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Windows Phone 7 vs Android Music Player..

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Right now I've narrowed my phone choices to about 2 phones. The first being a Galaxy S3, and the next being the Samsung Odyssey, which will run on Windows Phone 8. I'm switching from a 3 year old iPhone 3Gs, because my music library has grown to rather large sizes, and the S3 and (hopefully) the Odyssey has microSD slot for storage. My question today is which music player from either OS is better? This can be in terms of anything and everything from sound quality to usability. I'm leaning towards the Odyssey, but my fears of it not having a microSD slot are unresolved. Anyone has any opinions/experience with both Windows Phone 7/8 music player, and how it compares to the Android Ice Cream Sandwich/Jelly Bean music player?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 5

I think you will have much more flexibility going the android route for this. I'm pretty sure FLAC is natively supported on ICS and Jellybean and it much more flexible with using your own player.

 

I think going down the WP8 route you might be majorly limited if you are using the built in player to MP3, MP4 and WMA. If you can wait for WP8 to mature a little bit it might be ok. WP8 should have removable storage but that will depend on the manufacturer.

post #3 of 5

You are looking at it from the completely wrong perspective.  It's like asking which OS out of Windows, Mac and Linux gives the best SQ while ignoring the more important hardware factor.

 

Both Windows Phone and Android is the OS and the sound quality of each handset is actually irrelevant to the OS but rather depending on the hardware chipset used in the phone, with Android being the one with the greatest variation which could range from completely crap to very good because manufacturers are pretty much free to use anything they can.  The SQ of the software music player plays a much less part in the chain compared with the DAC chip, the headphone amp circuit and radio shielding of the phone.  While the S3 is said to have a very good DAC chip I've never heard it before so I can't comment on the implementation of it (the original Galaxy S also had a good DAC chip but the implementation was not great which took hackers to unlock the potential).  And nobody knows what the Odyssey would sound like.

 

With that out of the way, The software players on Android has more choices - but they aren't necessarily better, just different (I've tried at least half a dozen - paid or free).  Most of the popular ones goes for "copy the iPod" interface with many extra features bolted on.  While on the other hand the Zune player in WP8 is going to get a revamp so it's not going to be the same as the current player so nobody can tell you how good that one is either.

 

If you are using an iPhone now that means you are using iTunes, and chances are your library is in either mp3 or aac or even Apple Lossless, and I doubt you are listening to FLAC right now, so if you don't hate iTunes and don't plan on migrating off iTunes then I actually suggest you buy an iPod Touch or iPod Classic - trust me it's much less painful than trying to work these Android/WP phones to get the sound you like, plus you won't be draining your phone's battery and have to look for a charger every 5 hours.

 

EDIT:  My migration path was actually a iPhone 3G > 3GS > Samsung Galaxy S > Nokia Lumia 800, so yes I've used them all and had gone through the pain of making the software "work", and in the end I decided to buy an iPhone Touch instead and separate my DAP from my phone and all my headaches are gone, and I didn't have to worry about when I upgrade my phone that it would have bad SQ due to poor DAC and poor implementation.


Edited by nanaholic - 8/9/12 at 2:12am
post #4 of 5

Tend to agree with the previous post in terms of the specific DAC and its implementation being extremely important. That said, it also depends on how much value the OP places on the convergence aspect - he may not want to use a separate device as his music player and might want it all in one and be prepared to compromise on pure sound quality for that. Things get a little trickier then I think.

 

Firstly, as per the above post don't worry about the player software. In Android there are many alternatives so you'll find one that you are happy with, in WP I don't know about alternatives but I expect they are there and in any case the Zune player should be competent (although may be lacking things like FLAC and ALAC support which may matter to you).

 

In relation to the DACs in the phones - are you getting a US variant S3, or the international one? The US ones use the S4 Krait SoC which comes with a specific DAC onboard, the Odyssey will have the same DAC since WP8 will be utilising the S4 architecture too. That said, the implementation could make the same DAC sound better or worse and there is no way to know that without ears-on (good example being the Galaxy S, average SQ on stock ROM despite a nice Wolfson inside, very nice SQ with Voodoo Sound a tweak software that requires Root access). If you're getting the international S3 then the comparison is Wolfson to the S4 DAC. Not seen much in the way of comparison there, but what I have seen seems to suggest that the S4 DAC is reasonably competent but probably not on a par with the Wolfson (and also will never have Voodoo Sound support, which is meant to be coming to the international S3). As it happens I have an international S3, and will also be getting an AT&T S3 next week (by the looks of tracking information to date at any rate), so will be able to at least provide my own subjective impressions of the two then.

