How you listen to music on your phone? [PC Brain Trust] | webOS Nation

How you listen to music on your phone? [PC Brain Trust] 109

by Robert Werlinger Mon, 30 Aug 2010 9:03 am EDT

We've asked you about your favorite apps and your favorite tweaks in previous editions of our ongoing PC Brain Trust series, and the topic this time is music.

There are a number of approaches to listening to music on our webOS devices.  We can sync our music manually by dragging and dropping files from folder to folder, we can use old versions of iTunes or programs like The Missing Sync to automatically sync music to our devices, or we can use cloud based solutions like DropBox and streaming solutions like GrooveShark to pipe music in without going through the hassle of syncing.  

With the myriad of options available, we have to ask:  how do you choose to listen to music on your phone?  Do you stream exclusively, preferring the variety associated with the huge libraries of music companies like Pandora and GrooveShark have access to?  Do you you prefer the fidelity and control offered by having high bitrate MP3's and WAV files hosted locally on your device?  Or do you pursue an approach that mixes the two?


I have some music stored on my device but almost never listen to it. I'm almost exclusively Pandora (even on my desktop, too).

99.9% pandora.
also listen to pandora on my Roku box when I am home.

I stream mostly with Pandora and Slacker. Depending on what I want to listen to one app has better songs on certain channels. I have been trying to get Ampache to work but havent had the time to really sit down and get it to work. Ever since I got NaNPlayer I have been listening to music from my phone alot more.

I listen to music using NaNPlayer and download music w/ Browser patch. I use Internalz to edit and move files accordingly.

Thank you HomeBrew!!

I spend a lot of time in the car and my car is equipped with sync. I listen to Sirius, my iPod Nano and Pandora on my Pre Plus via the bluetooth streaming on sync with the Pre docked on a Touchstone. The Pre has the clearest sounding output of all! And I ha the Nano hooked up via the USB port. Anyone with Sync and the Pre Plus on AT&T MUST try Pandora via Bluetooth!

I've got Sync in my SUV (Ford Excape Hydrid) and use it for MP3's, Pandora and movies too! It's truely Wireless with the TS!

I don't see NaNPlayer in Preware... How did you get it?

and what's the name of the patch that lets you download (vs stream) mp3's? Couldn't find it in Preware either.

Re: your 2nd question (download/stream option vs. stream only in-browser) -- You want Multi Mod. Quite handy for those of us who listen to Podcasts offline.

Music Remix is the way to go with your own music files. Pandora is a close second. Pandora will put XM/Sirius radio out of business. Who would use XM radio anymore?

I rip my own, create the mp3's and then drag n drop them from my PC to my smartphone, which, used to be a treo 650 with the SD card, but now is a Pre+ with 16g of onboard RAM.

Listening is done via the WebOS media player, in "shuffle" mode.

I really like it, and its ease of use.

I do the same thing. I am still crossing my fingers that Rhapsody will someday make a mobile app for WebOS!

Pandora. The Sprint Pre doesn't have enough storage to keep my own MP3s on my phone.

I'm thinking of treating myself to a pair of stereo bluetooth speakers. I've been wanting to do that for a while.

I have become a fan with bluetooth speakers while I bike.

Cool, which speakers??? what model or brand???

It was one that they reviewed here. Altec-Lansing Backbeat 903. They have been awesome. I use my Pre with Slacker radio while biking and I am in 7th heaven.

Wow...What else do you have on your phone? :-p I have a Sprint Pre. 10 3D games, some movies, 600+ pics, some word & PDF files AND 500+ .mp3 files. Still have just over a gb of space. Just curious!! I use the Altec Lansing Backbeat 903 Bluetooth headphones. Pricey but WELL worth he investment! Sound quality is great, you can control the music player with the headset and take calls! Just my 2 cents!!! :-)

Im so happy w/ pandora (especially since my free act @ home is full of excruciatingly long commercials every 3-4 songs now. Use @ home n car. Mp3 upkeep is a hassle i dont miss.

Wifi media sync to transfer my music over my Wifi connection, and Pandora for streaming. Love grooveshark, but don't want to pay-per-month to use it on my phone.

