gallery! This is really the stock Android app given a different icon – some of the more intrepid X10 users out there using Titanium Backup may remember seeing this app? For whatever reason, SE had disabled it so you were forced to use Mediascape.
Thankfully a third-party app called Gallery3D, based on the stock Gallery app, could be installed. This overwrote the old Gallery app with this newer model and gave you unfettered access to your photos without having to endure the bloat of Mediascape. Those of you who’ve rooted your X10 for JiT or DualTouch, but not installed a Custom ROM, might find this very useful indeed.
Note: sometimes the hyperlink works, sometimes it doesn’t. But the Gallery3D DOES work.
Adding music on Mediascape was a pain: adding tracks through anything other than the awful MediaGo, you had to restart the phone in order for it to notice the new music on the SD card. And why would we want to go through to YouTube or PlayNow for more information about our music? That fact that it’s on the phone in the first place means we already know plenty about it – i.e. we like it!
Mercifully most of these problems have been eliminated, although something like a library refresh to pick up freshly-loaded music wouldn’t go amiss, I’ve had to restart the phone a few times to pick up new music. A refresh is something basic that could be added in a future update?
While the new EQ is pretty good, the music player is largely useless once the lockscreen has been engaged. Other apps like DoubleTwist or WinAmp allow you to control the player while the screen is locked. Useful and basic stuff that again should be included on a future update.
For the future, I’ve seen two apps in the last couple days that have some additional bells and whistles on them. One in particular is the port of the 3.0 Honeycomb music player, which has something akin to Apple’s Cover Flow. I’m sure it looks fabulous on tablets, whether it will port officially I don’t know. I tested it on my X10 and it seemed to work, but due to not having 16 million colours it looked a bit naff. Those who link to tinker can find the 3.0 music player here, but be aware it’s still very alpha!
With a new improved release of Gingerbread coming soon, possibly 2.4 – which would have more elements of the aforementioned Honeycomb, my hope is when it comes to browsing music on a hand-held device, SE’s music app will be on a par with the Apple user experience. In fact, I have high hopes for a much-rumoured, Walkman-based Android phone possibly coming out later in the year…