 

One thing worth mentioning about the S3 is that it works with USB DACs, so you have the option of upgrading the sound as your need and budget dictate. Very unlikely to have this facility available on the WP side of things. You can also improve the SQ with custom kernels and software mods too, so even if you didn't want to go down the line of USB DACs you have more tweakability at your disposal where the sound is concerned than WP will afford you. That will either be something you enjoy doing, or an exercise in frustration, depending on the sort of person you are.

 

I've been fairly happy using mine with a FiiO E7, and as of next week (providing it actually arrives), I should be using a HeadAmp Pico USB DAC/amp with it (into Beyerdynamic T5p, providing it arrives also). It seems like USB audio is going to be much more ubiquitous in Android going into the future, so like the situation the previous poster has with a seperate player this means you can then simply ignore whatever DAC the manufacturer puts into their phone and know you'll be happy from the audio point of view.

 

Finally, worth pointing out that by the time the Odyssey comes out you could have been enjoying your S3 for months and months, given how stellar a device it is all-round that is worth factoring into your decision.

 

Just some more food for thought.


Edited by NZtechfreak - 8/9/12 at 5:56pm
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NZtechfreak View Post

Tend to agree with the previous post in terms of the specific DAC and its implementation being extremely important. That said, it also depends on how much value the OP places on the convergence aspect - he may not want to use a separate device as his music player and might want it all in one and be prepared to compromise on pure sound quality for that. Things get a little trickier then I think.

 

Firstly, as per the above post don't worry about the player software. In Android there are many alternatives so you'll find one that you are happy with, in WP I don't know about alternatives but I expect they are there and in any case the Zune player should be competent (although may be lacking things like FLAC and ALAC support which may matter to you).

 

In relation to the DACs in the phones - are you getting a US variant S3, or the international one? The US ones use the S4 Krait SoC which comes with a specific DAC onboard, the Odyssey will have the same DAC since WP8 will be utilising the S4 architecture too. That said, the implementation could make the same DAC sound better or worse and there is no way to know that without ears-on (good example being the Galaxy S, average SQ on stock ROM despite a nice Wolfson inside, very nice SQ with Voodoo Sound a tweak software that requires Root access). If you're getting the international S3 then the comparison is Wolfson to the S4 DAC. Not seen much in the way of comparison there, but what I have seen seems to suggest that the S4 DAC is reasonably competent but probably not on a par with the Wolfson (and also will never have Voodoo Sound support, which is meant to be coming to the international S3). As it happens I have an international S3, and will also be getting an AT&T S3 next week (by the looks of tracking information to date at any rate), so will be able to at least provide my own subjective impressions of the two then.

 

One thing worth mentioning about the S3 is that it works with USB DACs, so you have the option of upgrading the sound as your need and budget dictate. Very unlikely to have this facility available on the WP side of things. You can also improve the SQ with custom kernels and software mods too, so even if you didn't want to go down the line of USB DACs you have more tweakability at your disposal where the sound is concerned than WP will afford you. That will either be something you enjoy doing, or an exercise in frustration, depending on the sort of person you are.

 

I've been fairly happy using mine with a FiiO E7, and as of next week (providing it actually arrives), I should be using a HeadAmp Pico USB DAC/amp with it (into Beyerdynamic T5p, providing it arrives also). It seems like USB audio is going to be much more ubiquitous in Android going into the future, so like the situation the previous poster has with a seperate player this means you can then simply ignore whatever DAC the manufacturer puts into their phone and know you'll be happy from the audio point of view.

 

Finally, worth pointing out that by the time the Odyssey comes out you could have been enjoying your S3 for months and months, given how stellar a device it is all-round that is worth factoring into your decision.

 

Just some more food for thought.


Ah yes sorry I forgot to include that my music library has grown to rather large proportions, all of which is in FLAC. It became impossible to have to keep 2 copies of each file just to play it in iTunes when at home, and eventually my iPhone ran out of space for me to store all my music on it, which is why I wanted to get a phone which natively played FLAC and had expandable storage. That much is a given. What I was asking about was how good the music players on either the upcoming WP8 platform or the Android player on the S3 were, in whatever comparable terms that anyone had to compare. I don't really believe that the difference between the sources will be that noticeable, and I was generally looking for opinions on the UI and responsiveness in each of the players. Thanks for your advice though.

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