Drag & Drop of high bitrate mp3 streaming I don't want to eat up my bandwith...

Do you not have Wi-Fi?

Streaming eats up bandwidth on WiFi. It's banned at my office for that reason (so I turn off wifi).

I often use my 3g on sprint for pandora. Its a bit to get going but if u give it a min to start streaming it stays pretty consistant. Beats swinging from wifi-wifi signal like monkey bars if ur driving.

I hate the Pre's double post bug. :^(

I don't know what I do different colonel kernel because I've never double posted in a year of being on this crazy site. Lol

After I post and the page reloads, I find that the URL has changed to include a comment number. If I refresh it is guaranteed to resend that post. However, if I delete everything after and including "#comment" from the URL I can load the page again without issue (from the URL bar the first time).

I have a couple playlists and favorite albums that I keep on my phone, otherwise it's Pandora or Slacker, they both seem to give different flavors for the same input.

Same here - Slacker first, Pandora for changeup, and Music Remix with some favorites for when I feel like it or on a plane/in a deadzone.

Two words: Ampache Mobile


Amen. 12,000 songs that I like, available almost anywhere and anytime.

I agree. Ampache is the way to go. If I'm somewhere with limited 3G coverage, I fall back to NaN player.

is NaNplayer available for download?

It's so nice being able to keep all my music in one place and being able to access it from my phone and my desktop at work. Plus, when I get new music, I can easily access it from anywhere with out having to remember to sync it to the phone first.

50% music remix via drag and dropping....50% streaming via AccuRadio, Pandora, Grooveshark, and Slacker (AccuRadio preferred for streaming)...

I used ml_ipod with Winamp to sync my Pre using "media sync". So basically, both Winamp and the Pre are pretending to be something they're not for this to work (Winamp pretending to be iTunes, my Pre pretending to be an iPod). Too bad I can't fit all my music on an 8 GB device. I had to make a playlist called "Pre" and only sync it to the device.

I use Music (Remix) to play the local mp3s, of course! Can't wait for the 2.0 update.

As far as streaming, I exclusively use Slacker Radio. I like it so much that I uninstalled Pandora.

Radio time or Pandora.. I have Music Remix But don't use it alot because I'm to lazy to add new music

. Majority of the time my Sprint Pre- is on Slacker radio. I have an aux in jack on my car stereo so I haven't listened to FM radio since last june!

sync music with media monkey.. Awesome cause it tags the album art too. Then I listen using music remix when I don't have good signal cause I get bumped from EvDo to 1x internet.. Thanks Verizon.

So your Sprint Pre is on the Verizon network? That could be part of the problem!

as my persanal use I like to play alot pandora, I found out that if use the regular music player or remix player from my pre it drain my battery fasters then if I use pandora is this is just me or is for everybody.

That's just you..because Pandora has to load each song wireleslly it uses much more power than playing the song from local storage.

Youtube for individual songs and Pandora for random.

Pandora - for the day to day "normal" music.
RadioTime - for terrestrial radio needs.

Music Player Remix - for the on-board music playing. - btw Thanks!!!!
Media Monkey - for the sync/transfer/encoding aspects.

I do keep a fairly large MP3 library on the phone primarily because it is specific music/songs I want to be able to pull up on the spot. I sing and listen to a lot of Barbershop Harmony music which you generally won't find in the "wild".

Having a Sprint Pre and only 8gigs to work with though I have been forced to downgrade the quality a bit so it only eats up 3 gigs or so.

I have Accuradio and Slacker installed, but rarely use them. I tried Grooveshark, but as most people have stated... I don't want to pay monthly for it.

Go Barbershop!! Singing is Life!

I stream Shoutcast Radio for soft jazz mostly. I have a little music stored on my device but seldome listen to it.

Remix for mp3s. This is about 60% of my listening time.

The other 40% is split between Slacker, RadioTime, and Pandora (in that order of preference) for streaming, which I only do when I have a wi-fi connection.

Music Player Remix + WiFi media sync is a great combination. As far as using the Pre as a music player, it's in the car about 90% of the time

I'd use Pandora a lot more if it wasn't for two big issues:
-Data is expensive in Canada
-Pandora appears to only work inside US borders.

Ampache Mobile! It lets me stream my 20+ GBs of music from my PC using Apache Server. Takes about 30 minutes to setup.

75% Slacker Radio, 25% Pandora.. Both paid accounts.. Its the only thing I listen to in the truck..

Tried grooveshark, but their app needs work before I pay to use it.

Pandora when I'm bored sometimes.

Mostly, I use nanplayer via drag and drop. Wifi media sync takes way too long, and it's not very streamlined (gotta pick my songs, copy them to a sync folder, essentially maintaining a duplicate).

Ampache was a possibility, but I don't want to stream from my home.

I sent in a ticket to their support with suggestions to make their app better and they gave me 3 months free! I really like the concept of Grooveshark.

I mostly listen to podcasts on drpodder. I rarely listen to my on device music, or pandora. I drag and drop my music into the folder.

For frequently listened to music I use Music Player Remix and drag & drop the files onto the device.

For my extended library I user Ampache Mobile to pull down files. This works especially well since I have a Pre and my wife has a Pixi and we can both access a shared music library from the home server, including shared playlists etc. I can create playlists and add songs to the library and nobody has to plug their phone up to a computer to get the changes.

I tried out Pandora when I first got my Pre; however I eventually stopped using it and went back to my music collection stored on my phone. I guess I just can't get into the whole streaming thing. My only gripe with using locally-stored files is that my whole music collection can't fit in 8GB. But I'm sure the next webOS device will have much more storage (and hopefully it will be expandable).

Being the developer of Music Player (Remix), of course I use my own app to listen to my music. Version 2.0, currently in development, implements several key features that makes listening and managing your local music collection a pure joy. If you haven't already, you can view preview videos of Remix 2.0 on my HedamiSoft youtube channel. And be sure to keep a look out for announcements in the PreCentral forums (or on my @Hedami twitter account) concerning the upcoming beta program.

I wonder how hard would be to place a fm radio in music player remix

Do you mean internet radio, or an actual FM radio tuner? An FM radio tuner isn't possible since a hardware tuner is not built into the Pre/Pixi.

i don't like fm but i wouldn't mind AM so i can get sports and news radio.

Mostly on device with NaNplayer (sooooo grateful), Pandora for discovering new music, and Grooveshark for random other things.

I don't use my Pre for listening to music. I had an iPod, but lost it. In the time between then and waiting to order a new iPod, I tried using my Pre as my primary music player. It was a disaster. I had to get two replacements because of the terrible headphone jack constantly breaking. The music was never loud enough for my headphones. There isn't enough granularity in the volume adjustment.

I did love the software, though. I used Music Player Remix, and it got the job done quickly and efficiently. The hardware is what made the experience a bad one.

New iPods come out this week, so I'll finally be buying one and I'll likely never again use my Pre for listening to music.

My first option to listen to music is Pandora: excellent for background music while doing chores or to discover new artists/titles. For my owned music, I drag/drop via USB and use Music (Remix), an excellent app.


which music streaming app gives you the best sound quality?

If I'm at home then I'll normally be streaming through my wifi using Radiotime. Out and about though I rely on mp3s, streaming would eat up too much of my bandwidth allocation plus the O2 3G network in the UK is too patchy for regular use.

I archive my cd's with dBpoweramp to flac, and then convert what I want on my Pre+ to ac4. I listen to Music Player Remix in shuffle mode over BlueTooth to my Sony DR-BT140Q headphones. Currently I have 4466 songs on my Pre+.

I just drag and drop in usb mode to get music on my Pre+. I purchased WiFi Media Sync in hopes of using that to put music on the Pre+, however, all of my music is in folders by artist/album, and WiFi Media Sync seems to have an issue with that.

I would listen to music on my Pre if there was more memory. What I want is a 128 Gig Pre 2 so I can load all my music in WAV files :)

I have Ampache Mobile set up, but I need to do some troubleshooting on my server; for some reason it keeps playing one song and stopping instead of automatically advancing.

I use Pandora sometimes, but find I prefer Last.FM, so I spend most of my streaming time in LostFM (primarily on Steampunk Tag Radio). I keep a small collection of favorite albums on my device and listen to them with Music Remix, either when I'm in the mood for them specifically or when I can't get an Internet connection to stream. drPodder delivers my podcasts, including a small handful of music podcasts, and when I'm free during the Clockwork Cabaret's live broadcast I'll catch them on RadioTime.

I only listen to music via SPOTIFY (, I live in France. I've had an android based smartphone with spotify mobile and I really miss it on WebOS.

pandora for streaming, I don't like slacker. Music discovered via pandora is downloadeded and played via music remix. Touchstne + blackberry gatway in the car.

For the last couple years I've relied on stuff like Pandora. It requires zero thought, zero cost (though I pay for Prime) and exposes me to lots of stuff.

Availability of the excellent Pandora app is part of why I got my Pre. Usually I stream from the laptop, but at one of the labs I work in I just bring in my Pre and plug it in to some PC speakers we keep for tunes listening.

The dream is that some day I'll have the extra bit of money to set up a nice kit in the car, too, for those long drives.

I sync music via Windows Media Player, as a Windows user it's the easiest option available. Occasionally I'll stream music but only if it's a new song that I've yet to download.

Since I have a 100 mile daily commute through Boston, I listen to a lot of diiferent things in my car. Before I came to the Palm Pre Plus I used a 30 gb Zune plugged into a jack and radio. Now I have a much wider variety of choices. I listen to streaming podcasts (Palmcast of course), stream music mainly with Pandora, and listen to HD and terresterial radio streams using Radio Time. I also have a bunch of albums on my Pre which I listen to using the music player. I accomplish this in my car using a Motorola T505 bluetooth speaker phone/digital fm transmiter. The commute still sucks, but at least I have a wide variey of choices for entertainment.


I do one of two things when I listen using my Pre. I am either listening to podcasts via Dr. Podder or streaming Pandora. I keep some music on my Pre, but get bored with my own stuff. Pandora is great on the Pre!

Believe it or not, I use windows media player to sync my music (and album art). Since my music is rated, It just shuffles what is synced based on my auto playlists. Better than Media Monkey, Better than doubletwist. Other than that, I use Pandora. Grooveshark would be GREAT but the app sucks on the pre and the website sucks as well!

being a bit nostalgic & a kid in the mid '50s... I like to listen to my fav TV shows onSprint TV especially while driving, or just relaxing... Anyone here remember "The Shadow"? Nothing beats a good mystery on the Radio... Also use Pandora for music.. Anyone know how to get Broadway tunes? 4 free?

Most of the music I listen to on the Pre (with Music Player Remix) comes from webcasts that I have recorded with Replay A/V, which also has the ability to automatically sync a PC folder with a mobile device.

I use many apps depending on my mood and what I want to listen to. Slacker often, Pandora when I want a certain artist's style, accuradio for broader choices and more unusual selections, FM Radio for certain Shoutcast music stations I love and nature stations, jam for new bands, occasionally and of course music remix for the music stored on my device.

I sync using Music Monkey - much better than I tunes - since the space on a pre is limited I sync a different shuffled selection each time with one click.

For earphones I use Auvio ear buds (radio shack) - deep rich base and nice clear range, crystal highs, come with travel vase and can also use for or calls.

In the car I use MotoRockr which really does rock. Calls and music streamed through your radio. I have really good sound system in my car so the music is awesome. The Motorockr is the only one I have tried that really works - no static, sound is clear. And makes phone hands free. And was only $69. I keep phone plugged in because blue tooth can drain battery if driving a distance.

For home audio - bought a $5 cable at radio shack that is male head phone jack on both ends, plug one end into phone and other into aux or mic feed of any audio equipment in the house and voila!

Oh, I forgot... I also use the app Lost FM. It is not in Homebrew and not in the catalog. Search for it in forums. The developer considers it beta and hasn't submitted it yet because he is still adding functions but what it does, it does great. I can listen to a randon stream of my music that I have scrobbled to, or a stream of my friends' music, or I can enter a keyword and it will search ALL the music scrobbled by EVERYONE and make a stream. I use it for example to listen to Israeli music because none of the others have good Israeli music channels. I just type in Israeli and can listen for hours. Could type in anything. it searches for the keyword. nice. Hope he submits it one of these days, its a great little app.

I drag & drop and use music remix... I will try later the NaN player...

I even installed an aux jack to my car... works great...

I sync my music over USB and I do it with plain old drag n drop. I hate iTunes and don't see the point of apps like Missing Sync. I listen to my music on my Pre with NaNplayer. Love it. In addition to that I pay the $3/month for Grooveshark VIP and I use Grooveshark on my Pre to listen to whatever music I want that I don't have stored locally on my Pre. I use Groove, which is an alternative to the official Grooveshark app for webOS- it beats the official app any day. Dashboard controls are especially useful. Groovehsark is worth the $3/month without a dout. I wish I could say I used Pandora frequently, but it's rarely something I listen to. All in all, the Pre is good music device- just wish it wasn't limited to 16 GB.

I sync using Windows Media Player. It is pretty darn good and easy to use. On the PRE I use the Music Player Re-mix from home brew. Much, much better than the bare bones Palm gives you. I stream using Accuradio. I love how it lets you ban any artist you want from ever being playeed again and also how you skip a song you do not like and immediately here something else. I use both in my car via an MP3 player port while using the car charger so I don't get low on juice. I also listen to both at the gym via a wireless bluetooth headset. It REALLY KICKS ASS to listen to the Metal Asylum channel on Accuradio while pumping iron!!

I am pretty exclusive to Slacker Radio. I love their song selection within a genre.

99% Music(Remix) app synced with itunes. The other 1% is probably Pandora which only happens very rarely.

don't listen to music at all on my pre. Waiting for more spave. 32g and voice play like microsync in fords. I still would rather use my archos 605 or just radio in car.

Sprint Pre. Streaming I use Slacker, Net2stream (local), and Pandora. I use Doubletwist to sync my MP3's to my device. I try to keep between 800-900 songs on the phone for when I loose my 3G. Doubletwist has improved and is a lot faster than it use to be. With it I can easily load song off my server or the kids iTunes, using the same program. I buy all my music from Amazon or copy off of my CD's.

I've got 4GB of mp3's on my Sprint Pre...and i almost always just listen to the radio using the RadioTime app....

You heard it here first people...
I'm almost finished programming an initial beta of a NEW MUSIC PLAYER app (built from scratch) that is entirely file/folder based (using Jason's amazing FileMgr Service in the backend) - including permanent delete capability of songs - and future features to include on-device M3U playlist generator that would be playable across all music apps, and be transferable back to your PC. Keep an eye out for it in the WebOS Development Forum. I'll be making a post about it before the end of September. The app will be called FFplayer (aka File Folder Player).

I'm glad you finally took matters into your own hands and created the file/folder based app you've been looking for. I can't wait to check it out.

M3U playlist creation/editing will be a great feature. Once file write access is added officially to the SDK (without the need for Jason's FileMgr service), I'll definitely be adding this feature to my app as well.

I love streaming Bluetooth through Sync while driving... I use my MP3s most, followed by Radiotime (the best ap I've found for streaming radio stations).

Pandora and Radiotime, while constantly wishing for a rhapsody app.

I use an older version of itunes and listen to music stored on my phone most of the time. I have Pandora and grooveshark but rarely use it. I use accuradio instead.

Radio Hibiki 90% of the time- with over 35000 radio stations from al over wold I can find anything I want. . And 10% Music remix.

Pandora, or music that I have loaded on to my Pre.

95% Music Player Remix, I also use Brightharbour Music which allows me to stream my own music since the Pre has a paltry 8g of storage. I use radiotime as well. I still use an old version of Itunes to sync.

Music on my Pre Plus? Nope. That is what my Zune HD is for. Battery life is too short to be wasting it on music.

RadioTime 95% of the time and rest of the music is through the awake2music alarm app!

On my Sprint Pre, ever since iTunes syncing stopped, I have been using Salling Media Sync for the Mac to sync playlists to my Pre. Although I cannot have everything on my phone that I want, I get what I want via the playlists I have created. When I want to listen to something different besides my own music, I use Pandora.

I'm looking forward to seeing what HP has in mind after purchasing Because I am interested in using the Cloud to listen to my music; however, sound quality is by biggest concern. I tested the Zumo Drive app to see how that would work and the sound quality seemed good, but I am waiting for more options before I commit to one product.

I don't listen to music on my pre.

i tried to use it as my primary player, using music remix and ampache til my server died. But the i hated the it for both software and interface design reasons. Remix did a commendable job and credit to him cause i wouldn't have tried with out it. But the underlying palm software lacked polish a finished product should have, the features, the detail, precise control, things like gapless playback, menu sorting like ignoring "the" had to be patched, no integrated podcast solution, the desktop support for everything from podcasts to playlists, menu layout is not what i like, no dedicated hold button that works, etc. It was clear to me that music was an afterthought and the fact that none of this stuff was fixed by palm sat poorly with me cause honestly, my music player gets a ton more daily use then my phone so it's important to me. And still not addressed a year later isn't good. I went back to my old 80GB ipod.

oh mostly, mp3, m4a, i don't use pandoralike services, and i don't buy music from ituneslike, amazonlike services.

I use Pandora, AccuRadio, Youtube (music videos), and music player remix. I stream music 75% of the time and listen to music on the pixi plus 25% of the time.

When at work/home, I keep it plugged into Pandora (and a wall charger) when out doing yard work, biking, riding the bus etc... I listen to my ~600 song mp3 collection via Music (remix) for better battery life while on the move. My favorite feature of Music player is the pause/advance track controls from the headset. Having a phone be my music player is great because I never miss a call/text because I didn't hear it because I was listening to music.

don't listen to music at all on my pre. Waiting for more spave. 32g and voice play like microsync in fords. I still would rather use my archos 605 or just radio in car.

I use Slacker alot, though I'm very disappointed that they haven't implemented caching on WebOS. I have requested it numerous times on their forums and their support engineer said they don't have plans for caching on WebOS despite having it on BB, iPhone, and Android! I can't stream at work, and when I'm on the road the streaming craps out a lot.

If I want to listen to music that I own, I have an Ampache server at home that I can connect to from wherever I am with Ampache Mobile or AmpachPre, but I do that very rarely as I prefer a broader mix and new music.

Everyone please go to the Slacker support forums and request caching for WebOS!!!

I use J RIVER MEDIA JUKEBOX on my computer and native Pre music player. I sync my music with media jukebox in media sync mode. This preserves my smart playlists (play count, date played, etc.) and also retains album art. great set up!

DanPLC and other developers, thanks for your work. Two things Id like in a music player app. First off a time input for a specific place in a song, for instance if I could enter start at time 1:04 of this particular song that would help when im trying to play along the music and having to rewind. That would be great also for the video player but thats another story. And somthing that i dont know if possible with the current write limitations, is the ability to trim mp3s. Especially handy for streamed things youve downloaded. Of course I could do on PC but still would be great to have.

I have some thing planned for Music Player (Remix) that should help to meet your needs (in regards to going to a particular part of a song).

Trimming/editing MP3 files isn't currently possible with the SDK.

The thing I was referring to is advanced bookmarking. You can set manual bookmarks at specific times and markers will appear on the scrubber bar when you load a song that has bookmarks saved. To quickly go to a bookmark, you can use the next and previous buttons.

I stopped using my phone for music because every time I do it gets stuck in headphone mode and I can't make any phone calls.

music player remix with mode switcher is totally the way to go. Jump in my car,and it hooks up, overclocks, and starts playing with a click of the stereo. It is so simple, yet effective. (maybe not all that simple)

I use MediaMonkey on my PC to sync music to my Pre. I love that program. On the Pre I have Music Player Remix, and then when I feel like listening to something different I fire up Pandora (8GB is nowhere near enough space).

I cant get Pandora in Canada, and the music player remix and NaNplayer are eluding me (is it in the beta feeds? app catalog? only the forums?). I tried slacker and found it limited in music genres. I just stumbled across Digitally Imported today and am loving the 20+ electronic (sub)genres! Mostly i drag and drop and have to cycle my music as the 8gb phone memory is devoted to my music...

For those who haven't seen it yet, Music Player (Remix) 2.0 Beta is available as a homebrew app: